October 2021

Autumn has definitely settled in but, strangely enough – and yes, I know I’m risking it happening tonight – there has been very little wind so, for once, the gold, red and yellow leaves are staying on the trees and shrubs long enough to be admired. After a much warmer summer here in Scotland we have some plants now flowering for the third time – including two fuchsias, one perennial and one annual – so the garden has a bit more colour that we’re used to in October!

I’ve been busy Christmas shopping, mostly online; my granddaughter in Japan has her birthday mid-November so we are sending a bigger parcel full of all the goodies they like at Christmas (chocolate!) but can’t get there. It makes sense to send one larger box, although the way it’s going I can see it being two larger boxes! This month, we also had the joy of celebrating our youngest grandson’s birthday. Ben turned three and was very excited about it, as you can see . . .

It’s been a quieter month, reading-wise, as I slow down towards the end of the year but I still read and reviewed twenty-six books. It’s never easy to choose just one but this month the honour goes to the latest book in a series which has held me in it’s thrall from the very first. Death in the Woods by Jo Allen is the sixth novel in the DCI Jude Satterthwaite series and, while it touches on the private lives of the detective, crime is very much the focus of each story. With a nod to the Lake District, the settings for each tale are perfect and with beautiful writing, these really are solid, gripping stories which have kept my brain working hard and none more so that the latest which had me completely bamboozled. Each time I decided who was guilty, the writing immediately showed me why it wasn’t them. Congratulations to Jo Allen, the worthy winner of my Book of the Month for October – and a writer I highly recommend to all lovers of great British crime mysteries!

With Hallowe’en this evening and Guy Fawkes night this coming week, there are a lot of spooky reads around; however, not for me – not because I don’t have an imagination but because mine is too vivid and I’m easily scared! I do have a full list for November, so I’ll see you next month!

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