MSB Book Club – April

The MSB book club discuss their March read and the author events they attended.

March’s Book

March’s book was ‘The Couple at No 9’ by Claire Douglas, chosen by Michelle Summers.

About the Book: When Saffron Cutler and boyfriend Tom moved into 9 Skelton Place, they didn’t expect to find this.

Two bodies, buried under the patio over thirty years ago.

When the police launch a murder investigation, they ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – Saffy’s grandmother, Rose, whose Alzheimer’s clouds her memory.

But it is clear she remembers something . . .

What happened thirty years ago?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger? . . .

Michelle said, “I like a good twisty mystery story and I’m hoping that other members of the book club may enjoy this one! It is a mystery, so I’d recommend going into it knowing as little as possible – the Amazon reviews have contained unmarked spoilers in the past so please beware, although the worst offenders seem to have been removed now!”

‘The Couple at No 9’ by Claire Douglas.

Staff Reviews

“I would give this book 4 stars. The story took a while to grip my attention, but once it did, I couldn’t put it down. It had unexpected twists, a clever plot, and was tense in parts.” Louise Murphy, Partner ****

“I enjoyed The Couple at No 9 more than I thought I was going to! I thought the story was great, but at first, I found the style a little off-putting – the jumping back and forth in time and swapping of narrators was a bit much when there were so many “voices” telling the story. I got used to this, however, and ended up reading it very quickly. Overall, 4 stars – a page turner and it kept me guessing!” Amanda Ralph, Legal Assistant ****

“I would give this book 4 stars. I was intrigued by the turns that it took and I liked the fact that the main characters were fairly relatable, which counterbalanced some of the more outlandish parts of the plot! I would read more from this author.” Michelle Summers, Solicitor ****

April’s Book

Jemima Allen-Galloway has picked the book for April and has chosen ‘Magpie’ by Elizabeth Day. On explaining why she chose this book, Jemima said, “Magpie is about a girl with a troubled childhood, who enters into a relationship with a man who she thinks will give her the love and security she’s always craved. There are dark twists and turns, you would never expect! This book explores themes of love, mental health, and fertility.”

Magpie by Elizabeth Day

About the Book

When Marisa meets Jake, everything falls into place. But then their new lodger Kate arrives.

Something isn’t right about her. It’s the way she looks at Jake, keeps her toothbrush right next to theirs, and constantly asks questions about the baby they are trying for. Or maybe it’s all in Marisa’s head. That’s what Jake thinks. And she trusts him, doesn’t she?

But Marisa knows something is wrong, and she is determined to find out why, even if it costs her everything.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Day is the author of five novels and Sunday Times bestselling memoir, How to Fail. Her acclaimed debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year. Her third, Paradise City, was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Evening Standard, and The Party was an Amazon bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club pick. She is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Observer, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. She is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine and host of the iTunes chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day

An evening with Bonnie Garmus 8th March 2023 at Linghams Booksellers


Rachael Payne from MSB, and Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry

On 8th March, our chief book worm, Rachael Payne, attended an evening with Bonnie Garmus for the paperback launch of her bestseller, ‘Lessons in Chemistry’. The event was hosted by Linghams Booksellers and Rachael was in attendance with her fellow solicitor and bookworm friend Rachael Lawrence.

Due to popular demand, the event was held at Neston Cricket Club and had an excellent turnout. Those in attendance were given a paperback copy of Lessons in Chemistry – which had sprayed edges exclusive for independent booksellers – a bookmark, and some pencils with slogans printed on.

Bonnie discussed the process of creating Lesson in Chemistry, it’s overwhelming reception, and her involvement with the Apple TV series, which will star Brie Larson as Elizbeth Zott.

Following the Q&A with Linghams, Bonnie answered questions from the audience before signing copies of her book. We look forward to seeing more from Bonnie in the future!

Lessons in Chemistry front cover

An evening with Julia Armfield 31st March 2023 at West Kirby Bookshop

Rachael also attended another author event! This time, it was with Julia Armfield author of “Our Wives Under the Sea” at West Kirby Bookshop.

Julia Armfield author of “Our Wives Under the Sea

Rachael met with fellow bibliophiles and listened as Julia read an excerpt from her book, before she discussed how the novel came to be,  her previously published short stories collection ‘Salt Slow’, and her favourite novels and films.

Julia then took questions from those in attendance, including one from Rachael on whether she believes social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, have had a positive influence on the publishing world. Julia shared that she thinks anything that gets people to read is a good thing as it also allows bookworms to connect, and it has helped aspiring writers to understand the process and demystify it to some extent.

Following the Q&A, Julia signed copies of her books as well as chatting to the individuals in attendance.

Our Wives Under the Sea

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