Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – July 2020

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Welcome to another wrap up. I read nineteen books this month, which is my best month yet. I read some great books and took part in two great readalongs with Tandem Collective UK and other bookstagrammers. The first was for All My Lies Are True, the sequel to The Ice Cream Girls. This took a different format and I particularly enjoyed having it start with the author reading the beginning of the book. The second was for A Court of Mist and Fury, the second book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I am now totally hooked on this series and am counting down to August’s readalong of book three. 

So here is what I read in July:

  1. Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
  2. All Fall Down (DI Helen Grace 9) by M. J. Arlidge
  3. The Bad Mother’s Virus by Suzy K. Quinn
  4. The Paper Bracelet by Rachael English
  5. The Unwinding: and other dreamings by Jackie Morris
  6. Somebody’s Daughter by Carol Wyer (Natalie Ward Book 7)
  7. All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson (Ice Cream Girls 2)
  8. Lost by Leona Deakin (Dr Bloom 2)
  9. Fleishman Is In Trouble
  10. If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin
  11. Spirited by Julie Cohen
  12. The Resident by David Jackson
  13. Playdate by Alex Dahl
  14. Precious You by Helen Monks Takar
  15. The Storm by Amanda Jennings
  16. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass
  17. Eleven Lines To Somewhere by Alyson Rudd
  18. Shed No Tears by Caz Frear (DC Cat Kinsella Book 3)
  19. The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele


I had been trying to decide if my favourite book this month was All My Lies Are True or The Resident when The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon swooped in at the final hour and claimed the title. I highly recommend all three books, particularly Nancy Moon.

Thank you to the tagged publishers for my gifted copies of the books.

What did you read in July? Did we read any of the same books?

Blog Tours book reviews

Playdate by Alex Dahl


Published: July 9th, 2020
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Kindle, Audio
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour. Thank you to Head of Zeus for the invitation to take part and for the eBook ARC.


It was meant to be your daughter’s first sleepover.
Now it’s an abduction.

Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, Lucia’s mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and kissed her little girl goodnight.

That was the last time she saw her daughter.

The next morning, when Lucia’s dad arrived to pick her up, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.

In Playdate, Alex Dahl puts a microscope on a seemingly average, seemingly happy family plunged into a life-altering situation. Who has taken their daughter, and why?


When seven-year-old Lucia begs her mother to be allowed to have a playdate with her new friend Josie, Elisa agrees. When she later asks to have her first sleepover Elisa can’t turn down her excited daughter and drops round her overnight things. But when Lucia’s father goes to collect her the next day the house is empty, there is no furniture and no sign of the family living there. Where is Lucia and why did someone take her?

This story is every parent’s worst nightmare. All I could think of is the many playdates and sleepovers I’ve sent my own children on, getting chills at the idea of them not coming back the next day. This made it easy for me to relate to Elisa and feel everything she did. But  from the start I had a sense that she was hiding something important that could be the key to finding who took Lucia, though I had no idea at all what it might be, increasing the mystery and tension. 

Told in multiple voices, including Lucia herself, we are offered a glimpse into their inner thoughts and fears. The story is very character-driven so this insight into their psyches is what drives the narrative and helps solve the mystery of Lucia’s abduction. Complex, intricate and layered, it is hard to see how all the pieces fit together at first. But through many twists and turns the author slowly unveils the truths being hidden to reveal the answer everyone has been searching for: why. 

Gripping, suspenseful and terrifying, Playmate is a cleverly crafted psychological thriller about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys character-driven thrillers.

Rating: ✮✮✮.5



Alex Dahl was born in Oslo, Norway, and is half American, half Norwegian, fully Francophile, and London resident. Alex is the author of The Boy at the Door, published world-wide in 2018.
She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, as well as an MSc in Business Management. Alex loves to travel and has previously lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland and Bath.

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