January can be tough, can’t it? My theory is that the only way to make it through the dark mornings, dark afternoons and dark evenings is to indulge in plenty of treats.
I had some lovely treats in January. I went to the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the recreated Jacobean playhouse that stands next to Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, to see a wonderful and very funny play about storytelling. And I had a very special posh afternoon out, with tea at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly, London, for a friend’s special celebration (see photo!).
But mostly, I indulged in lots of evenings curled up with a good book. It’s what winter evenings are made for.
Free books promotion
I’m sure you could do with some good books, too! Whether you’ve finally made your way through your Christmas stash, or just feel like trying something new, February is a good month for new books.
If you haven’t read my first novel, Unlawful Things, now is the time to try it for free. The e-book available free of charge until Monday 30 January. It’s part of a promotion by the book recommendation service Hello Books. Why not see what other free thrillers they have this month?
What I’m enjoying now
Here are some things that have kept me entertained this month:
MW Craven’s incredibly twisty and well-plotted novel The Botanist. Absolutely addictive! I loved the intricate plot but also the funny and believable detective team.
LJ Ross’s Northumberland-set mysteries, starting with Holy Island. My father comes from the north east of England so I know some of the locations – but fortunately my childhood family holidays didn’t involve quite so much murder.
The BBC crime drama Happy Valley. The series – the third and final – has been an absolute masterclass in acting and dramatic tension. The two female leads, Sarah Lancashire and Siobhan Finneran, and writer/director Sally Wainwright, conjured the most gripping scene I’ve ever watched out of two sisters talking quietly in a cafe.