Greetings Hoogly fans! It appears that the heatwave has finally broken, with big blobs of intermittent rain stubbing the glass of my window, and a breeze that seemed almost unimaginable three days ago wafting over me. With the unforgiving sun finally off our backs, it’s time to start enjoying our downtime again, and that starts with filling our bookshelves with some excellent new reading material. At Hoogly, we are all about the mindful, calming and treasure-finding joy of literature, and we like nothing better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a best-seller. With so many good books out there, however, it can be difficult to choose, so we have taken it upon ourselves to point you in the direction of some sure-fire successes!
First up, we have A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle. This is one of those books that completely transports the reader and can be gobbled up in one or two sittings. It’s set in the 1920s on board a luxury liner called The Endeavour, with 2000 passengers on board—and one killer…
When a body is discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs, the ship’s first officer and a Scotland Yard detective begin to investigate. They soon discover a web of intrigue surrounding a priceless painting, but all is not as it seems, and the clues—and twists—keep on coming, until an ending that completely knocks you sideways!!
This is a great read for Agatha Christie fans, and anyone who enjoys a gripping murder mystery, with complex, flawed characters, pacy writing and an intricate and imaginative plot. The perfect book to escape your stress!
Second up is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This one has been all over social media and is a huge word-of-mouth hit. It takes place in the late sixties in North Carolina and centres on a girl called Kya, who has survived for years alone in the marsh she calls home, befriending gulls and drawing lessons from the sand. When two men from town, intrigued by Kya’s wild beauty, offer new possibilities for touch and love, she opens up to a new world—but then the unthinkable happens.
This is simultaneously about the beauty of the natural world, a gripping coming-of-age story and a surprising tale of a potential murder. The characters are sensitively drawn and the novel has an impeccable sense of time and place. You will be thinking about this wonderful book long after you have read the last page, and thrusting it into the hands of friends and family!
Thirdly, we have one for the kids. Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief by David Owen is ideal for ages 8-12, introducing us to a shy boy named Alex, who is convinced the sea is trying to kill him! So when a group of weird and wonderful sea creatures drag him to an abandoned aquarium in order to rescue an imprisoned water dragon, he’s not overly happy! But how can he refuse a magical myth?
Teaming up with his best friend Zoey, knower-of-legends Anil, a sharp-shooter octopus, four acrobatic otters and a shifty seagull, Alex plans to break the dragon out. And soon he discovers the sea might not be so bad after all. In actual fact…he might just have its power at his fingertips!
This is a hilarious, action-packed and easy-to-read adventure, perfect for kids who love Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and all things magic and mythical!
And, as mentioned, no book-reading session is complete without a tantalisingly tasty cup of Hoogly tea! So here are our recommendations for the books we have chosen:
For Fatal Crossing, bask in the elegant glory of Rose Blush White Tea. Imagine yourself in the ornate dining room of the Endeavour, surrounded by men and women in their finest attire, a band playing violins and cellos on a raised platform, waiters in black and white bringing silver-platter meals, and the Captain in his starched white uniform meeting and greeting enthralled guests. Your aromatic Pai Mu Dan tea contains pink rose buds and offers a luxurious floral taste, complemented by subtly sweet grassy tones. As you sip the delicious brew, keep an eye on the other guests. The killer could be anyone…
For Where the Crawdads Sing, we invite you to try Berrylicious Herbal Infusion. Drawing on the glory and beauty of nature, this sweet brew combines apple pieces, rosehips, hibiscus, roasted dandelion root and freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries for a vibrant infusion, which—just like the plot—will have you coming back for more. You won’t want the book or the tea to end!
Lastly, for Alex Neptune, Dragon Thief, we invite you to indulge in Chocolate Brownie Black Tea. This is an unashamedly fun brew, a treat for anyone, a cup of timeless pleasure that will take you back to your childhood and put a big old smile on your face. And after you’ve unleashed the power of the ocean and launched an ambitious dragon heist, sit down for a well-earned five minutes to yourself and revel in the chocolatey splendour!
That’s it for now Hoogly lovers! Until next time, take care and stay Hoogly!
Written by Chris Bedford