Friday, 30 June 2017

June 2017: Favourite Books

June 2017 Favourite Books - Reading, Writing, Booking

June was the month I started reading the Chief Inspector Barnaby books, aka the Midsomer Murders books. So nearly all of my favourite books this month are from the series.
I've also been battling through a couple of other long books, namely the complete collection of H.P. Lovecraft and Middlemarch on Audible. I've been reading them for months and it's taking forever, but I don't want to include them as I haven't finished them yet (also I'm not loving Middlemarch).

So a brief and Midsomer full Favourite Books post this month.

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne - Reading, Writing, Booking

The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray-Browne

The only non Midsomer Murders book in the collection, The Upstairs Room will come out later in July, and I will be writing a full review, but I wanted to include it in June's favourites as it was something a bit different. It's a horror story mixed with the detailed examination of family dynamics.
The blurb reads like a fairly classic haunted house story; with Eleanor and Richard buying their dream house but finding that the atmosphere is eerie and their daughter starts acting strangely, not to mention the disturbed writing all over the wall of the attic.
It's a bit more subtle than a classic horror story and you end up really invested in the characters. Keep an eye out for the full review coming soon.

Chief Inspector Barnaby Series - Reading, Writing, Booking

Chief Inspector Barnaby series #1 #2 #3 by Caroline Graham

The Killings at Badger's Drift
Death of a Hollow Man
Death in Disguise

Yes, I should really review these separately but crime series tend to blur into one for me. Plus, I can't be bothered.
As a fan of the TV series Midsomer Murders (who isn't?) it's impossible to review the books without comparing them to the television series. There are some big differences though, mainly that the books are darker , Cully is more interesting than the drip daughter on TV and Troy is a complete twat. He's sexist, racist and homophobic, with very few, if any, redeeming qualities. I see that he's meant to be a foil to Barnaby's more accepting character, and represent a certain part of society, but it's the character just frustrates me. They clearly made him much nicer for the TV series.

Down to the actual stories, they're wonderfully plotted and they both capture and mock the English country life of gossipy small villages. The characters are mainly expertly, and humorously drawn, though I did find a couple of characters a little stereotypical, mainly the working class characters who all have accents and seem to constantly have a fag going. A bit annoying as the rest of the characters are so well fleshed out and recognisable.

I think Death of a Hollow Man, the second book, is my favourite so far. As someone who's mainly grown up in small villages I definitely recognised the local am-dram society, with the egos of big fish in small ponds. It also had a Ngaio Marsh feel with the theatre setting, which makes everything that bit more dramatic.
I'm looking forward to working my way through the rest of the series.

Short and sweet this month, let me know what you think of my June reads.

June 2017 Favourite Books - Reading, Writing, Booking

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