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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Alienist

The Alienist by Caleb Carr.

Publisher: Hardcover (December 15, 1994)
496 pages
ASIN: B006HUFWQY

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or "alienist." On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan's infamous brothels.
        The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler's intellect and Moore's knowledge of New York's vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret (for alienists, and the emerging discipline of psychology, are viewed by the public with skepticism at best), the unlikely team embarks on what is a revolutionary effort in criminology-- amassing a psychological profile of the man they're looking for based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who has killed before. and will kill again before the hunt is over.
        Fast-paced and gripping, infused with a historian's exactitude, The Alienist conjures up the Gilded Age and its untarnished underside: verminous tenements and opulent mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. Here is a New York during an age when questioning society's belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and mortal consequences.

Wow! I do believe I've just read a book from the 1800's based in New York but everything about it reads like a book written in the 1800's in England!

The book reminds me of the Program Criminal MInds, where they build the character of their killer by profiling things they find about the murder.  In this case it was a group of people from a reporter to a psychologist (alienist) to the police and commissioner, who at this time is Theodore Roosevelt.

Really well written.  If I didn't know better I might think Dickens himself wrote this!  Many bits and pieces to find out what this person is like and why. Along with much sadness of the serial killing of young boy prostitutes, so brutally murdered it was hard to read what was done to them.

This was a surprise of a book for me and I enjoyed it, gruesome though it was.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Fate of Mercy Alban

The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Hachette Books (February 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1401341934

 

 

 Amazon Review

Grace Alban has spent more than twenty years avoiding her childhood home, the stately Alban House on the shores of Lake Superior, for reasons she would rather forget. But when her mother's unexpected death brings Grace and her teenage daughter back, she finds more is haunting the halls and passageways of Alban House than her own personal demons.
Long-buried family secrets, a packet of old love letters, and a lost manuscript plunge Grace into a decades-old mystery about a scandalous party at Alban House, when a world-famous author took his own life and Grace's aunt disappeared without a trace. The night has been shrouded in secrecy by the powerful Alban family for all of these years. Her mother intended to tell the truth about that night to a reporter on the very day she died--could it have been murder? Or was she a victim of the supposed Alban curse? Grace soon realizes her family secrets tangle and twist as darkly as the mansion's secret passages.
With the help of the disarmingly kind--and attractive--Reverend Matthew Parker, Grace must uncover the truth about her home and its curse before she and her daughter become the next victims.

Hooray! Finally found a book that is one that has "family secrets" to uncover and not just a murder!

Written in a gothic type of book, this one takes place in a family estate by Lake Superior. True, most of my readings take place in the UK but the sound of this one made me take a chance... and I'm glad I did!  In this book, even the house has secrets!!

I love, where there is a family history to unravel, and Wendy Webb did it very well in this novel "The Fate of Mercy Alban".  There were shocks and surprises right up to the end!   And even a bit of witch-craft, which is another thing that's NOT my thing.   Somehow she made it all work and I found myself only putting the book down because my eyes begin to blur even with my glasses!

Poor Grace Alban.  Coming home after so many years to have to bury her mother. It should have been a rather simple matter. "Should have been", bit it sure wasn't,  it escalates so fast it will make your head spin!  Yep, this is a good read people!  If you like finding out family secrets this is a book you will enjoy.

I have already looked in Amazon to find she has 2 other books out that seem more mystery than murder.. so they went on "ye ol' wish list"!  Hooray, another new author for me.. just what I needed... not!  *grin*

Friday, August 14, 2015

Strange Affair

Strange Affair by Peter Robinson.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow(February 15, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0060544333

 

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In his last outing (Playing With Fire), Insp. Alan Banks nearly died when a serial killer set fire to his cottage in the Yorkshire village of Eastvale, and the melancholic detective remains understandably depressed as this superlative 15th novel in the series gets underway. Living in a rented flat, Banks is struggling to put his life back together when an urgent phone message from his younger brother, Roy—a successful, slightly shady London businessman—requests his help: "It could be a matter of life and death.... Maybe even mine." When he can't reach Roy by phone, Banks travels to London to see what's wrong and finds his brother's house unlocked and no hint about where he might have gone or why. On the night of Roy's phone call, a young woman is shot to death in her car just outside of Eastvale, and she has Banks's name and address in her pocket. Annie Cabbot, Banks's colleague on the force (and a former lover), is in charge of that case, and her investigation quickly intersects with Banks's unofficial sleuthing into his brother's inexplicable disappearance. The gripping story, which revolves around that most heinous of crimes, human trafficking, shows Robinson getting more adept at juggling complex plot lines while retaining his excellent skills at characterization. The result is deeply absorbing, and the nuances of Banks's character are increasingly compelling

Second book in a row for Peter Robinson and "Inspector Alan Banks".

This time not only was the secondary story about Alan Banks himself, but now we had more than one murder going on. Seemingly having nothing to do with each other, and yet sooner or later... one clue at a time.. we find out that indeed, they do  have something to do with each other.

The author is putting his protagonist, Banks, through the mill.  He isn't over one bad thing when another happens to him.  His wife divorces him... when he finally finds a lover she leaves him... then his home burns down and now, one of the murders is Alan Banks own estranged brother. (hear the creepy music in your head?!)

I have to admit, knowing many of the characters from before, one seems to meld into the other like an old friend you haven't seen in a long time.. you just pick up where you left off!

I have begun to think that Peter Robinson could probably write some really good "cold case" stories as well as current crimes.  

A few of the books I've been reading lately have come too close to the "now time".  I don't like to hear that they are using the Internet  and such.. good old fashioned , find the bad guy is much more interesting to me.  But once again, this is an enjoyable, quick read, keeping your interest in finding the next clue at all times.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Aftermath

Aftermath by Peter Robinson.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow(October 2, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0380978326

 

From Publishers Weekly

Dark, darker, darkest endless shades of ebony seem to envelop Acting Det. Superintendent Alan Banks in this grim, compelling, character-driven mystery .As the head of the North Yorkshire half of a two-county joint task force, Banks is helping look into the disappearances of five young girls. As the title implies, the answer comes early on in an explosive scene where the girls' grisly fate is discovered. But Banks is left with the aftermath: a cop facing possible charges for excessive force, a woman who may be a victim or may be guilty of monstrous crimes, an "extra" body and one that isn't where it ought to be. Banks also faces plenty of personal challenges as his wife, Sandra, still pressing for divorce, finds a new way to shock him, while sometime girlfriend and colleague, Annie Cabbot, seeks to change their relationship. Robinson's never tackled darker themes: child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, torture and murder. And while he never indulges in needlessly graphic descriptions, it is still horrific stuff. Introspective, thoughtful and plagued by uncertainties, Banks battles to maintain focus as the investigation plods on. As always, the author scrupulously details the police work, from the forensics to the efforts of a consultant psychologist (i.e., a profiler), who delves into a past case that may be related.

Wow!  Well I've read murders before and even books with more than one murder.. but this one goes from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 to 6!  Gruesome, horrible teenage murders!

The author of this book I have read before (Close to Home) using the detective Alan Banks.  His writing is really good. His knowledge of forensics makes me think he should be working in them instead of writing about them.  

Although this series takes place in England (like most I read) the surroundings are not a major player in this particular book.  It could be anywhere that this story took place.  But Robinson's writing is compelling as he dribbles out a crumb at a time for you to try to piece together what happened and how and when.  He leads you down a number of roads with "possibilities" which sound logical.. but then the twists and turns enter.

Another good detective book.. I have one more by him I will read next called Strange Affair, before I head off to another author and another book.  I do wish I could find more gothic, family secrets, type books instead of the steadfast detectives.  Although I'll admit, many of the authors have really given their protagonists personalities and make you want to keep reading them.

Friday, August 07, 2015

The Asylum

The Asylum by John Harwood.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Mariner Books;(May 27, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0544227727

From Publishers Weekly

Rosalyn Landor proves a fine choice to narrate this Gothic tale of mystery, mistaken identity, and madness. Georgina Ferrars awakens to find herself in a private asylum called Tregannon House. With no memory of the past several days, Georgina learns that she checked herself into the facility under the name Lucy Ashton. What follows is a suspenseful story of dark intrigue, as Georgina struggles to convince her captors of her true identity, even as mounting evidence begins to shake her belief in her own sanity. Landor's clear, accented reading pulls the listener into the sinister halls of Tregannon, and her first-person narration perfectly conveys the heroine's sense of confusion and growing desperation. With her crisp, straightforward delivery, Landor keeps the listener enthralled as one clue after another is revealed, leading to a climax that is as satisfying as it is surprising.

For this book I got away from detectives and murder but not from mystery! A number of times you think you know the outcome but have to keep reading to find out if you are right........ or not.

It's not a very long book but stays with  Georgina through the entire book. So it's not so much about and Asylum but about her journey while there.  At times you wonder if she is who she thinks she is, or is she really crazy?  The answers are doled out by the end and of course it has a few twists to get there.

Short book but very interesting in an enjoyable (if one can say that about an asylum) way.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

When Maidens Mourn

When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris.

Hardcover: 341 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover;(November 4, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0451225120

 

Regency England, August 1812: Sebastian St. Cyr’s plans to escape the heat of London for a honeymoon with his new bride, Hero Jarvis, are shattered when the murdered body of Hero’s good friend Gabrielle Tennyson is discovered drifting in a battered boat at the site of a long-vanished castle known as Camlet Moat. Missing and also presumed dead are Gabrielle’s two young cousins. 

Still struggling to define the nature of their new marriage, Sebastian and Hero find themselves occasionally working at cross-purposes as their investigation uncovers dark secrets at the heart of the Tennyson family and an enigmatic young French lieutenant who is concealing mysteries of his own.

Sebastian and Hero’s race to unmask a ruthless killer and unravel the puzzle of the missing children puts both their lives and their growing love for each other at risk as they’re threatened by powerful men in high places…and by a tall, dark stranger who may hold the key to Sebastian’s own parentage.

Yet another C.S. Harris book.   Poor Sebastian, I don't know  how he survives so many attempts to hurt or kill him lol.  But he's still and interesting character. 

All her mysteries have plenty of characters and lots of reasons why this one or that may have done something, and so why would anyone want to hurt Sebastian or Hero, his partner in crime.

Each book in this series are very easy reading and yet have plenty of twists and turns.. she writes her books so that you surely cannot figure out the ending early in the book.

There are a number or reoccurring characters but I have not read all the books to this point but have no problem following them.  The back story being Sebastians life itself.  His loves, and a mystery about his mother.  All in all.. enjoyable.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Books Read in the Month of July

For the month of July I actually read more "pages" then usual!  But that was all due to one book.

42..Close To Home.......................Peter Robinson......(400 pgs)

As this intense and intricately crafted puzzler develops, blending fiction with a bit of fact (the Kray brothers, who ran a criminal ring in London's East End during the mid-20th century, play off-camera roles here), Robinson explores Banks's troubled relationship with his parents, especially his working-class father, who "had never approved of his choice of career." He also raises doubts about a famed copper who’d originally tackled the Marshall case, involves Banks romantically with a damaged detective whose investigative diligence threatens her safety, and shows Cabbot as someone better and stronger than merely Banks's protégé. Working with themes of lost youth and the dark secrets hidden in small towns, Robinson delivers in this 13th Banks novel a police procedural of remarkable human depth

43..Fatal Enquiry.......................Will Thomas.........(293 pgs)

Brimming with wit, atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, FATAL ENQUIRY reintroduces private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewellyn, and their unforgettable world of Victorian London.

Some years ago, Cyrus Barker matched wits with Sebastian Nightwine, an aristocrat and sociopath, and in exposing his evil, sent Nightwine fleeing to hide from justice somewhere in the far corners of the earth. The last thing Barker ever expected was to encounter Nightwine again-but the British government, believing they need Nightwine's help, has granted him immunity for his past crimes, and brought him back to London. Nightwine, however, has more on his mind than redemption-and as Barker and Llewellyn set out to uncover and thwart Nightwine's real scheme, they find themselves in the gravest danger of their lives.

44..The Quincoux........................Charles Palliser....(800 pgs)

From Publishers Weekly

The epic length of this first novel--nearly 800 densely typeset pages--should not put off readers, for its immediacy is equal to its heft. Palliser, an English professor in Scotland, where this strange yet magnetic work was first published, has modeled his extravagantly plotted narrative on 19th-century forms--Dickens's Bleak House is its most obvious antecedent--but its graceful writing and unerring sense of timing revivifies a kind of novel once avidly read and surely now to be again in demand. The protagonist, a young man naive enough to be blind to all clues about his own hidden history (and to the fact that his very existence is troubling to all manner of evildoers) narrates a story of uncommon beauty which not only brings readers face-to-face with dozens of piquantly drawn characters at all levels of 19th-century English society but re-creates with precision the tempestuous weather and gnarly landscape that has been a motif of the English novel since Wuthering Heights . The suspension of disbelief happens easily, as the reader is led through twisted family trees and plot lines. The quincunx of the title is a heraldic figure of five parts that appears at crucial points within the text (the number five recurs throughout the novel, which itself is divided into five parts, one for each of the family galaxies whose orbits the narrator is pulled into). Quintuple the length of the ordinary novel, this extraordinary tour de force also has five times the ordinary allotment of adventure, action and aplomb

45..Somebody I Used to Know.............David Bell..........(432 pgs)

The breakout author of The Forgotten Girl and Cemetery Girl, “one of the brightest and best crime fiction writers of our time” (Suspense Magazine) delivers a new novel about a man who is haunted by a face from his past....
When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.
The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.
Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

46..Where Serpents Sleep................C.S. Harris.........(368 pgs)

Hero Jarvis, while doing research at Magdalene House, a refuge run by the Quakers for prostitutes in Regency England, narrowly escapes with her life when eight women living there are viciously killed, their murders concealed by arson. As one of the young women died in her arms, Hero decides she must determine why this victim, clearly wellborn, was working as a prostitute and why someone wanted her dead. Unfamiliar with murder investigations, she enlists the help of Sebastian St. Cyr, who has spent the last eight months trying unsuccessfully to deal with the loss of his lover. Sebastian, intrigued by the case and seeing the opportunity to anger Hero’s father, his sworn enemy, agrees to help her. The two investigate, both separately and together, in the slums and mansions of London, uncovering corruption and almost losing their lives on several occasions. The vividly described sights and sounds of Regency London, the stormy relationship between the well-developed main characters, and a complex mystery add to this fourth in the St. Cyr series.

This was a good group of books.. all of them!

Peter Robinson and Will Thomas were both new authors to me but I enjoyed them both, and  have managed to get two more books by Robinson. Now patiently waiting in the mountain of tbr books.

I have read a number of books by David Bell and the ease of reading his books keeps me going back for more. He's an author you should check out if you have never read any of his books.

C.S Harris has quickly entered my group of authors for books that concern detective work but Sebastian is NOT a detective. Something of which I like so that things are not always the same format.

Charles Palliser.  What can I say?  I've read two other of his books and liked them all, but I have to admit that I like Quincoux  best of all.  Being an 800 page book with smaller print than my eyes enjoy it did sit on the shelf for a while. But once I started reading it, though it took me longer to read, I totally enjoyed it.  Written in the style of Charles Dickens, but without quite as many English words that I many not have been sure of, I was sad to have it end.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Where Serpents Sleep

Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris.

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL (November 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0451226658

 

 

From Booklist

Hero Jarvis, while doing research at Magdalene House, a refuge run by the Quakers for prostitutes in Regency England, narrowly escapes with her life when eight women living there are viciously killed, their murders concealed by arson. As one of the young women died in her arms, Hero decides she must determine why this victim, clearly wellborn, was working as a prostitute and why someone wanted her dead. Unfamiliar with murder investigations, she enlists the help of Sebastian St. Cyr, who has spent the last eight months trying unsuccessfully to deal with the loss of his lover. Sebastian, intrigued by the case and seeing the opportunity to anger Hero’s father, his sworn enemy, agrees to help her. The two investigate, both separately and together, in the slums and mansions of London, uncovering corruption and almost losing their lives on several occasions. The vividly described sights and sounds of Regency London, the stormy relationship between the well-developed main characters, and a complex mystery add to this fourth in the St. Cyr series. --Sue O'Brien

 

I had sent for 2 used books by C.S. Harris from her Sebastian St. Cyr series...  I enjoy the writing and the fact that the person solving the murders is not a detective.  The back story concerns Sebastian himself.  His past "love of his life" turns out to be his half sister since his father kept a mistress!.. (so much for that!)   So his new life is just beginning to appear.

The murders (mulitple!) are of prostitutes, who back then would not even bother to try to find out who did the murders.. but Hero wants to know why one of the prostitutes was a woman of means and enlists Sebastian's help.

As with her other books there are many discoveries and a good historical background. Including the Kings own man who just happens to be Hero's father and he doesn't much like Sebastian.  Jarvis is also not the nicest person.. but you will have to read it to find out about that.

So .. this is a good series, even though I am not reading every single one I am able to follow easily what is going on. Next up will be the last of the C.S. Harris books that I have here.  Hoping one day to get the newest of her books "Who Buries the Dead."  Need to wait for the price to come down.

So what have you been reading?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Somebody I Used to Know

Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: NAL (July 7, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0451474201

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.
The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.
Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

This is the 5th book I've read by David Bell and I have enjoyed them all.  Cemetery Girl, Never Come Back, The Forgotten Girl and The Hiding Place are the other four.  All of Bell's books are fast reading, easily followed, and very short chapters.  I can't ask for more!

Have you ever seen someone and thought, "I think I know that person...."  and you get up the nerve to actually approach them and ask?  ... sometimes it may not wind up as you thought it would. Sometimes, the past should be left alone.

In this book it doesn't take long when you think you know all the answers.  But as the answers finally surface, you find you weren't always right!  This and his other books are great books to travel with or when you just need some light reading.  They are mysteries and murders to be solved yet they are all pretty straight forward.  Not too many characters and just enough twists and turns to keep your interest.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Quincunx

The Quincunx by Charles Palliser.

Paperback: 800 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 1991)
ISBN-10: 0345371135

 

 

From Publishers Weekly

The epic length of this first novel--nearly 800 densely typeset pages--should not put off readers, for its immediacy is equal to its heft. Palliser, an English professor in Scotland, where this strange yet magnetic work was first published, has modeled his extravagantly plotted narrative on 19th-century forms--Dickens's Bleak House is its most obvious antecedent--but its graceful writing and unerring sense of timing revivifies a kind of novel once avidly read and surely now to be again in demand. The protagonist, a young man naive enough to be blind to all clues about his own hidden history (and to the fact that his very existence is troubling to all manner of evildoers) narrates a story of uncommon beauty which not only brings readers face-to-face with dozens of piquantly drawn characters at all levels of 19th-century English society but re-creates with precision the tempestuous weather and gnarly landscape that has been a motif of the English novel since Wuthering Heights . The suspension of disbelief happens easily, as the reader is led through twisted family trees and plot lines. The quincunx of the title is a heraldic figure of five parts that appears at crucial points within the text (the number five recurs throughout the novel, which itself is divided into five parts, one for each of the family galaxies whose orbits the narrator is pulled into). Quintuple the length of the ordinary novel, this extraordinary tour de force also has five times the ordinary allotment of adventure, action and aplomb. Literary Guild dual main selection. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

So, I got this book because I had read two other books by Palliser and enjoyed them.  Then, if I remember right, my friend Carl, at Stainless Steel Droppings, told me about this book.  "Since you like Gothic Mystery...".. he did not mention it was 800 pages long... in small print!!!!  So I won't say how long it took me to read this but here it is almost the end of a 31 day month and including this book I've only read 3 books for the month!

So, (yes I know I repeat myself).. I get the book months ago.. flipped thru it and put it away thinking that the print is way to small I will never read this.   I have no idea why I thought I'd give it a go, but I did.. and I liked it very much! (you are off the hook Carl lol) I will also admit I had to look up the definition of Quincunx..(an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its center, used for the five on dice or playing cards, and in planting trees).. it always helps to know what you are reading about!

The story begins with a young child named John.  Basically, it's his life up to a certain age.  When he asks questions to his mother she keeps telling him she can't tell him at his young age, that he would not understand.  So mysteries begin to build.  Lots of "Family secrets".  Some murders along the way.  Some insanity??  ...and the child gets older.  But I began to think he was really me!  I mean, if this kid didn't have hugely bad luck, he'd have no luck at all!!

The are a number of families involved in this very twisted Charles Dickens type book. Admittedly, at times I was confused as to who was related to who and how? duh.  But I surged on and strangely the more confused I got the more I sorta knew what was happening.  heh. 

The writing of this book is outstanding.  Though compared, in style and content, to Dickens it's a little lighter and easier to read then Dickens, and I would have gotten thru it even quicker if the type set wasn't so small!

Anyway... it was a good read.. and I sorta miss the characters now!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Fatal Enquiry

Fatal Enquiry by Will Thomas.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 28, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250068509

 

 

From Booklist

Private-enquiry agent Cyrus Barker and his apprentice, Thomas Llewelyn (The Black Hand, 2011), are drawn into a diabolical cat-and-mouse game when Barker’s arch-nemesis, Sebastian Nightwine, returns to London under diplomatic protection. Although he’s warned away by Scotland Yard, Barker doesn’t consider complying; he’s certain that Nightwine murdered his brother years ago. Now Nightwine plants a witness who fingers Barker for a wealthy businessman’s murder. Barker and Llewelyn go underground to avoid arrest, leading readers on a tour of the city’s hideaways. When Nightwine draws first blood, Barker becomes more determined to orchestrate a final confrontation before his adversary can close his mysterious government deal and escape. Like Sherlock Holmes, Barker stays a step ahead of both criminals and coppers, but his methods rely on networking both underworld and society contacts, which treats readers to the full range of experiences in Victorian London. Well crafted and immersive, this a great addition to the to-be-read stacks of Thomas’ fans, as well as fans of Alex Grecian and Anne Perry. --Christine Tran

It seems I keep finding these  new (to me) detectives and they are all in  London! 

I enjoyed this pair of Barker and Llewelyn.  They quite remind me of Holmes and Watson.  However, in this case each holds their own when it comes to danger and detectiing.

The villain in this book, Nightwine, if real, would be right up there with Jack the Ripper for intensity.  Nice guy.. not!  I find myself wondering how someone can come up with such ideas and gore and torture when it's not take from actual cases... but then again maybe it did!

I have one other book by this author, using the same protagonists on my wish list that I think I will get one day, since this book caught my attention so well.

The above review, at the end, mentions another author I have read Alex Grecian, who's stories I have also enjoyed. If you like detective stories this is an author  you might enjoy.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Close to Home

Close to Home by Peter Robinson. (aka: The Summer That Never Was)

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow;(February 4, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0060198788

Amazon.com Review

Having already shown, in 1999's In a Dry Season, that he can plumb historical homicide for gripping modern drama, Peter Robinson goes further in Close to Home, telling parallel stories about teenage boys lost in a grownup world, decades apart. The first is Graham Marshall, a childhood pal of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, who vanished mysteriously in 1965, the supposed victim of a pedophile. Hearing that Graham's bones have finally been unearthed, Banks quits his vacation in Greece and heads to his hometown of Petersborough, England, hoping to assist the investigation--and, perhaps, assuage his guilt over his friend’s fate. Meanwhile, Banks's colleague and ex-lover, Annie Cabbot, is busy probing the recent disappearance of 15-year-old Luke Armitage, the sensitive, brainy son of a rock star who committed suicide during Luke's infancy. After Cabbot catches hell for interrupting what may or may not have been a legitimate ransom payment for Luke's return, she seeks Banks's advice, drawing these two plot lines neatly together.

As this intense and intricately crafted puzzler develops, blending fiction with a bit of fact (the Kray brothers, who ran a criminal ring in London's East End during the mid-20th century, play off-camera roles here), Robinson explores Banks's troubled relationship with his parents, especially his working-class father, who "had never approved of his choice of career." He also raises doubts about a famed copper who’d originally tackled the Marshall case, involves Banks romantically with a damaged detective whose investigative diligence threatens her safety, and shows Cabbot as someone better and stronger than merely Banks's protégé. Working with themes of lost youth and the dark secrets hidden in small towns, Robinson delivers in this 13th Banks novel a police procedural of remarkable human depth

The used copy of this book I have is actually called The Summer That Never Was.  When I looked in Amazon for their review I couldn't find the title but Peter Robinson has many other books with his protagonist Inspector Alan Banks.  As I read thru some of them I found this review which is exactly what I read so I realized they had changed the title.

This was a good read! I liked that it had two stories going at the same time and yet had no trouble keeping touch with which was which.  One story was a "cold case" of someone Banks knew and died as a teenager, and the other was also a young man of 15 who is found murdered in a different town. 

Banks goes back and forth between the two murders.  He has no jurisdiction in the town he grew up in where his friend went missing many years ago,but shows up to offer any help.  When he feels unwanted he goes back to where he actually works to help his colleague, Annie, on the murder of the second teenager.

For me to say they could flip back and forth between the two cases and I was able to know where he was at all times is nothing short of a miracle!  Which tells me that I enjoyed this author (even though this is one of his earlier books) .  I searched out a few other Inspector Banks books used at Amazon and sent for 2 more.  That should tell you he was an interesting character and I'll be glad to learn more about him and his cases.

(but I am not giving up looking for more *mysteries* such as The Thirteenth Tale, where there is no new murder or death but lots of secrets to uncover!  If you know of any let me know!!)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Books Read in May & June

My reading has slowed down quite a bit.  It began in May when I actually went away for 5 days to the Smoky Mountains. Also saw some things in S.C. and a tiny bit in Tennessee. I could have used 3 times that away!

But.. I was nearly finished with The Fifth Heart before I left and it wasn't long for me to finish it.  There are some books I absolutely love by Dan Simmons and others ...not so much.  Drood will always remain my favorite (I think), The Fifth Heart is running second now.

What Alice Forgot was turned into a movie which I missed seeing and would have loved to see it because the book was so good.  The story was written so well that at times I felt Alice's frustrations and kept hoping things would go her way. I won't say more because you may decide to read it!

So here's my list for May and June:

 

May...

33..The Fifth Heart.....................Dan Simmons.........(623 pgs)

34..Behind the Bookcase.................Mark Steensland.....(263 pgs)

35..Deep & Dark & Dangerous.............Mary D. Hahn........(192 pgs)

36..What Alice Forgot...................Liane Moriarty......(488 pgs)

 

June...

37..The Road from Gap Creek.............Robert Morgan.......(352 pgs)

38..Devoured............................D.E. Meredith.......(291 pgs)

39..When Gods Die.......................C.S. Harris.........(352 pgs)

40..Ape House...........................Sara Gruen..........(303 pgs)

41..Moriarty............................Anthony Horowitz......(305 pgs)

Summary:

In May I most enjoyed The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  Both excellent books and kept me wanting to read more even when my eyes blurred!

In June I liked When Gods Die by C.S. Harris (so now I want more of his books!) . Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz was another super read.  I never guessed "who done it" so was shocked at the end of the book, and I very much liked Ape House which is fiction but parts taken from the truth about Apes learning sign language.

Reviews can be found by clicking the links that will take you to Amazon.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Moriarty

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Harper (December 9, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0062377183

Amazon

The game is once again afoot in this thrilling mystery from the bestselling author of The House of Silk, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, which explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls.

Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty—dubbed the Napoleon of crime” by Holmes—in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place—including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in “The Sign of Four”, must forge a path through the darkest corners of England’s capital—from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks—in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor.

A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace from one of the only writers to earn the seal of approval from Conan Doyle’s estate, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes’s dark and fascinating world.

I guess after having read The Fifth Heart, which concerns Sherlock Holmes that when I saw this book I decided to give it a read.  It helped that long ago I had read the authors other Holes book House of Silk.

The book was very well written.  It engages you in much of the Holmes traditions and actions, which leads you to believe that this might be the beginning of another duo such as Holmes and Watson and would have other stories to follow.  It seems that Jones is a big admirer of Holmes, and as the story begins it would seem that both Holmes and Moriarty have died during the struggle at Reichenbach Falls.

So much in the tradition of Holmes and Watson the two dive into finding the leader of a group of criminals that have taken over London.

A good mystery.. one that I never suspected would end the way it did, so this could be a book you too would enjoy.

Enough said.. I don't want to give away anything more then Amazon has!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ape House

Ape House by Sara Gruen.

Publisher: Hardcover (December 7, 2010)
303 pages
ASIN: B006F47OJU

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn't understand people, but apes she gets—especially the bonobos Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena, who are capable of reason and communication through American Sign Language. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she's ever felt among humans—until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter writing a human interest feature. But when an explosion rocks the lab, John's piece turns into the story of a lifetime—and Isabel must connect with her own kind to save her family of apes from a new form of human exploitation.

I read this author once before: Water for Elephants, and totally enjoy her writing and the story she told. So I've know of this book for a while but now even the 4 dollar shipping on used books from amazon is limiting my buying and sending me more and more to only what I find at thrift stores.

It was quite some time ago I remember some news stories about Apes using sign language so this book always was on my wish list.. finally found it at a thrift store!

It's a pretty quick read, and very interesting because there are a number of true facts in with the fiction.  I enjoyed reading it and remembering about the Apes using sign language..now I will have to do a little research and see how that, or if that, is still continuing to be a study.

I enjoy Sara Gruen's writing and so yet another of her books went on my wish list!  It seems that, like the books already in my limited living area, the wish list gets longer and longer!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

When Gods Die

When Gods Die :A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, by C.S. Harris.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL Hardcover; (November 7, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0451219686

 

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Fans of quality historical suspense who mourn the end of the late Kate Ross's Julian Kestrel mysteries and the late Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding novels should find solace in the work of promising newcomer Harris, whose series (beginning with 2005's What Angels Fear) is set in Regency England. The ability of Harris's detective, Sebastian St. Cyr, the Viscount Devlin, to mingle freely with the cream of society leads to his receiving a highly sensitive commission. Given the perilous state of the English monarchy in 1811, the discovery of the dissolute Prince Regent with a murder victim in his arms makes the death of the beautiful young wife of an aristocrat even more scandalous. St. Cyr is charged by the powers that be with solving the crime and absolving the royal suspect. The author deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters for a fast-moving story that will have readers eagerly anticipating future volumes in the series. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information

I am guessing this would be called historical fiction/ murder mystery. And I quite like the protagonist, Sebastian St. Cyr the Viscount Devlin.  A man integrity and tenacity not to give up no matter what.  Also with a background of a love story and a mystery of his long gone mother.

Very pronounced differences with the aristocratic rich and the poorer then poor, Devlin deals fairly with them all.

The story is written so that you really are not sure who did the murder until the end.  Really well written.  Now I want more of him.  Not sure if I am happy or not that there are quite a few books about Sebastian St. Cry!  Really hope I find some at the thrift shops!  Many are very cheap on "used" Amazon but when you add the 3.99 shipping it can add up quickly.

Loved the time period and the historical references in this book.  Without a doubt I will be reading more of C.S. Harris's books of this series!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Devoured

Devoured by D.E. Meredith.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(October 26, 2010)
ISBN-10: 031255768X

 

From Booklist

Like the Victorian era that provides its setting, Meredith’s first novel is a carefully contrived surface, hiding dark things. For a while. The MacGuffin here is a series of letters the botanist Benjamin Broderig sends from steamy Borneo to his wealthy benefactress in London. She is murdered. The letters are stolen. The scientific establishment is even more desperate than the police to get back the letters because, we’re told, their contents would rock the known world. But excerpts will have readers scratching their heads. This is soft-core Darwinian stuff. Surely more is going on? There is, and fear of disclosure precipitates a series of murders whose details are comprehended only by the overworked pathologist Hatton and his assistant, Roumande. Their investigation goes from morgue to sweatshop to drawing room, all told in a polite, muted style that would seem to make this a lap-robe and pot-of-tea sort of novel despite the horrors that finally emerge.

This was certainly something different.  It seems there are two things going on here...it's the beginning of forensics, and the second story is about botanist Broderig's trip to Borneo and while there winds up doing searching in some of Darwinian's theories.   As always I get somewhat confused flipping back and forth between the two story lines and it takes me time to finally see how they are meshing together.  Once that happened the book got very interesting!

Much more of the pathology and forensics then in normal mysteries, probably because there are a number of deaths to deal with and the mystery of how they would ever come together.

It's not a long book.  I wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer to be honest.

As always I've used the Amazon review for telling what the book is about.. 

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Road from Gap Creek

The Road from Gap Creek by Robert Morgan.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: A Shannon Ravenel Book;(March 25, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1616203781

gap

Review:

One of America’s most acclaimed writers returns to the land on which he has staked a literary claim to paint an indelible portrait of a family in a time of unprecedented change. In a compelling weaving of fact and fiction, Robert Morgan introduces a family’s captivating story, set during World War II and the Great Depression. Driven by the uncertainties of the future, the family struggles to define itself against the vivid Appalachian landscape. The Road from Gap Creek explores modern American history through the lives of an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times.

From the Inside Flap

“This is a story I seem to remember like it was yesterday . . . The day we moved to Green River, the road from Gap Creek was froze stiff as chalk. I wasn’t even five, but I remember that morning was cold. We got up in the dark and Papa built a big fire in the fireplace, burning up the things we didn’t need. All the stuff we had would fit in that one wagon, or it had to be left behind. I thought Velmer and my older sister, Effie, and me was going to ride on the wagon too, but Papa said there wasn’t no room. We’d have to walk.”
Strong-willed Annie Richards Powell, a preacher’s wife raised by hardscrabble dirt farmers, begins her story on the worst day in her family’s life: a day that arrived years after her family’s trip—by wagon and on foot—from Gap Creek, South Carolina, to Green River, North Carolina, and into the home where she would grow up with her siblings, Effie, Velmer, and, finally, Troy, the baby and golden boy. A resilient and clear-eyed narrator, she lets us watch as one-by-one the Richards children create their own histories, which include both triumphs and terrible losses in the face of the Great Depression and then World War II and its aftermath. Through the Richards family, Morgan explores modern American history as it played out in the Blue Ridge Mountains—a region cut off from mainstream life until World War II took those mountain boys to fight in far-off lands and changed their world forever. The rough-hewn beauty of the land and its people are visible on every page of The Road from Gap Creek—a tribute to an ordinary family persevering through extraordinary times. This is Robert Morgan at his finest.
The saga of the Richards family began in Robert Morgan’s 1999 novel Gap Creek, an Oprah Book Club Selection that attracted hundreds of thousands of readers to its beguiling tale of the first year and a half of Annie’s parents’ marriage at the turn of the twentieth century. Now, in a masterful weaving of fact and fiction, Morgan introduces a new generation looking ahead to the uncertainties of the future, the struggle to define oneself, and the rediscovery of enduring love.

 

So... I find out after I read this book that there is a book before this one.  I checked it out on Amazon and decided this was ok as a "stand alone"

I guess when I found it at a thrift store and read where and when this story occurs I decided to give it a try.  The where was in the Appalachian Mountains (where I had just visited) and many mountains and towns I knew of from my trip.  The time was just before and during WWII.  The family was very poor and yet I found it almost appealing.  I was poor as a child and it was not fun, but looking back, before technology and many inventions, I  am glad of the time when I was born.

This book is not a great adventure.  It isn't a mystery.  It's just the life of Annie Richards as a poor girl being raised in the country and the hardships and good things that happened to her.

Having just come from the area in which the book takes place I found myself compelled to read it. 

We all have a life story. How it reads depends on when and where your life story is.

I can't say run out and read this book. But historically, regionally, and just plain growing up.. I found it a good read.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

Paperback: 488 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books;(April 24, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780425247440

alice

 

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

I do not remember what I was thinking when I purchased this book... it wasn't my usual mystery/ murder/ or fantasy type.

But it certainly was interesting and got me to thinking alot.  How would you deal with the fact you no longer remembered the last 10 years of your life?  You don't remember having 3 children, or what they even look like.  You don't remember that you are in the process of a divorce from the man you married and loved and was the father of your children...  Difficult to think that could happen or how you would feel.

So, as different a book that this is to what I am use to reading...it was a book that I kept picking up, wanting to know how Alice was dealing with it and how it would all end.

In between there was her sister Elisabeth who had her own tragedies so you have a secondary story to follow.

A very enjoyable story and well told by the author.  It certainly makes you look back on your life and wonder, what if it happened to you?  Would your life be different today from it?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Deep and Dark and Dangerous

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers;August 4, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0547076452

dark

 

From Booklist

Hahn offers another eerie, suspenseful ghost story filled with family secrets. Thirteen-year-old Ali is thrilled when her aunt Dulcie invites her to spend the summer at the family's Maine cottage, where Ali will help babysit her four-year-old cousin, Emma. Things fall apart, however, when Sissie, a mysterious, manipulative girl, befriends Emma. As tensions rise, Ali begins to piece together rumors about a childhood tragedy that continues to haunt her mother and Dulcie. Early on, Hahn drops heavy hints about who Sissie is. Guessing her identity won't spoil the suspense for readers, though; on the contrary, it will feed their sense of terror as events unfold. The emotional weight of family dynamics and the private burdens of adults might have overwhelmed the ghost story, but Hahn maintains the momentum with scenes that will chill readers as surely as a plunge in cold water. Young people will easily connect with sensitive Ali, whose search for family truths feels like "good practice for crossing a minefield." Gillian Engberg

wow!  A quick and excellent ghost story!  Not sure what I expected but this was quite a good, short read!

The mystery behind the whole story doesn't totally come out until close to the end, but all along you know secrets are being kept by the adults in the story. I really enjoyed this little book... couldn't put it down!  Great little book to have with you when on the move.

Guessing this book would be for anyone but believe it was written for ages 9 and above.. 'cause it is a bit scary!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Behind the Bookcase

Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland.

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Yearling;(September 10, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0385740727

bookcase

 

A girl stumbles into a fantastic world in this tale perfect for fans of Coraline, Alice in Wonderland, and The Twilight Zone.

Spending the summer at her grandmother's house is the last thing Sarah wants to do—especially now that Grandma Winnie has died—but she has no choice. Her parents have to fix the place up before they can sell it, and Sarah and her brother, Billy, have to help. But the tedious work turns into a thrilling mystery when Sarah discovers an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . . 
Sarah's mother dismisses the letter as one of Grandma Winnie's crazy stories, but Sarah does some investigating and makes a remarkable discovery: behind the bookcase is a doorway into Scotopia, the land where shadows come from. With a talking cat named Balthazat as her guide, Sarah begins an unforgettable adventure into a world filled with countless dangers. Who can she trust? And can she face her fears, not only in Scotopia, but also back at Grandma Winnie's house, where more secrets and strange goings-on await her?

I must have found this for 50 cents .. and even if it's written for the very young.. it's still a fantasy fiction.  A great book to have your child read or to read to them!  Nicely illustrated too!

Sometimes I think those that write for the young have better imaginations then do adult writers.  It's a welcome change and think that most people who read a lot should read something simpler (but not written down to the young) and more imaginative.  It reminds me of the days when books, radio and television were our only alternatives to "escapism". (plus our own imagination of course)

But, I will let the Amazon review let you know what you need to know. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Fifth Heart

The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons.

Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition (March 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 031619882X

5heart

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.
Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.
This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?

Hooray! Dan Simmons has done it again!  I know Dan Simmons has many books out, many of which are not to my topic liking, but when he does one that suits me.. he's fantastic!  I've read his book Drood (over 600 pgs ) twice because I like it so much.. now I can add The Fifth Heart!

He is a master at taking real characters, mixing them with fictional character adding great descriptions of time and places and come up with a really good book to read.

This time his main character is "fictional, Sherlock Holmes".. or is he fictional?

It takes place in the United States (I prefer stories in the British Isles) and uses many historical real characters. 

On the day that James decides he will commit suicide he meets Sherlock and Sherlock basically turns him, for all intent and purposes, into "Watson" (side kick), and in turn saves his life.

I was running through this books when I was due to have company and then go away for a week and so the last 140 pages I just finished today.

If you like books that use fictional and real characters along with a good story... this book fits the bill!

I'll keep this book along side of Drood, for a future reread!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Books Read in April..

For me, I have done exceptionally well reading this year!  But it is about to fall off a bit in May as I will have company and not be reading very much for a while.  But until then, here's my list of seven books for April:

 

April...

25..The Alchemyst.......................Michael Scott.......(400 pgs)

The Alchemyst is the first of a 6 book young adult series... it is really, really, (REALLY) a good series!  Matter of fact Paramount PIctures has bought the rights to make a movie from the first book!  And if that's not enough to want to read them:  Michael Scott is a fantastic writer! ('nuff said)


26..What She Left Behind................Ellen Marie Wiseman.(321 pgs)

I have to admit that all the books I read this month were really good.. including this one!


27..The Forgotten Girl..................David Bell..........(448 pgs)

David Bell has turned into a writer that I enjoy.  I've read a number of his books and they all are good reads!


29..The Lewis Man.......................Peter May...........(320 pgs)

ok... so this Peter May series that begins with The Blackhouse, and takes place in the Hebrides Islands (Lewis Island) off of Scotland are just and outstanding trilogy!!


30..Firedrake...........................Richard Knaak.......(234 pgs)

This one, although I liked it would be my least favorite. 


31..The Chessman........................Peter May...........(308 pgs)

Book 3 of the Peter May trilogy.  I wish it wasn't over the characters and the Island are all fascinating even if the story is fiction!


32..Gaudy Night.........................Dorothy Sayers......(544 pgs)

I got a bit lost in this book. As I age I can't keep track to too many characters! lol.. but still a good mystery!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers.

Series: Lord Peter Wimsey
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks;(October 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0062196537

 

 

From the Back Cover

When Harriet Vane attends her Oxford reunion, known as the Gaudy, the prim academic setting is haunted by a rash of bizarre pranks: scrawled obscenities, burnt effigies, and poison-pen letters, including one that says, "Ask your boyfriend with the title if he likes arsenic in his soup." Some of the notes threaten murder; all are perfectly ghastly; yet in spite of their scurrilous nature, all are perfectly worded. And Harriet finds herself ensnared in a nightmare of romance and terror, with only the tiniest shreds of clues to challenge her powers of detection, and those of her paramour, Lord Peter Wimsey.

Basically we have a mystery at Oxford, seemingly based around the dons. (all women).

I easily admit I am not the brightest bulb in the pack and it took me a while to get into this book. A good part of the first half of the book was beginning to feel like it was overwritten.. a lot to do about not a big deal.  But the second half of the book perked up, especially when Lord Peter Wimsey entered the story.

It seemed to be a number of minor stories going on and so I found myself lost a number of times. But in the end I have to say I did enjoy the book.  I like the character of Wimsey, and I think I would have liked Harriet more had I read other books by Sayers. 

Of course the ending is one you didn't really see coming... but then that's what a good mystery is about.. not knowing the ending before it happens!

Another moment to admit that Oxford would not have been for me! lol.  Brilliance abounds with the dons but I really didn't feel that "doing what they loved" made them happy people... I found that odd.

So.. onward and upward to another good book... I hope!