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


April & May’s Books – Reviewed!

Hi there, I thought I would write a review of the books that I have read throughout April & May (there is quite a few) as I have really enjoyed getting back into the habit of reading. Some books I loved and some were little disappointing  so I thought I’d give you my thoughts on them:


Title: Finger Licking Dead

Author: Riley Adams

Format: Paperback

Pages: 257

Genre: Murder Mystery

This book is part of the Memphis BBQ mystery series. I really enjoyed the book, it was a great who done it? with lots of twists to keep you guessing through out. The only down side was that as it was based in the South of the USA there were a few references to local traditions and food that I didn’t understand and so I did need to Google one or two things but other than that this is a great murder mystery book and I will definitely read more in the series! 4/5


Title: Working Stiff

Author: Rachel Caine

Format: Paperback

Pages: 473

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

I have read a few books by Rachel Caine (The Morganville vampire series) so when I saw this in a discount bookshop I picked it up. Front the start I could not put this book down! It centres around a new employee at a funeral home who stumbles across the fact that the owner is reanimating bodies with a wonder drug. The employee herself is killed and reanimated and she fights to bring down the pharmaceutical company who is producing the drug. The book is well written and is full of suspense, there are more books in this series which I will definitely be purchasing!! 5/5


Title: The Haunting of Hill House

Author: Shirley Jackson

Format: Hardback

Pages: 233

Genre: Ghost story

I bought this book as part of the limited edition Penguin Horror releases. It has been hailed as a classic so I was so excited to start it. I was bitterly disappointed!

The build up of the story was slow and monotonous. I kept expecting for it to pick up and become even slightly scary unfortunately it didn’t and the ending was extremely disappointing too. A real let down 2/5


Title: Bellman & Black

Author: Diane Setterfield

Format: Paperback

Pages: 388

Category: Supernatural/ Victorian ghost story

This was a very strange book for me. The Book was fleshed out with well written character back story and it really felt like you were going on a journey through William Bellman’s life and I really loved that about the book. I loved the details about all aspects of a Victorian funeral and it’s finery and purpose but I was really disappointed with the ending. For me the books journey was fantastic but it’s conclusion not so much! Such a shame. 3/5


Title: Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet

Author: M.C Beaton

Format: Paperback

Pages: 237

Category: Murder Mystery

This is the second book from the Agatha Raisin Series. I saw a pile of these books at an antique store (of all places) and picked them up for a fairly decent price and I’m glad I did because I really have enjoyed the first two books.

The books are based around Agatha Raisin a PR executive in London who decides to trade the rat race lifestyle for the peace and quiet of the Cotswolds’. She may have been expecting the quiet life but her neighbors have other plans. Before long Agatha finds herself at the center of a grizzly murder mystery and sets our to solve the mystery before her life is the next one taken. Both charming and amusing this book was well written and I couldn’t help but love Miss Raisins feisty spirit. I have the next few books to read so I look forward to those! 4.5/5


Title: No one gets out alive

Author: Adam Nevill

Format: Paperback

Paged 628

Category: Horror/ Supernatural

I was recommended this book by the staff at Waterstones so I picked it up and ended up loving this book.

The action started from the first page and continued relentlessly until the very end.

Based around a young woman who seeks out accommodation in a building offering low rent, she soon discovers that if something seems too good to be true it probably is. What ensues is pure unadulterated horror! There was one point in the book where I had to stop reading as I found it really disturbing. Once sat in daylight, I was able to resume and loved it!I could not recommend this book highly enough, absolutely fantastic!  5/5


Title: House of small shadows

Author: Adam Nevill

Format: Paperback

Page: 371

Category: Horror

Another book by Adam Nevill (I think I may have found my new favourite author) this book is less disturbing and more creepy. If taxidermy and puppets are the things of your nightmares you may not want to read this book. Some great twists throughout and really well written! It reminded me of the gritty horror or James Herbert. I will be ordering more of Adams books come pay day!! 4/5



Title: Call of the Weird

Author: Louis Theroux

Format: Kindle

Paged 306

Category: Non-Fiction

This book is the follow on from Louis’ documentary series about subcultures. The book sees Louis revisiting some of his more memorable guests such as the White supremacist girl band (no really), the dooms day preppers, and ex porn stars. This book Offers a great insight into American subcultures woven into Louis’ no nonsense narrative.

This is a must for anyone who enjoyed Louis’ documentary series. 4/5

So those are the books that I reading during April/May 2015! Have you guys read any of these books? What books have you been reading recently? Let me know in the comments.

Love & Bubbles

The Secret Girly Girl