#5Books: Book recommendations now that Winter is here

#5Books book recs for the week ending 4 June 2017

WI have no shame in admitting that I hate Winter. More importantly that I am number 1 and no 5 on this list: 17 Tumblr Posts About Winter That Will Make All Australians Laugh 

Laugh it up. Eventually it sinks in that I am shivering in weather Europeans and Americans would consider perfectly good Spring weather and I have to laugh too, or I’d cry.

In other news, the trailer for Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is here, reminding me of when I devoured Christie’s books YEARS ago and then somehow overdosed on her books and haven’t been back to read them since. How cool does this look??f

What’s your favourite Agatha Christie book?

Maybe that’s where my love of mysteries started? Wait, no that’s probably Enid Blyton’s mysteries that got me hooked on the genre.

However, my mysteries these days are entirely different:

The Dark Lake

It’s the cover that got me to stop and take a look at this book, and then I find out the author is Australian! Hello #ozCrime! Gemma is a homicide investigator in a rural town who is tasked with investigating the murder of a high school classmate — Rosalind. Even the name makes you think she’s the cool kind in school — or was when she was in school that is. But in death she’s a mystery — why did she leave Sydney to return to their small town? Not to mention, she comes from a rich family but moved home to a run-down apartment. There’s something creepy about the town, and this story, I think. And that Rosalind is an enigma just heightens the sense of creepiness I think. Usually you’d read something of the victim in the blurb right?

Oh hello, Nigerian influenced fantasy

Beasts made of Night

Sin eaters! And royal sins! In Kos, there are mages — more importantly, there are corrupt mages who can take sins from people in the form of sin beasts. Which is not what I expected — sin beasts that is. It’s interesting they come from feelings of guilt and not the actual sin. Our hero, Taj is identured by the mages to fight the sin beasts, and every time he does, a tattoo appears on his skin, and his mind takes on the guilt of the sin — which has driven people mad. Taj however eats the sin of a royal, then finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy to destroy the city. LOVE it. Why can’t I have it now?!

Dear Martin

This is the story of Justyce, an excellent student, who is being bullied in a way by the kids he left behind in his neighbourhood and the prep school classmates he now goes to school with. In order to cope, he begins to write a journal to Dr Martin Luther King, and the idea of that is what broke my heart and grabbed me immediately. Then one day, Justyce and his friend are involved in an incident with an off-duty white cop and with that comes a media fall out surrounding Justyce most of all. Note the Angie Thomas quote on the cover too.

Is anyone finding out that podcasts are mentioned more and more in blurbs these days? Here’s a mention of Serial in this blurb — I am curious to see how this goes given how many people listen to podcasts.

The Last Place You Look

It was the mention of Serial that made me stop at this book — the mention of new media in books like this always gets me to take another look. I am guessing though it’s the idea of Serial, of reopening a cold case is that this is about more than including podcasts in the plot — did that make sense? Anyhoo, our PI hero, Roxane is called upon to investigate the appearance of a dead teenager at a petrol station. Thing is, Sarah’s boyfriend has been on death row for the her murder and the murder of her parents for 15 years. And somehow or the other, while investigating, Roxane discovers a link to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases. Which okay. This is book 1, and it’s personal right up front, but that link the blurb mentions? Had better work, because the blurb can’t quite make it sound like a natural progression of the plot that her father is involved in a case she’s investigating.

Too Easy

I swear, sequels come around so quickly, I can’t imagine how authors manage writing so quickly? I feel like I just discovered her  — Stella, that is. The first book linked there was an indepth introduction to Stella, to what makes her tick but Too Easy seems to be focused more on plot? Maybe? I dunno, I might be reading too much into it, but even if I am wring, I think I’ll be happy. In Too Easy, Stella’s BFF Phuong, a cop, asks her to help her lover, Bruce, who finds himself embroiled in a police corruption investigation. The someone who can prove his innocence is gone, so Stella is tasked with finding the witness — which yes, a social worker is asked to do a cop’s job, but I trust Green will pull it off! Another unexpected part — Cuong, Phuong’s cousin, on whom Sarah is crushing. But he is a gambling addict with and I quote — a crippling obsession with the supernatural — what exactly is that?? But then Green throws in the Melbourne Cup — which is routinely called the Race that stops the nation, so it’s kind of a big deal. And all of this sounds like so much is happening all at once, which could be dangerous, but after the first book, I am so ready for this one! 

And that’s it for me this week! Man, I need a holiday. Does anyone else feel like that??


  • Kelly says:

    I have just added Beasts Made of Night. Wow, it sounds amazing and I love that it’s Nigerian based especially. Too often fantasy is based in mythical worlds or in the US. Dear Martin is another that I’m really eager to read as well. Justyce’s story is one that will resonate with so many POC readers especially in the US. Brilliant picks this week Verushka, looking forward to seeing what you think of them <3

  • If it makes you feel any better, I consider it cold when it’s like 70 degrees Fahrenheit lol. Beasts made of night sounds so interesting!

  • Ugh I hate winter too. I am so happy to be going into summer right now. I haven’t read Agatha Christie since I was younger but would love to go back to them at some point. The Dark Lake looks good!!

  • I’m really curious about Dear Martin. I hope it’s a good one!

    I’m so excited for the Murder on the Orient Express film. It has some great actors!! My favorite Christie novel is probably The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.

  • I hate winter. It can be ok to look at but I never want to actually go out in it. When my kids were little and wanted me to play in the snow with them, I was miserable. I will have to check out the books that made your list. I love a good mystery.

  • I’m not a fan of winter either. The only good thing about it is that I tend to hibernate and read more, haha. Great list. I really want to read Dear Martin and Beasts Made of Night. They both sound so good!

  • I really like the looks and sounds of The Dark Lake. There’s something about the darkness and then the red flowers popping at the bottom. I’ve also been seeing Dear Martin pop up everywhere and I’m super interested in it as well. I’m sorry you’re miserable with the weather. It’s very seasonable here today and tomorrow but supposed to get really hot at the end of the week so I guess we’re at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

  • Those tumblr posts had me rolling in my chair laughing (I can’t see my monitor from the floor). So awesome. And yup… I’m the one clutching a heater and saying WARM ME. My Uggs come out when it hits the lower 20s. 😀

    Beasts Made of Night is on my TBR!!!!

    Still pushing on with MKR but sadly not getting too far. I can’t believe that Josh made it past his instant restaurant. While I originally thought sudden death was an awesome thing for the end of the instant restaurants, now I’m reconsidering. 🙂 Watching Group 3 still. Will keep you posted!

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