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New Books Wednesday: 1st July 2020

Hello and Happy New Book Wednesday!! We can’t believe it’s July, that means it has been nearly four months of lockdown in the UK. It’s one of those weird times that’s gone slowly and quickly at the same time. We hope you’re getting through it okay, and managing to get plenty of reading done. Here are some great books to add to your to be read pile:

Season to Kill by Elizabeth Flynn

First up is the fourth in the Angela Costello series, from Elizabeth Flynn. It’s a cosy English murder mystery that will make for a perfect relaxed read. 

It’s murder at the Chelsea Flower Show – and DI Angela Costello is back to investigate.

DI Angela Costello has a tiny crush on handsome Welsh TV chef Griff Madoc. So she has mixed feelings when she finally gets the chance to meet him — she has been called in to investigate a suspicious death that takes place during Griff’s launch party for his new book at the Chelsea Flower Show. Griff’s manager has dropped down dead after drinking from a glass of champagne containing cyanide.

Everyone at the party saw Griff hand the glass to his manager — but why would he want him dead? Or was it a murder attempt gone wrong, with Griff not the perpetrator but the intended victim? If that’s the case then he is still in danger. 

The trouble is that there are just too many suspects with a variety of motives — a family feud, a secret affair and gambling debts, to name a few —and Angela and her team have to pull out all the stops to find the killer before it’s too late.

Season to Kill is the fourth instalment in the highly entertaining DI Costello series.

The King’s Beast by Eliot Pattison 

Next up is Eliot Pattison’s sixth instalment in The Bone Rattler Series. It’s a fantastic quest story that mixes American history with plenty of action and adventure. 

Duncan McCallum is back and has found himself the target of the people trying to keep America under British occupation in the sixth instalment of The Bone Rattler Series. 

When Benjamin Franklin asks Duncan to retrieve some astonishing fossils from the wildernesses of Kentucky, he is blind to the murderers that are following his every step. Duncan soon realises that the fossils are far less of a mystery than the politics behind his mission. The Sons of Liberty are certain that the only way to keep the King from going to war with America is for Duncan to safely deliver the fossils to London. 

His quest soon becomes a web of treachery and fighting as he searches for a link between the fossils and the King. Every time Duncan comes close to answers he is met with fresh deceit from those obsessed with crushing any American rebellion. With every attempt to kill him, Duncan wonders what the ‘liberty’ that the Sons desire really means?

In order to survive his most difficult ordeal yet, he must rescue his native companion Conawago from bedlam and seek help from freed slaves, street thieves, an aristocratic maiden, and the tribal gods of his allies. 

Love in the Country by Jill Barry 

Another cosy romance, Jill Barry’s Love in the Country follows an aristocratic family’s celebration of Christmas with plenty of suitors, drama, and maybe even some romance. 

It’s December 1925 and the young Annabel Crawford is about to get a surprise.

Annabel’s mother, Lily Crawford, explains that the Viscount Lassiter is unexpectedly joining them for Christmas dinner – and Annabel couldn’t be less impressed! 

The Viscount walks under a cloud of scandal after the infamous end of his latest engagement and Annabel, already distraught at having to engage in ‘drawing room silliness’ over the festive period, is irritated that she will have to entertain this reprobate aristocrat who she has never even met. 

On Christmas Eve the headstrong Annabel escapes her Aunt Hester’s dreadful carol singing and takes her beloved horse Juno out for a ride. But while riding, she is thrown off her horse and into the ditch. Rescued by two gentlemen in a shiny red Bentley, she is eternally grateful – that is until she discovers her hero is Lord Lassiter and his servant Ronald Bassett. 

Housebound by her swollen ankle, Annabel soon begins to discover there is more to Lassiter – and his enigmatic servant – than meets the eye. As the snow begins to fall and threatens to leave them all housebound beyond the festive season, even the cook is drawn into the complex web of feelings and fancies that surround the party. But with such an outrageous past coming to light, will it all end in tears, or can love prevail? 

Air of Battle by William Fry 

Now some non-fiction and here is one man’s story of the First World War in the air. 

William Fry was a fighter pilot on the Western Front from 1915 to 1918.

Fry’s vivid memoirs cover the Battle of the Somme and Passchendaele, painting a portrait of air warfare in primitive conditions, airmen flying machines of rudimentary simplicity and of men exposed and vulnerable to the elements as well as to enemy bullets. He presents the happy-go-lucky attitude of the airmen and the conscientiousness of ground crews never shirking their duty. 

He takes us into officers’ messes and into the ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty’ routines of the flyers who came from widely different regiments of the army to launch the Royal Flying Corps. Ignoring the renown he won for himself in air battle, he gives vignettes of famous aces whom he knew — Albert Ball, McCudden and many others. 

His memoirs bring to life the years of the R.F.C. when the flyers were facing not only the enemy but the perils of conquering the air…

Hitler’s Last Gamble by Trevor N Dupuy 

Next is the story of Hitler’s final battle, the Battle of the Bulge, and how it was the last chance for the Nazis change the course of the war in order to win.

By December 1944, Germany was losing the war, allied troops were advancing across the Ardennes, and Hitler was resorting to desperate measures to try and grasp back victory. 

The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler’s final gamble. Many books have been written about the last major battle in Europe at the end of World War II, but none of them with the detail and resources that this book can provide about that historic event. 

The result of the co-author’s determination is the creation of “The Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base”, a massive computer programme that includes detailed, daily information about the personnel strengths, inventory of major weapons, casualties, ammunition expenditures, fuel expenditures, unit locations, unit movements, names of commanders, and much more. 

The author reveals the doubts of Hitler’s generals and the false hopes of a country desperate to salvage the war. The narrative interweaves personal accounts of the battle, taking advantage of the authors’ personal connections with officers involved. The tale of the greatest battle in Western Europe in World War Two is told in epic detail from both sides of the conflict. 

Assault from the Sea, 1939-1945 by James Ladd

In this detailed account James Ladd describes the equipment and vessels of the Allied naval armadas in the Second World War, and how new styles of naval warfare were to key to victory over the Axis Powers. 

The Allied assault forces in World War II were carried by the greatest armadas ever assembled.

James Ladd tells us how these armadas were created, what techniques were used and about the men who made the landings. The craft and assault ships, the material which provided the backbone of combined operations, are described with full specifications showing their size and how much they could carry.

These landings were the lynchpin of some of the greatest operations in the conflict: in Normandy on D-Day, 132,715 troops were put ashore in sixteen hours against some of the most sophisticated defences then known; at Okinawa, at H-Hour, over 183,000 men in 1,300 vessels made the last in a succession of major landings by United States amphibious forces against determined Japanese resistance. 

Both these operations, and every other during the conflict, called for intricate planning, daring seamanship and great determination by the soldiers and marines who fought their way ashore, supported by naval forces and airmen, sometimes flying at wave-top height.

Part of the fascination of this aspect of World War II history is that, the Japanese apart, no one had had any experience of such amphibious warfare. The qualities of seamanship and self-confidence had to be inculcated into men who had often never seen the sea and were without mechanical experience. Three million American infantrymen had to be trained for this new form of warfare, as well as 62,000 Royal Naval and Royal Marine crews.

Assault From The Sea records the personal experience of the servicemen who took part in this unique aspect of war.

That’s it from us this week. Stay safe and happy reading! 

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