Book Review – The Venetian by Shani Struthers

I first heard of British based Author Shani Struthers when I read ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’ the first book in her Psychic Surveys series and really enjoyed it.

I automatically downloaded other books in the series but came upon ‘The Venetian’ when looking for books in my Kindle unlimited subscription.

the ventianAs the title would suggest, this book is set in Venice.

The book starts by introducing us to Rob & Louise, a married couple visiting Venice for a romantic weekend away.

While exploring the city one night they go for a meal, only to meet another couple.

The couple offers to take them over to Poveglia a small island off of Venice said to have a haunting history of plague victims and an Asylum for the Mentally ill, but does this mysterious couple have an ulterior motive?

The book then takes you back in time to 1938 to Charlotte, an English woman who has moved to Venice to be at the side of her husband Doctor Enrico.

When Enrico is offered a work placement working with his Uncle at the Mental Asylum on Poveglia, the couple moves to the island to take care of the patients and start married life together.

Soon Charlotte begins to suspect that the treatments being carried out on their patients may be more sinister than she first thought.

The book flips between the years but soon their fates collide with malevolent repercussions.

This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout I couldn’t put it down.

While reading the book I did a little research and found that Poveglia does in fact exist and that it was a place of quarantine to plague victims in 1805 and that in 1922 an Asylum for the mentally ill was opened on the island but the asylum shut it’s doors in 1968 (although the Asylum still remains standing).

The fact that this book is so richly woven in fact just made it all the more spooky.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great ghost story!

I gave this book 5/5 – It was fantastic!

What books are you currently reading? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl


Point Horrors – Re-connecting!

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to write a post about my new collection. I have decided to start collecting the full set of Point Horror novels.

So what are Point Horrors?

Point Horrors are a collection of Books released throughout the 90’s. They are Horror/ supernatural stories aimed at Teenagers/Young Adults.

When I was in high school these books had a real cult following and it was so hard to check them out of the school library because so many people wanted to read them.

As soon as I got my pocket money I would go to WH Smith and spend it all on these books. They used to cost around £3.99 each. I spent most of my summer holidays reading these books and I loved them.

They were written by a core group of authors including R.L Stine (author of Goosebumps), Diane Hoh, Caroline B. Cooney and Richie Tankersley Cusick. I loved them so much I even joined a Point Horror book club!

I decided to collect them all due partly to nostalgia but also because I loved the stories. They were always well written and always drew me in.

There are well over 120 point horror books and I currently have around 40 in my collection. You guys will probably see them popping up a lot in my monthly Book Reviews as I make my way through them. They are relatively short books with most of them coming to around 200 pages but they are fantastic and well worth the read!

Did you guys ever love Point Horrors? Which were your favourites? Did you have a favourite Author? Let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl


January Book Reviews.

Hi There,

I just thought I’d publish a quick post on the books that I have read throughout January and what I thought of them. So here we are:

Night Music Nocturnes Volume 2 By John Connolly


I asked for this book for Christmas having been recommended it on my Amazon account. I have recently been into Horror/Ghost stories in a big way so this book really appealed to me.

The book is a compilation of thirteen short horror stories, which I really liked because every story was so different from the last.

It stands at 448 pages so it is a substantial book but I managed to read it in a couple of days because I just couldn’t put it down.

My favourite stories were ‘The blood of the lamb’ and ‘The Lamia’ as well as ‘Razorshins’.

The stories cover all aspects of horror from Ghosts, to terrifying predators. There truly is something in this book for all horror fans.

I loved this book so much that I have already purchased the first volume in the series. I could not recommend it more. 5/5

The House on Cold Hill – By Peter James


Peter James is famous for writing crime fiction but quite a while a go I read his Ghost story ‘Possession’ and I really enjoyed it. So when I saw that he had released this book in December I really wanted to read it.

Once again this was a book I read in a couple of days, as I could not put it down.

The book is about a couple that move to a large stately home called ‘Cold Hill House’. Before long they soon realize that the house is in a greater state of disrepair than they first thought. With all there money tied up in the house they are unable to move or sell the house and the couple soon realize that they are not alone.

The thing I loved about this book is that the social commentary is right up to date, with references to social media, music and attitudes.

While this is fine for anyone reading the book now I do feel that this book will soon become dated within a year or two. However it is a fantastic twist on the modern ghost story and is a really fantastic read! 5/5

Thirteen More Tales of Horror – Various


This is a compilation or horror stories. It is part of the Point Horror series of books (very popular in the 1990’s) and was a nice light read. Although aimed at teenagers I think there is plenty in this book for adults too.

A really great book 5/5.

Final Exam – Diane Hoh


Again, this book is part of the Point Horror collection. Set in America, it focuses on Kelly a car mechanic who is currently taking her Final exams at High School.

Soon strange things begin to happen to her and she soon realizes someone is out to get her, but who can it be? Her best friend? Her new love interest?

This is a great little horror/mystery and at around 200 pages it’s a nice quick read. Again aimed at a teenage audience but still a great read for any adult. 4/5

I managed to read four books in January which I am really happy about.

It means that I am now 1 or 2 books ahead of schedule on my reading goal for 2016, which is fantastic. I really enjoyed these books.

Have you read any of these books? What books did you read throughout January? Let me know.

The Secret Girly Girl


Good Reads Reading Challenge 2015!

Hi There,

good reads

In 2015 I decided to take the Good Reads Reading Challenge. I simply went to and entered the amount of books I wanted to read in 2015. I personally chose to try and read 40 books. I ended surpassing my goal and reading 43 which I am really proud of.

Most of the books I read were supernatural/ghost stories but I did throw a few Non-fictions and chick-lit in along the way.

I am going to set another reading goal again this year and I think I’m going to aim for 40 books again. I’m not going to increase it purely because I know that I am going to be focusing a lot of time into expanding my business this year.

For anyone who is interested I will list the books I read this year along with their genre and the marks out of 5 that I awarded them below:


  1. The Ghost Hunters – Neil Spring (Ghost story) 4/5
  2. The Evil inside (Horror) 4/5
  3. Hell House – Richard Matheson (ghost story) 3.5/5
  4. What’s your number? (chick-lit) 4.5/5
  5. Accidentally Demonic – Dakota Cassidy (supernatural) 3.5/5
  6. 50 ways to hex your lover – Linda Wisdom (supernatural) 3/5
  7. Roald Dahl’s book of ghost stories – Various (ghost stories) 3/5
  8. Three winter ghosts – Gary sargent (ghost story) 3/5
  9. The woman in Black – Angel of death – Martyn Waites (ghost story) 4.5/5
  10. The wrong knickers – Bryony Gordon (Chick-Lit) 5/5
  11. Apartment 16 – Adam Neville (Horror) 3.5
  12. Forensics: The anatomy of crime – Val McDermid (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  13. Finger Lickin’ Dead – Riley Adams (Crime) 4/5
  14. Working Stiff – Rachel Caine (Supernatural) 4.5/5
  15. The haunting of hill house – Shirley Jackson 3/5
  16. Bellman & Black – Diane Setterfield (Victorian) 3/5
  17. Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet – M.C Beaton (Crime) 4/5
  18. No one gets out alive – Adam Neville (Horror) 4.5/5
  19. House of small shadows – Adam Neville (horror) 3.5/5
  20. The call of the weird – Louis Theroux (Non-Fiction) 4.5/5
  21. Fools Rush in – Various (Chick-lit) 4/5
  22. You’re making me hate you – Corey Taylor (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  23. Bunny Tales: Behind closed doors at the playboy mansion – Izabella st James (Non-Fiction) 4/5
  24. Down the Rabbit hole – Holly Madison (Non-Fiction) 5/5
  25. Hex Hall – Rachel Hawkins (Supernatural) 5/5
  26. Ash – Malinda Lo (fairytale) 4.5/5
  27. The Harrowing – Alexandra Sokoloff (Supernatural) 5/5
  28. Whispers in the dark – Jonathan Aycliffe (Supernatural) 4.5/5
  29. The Lost – Jonathan Aycliffe (supernatural) 4.5/5
  30. Naomi’s room – Jonathan Aycliffe (Ghost story) 5/5
  31. I’m not a serial killer – Dan Wells (Thriller) 5/5
  32. Grayson Manor Haunting – Cheryl Bradshaw (ghost story) 4/5
  33. The Hunting Ground – Cliff McNish (Ghost story) 4/5
  34. Omen 4 Armageddon 2000 – Gordon McGill (Possession) 3/5
  35. The mist in the mirror – Susan Hill (ghost story) 3/5
  36. The drowning pool – Syd Moore (Witchcraft) 2/5
  37. Immortal Remains – Rook Hastings (Ghost story) 4/5
  38. A sincere warning about the entity in your house – Jason Arnopp (ghost story) 2/5
  39. The haunting of Highdown Hall – Shani Struthers (ghost story) 3.5/5
  40. The Bedwetter: stories of courage, redemption and pee – Sarah Silverman (Humour) 4/5
  41. Dolly – Susan Hill (Ghost story) 2.5/5
  42. The visitors book – Sophie Hannah (ghost stories) 4/5
  43. Gifted: Out of sight out of mind – Marilyn Kaye (supernatural) 4.5/5

As you can see I fell in love with two authors in particular this year, Adam Neville and Jonathan Aycliffe, both of who I highly recommend checking out.

Do you currently have a reading goal for 2015? Did you reach it? What were your favourite books? Let me know!

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl