Review

Review: A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Despite not having seen the accompanying television series, I pretty much proved Lucy Worsley’s point when I was drawn to this book because of the title. A tale of how the British public have been obsessed with the idea of murder, particularly in the past three hundred years or so, it’s actually quite a lot more than that. Covering the development of the police force, the popularity of horror and true crime novels, famous authors inspired by true crime and other anecdotes like the origins of Madame Tussaud’s, Lucy Worsley manages to pack a lot into one volume.

The first chapter, the story of the Ratcliff Highway Murders, just didn’t do much to grab my attention despite its rather morbid happenings, and I have to admit that I only glanced over much of it – and I actually skipped over many more, but there were some stand-out sections. For example, the chapter on the first appearance of the ‘Penny Dreadful’ was fascinating – these were cheaper alternatives to true crime novels and therefore also accessible to the lower classes. It also explains the name of the recent TV series, which features familiar characters from horror and crime together in one place. There are also sections on authors like Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie – which serves to remind me that I haven’t read anything by either of them!

Although I may have skipped some chapters, this is definitely the sort of history book you can read the entirety of due to Worsley’s writing style, which panders to all. She does not assume the reader is familiar with the history, which makes it perfect for anyone with a new interest in the subject, yet she also does not patronise. However, some areas just unfortunately failed to capture my interest at all. Recommended if you’re interested in the history of criminology and inspiration behind true crime, or fancy reading something a bit more macabre!

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Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: October 2014

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

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Last month I read a total of eight books: Debating the Archaeological Heritage by Robin Skeates, The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley, Miss Peregrine’s School For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs, TimeBomb (TimeBomb #1) by Scott K. Andrews, An Introduction to Museum Archaeology by Hedley Swain, The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co #2) by Jonathan Stroud and The Martian by Andy Weir.

Better than last month, although two of those were for university and one was a very short story! My plan was to read loads of science fiction for Sci-Fi Month, but obviously that didn’t happen… My stand-out book of the month is definitely The Whispering Skull, I really love that series! It’s like Sherlock with a dash of Supernatural, if the protagonists were in their teens. What’s not to love?

 

Challenge progress:

  • I read three books towards the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge. November’s villain is Apocalypse, hopefully I can defeat him this time!
  • I have currently read one hundred and seventeen books towards my Goodreads goal.

 

Currently reading:

The Time Roads 2495562

 

How was October for you?

Top Lists

Horror October: Top Ten Horror Books On My TBR List

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Today’s Horror October post features the top ten books on my ‘to be read’ list that I want to read most urgently. I’d love to know if any of you have read them, and what you thought! I’ve linked to each book on Goodreads underneath the picture. These are a mix of books from Netgalley and Edelweiss that I still haven’t gotten round to, as well as my own purchases.

TBR Horror

This House Is Haunted by John Boyne, Amity by Micol Ostow and The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

TBR Horror

The Furies by Mark Alpert

TBR Horror

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

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The Troop by Nick Cutter

TBR Horror

A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley

TBR Horror

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

TBR Horror

Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?