Hot on the heels of my July books I present to you my August reading list. August saw our summer holiday in Spain, which was a wonderful opportunity for me to overdose on books, an opportunity which I grabbed with both hands. Indeed I may have overdone it a little as since returning to Abu Dhabi three weeks ago I haven’t finished a single book.

You may recall that one of the categories of books that I like reading are “tick three boxes” books. The three boxes being:

  1. It is the first in a series of crime novels,
  2. The series is based in the UK, with bonus points if it is the North West of England.
  3. The first in the series is on offer on Kindle for less than £2.

My August selection met all of these criteria but slammed it into the back of the net for being my holiday choice because:

  1. The author is a season ticket holder at Turf Moor.
  2. One of the two lead characters in one of the series is a Clarets fan.

How could I not read these books!?


The two series in question currently consist of 12 books, all of which I read in Spain. They are the Dylan Scott mysteries, and the Jill Kennedy & DCI Max Trentham mysteries, both by Shirley Wells.

I started with the Jill Kennedy and DCI Max Trentham series, mainly because Max is the Clarets fan that I was referring to. Jill Kennedy is a forensic psychologist, and Max Trentham a Detective Chief Inspector, with whom she has a romantic history (and he would like it to be a romantic present too). The series revolves around them solving cases in and around the sleepy village of Kelton Bridge (a fictitious village not far from Burnley), although by the end of the fifth book in the series I think it would be more appropriate to describe the village not as sleepy, but as the murder capital of the UK.

Given that I haven’t read a book that I didn’t enjoy for months, it may be suggested that I am not a discerning reader, but regardless of that I really enjoyed the series (and not just because of the Clarets connection), and was certainly drawn into wanting to know what was going to happen to Jill and Max next, both in their professional lives, but also in their relationship with one another.

Once I had finished this series I moved onto Shirley Wells’ next series, the Dylan Scott mysteries. Dylan Scott has become a private investigator having been dismissed from the police in disgrace. He lives in the South but in the first book in the series, “Presumed Dead”, sees him tempted into investigating the disappearance, 13 years ago, of a woman in the North West village of Dawson’s Clough (not sure how far away from Kelton Bridge it is). 

The next few books see him solving other mysteries in the same village, including murders, disappearances, burglaries, miscarriages of justice, and so on. The location shifts to a cruise ship on the Arctic Sea for one of the books, returns to Dawson’s Clough for the (current) penultimate book, and on to Dylan’s home in London for the finale, which sees matters get rather too close to home for him.

This is another series that I enjoyed, albeit like with the Kennedy & Trentham series, it got a little hard to believe that so many major crimes could occur in such a short period of time in a small village. That didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the series though and I was sad to get to the end of book seven, especially as it seemed likely that this would be the last one ever. However I’m pleased to see on the author’s website that there is a least one more book planned, “Dead Simple”, so that is another one added to my list.

The result of my reading binge on holiday is that I have already completed my self imposed reading challenge for 2014, namely to finish 50 books. 



I am apparently on target to finish 69 books by the end of the year, although I somehow doubt that given that my current pace has slowed down significantly since getting home. We shall see.

So that is books up to date. I shall be back soon with further updates about how life here is going. Until then, thanks for reading.



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