Bath Voice: book reviews and library news

Adult Fiction
The Honjin Murders – Seishi Yokomizo
Seishi Yokomizo was one of Japan’s most famous and bestselling authors – very much in the same vein as Agatha Christie. In fact, this novel was written in the 1930s and is a classic mystery – a real puzzle, full of red herrings and dubious characters.
Set in the winter of 1937, the Ichiyanagi family are preparing for the wedding of their eldest son – Kenzo. A middle-aged professor who has found a partner late in life, so the wedding party is small. However, in the nearby village of Okamura a sinister three-fingered man has been spotted asking the way to the Ichiyanagi house. Then on the night of the wedding, the family and guests are woken by a terrible scream and eerie music. Murder has come to the house and a bloody samurai sword is thrust into the snow outside.
With all classic murder mysteries there is an eccentric but brilliant detective asked to investigate and here is it Kosuke Kindaichi – a rather scruffy young man with a slight stammer. Can he solve this very complex murder? For fans of classic detective stories this is a real treat but also for those new to the genre this is an author I will definitely go back to as the stories are so ingenious.

Adult Non-Fiction
Feed your family for under a family – Mitch Lane

Sadly, this book is right on trend – budget cooking. It is written by the TikTok cook Mealsbymitch, suggesting 80 great recipes and practical cooking solutions for a tight budget. No experience, expensive gadgets or obscure items required. Choose from halloumi tacos with salsa, a brilliant cheap roast chicken dinner and spicy noodle soup.

Easy Air Fryer – Susanna Unsworth
In recent months an Air Fryer has become the most sort after kitchen gadget this winter and there have been plenty of recipe books for the Air Fryer and this book describes 75 delicious, healthy and low-effort meals.
There are also tips on how to make the most of your Air-Fryer so whole chicken; spinach and ricotta lasagne and my personal favourite, salted caramel cupcakes, can be cooked to perfection.

Children’s Fiction
Two lovely children’s classics:
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

Written in 1911 this is an enduring story that has been popular for years. The story revolves around Mary Lennox who is sent to Misselthwaite Manor – in a rather gloomy Yorkshire after losing both her parents in India due to illness. When she arrives at the Manor, she is very rude and stubborn but slowly, after learning of the tragedies of the house her approach softens. So, when her strict Uncle is away from home, she explores the Manor further and comes across a beautiful but faded walled garden that is always locked.
She also hears sobbing from rooms and meets the sickly Colin. So, with the help of Martha, the chambermaid; local boy Dickon and even Colin, Mary explores the walled the garden and a lovely transformation occurs at Misselthwaite Manor. A charming story.

The Famous Five: Five go to Smuggler’s top – Enid Blyton
The famous five are: Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog and they go on amazing adventures during their school holiday. Staying with their Uncle Quentin they go exploring the surrounding area and in this story, they explore Smuggler’s Top with secret hiding places and underground tunnels. And who is sending mysterious signals out to sea? A ripping tale!

Library News
Storytime: Thursday at 11am is Storytime at Keynsham Library – term time only and for 0-4 years. Come along, with a cushion and listen to some fantastic new stories.
As here’s always so much going on in all our libraries, and it’s all free, so drop in and see what’s on offer. For families with children, sing along at Baby Bounce and Rhyme, or get comfy whilst listening to stories at our ever-popular Storytime.
For adults, we’ve got book clubs, writing classes, and much more throughout the year. Joining the library costs nothing, so pop in or visit to also access thousands of eBooks, eMagazines, Audiobooks, and a wealth of other resources! Our ‘Virtual Library’ has loads going on, including the latest library news, competitions, book reviews and, all our digital offers. Search ‘Bath and North East Somerset Libraries’ on social media or visit
Moorland Road Community Library (pictured)
Tues 10-4pm, Thurs & Fri 10-1pm and Sat 10-1pm. Email for more info at And visit to find out how to volunteer and much more.