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Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday Favourites 238..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005

This week's wishlist is about as colourful as possible. 

001: Bunny heels, rainbows and glitter, oh my! These are amazing - bravo, IC!

002: Because one can never have enough novelty bags, in my opinion. 

003: The What Katie Did seamed stockings have long been my favourite, so I was quite excited when I discovered that they were bringing out a set of new colours. These are available to pre-order at the moment, with delivery due early May. Don't forget there's 10% discount off your first order, too, when you sign up for the newsletter.

004: Collectif have a lot of pretty new knitwear up on site, and this bird print cardigan is one of my favourites.

005: Joanie Clothing are currently offering 20% off selected dresses, with this awesome Paris print being one. I'm so tempted to get this for my trip this summer. 

What's caught your eye this week?

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Mad as the March hare..


I can barely believe it's the end of March already, but it's been a rather lovely month. I guess I've managed to fit a lot in, with weekends away for guides events, my first night run and lots of climbing. I've probably spent far too much money on shoes (what's new?), been on adventures with my favourite new adventure buddy, and booked a couple of little trips to look forward to in future months.

My podcast repertoire has been added to - these are some of my current favourites to listen to when I'm home alone.


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  • Bronzeville is superb, starring Laurence Fishburne, who I'll always think of as Morpheus from CSI and set in the namesake district in Chicago in the 1940s; it's filled the void left by We're Alive, and shares some of the same production crew
  • The High Low - I'd never got into the PanDolly podcast, but had heard good things and this is the new podcast project from journalists Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton. I'm enjoying their weekly take on feminist issues and current affairs.
  • Mysterious Mysteries - absolutely hilarious and kind of reminiscent of My Dad Wrote A Porno, (which is also hilarious). I listened to the first series in just a couple of days and am eager to hear more...
  • S-Town  - I'm told this is from the producers of Serial, which is another podcast sensation which had passed me by at the time. Although I'm only one episode into S-Town, I know it's going to be good!

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I've caught a couple of movies at the cinema this month, too. 
  • Hidden Figures  was just lovely, telling the amazing tale of the ladies behind the NASA US Space program of the 60s. Obviously, my favourite era when it comes to fashion, added to a soundtrack by Pharrell Williams - I was hooked!
  • Hacksaw Ridge  was another one of those films I had to see the trailer for a few times before I was convinced to book tickets. I'm pleased that my local cinema seems to have that effect one me, as I try things which I wouldn't usually pick otherwise. I'd heard mixed things about this one and was a little skeptical, but hoped that my soft spot for Andrew Garfield would help. It kinda did. I don't know whether enjoyed is quite the word for a film which is mostly horrificly gory war scenes, but I loved the training camp parts. 


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How To Be A Human Being //  Wired  // ÷ (Deluxe)

I always forget to mention music, but I've added quite a lot to my aging iPod this month and these are some of my favourites. Having been a little disappointed at first with the new Ed Sheeran album, I'd hoped it would grow on me and I think it has been. This Glass Animals album seems to be my go-to background music lately, and I'm loving Mallory Knox's Better off Without You just at the moment as it's kind of appropriate. 

What's been new in March?


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Gold would never make him happy..

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Cardigan: Laura Ashley // Shoes: Topshop
Yesterday was lovely - I spent a fairly good day at work being productive, followed by meeting my best friend for dinner at the theatre before watching Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Much to his disbelief, I'd never seen the show before, so I was quite excited. I am finding that today, my head is swimming with showtunes, but I'm cool with this.

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Bag: Yoshi*
Outfitwise, I went with some favourite shoes, polka dot stockings and a fairly plain dress which I love the Bardot detail on. I threw a cardigan over the top and grabbed my trusty Yoshi handbag, which I've been using almost exclusively for months now; it's the perfect size for work and evenings. A failsafe transitional outfit, in my book.

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Dress: Lindy Bop // Stockings, earrings: ASOS

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tuesday Titles 125..

Me Before You
Me Before You : Jojo Moyes 

There's something to be said for re-reading a book you've enjoyed. Particularly when you're reading it in a cosy and familiar setting. Curling up under the covers in one of your favourite places and getting drawn into a story can be just what's needed at times. Over the past couple of weeks I've been enjoying re-reading Me Before You, which I'm sure needs no introduction following it's film release.

Thrown into Lou's life as she loses her job at a local cafe which is closing it's doors for the last time, we follow her as she searches for something new and finds a temporary role as a carer for Will Traynor; a grumpy quadriplegic who was injured in a motorcycle accident.

Things get off to an awkward and rocky start, but they progress, as things have a habit of doing. Both characters warm to one another and it's hard not to get swept away with them. When Lou makes a rather sad discovery, it shocks her to the core and she's not sure how best to deal with it.

For me, I'd say I enjoyed this book *almost* as much the second time around as I did when I first read it a few years ago. I've watched the film and I think that always has a bearing on the way I see characters and settings when I read something after seeing it on the screen. Nonetheless, rereading Me Before You felt like a warm hug.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Spots and dots..

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Dress: Dolly + Dotty
Well, it's Monday again after something of a mixed bag of a weekend. I'm trying hard to focus on the positives, though, which included a trip to Bounce Below, eating ice cream in the sunshine and a movie at my favourite cinema, as well as dinner with some of my absolute favourite people.

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Trinkletina shoes: Irregular Choice // Bag: Kate Spade
My outfit for the aforementioned dinner on Saturday night was this. I'm not sure what had reminded me of this dress during the day, but when I popped home to get ready (in record time), I was absolutely convinced that nothing else would do.

Luckily I was able to track it down without any trouble and decided on these heels, which kind of match whilst also contrasting - I still love that little zoo print fabric on the fronts. Digging out my dalmatian purse, which fits all of the essentials in, I was ready to go. 

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Cardigan: Primark // Choker: Kate Spade
I've been wearing this Kate Spade choker so often recently - this is after a momentary panic last week that I'd accidentally lobbed it into the charity bag. Thankfully I hadn't. 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

A touch of luxury..

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Recently, it's safe to say that things have been getting a little overwhelming. For lots of reasons, which we don't need to delve into. The main thing I've been learning over the past couple of months is that it's important to factor in some time for self-care. Spending some time doing things which make me smile or help me to relax, instead of rushing about all of the time trying to get everything done for everyone else, is not a bad thing. This is something I'm learning, albeit slowly.

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Apart from setting aside more time to do some of the crafty projects I've been longing to finish, I've been factoring in a little time for self-care things like going for a weekly sports massage (ow, but in a good way!), and have found a lovely new salon to go and get my nails done. Is it crazy to admit that I have never, ever had my nails done professionally before? I'm always in awe of how good Sarah's nails always look - I think that there's something so polished about having your nails done properly (no pun intended!)

I've been reading up on the trends, with the help of a little e-book produced by Ellisons, and think I'm inspired by pretty pastel shades for spring. That said, apparently the colour you pick for your nails can say a lot about your personality (anyone else remember those little quizzes you'd answer in magazines as a kid?). Apparently happiness, confidence, power and romance can be inspired by your choice of polish, whilst orange is a sociable shade. 

Do you follow trends when it comes to your nails? Any tips for a nail-care newbie?





Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday Favourites 237..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004

A little springtime circus theme to today's selection of internet goodness. The weather's been getting so much nicer and I've been spending a fair amount of time enjoying the countryside over the past few days, which has been good as I've seen lots of the signs of spring arriving. 
Driving past the circus the other night may have has some subconscious bearing on this week's wishlist theme..

001: I've a feeling I've mentioned this lovely circus print skirt in the past, but I'm still really loving it. Lindy Bop have been coming out with so many superb border prints lately - my wardrobe can't cope!

002: New things have hit the Joanie Clothing website this week, and I for one could not be more excited. This blouse is so simple and yet so full of cute details that it would be the perfect Springtime wardrobe staple.

003: Perhaps more suited to summer than spring, these ice cream sandals from Miss L'Fire are just waiting for the warmer weather to come around. I love the cute motif detail on the fronts. 

004: Definitely the best handbag I've seen in a long while - bravo Vendula,who never fail to come up with something amazing. I'm such a fan of the retro cirque vibe, and this bag has a separate smaller section at the bottom (the polka dot part) as well as the main part of the bag. 

Anything caught your eye this week?


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Chaos Theory..

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 Actually, this has very little to do with chaos theory at all other than the fact that my Little Sis was recently trying to explain it to me and it's rather stuck in my head now as I wonder whether I can apply it to myself. I always joke that I work better under pressure and that my life is usually what one would call organised chaos, which seems to be the best way to ensure that I get things done..

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Brackenheath iSpot Blade*
Most of my corporate days are spent based at my desk in a fairly rural office. It can get pretty dark during the late afternoon if it's cloudy outside but I share the rooms with people who prefer a cave-like work environment than ever turning any lights on. I was pretty pleased, therefore, to be sent my saving grace, in the form of this desk lamp from Ormrod.

Frankly, it's made a huge difference to my desk area, even just over the past week. Made up of lots of LEDs, the Blade has several settings ranging from super-bright to more ambient (some of the LED bulbs are a more orangey glow than the usual white) and all of the controls are touch-based, which gives it such a slick, polished feeling.  It folds right away on itself and doesn't take up much room to begin with, so there's plenty of desk space for it. 

One of the most useful things about it is that there's a USB charging socket, which is perfect for charging my phone or my iPod from (there just aren't ever enough USB outlets on my PC; I'm forever doing battle with a tangle of cables, trying to find the right end to connect my camera or whatever, so this makes things much easier. 


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What are your workspace essentials? 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tuesday Titles 124..

The Weight of Him
The Weight of Him : Ethel Rogan
Tuesday again, so soon! I've been reading like a demon lately but am hardly making a dent on the to-read pile. I clearly need to spend more time on the treadmill, as it's where I do a lot of my reading.. 

The Weight of Him is a melancholy story: Billy is dealing with the recent suicide of one of his sons. He and his wife seem to be being forced further and further away from one another in the aftermath and his professional life is taking a turn for the worse, too, with a supervisor asking some suspicious questions of him.

Billy wonders what he can do - can one man, even one as big as Billy - really make a difference? He decides on a personal challenge and it's rather lovely to watch his progress. I found myself willing him to find a little more strength and succeed in a few chapters. 


Monday, 20 March 2017

Here's to the ones who dream..

Soooo, I feel as though I've been rather neglecting my little corner of the internet of late. I don't think this is an apology exactly (I'm sure that nobody's really noticed) and I'm putting it down to being so crazy busy of late that I just don't have the time to get all of the things I'd like to written about etc etc. Ad infinitum. 



So here's a little round-up of the past weekend, which seems to have skipped by in a total flash. 


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I spent Friday night at my best friend's house - I love the fact that I'm treated like part of the family and that they're full of good advice and happy to share that whenever I need it. We spent the evening having a lovely dinner, walking this little bundle of excitement across the nearby fields and in the local pub, putting the world to rights and I felt a billion times better for it. 

I've started a new project - cross stitch is a new one on me, but having seen something *amazing* which I really want to make as a present for someone, I decided I'd start off with something smaller, to ensure that I got the hang of it and could actually cope with a bigger, scarier project. It's taking shape...

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Saturday was filled with errands, charity shop drop-offs and frantic tidying, before the arrival of Becks, who was staying over in order to take part in the 10K on Sunday (more about that later). For some reason, in my infinite wisdom I'd signed up to do a Night Run on the Saturday evening, which she dutifully accompanied me to. As I've mentioned so many times before, I'm not a runner, but aside from a bit of marshalling-confusion, it was okay. I wasn't very happy with my time, but hey ho. 

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Photo by Shippers
So, Sunday morning was an early start as we headed into town to the start of the race. I met up with a friend and we spent the morning cycling about the town to see our running pals and shout helpful words of encouragement to them as often as possible. Becks is running for a really good cause and she made it look easy - please follow her link here to find out more about why this was just one tenth of the races that she's challenged herself to this year. (Please donate if you can!)

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Sunday afternoons seem to be all about the climbing lately, so I met the gang at the new climbing centre and we spent a good few hours bouldering on the new routes which were laid this week, heading home only when our arms felt as though they might fall off. 
All in all, a lovely weekend, but oh how I wish it was a little longer. There's so much more I'd like to have fitted in...
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What did your weekend look like?

Friday, 17 March 2017

Friday Favourites 236..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004

Hooray for Friday after such a silly, draggy week. I'm all excited about these pretty Springtime picks at the moment and I'm fairly sure that they'll all be winging their way to me before too long.. 

001: This Collectif dress has been on my radar for a while now, since seeing the SS17 lookbook months ago and it certainly doesn't disappoint now that it's hit the website. I love those straps, similar to the ones on my Janie dress from last year. Plus, it's a border print and we all know how I lose my sh*t for those on a regular basis. 

002: Little Moose, creators of cute jewellery have come up with some lovely woodland folk pieces in pretty springtime colours. I really like the idea of a set of two complementing brooches, giving you all kinds of potential collar adornment possibilities. 

003: Ah, Joanie Clothing have brought out what they've dubbed their wedding collection, but there are some pieces in there which I would love to wear for just about any special occasion. This pretty beaded capelet is one of those - perfect for wearing over a party dress, no?

004: Have you seen the new Ruby Shoo collection? These heels are called Polly and this lovely lemon colour looks perfect for spring. 

What's caught your eye this week? Is it officially Spring yet?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Thought you said that you would always be in love..

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Dress: M+S via Polka Dot Pink
I'm not really sure I have a lot to say today; I seem to have spent most of the past couple of days in a weird cloud of sadness. I need to figure out how to shift it, but in the meantime I've been throwing myself into work and other projects.

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Cardigan: Primark
This was actually an outfit from yesterday; the dress is new to me from a recent Instagram sale which Donna was hosting. I've been quite ruthless lately, getting rid of lots of my infrequently worn clothes that I allowed myself to get this dress - I'd seen it in my local M+S store last year but hadn't taken the plunge then. I do really like it though - the colour and the collar detail (of course!).

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Coat: Miss Selfridge
This Miss Selfridge coat seems to be the one I'm reaching for all the time of late, although I think I'm almost ready to pass it on to it's new home as I know one of my favourite people has her heart set on it.

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Bag + tights: ASOS
Primark knitwear seems to have come on in leaps and bounds, lately. I'm really enjoying their little printed cardigans, and restocked my cardigan collection after throwing out anything which had been looking a little tatty or past it's best, with a couple of these printed ones. Bees, anchors and polka dots seem to make a perfect finishing touch to most outfits, lately.

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Willow heels: Ruby Shoo*
It seems far too long since I last wore these shoes, but the blue in the floral print seemed a good match and I love those tassel ties on the front. Plus, dinosaur tights...just because I thought they might cheer me up. They're not, but it was worth a shot. 


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tuesday Titles 123..

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Summary Justice : John Fairfax

Another stop on a blog tour today and I'm really excited about this book. When it popped through the letterbox one Saturday morning, I got stuck right in and had it finished by teatime! As someone with a legal background, I loved the attention to detail which one would expect, considering the writer is in the legal profession himself. 

I've added the summary below and am also excited to share that the TV rights to this series have already been snapped up, so you can look forward to seeing it on the small screen soon.

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him.
Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson's life. The price of his rehabilitation - and access to the Bar - is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He's an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him. But he's subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It's a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson's first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she's innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho.
True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.


SJblogtour2

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sunday Shoes 132..

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These little guys are the latest additions to my shoe collection. They're called Fangtastic and I realised when they arrived that they're part of the Dan Sullivan collection, but I hadn't known this before. 

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With a combination of stripes, polka dots, metallics and grumpy faces, they're just awesome in my opinion. I even love the little stubby heel and they're crazy comfortable. 

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What do you think?

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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Had my first kiss on a Friday night..

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Dress: Lindy Bop // Tights: Primark 
Gosh, it feels like a long time since I posted my last outfit pictures. Also kind of feels like a long time since I was at home to take any. 

It's been a funny week. Some things of note:

  • Things you think won't take very long, always end up being less simple than you expect. 
  • An evening spent chatting with friends until past 2am is better than staying at home. Even if they live miiiiiles away. 
  • Putting less pressure on yourself can be so liberating. 
  • Clearing out and decluttering is a good feeling.
  • Catching up on my letters made me smile - apologies to those who have been waiting for post for a while; I'm getting there. 
  • My best friends really are awesome. 
What's made you smile this week? 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Friday Favourites 235..

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001 // 002 // 003 // 004

I've been so tired this week (candle: both ends), but finally it's Friday again, so here's a round up of the things which are catching my eye.

001: Frankly this is the star of the show. The new La Vidriola collection is heavily inspired by animals and jungle themes and this is their most amazing piece, in my opinion. Limited to a run of 10, it's super exclusive, but oh-so-amazing. 

002: I'm so in love with border print designs and Lindy Bop seem to be coming out with new ones almost constantly. This is the Carnaby design, featuring cityscape and London buses. I love the mix of colours on the navy background. 

003: Oh hai, new Irregular Choice styles. I have a wishlist as long as my arm. Seriously. How superb are these sandals, complete with embroidered bunnies and embellished flowers? I'd wear them with some pink tights until the weather picked up a little. 

004: Oh, Yoshi. I adore their new designs; these tessellating triangles are so cute and eye-catching and the mix of colours would mean they'd go with just about any outfit. 

What's been catching your eye this week?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Blog Tour: Dead Embers..

Dead Embers




 An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…


When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses - one of whom is a senior police officer.


Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.


But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…


Trust no one.

****

Although this is the third book in the series, I'm a newcomer to Matt Brolly's work and I have to say it worked perfectly well as a stand-alone title, too. I thoroughly enjoyed Matt's writing style and the twists and turns of the case as DCI Lambert races to solve the case. 

From the first moment, we know that things aren't going to be smooth-sailing for Lambert. His personal life, as seems to be the norm with police heroes, is fairly chaotic at the moment, so he has a lot to juggle if he's to stay on top of his game. 

As ever, there's so much I don't want to say for fear of giving the plot away, which is something I really don't want to do. I struggled to guess the "whodunnit" and I always love when that happens as I prefer to be surprised at the reveal. I'm sure that the others taking part in the tour will give more clues.

 Hop along to the other blogs taking part in the tour to see what they thought...

  Dead Embers blog tour 1

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Yarn Along {12}

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I can hardly believe how quickly the days seem to be speeding by at the moment. I can't decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing: purely an observation, really. 

Yes, this is a new knitting project, but that doesn't mean that I've finished the Hetty cardigan. I'm a little stuck on the shoulder section and wanted something a little simpler to do a bit of mindless knitting, so I'm having a go at a pair of long socks, the pattern for which I found in this book which Lucy passed on to me.

The wool was passed on to me too; I'm not sure exactly where it came from but a guiding friend had a lot of these cones to rehome and although I'm not sure how much I have, I'm confident it will be plenty for this. 

Linking up with this week's Yarn Along, hosted by Ginny. What's on your needles this week?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Tuesday Titles 122..

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Getting off on Frank Sinatra (A Copper Black Mystery) : Megan Edwards

I think I must start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book. We're introduced to Copper Black; our aspiring journalist, just as her boyfriend announces that he is leaving her. Not only does Copper need to find a news story if she has any hope of securing the news column job she so desperately craves, but now she's newly single and trying to piece everything back together in her life..

A house-sitting opportunity offers Copper the perfect escape. A change of scene would do her good and as luck would have it, things seem to slot into place with her work too. A spotlight piece on a local school could be just what she needs, but when she sets up a visit, she ends up getting more than she'd bargained for. Suddenly thrown into the midst of a murder enquiry wasn't quite what Copper had bargained for, but at least it might make a good story...

As someone who has visited Las Vegas and kind of loved it, I enjoyed the references to things I'd seen on my visit, such as the Neon Boneyard, and the Old Hollywood glamour which is woven into the story.

The book is fast-paced and written in an amusing way and was right up my street in terms of the level of humour, so I'll be searching out more Copper Black mysteries for sure.