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I’ve managed to read two books since my last Book Bag post, hurrah for me, I am reading again!

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris.

It’s a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime – to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.

With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate – and herself – than she ever dreamed.

I read this after enjoying Colgan’s other sweet-toothed novel; Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop. This is very similar in feel and style. It again mingles one modern day story of a young woman having an adventure to the memories of a much older woman who is having one last expedition herself. This time I found the older lady, Claire’s story much more compelling than the antics of Anna. There was true pathos in Claire’s story and the conclusion moved me to tears.

Compared to Rosie Hopkins this book had a stronger bitter side in the bitter-sweet balance and I think I maybe missed some of the joy in the previous book. But this is a lovely story in a beautiful setting with a glazing of wonderful lip-licking descriptions of chocolate…what’s not to like!

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King


A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is tormented by ‘the Mercedes massacre’, a case he never solved.

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of that notorious crime, has sent Hodges a taunting letter. Now he’s preparing to kill again.

Each starts to close in on the other in a mega-stakes race against time.

I heard Stephen King talk about this book before it was published in an interview on You Tube. The killer’s crime is inspired by a real incident where a woman deliberately drove her car in to a crowd of people and then reversed back over the victims. King’s description of that chilled me and stuck in my mind for a long time.

So when I spotted this book in a book shop in Ilkley I picked it up right away. King nearly always gets me hooked into a story and this time I could barely put the book down at all. Good job I have mastered one armed breastfeeding now, so my reading time has increased!

Anyway, this book is brilliant and has a bit of a twist for a thriller, in that the killer’s identity is revealed from the outset so the big pull of the novel isn’t about uncovering the murderer, it is more about two clever and broken men locked in a game of deadly cat-and-mouse.  The hook is watching how these men play and manipulate one another, constantly making big gambles on how they think the other man will react.

Things escalate to a brilliant hold-on-to-your-seat climax. Actually found myself holding my breath at parts! Which is exactly what you want in a good thriller!


Next on my reading list is a couple of Fable comics that I have been meaning to read since Christmas!