Jolabokaflod – The Icelandic book-giving Christmas tradition, and some recommendations for festive reads!

This year (2020) has been pretty pants, let’s be honest. We’ve all been challenged in more ways than we could’ve imagined going into this year. But hopefully, with 2021 in sight, we can start to breath easier knowing that we’ve got Christmas just around the corner, then New Years Eve, when we can press reset and hopefully (fingers crossed) have a fabulous new year.

It may be a time for us to think about new traditions and resolutions, and one that Kate and I have been doing for the last few years is the Icelandic Christmas eve tradition of JOLABOKAFLOD. (Loosely translated as YULE BOOK FLOOD.)

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The Crucifix Killer – Chris Carter

Simon & Schuster Ltd|ISBN1471128210|2009

Chris Carter was a new author to me when I bought this book. I bought it based on the blurb and the cover. I am NEVER ashamed to say that I buy a book based on it’s cover, and I generally find that I can’t go wrong if I have been drawn in this way.

I like to read a series from the start, so if I know that I am likely to enjoy a book then I won’t read it until I can start from the beginning. Luckily for me, this one was number one, so I was all set to go!

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The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchinson

Thomas and Mercer/ISBN-13: 9781503934719/ISBN-10: 1503934713/2016

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson was a harrowing read. It had a unique writing style and a disturbing plot. Once I’d finished this one, it took me a little while to articulate my thoughts enough to write a proper review, but I think I managed it. 🙂 If you pick this one up, you won’t put it down, and you’ll be captivated from start to finish.

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Mini reviews: A Mixed Bag. Agatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer – MC Beaton 2*. An Act of Defiance – Irene Sabatini 2.5*. Meet me in London – Georgia Toffolo 5*.

Goodreads synopsis

The team of bells at St. Ethelred church is the pride and glory of the idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna, together with the most dedicated bell ringers in the whole of England: the twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin.

As the village gets ready for the Bishop’s visit, the twins get overly-excited at the prospect of ringing the special peal of bells created for the occasion and start bullying the other bell ringers, forcing them to rehearse and rehearse . . . so much so that Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer, yells at the sisters that he ‘felt like killing them’!

When the twins’ home is broken into one night and Millicent is found dead, struck from a hammer blow, suspicion falls onto the lawyer.

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The Minders – John Marrs

Del Rey, Penguin Random House/ISBN-13: 9781529100655/ISBN-10: 1529100658/17th September 2020

Happy paperback publication day (17/09/2020) to this fabulous book from John Marrs. The Minders tells the story of four people who have been given the task of holding the nations secrets – in their brains! Hypothetically, their heads are unhackable and so our secrets are extra safe in there….

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Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish – Bethany Turner

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish – Bethany Turner

Revell/ISBN-13: 978080073865/ISBN-10: 0800735234/Publication date 5th May 2020

Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish is a new romantic comedy from the author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey. It tells the tale of two chefs who start out as rivals and, through competitions, self reflection and plenty of banter, end up becoming a lot more than that.

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Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore.

Ok, how to convey that I loved this book! Like proper loved this book I reckon I could write a dissertation on this book pulling out all the different bits that I spotted and loved about this book!

I was sending a friend of mine gushing texts about this book and telling her that she NEEDs to read it, oh and I also stayed up till 2am reading this book! I couldn’t put it down; I finished it less than 48 hours after getting it.

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Written in blood – Chris Carter

Written in blood by Chris Carter

Written in blood is Chris Carter’s 11th book in the Robert Hunter series. I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. And I am delighted to say this book was amazing!


Robert Hunter works with the UVC unit in LA. He and his partner, Garcia, investigate Ultra Violent Crimes, which includes serial killers. They are put on the trail of a prolific serial killer when a pickpocket, Angela, steals the killers bag containing his murder diary. The diary details the previous 16 murders committed by the killer. Hunter and Garcia must catch the perpetrator before he can kill again and protect Angela from him.

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