Helping my TBR Pile Gain a Few More Pounds (or books in this case)

Keen eyed readers of the blog may have noticed that my TBR pile was becoming quite vertically challenged. 7 books barely constitutes a pile really, more of TBR mole hill. I can imagine the laughter many bookaholics would have at the absurdity of such a small collection of books. Understandably I was getting increasing alarmed by the diminishing pile/mole hill. Of course there is only one solution for such a predicament, which is … to buy more books!Thankfully a much anticipated Amazon voucher came through, so the book buying spree could begin with gusto. It’s a good feeling when you get to the Amazon checkout page and realise you only have a couple of pounds to pay. Anyways I thought I would share with you the titles that are hopefully going to be winging their way to me soon, short of a mixed up packages and losses in the post; (the best/worst example of that being when I got a motorbike book instead of a much awaited Delano Ames novel):

Do let me know if you’ve tried any of these and of course hopefully enjoyed them as well!


  1. Some interesting looking titles there though none I have any personal experience of. Hope that they exceed expectations when they arrive (and that there are no rogue motorcycle books among them).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The title of this post tricked me into believing you were asking again for book recommendations and I was ready to oblige once more, but it seems you have enough reading material on your hands at this moment, so I’m putting my list back in the pocket for now. 🙂

    I’ve read only two of the items on your list, The Noonday Devil and The Long Shadow, and enjoyed both.

    Noonday was my introduction to Ursula Curtiss and made me an instant fan, though it’s not a typical book of hers: the main protagonist is a male and the whodunit element is stronger than usual. Curtis reviewed it on his blog some time ago if memory serves.

    The Long Shadow in my and HRF Keating’s opinion is Fremlin’s best book, even better than The Hours Before Dawn, but you’ll have to read it to understand why as I won’t tell you ANYTHING about the plot. I know, I’m being cruel but you’ll thank me later.

    Or not. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha you know I’m always willing to accept suggestions from you Xavier for book recommendations. I am wondering if the Curtiss title was one of your recommendations from last year? Glad you enjoyed the two titles you mentioned as there is always that anxiety that someone will comment and say how terrible all my purchases were! Very excited about the Fremlin title now given how much you rate it above THBD, as I really enjoyed that one.


  3. Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s books, both the series you ordered and the Asey Mayo series, are favorites of mine.
    My worst mailing disaster happened here in the US when I sent a hard to replace Beverley Nichols hardback mystery to a friend. The envelope arrived – empty! Did a book maniac steal it? (Easier to forgive.) Did no one at the post office notice that something had fallen out of the envelope? Infuriating! I now tape the life out of any and all packages I entrust to the post office!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve only read Julie Wassmer’s novel – which I enjoyed. I liked the series in general – full of warm details pertaining to location and characterisation. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • ‘The Noonday Devil’ is great book in my opinion & Ursula Curtiss is a really fine & unjustly neglected writer. This one starts off as a thriller, then shifts into her more usual domestic suspense territory. I gave up on ‘The Amber Shadows’ but others may like it. Too heavily – and too obviously – researched, too complicated, too lacking in focus [or maybe I mean too indiscriminately focused on every little detail instead of on the main plot] & just not appealing. Funnily enough I started reading Fremlin’s ‘The Long Shadow’ a few days ago but so far I’ve found it very unconvincing – however after reading some of the comments here I’ll give it another go.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it was through his blog entry that I first got to know of the Whitstable Pearl series. 🙂

        I see that your copy of ‘High Mortality of Doves’ has arrived too?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s been some time since I last recommended a book to you, so maybe you worried that I might have stopped reading or gotten sick. 😉

    The answer was quite simple: all of the books I thought about invariably turned out to be unavailable or quite expensive. That’s why for instance I didn’t tell you about Lawrence G. Blochman’s BLOW DOWN despite it being probably one of the best mysteries I have read this year.

    So imagine my surprise and my joy when finding out that another of my best reads of the year, Bruno Fischer’s MORE DEATHS THAN ONE was available for a comparatively decent price. Since you appear to like Bernice Carey’s work chances are you might like this book too as the subject matter (suburbian crime) is roughly the same, though the treatment is completely different.

    Another recommendation while I’m at it: Stark House Press has recently reprinted Helen Nielsen’s superb BORROW THE NIGHT as part of a twofer also including THE FIFTH CALLER and I think you’ll waste neither your money or your time reading it as I certainly didn’t waste mine on it. Nielsen was arguably one of the most hard-edged female crime writers of her time and while I’m always wary of women writers that are said to “write like men” it does certainly apply to her. I’m curious as to what you’ll make of her (and whether you’ll see through the book’s big final twist)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! Another Xavier recommendation. The Fischer book is definitely a good find, given his relative scarcity. I’m intrigued to try him after your FB post earlier this year, as before that I had quite a different conception of his work. I’ve got two STP twofers in my TBR pile, (more Potts and Ruth Fenisong), but you’ve piqued my curiosity with Nielsen. She is another writer I’ve heard of but never tried before.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One more thing, as Columbo would say – though *two* more things would be more accurate. 🙂

        While I have nothing but admiration for Bill Pronzini as both a writer and a scholar, I have some disagreement with him, and one of the bones of contention is named Amelia Reynolds Long whom he discussed in his survey of bad crime fiction, GUN IN CHEEK, branding her books “alternative classics” of the genre. He’s not alone in this, as Anthony Boucher was not fond of her work either.

        The problem is, I don’t agree with them.

        At all.

        I’ve read a couple of the books she wrote as Patrick Laing and found them more than competently written and plotted. Also her sleuth – his name is Patrick Laing too – is for my money one of the most convicing blind detectives in crime fiction, and his first-person narration is very well done from this point of view (no pun intended)

        I’m still alone against Boucher and Pronzini (well, almost alone as Igor Longo and Pietro di Palma agree with me) and I can’t help wondering which one of us is right. I need a second opinion and this is where you come in. 🙂

        The Patrick Laing books are extremely hard to find in English but two of them have surfaced on Amazon, one of which, STONE DEAD, is my favourite. (I haven’t read the other) Since your judgement is one I respect and trust – the fact that we’re often in agreement surely helps – I’d be interested in knowing what you think of them. They’re very classical whodunits, slightly reminiscent of the Webb Factory and also mid-period EQ. I’ll give you a refund if they’re as bad as Pronzini made them to be, but I’m almost 100% positive that it won’t be needed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • haha you’ve got me intrigued, so a copy of Stone Dead is on its way to me. Hopefully I will find in your favour! Feels almost like a judicial role! Never heard of Laing before, but then I expect no less from you when it comes to suggesting obscure authors.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I was doing a stroll along the shores of eBay when suddenly I found a decently priced copy of a pretty rare book by one of my favourite obscure authors – and of course I immediately thought about you. I know your TBR is still comparatively high, but one more book can’t hurt, can it?

    This way.

    Liked by 1 person

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