YVO’S SHORTIES #178 – The Curator & Knock Knock

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around it’s all about two crime series… One an old favorite and one a new discovery. I’m a huge fan of the Tilly and Poe duo, so of course book number three The Curator turned into another new all time favorite. And Knock Knock by Chris Merritt turned out to be an excellent start of a series I will keep following.


Title: The Curator
(Washington Poe #3)
Author: M.W. Craven
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 4th 2020
Publisher: Constable
Finished reading: September 5th 2020
Pages: 384

“Go and get some rest, Tilly – we’re gonna Sherlock the fuck out of this thing tomorrow.”

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I decided to pick up this title on a whim as I thought it would be the perfect title to beat my beginning slump… Why? Well, I was blown away by the first two books of the series and it features one of my all time favorite character duos, so I thought I couldn’t go wrong with this third installment. And I was right, because The Curator did as expected and more. The holy guacamole is back!! M.W. Craven has written another absolute firecracker and I loved every single minute of my time with favorite characters Tilly and Poe. These books are dark, these books are suspenseful, these books are intense… And they all have that special humor and bantering between two characters that might seem like such an unlikely pairing, but somehow work brilliantly together. They bring that little something extra to what is already a fantastic crime thriller, and they have another nailbitingly intense and shocking case on their hands… Fantastic writing, brilliant plot development, ingenious and highly effective plot twist bombs and holy guacamole, that ending!! This series cannot go wrong for me and The Curator goes straight to my list of 2020 favorites. If you haven’t met Tilly and Poe yet, you are truly missing out on something special!


Title: Knock Knock
(Detectives Lockhart & Green #1)
Author: Chris Merritt
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: March 13th 2020
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: September 7th 2020
Pages: 392

“Losing someone who had so much life left to live was tragic. It was the sort of thing that could tear you apart. He knew that more than most.”

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I’ve been curious about this series ever since I first saw the reviews of Knock Knock back in March… When I saw that the sequel was available on Netgalley, I just couldn’t resist getting a copy of both as I thought it would be a perfect excuse to finally try this series. My strange obsession with serial killer thrillers is no secret to those who follow my blog, and this first book of a series I already know I will be following in the future most definitely delivers on that point. While it took me a little while to get in the groove, once I did I simply couldn’t stop reading until that final page. I particularly liked how we don’t just have the detective angle with Lockhart, who I warmed up to quickly by the way, but we also have the psychological aspect analyzed with the help of Lexi Green’s POV. On top of this, the killer itself makes an appearance more than once as well… The story is more complex and intriguing as a consequence, and the psychology angle is further used to describe and analyze the killer and possible motives more thoroughly. I also loved how Knock Knock offered multiple suspects along the way and still managed to pull a surprise final twist out of the hat. I was totally wrong with my suspicions! This ride will get intense, exhilarating and pretty twisted along the way… It’s perfect if you have a taste for dark and disturbing serial killers hunts like me. On to the sequel it is! I’m ready for more Lockhart and Green.


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WWW Wednesdays #284 – September 9th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading The Orphan Of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox as my blog tour stop is coming up… I have high hopes for this one as the blurb sounds fantastic! I’m also finally starting most anticipated release The Minders by John Marrs, which I already know will be brilliant as I’ve been blown away by all of his titles I’ve tried so far.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page (4/5 stars) REVIEW 10/09
I’ve had The 24-Hour Café recommended to me more than once since it was published, and I’ve been looking forward to meet up with main characters Hannah and Mona ever since I read the blurb and reviews. I have to say that I really enjoyed my time with this story! Especially the way it is centered around the Stella’s Café and its customers as well as the two main characters… If you enjoy an interesting friendship-focused contemporary with lots of dept as well as different emotions, The 24-Hour Café is a great pick.

2. The Wife by Shalini Boland (4/5 stars) REVIEW
The Wife is already my tenth psychological thriller by this author (I somehow missed one earlier this year, but I plan to remedy that as soon as I have more time), and without doubt another excellent example of a well written story with a shocking ending. Don’t let that rather generic title mislead you, as this story will definitely add some serious punch to what might seem like a typical set up in the beginning. Fans of the genre will have a blast reading The Wife!

3. The Curator by M.W. Craven (5/5 stars) REVIEW 14/09
I decided to pick up this title on a whim as I thought it would be the perfect title to beat my beginning slump… And I guess it worked. The holy guacamole is back!! M.W. Craven has written another absolute firecracker with The Curator and it has only reconfirmed my love for Tilly and Poe. Straight to my list of 2020 favorites it goes!!

4. Knock Knock by Chris Merritt (4/5 stars) REVIEW 14/09
I’ve been curious about this series ever since I first saw the reviews of Knock Knock back in March… When I saw that the sequel was available on Netgalley, I just couldn’t resist getting a copy of both as I thought it would be a perfect excuse to finally try this series. My strange obsession with serial killer thrillers is no secret to those who follow my blog, and this first book of a series I already know I will be following in the future most definitely delivers on that point. This ride will get intense, exhilarating and pretty twisted along the way… It’s perfect if you have a taste for dark and disturbing serial killers hunts like me.

5. The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 13/09
Look out for my thoughts during my stop of the blog tour!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I still have a pile of ARCs I need to get to ASAP… To take a little break from thrillers, I’m probably reading a historical fiction ARC set during the Spanish Civil War, Remember Me by Mario Escobar, next. After that it’s Who’s Next by Chris Merritt and my final September blog tour read A Song Of Isolation by Michael J. Malone. Afterwards, I’ll probably need a little breather from writing ARC reviews as well as thrillers, so I will probably pick up the dystopian A Boy And His Dog At The End Of The World by C.A. Fletcher, which I’ve been wanting to read for a while now. Unless I’m in the mood for contemporary; then I will most likely give in and pick up the newest CoHo. xD (I’ve decided to stop mentioning my latest TBR jar pick for now as I don’t think I’ll get to it any time soon.)


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WWW Wednesdays #249 – January 1st

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Happy new decade! A new year means new reads, and I’m still working through my mountain of ARCs… Big Lies In A Small Town by Diane Chamberlain is up first; a title I’ve been looking forward to. I’m also starting the sequel Nothing To Lose by Victoria Selman so I have one less series to catch up with in 2020. Especially since the sequels seem to be coming out in record speed!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Black Summer by M.W. Craven (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 
While I do think I loved the first book a tiny bit more (please don’t hit me!), Black Summer was without doubt a brilliant sequel and as soon as Tilly made her entrance there was no way on earth I was putting down my copy. Thankfully I was able to spend most of Christmas Day in the company of my kindle, lots of tea, a sleeping cat closeby and a pile of leftover chocolate, so my wish came true and I was able to reach that final page almost in one sitting. And what a read!

2. The Perfect Mother by Caroline Mitchell (5/5 stars) REVIEW 04/01
I’m a big fan of her books, and I always look forward to a new one… The Perfect Mother is without doubt a fantastic read that had me absorbed from the very first page and I literally finished it in less than a day. Definitely right at the top of favorite 2020 releases so far!

3. On The Bright Side by Hendrik Groen (4/5 stars) REVIEW 10/01
I loved my first meeting with main character Hendrik Groen a few months back, his character reminding me of all time favorite Ove. I’ve been looking forward to meet up with him again in the sequel, and while I thought On The Bright Side was a tiny bit slower and I think I liked the first book a tiny bit better, I still had a great time reading this book.

4. A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 09/01
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour…

5. Blood For Blood by Victoria Selman (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 10/01
I loved the third book of the series when I read it recently, and I decided to read the first two books of the series ASAP so I have one less series to catch up with in 2020. The first book is without doubt an entertaining ride, and while I think the third book shows just how much this series has grown over time I did love learning more about Ziba. And what a way to start the story with a bang!

6. Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain (?/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 16/01
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m probably reading the rest of my pending January ARCs first, so I can focus on reading mostly my own books during the rest of the month… The last three pending ARCs are Dark Mother Earth by Kristian Novak, The Home by Sarah Stovell and The Liar’s Daughter by Claire Allan. I also plan to finally read my latest TBR jar pick Like This For Ever by Sharon Bolton!


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YVO’S SHORTIES #140 – Palm Beach Finland & Black Summer

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two titles I’ve been really excited to read; both for the Magical Readathon Winter 2019 challenge. The first is Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen, which not only has a gorgeous cover but also is a fascinating mix of dark humor and nordic noir. Then we have sequel Black Summer by M.W. Craven, which has proven to me Tilly and Poe deserve their spot as one of my favorite character duos. What a read!


Title: Palm Beach Finland
Author: Antti Tuomainen

Genre: Nordic Noir, Humor
First published: September 2017
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: December 23rd 2019
Pages: 300
(Originally written in Finnish with the same title)

“The older you are when you wake up to your dreams, she thought, the more vigorous you pursue them. The more desperately. Because with every passing day there’s simply less to lose.”


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I admit that when I bought my copy of Palm Beach Finland I was both lured in by that stunning cover and the promise of a combination of black comedy and a page-turning thriller. I was planning to make this story my first encounter with this Finnish mastermind of black humor and Nordic noir, but fate had other plans in store and I ended up reading Little Siberia first a while back. This first encounter was without doubt a success and I have been looking forward to pick up my pink and fabulous copy of Palm Beach Finland ever since. Now I’ve had the chance to read it, I can confirm it’s another excellent read. It’s the combination of the dark humor and the Nordic noir elements that makes this story so unique… While it might not be for everyone, if you are able connect to the humor and writing you will find yourself to be very entertained by what is going on in the coldest beach resort on earth! Palm Beach Finland has an colorful cast of characters to say the least, each flawed and adding its own problems, views and intentions to the plot. Multiple POVs are used to give us a multidimentional view of what is going on in the small beach town, black humor spicing up the plot in between the other elements. If you are looking for a little something different and don’t mind the plot heating up as well as having unconventional characters, Palm Beach Finland will without doubt peak your interest! A round of applause to the translator David Hackston for enabling us to enjoy this unique and quirky mix of genres. Blacker than black humor and Nordic noir without doubt make for a tasty thriller cocktail!


Title: Black Summer
(Washington Poe #2)
Author: M.W. Craven

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: June 20th 2019
Publisher: Constable
Finished reading: December 25th 2019
Pages: 352

“Poe, we have a problem.”


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I finally had the chance to meet Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw a few months back when I picked up my copy of The Puppet Show, and they are hands down one of my new favorite character duos. I’ve been waiting impatiently to meet up with them again in Black Summer after the first book completely blew me away… And I ended up turning it into a little Christmas gift to myself by freeing my schedule to spend all day with Tilly and Poe. Best decision ever! The gloomy Christmas Day weather seemed to set the perfect atmosphere for this sequel set in Cumbria, and I was of course hooked from the very first chapter. While I do think I loved the first book a tiny bit more (please don’t hit me!), Black Summer was without doubt a brilliant sequel and as soon as Tilly made her entrance there was no way on earth I was putting down my copy. Thankfully I was able to spend most of Christmas Day in the company of my kindle, lots of tea, a sleeping cat closeby and a pile of leftover chocolate, so my wish came true and I was able to reach that final page almost in one sitting. And what a read! The plot, the characters, the twists, the writing, the setting… There is just so much to love in Black Summer and I’m more than addicted to Tilly and Poe’s adventures. This sequel only made me love their characters even more and they definitely deserve their spot on my favorites list. I literally can’t wait to find out what The Curator has in store next, and I can highly recommend this series to any thriller fan. Trust me, you are missing out if you haven’t met Tilly and Poe yet!!


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WWW Wednesdays #248 – December 25th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I hope everyone who celebrates is having a wonderful Christmas so far! I gave myself an early Christmas gift and finally started reading Black Summer by M.W. Craven, a title I’ve been eagerly anticipating after being blown away by the first book earlier this year. I might just have finished it by the time this post goes live depending on how much free time I could sneak in to read in between Christmas preparations yesterday. I’m also reading On The Bright Side by Hendrik Groen as a second Christmas gift. Who says I can’t spoil myself? 😉 I loved the first book and I’m enjoying the same snarky tone in the sequel as well. Hendrik reminds me so much of Ove!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton (5/5 stars) REVIEW 27/12
There are so many characters I loved in this story, and they all play their role in teaching us more about Cuba as well. The plot itself is complex, multilayered and shows a thorough research into Cuban history as well as a wonderful romance story to counter the darker elements in Next Year In Havana. This story is an absolute must-read for historical fiction fans!

2. The Rules Of Murder by Rob Sinclair (4/5 stars) REVIEW 30/12
The Rules Of Murder is by no means a meek story and it will have plenty of action, suspense and properly twisted and graphic scenes for you in store. If you like your detective/serial killer thrillers fast and dangerous, you should definitely try this series!

3. Are You Watching? by Vincent Ralph (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR STOP 08/01/2020
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour… A little spoiler: it’s a true pageturner!

4. Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 31/12
I really enjoyed my first encounter with this Finnish mastermind of black humor and nordic noir, so I’ve been excited to pick up Palm Beach Finland. It’s without doubt another excellent read and the combination of the dark humor and the nordic noir elements is what makes this story so unique. It might not be for everyone, but I myself was very entertained by what was going on in the coldest beach resort on earth!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m hoping to get through a few more January ARCs and blog tours to take the pressure off next month… First up is A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone, which I’m really excited about as I loved his other title Breakers earlier this year. Then it’s pending blog tour number two (probably): Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain. I’m also planning on reading Caroline Mitchell‘s newest The Perfect Mother soon. My latest TBR jar pick is still Like This For Ever by Sharon Bolton, which I probably won’t be able to get to this year even though I’m looking forward to it.


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WWW Wednesdays #231 – July 17th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I picked up Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter on a whim as I’ve been meaning to read another of her titles for ages… I was planning to finally meet Will Trent, but I opted for one of the stand-alones instead. I’m enjoying it so far! I’m also starting a pending WWII fiction ARC: Along The Broken Bay by Flora J. Solomon. I’ve heard mixed things so fingers crossed I’ll end up enjoying it.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Closer I Get by Paul Burstonby (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 22/07
My full review will be available during my stop of the blog tour next Monday!

2. Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (4/5 stars) REVIEW 25/07
This is such a hyped book and I’ve lost count of the times it has been recommended to me since it was published last year. I definitely understand the love for the story, and while it wasn’t a 5 star read for me, I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. The pace might be slow in the beginning, but the character descriptions and setting are extremely detailed and wonderful done. I think my favorite part of this story were the many descriptions and references to the marsh and its wildlife… I also liked how past and present chapters were mixed and slowly helped you understand more about Kya, her past and the events leading to the present. I admit I guessed the ending, but I still think the twist was very well handled.

3. The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven (5/5 stars) REVIEW 25/07
Another title that has been recommended to me multiple times… So I was very happy the Instagram @criminallygoodbookclub picked it as their July read. I have found myself a new favorite character duo in Washtington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw! These characters are probably one of the main reasons I had no option but to give The Puppet Show the full five stars, because Poe and Tilly are absolutely brilliant together. Apart from that, we have brilliant written, a fascinating plot, wonderful descriptions of the Cumbria setting, a chilling serial killer and a dark dark secret and scandal of the past. What’s not to love?

4. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (3/5 stars) REVIEW 30/07
I picked up this Peter Pan retelling on a whim, looking for something a little different to read… It served that purpose just fine, but I ended up having mixed thoughts about the story itself. While I liked how the story was told from Tink’s POV and Tiger Lily was an interesting character, I felt that the so-called “spark” was missing and certain characters really started to get on my nerves. I wasn’t a fan of the romance either; it felt forced and the love triangle (should I say rectangle?) was quite frustrating as well. Can’t say I was happy with how the abuse and Tik Tok not being like the rest of the men of the tribe was handled either.

5. Small Places by Katherine Arden (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 19/07
An entertaining middle grade horror read that would have been perfect for the Halloween month. More in my review on Friday.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I need to get those blog tour and ARC reviews in so I can take a proper blogging break in August, so I’ll probably read The Escape Room by Megan Golding and Her Silent Cry by Lisa Regan next… And since it’s a blogging and not a reading slump I’m facing, I’ve decided to pick up the second Outlander book Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon in between ARCs, which will take probably me a little while to finish with its 900+ pages and I won’t have to worry about writing reviews in the meantime. 😉  My newest TBR jar pick is still The Cellar by Natasha Preston.


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WWW Wednesdays #230 – July 10th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally reading Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens! It’s still early days as I wanted to finish my Spanish Harry Potter read first, but I have high hopes for this one. I’m also starting my Criminally Good book club read The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven and I’m so excited to be finally reading this story!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews (5/5 stars) REVIEW 12/07
This title was one of my most anticipated releases this year and I can say it has without doubt lived up to expectations. What an absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking read! You will want to clear your schedule for this little gem, because once you meet the main characters Sam, Moxie and Avery you will find yourself unable to say goodbye to them and stop reading. The writing style is engaging and wonderful; the characters and their descriptions are likewise excellently done. There is just something about Sam, Moxie and Avery that made them win over my heart almost immediately, and my heart ached for them as their story slowly revealed itself.

2. Trance by Adam Southward (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 11/07
I admit it was hook, line and sinker when I saw the cover of Trance and read the blurb. The promise of a dangerous character with the ability to control minds sounded absolutely fantastic, and there was no way I was going to be able to resist reading it. It might have been that I had set my expectations too high, because unfortunately I can’t say I was convinced by the story itself and I ended up having mixed thoughts.

3. Ivory And Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (2,5/5 stars) REVIEW 18/07
Despite the mixed reviews I decided to give this story a chance anyway, mostly because I don’t come across pre-historic settings that often and the premise sounded fascinating. I still think the pre-historic timeframe is the most interesting aspect of this story, and I don’t think I would have made it to the last page without it. Oh yes, sadly I belong to the group that didn’t react well to Ivory And Bone. A lot of my reaction to the story has to do with the fact that part of it is told from a second person POV. I had forgotten how much I despised this technique and I only refrained from DNFing because thankfully it was only used when Kol was talking about or interacting with Mya. Apart from the POV, I found the plot of Ivory And Bone to be rather dull and uneventful during mosty of the story.

4. The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 23/07
I think most will know by now I’m a huge fan of Kim Slater‘s psychological thrillers and when I saw she had a second new title coming out this year I might have squeeled a little. Of course I couldn’t resist this title for long, and I can say that this story is without doubt another winner. What a read! The writing is just as brilliant as always and draws you right in; the plot itself is fascinating. The Silent Ones is basically a family focused psychological thriller with a dramatic twist and a LOT of secrets that will keep you on your toes. I admit I saw part of the final reveals coming, but it cannot be denied that it was a brilliant way of turning around the story completely.

5. House Of Furies by Madeleine Roux (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/07
I loved her Asylum series and I’ve been wanting to read more of her work ever since… And this one was definitely another success for me. I LOVED the 1810 setting in the Coldthistle House and the creepiness of it all. The writing was engaging and made me fly through this story… This would definitely make a perfect Halloween read and I’m already looking forward to read the sequel.

6. Harry Potter Y La Orden Del Fénix by J.K. Rowling (3,5/5) NO REVIEW
I finally finished my Spanish reread of the fifth Harry Potter book! I had forgotten just how much I despised Umbridge and she is definitely one of the main reasons book five is my least favorite of the series. The fact that Harry is constantly angry and shouting at everyone can get a little frustrating as well… Still, I always love visiting Harry Potter’s world and I’m already looking forward to reread the next book in Spanish. It will probably be a few months before I do so though…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m reading this month’s blog tour read The Closer I Get by Paul Burston next as my blog tour stop is coming up… I can’t wait to read it, as I’ve heard lots of fantastic things about the story already. I also need to read the ARC Along The Broken Bay by Flora J. Solomon soon… The WWII historical fiction setting in the Philippines sounds fascinating. Also, I’m finally going to pick up my copy of The Silent Patient by MichAlex Michaelides!! Fingers crossed I won’t get an unpopular opinion review for this one. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Cellar by Natasha Preston.


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