November 30, 2013

Book Review - Part of the Spell by Rachel Heath

"A small quiet town sits in a slight valley, encircled by barely-hills and surrounded by the ancient fields and trees of Essex." The novel opens with a description of the town which is as much a player as any of its inhabitants. Why are the people here? Are they happy to stay where they have always lived or have they arrived on the run from somewhere else? "News of Sheila Buttle's disappearance spread across the town, carried by a distinct but indolent autumnal breeze. Along the pavements, across the rooftops, weaving amongst the queue at the butcher's or between two neighbours on a street corner. It spread aimlessly, without purpose, or force, without a headwind. Nothing like a forest fire, without heat or urgency. Stealing through an open bedroom window, whispering around the ankles of parents at the school gates, wafting into the cafĂ© in the market square, cooling cups of tea…When people heard the news they wondered what it might mean, turned over in their minds how such a thing could happen. They warded off the darker ideas but the urge to speculate and to gossip lingered." I enjoyed this book very much, loving particularly how the people relate to their town and the gorgeous descriptive passages. Wendy

November 28, 2013

Book Review - Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson

Robinson's new Inspector Banks novel lives up to my high expectations for one of my favourite mystery writers. A policeman is killed by a crossbow in the grounds of a rehab centre. A Professional Standards Inspector is brought in because there are rumours of police corruption. A missing girl whose case has remained unsolved for 6 years. The clues to the mystery may lie in the city of Tallinn in Estonia where the girl disappeared, or they may be solved by solid police work back in England. Annie Cabbot is back at work after being badly injured and once again is seeking to prove herself. A marvelous background of classical and jazz music underscores the intricate plotting as all the tangles are unraveled and answers are revealed. Wendy

November 15, 2013

DVD Review - Happy body – Fabulous 40s and 50s with TV Physio Anna- Louise Bouvier

Happy body – Fabulous 40s and 50s with TV Physio Anna- Louise Bouvier This DVD is a general intro to how your body changes and what you can easily do to maximize your strength and fitness whatever level you are currently at as you encounter the effects of gravity as you age. The short chapters are a bit annoying but the walking workout is achievable and easily modified to all fitness levels. Also held is one targeting the 60s and 70s. Wendy

The Most Popular Books of All Time

Here's a great graphic from Love Reading UK that shows the print-runs and copies-sold of the Most Popular Books of All Time.

 Is one of your favourites on this list?

 For a full-size copy of the image, click here.

November 13, 2013

Book Review - Trust your eyes by Linwood Barclay

This is a terrific read and a refreshingly new take on a detective story. Ray Kilbride has returned home to sort out his father's estate and try to arrange appropriate residential care for his schizophrenic brother, Thomas, who has a fixation with memorizing the street layouts of all major cities. Thomas thinks he is working for Bill Clinton and the CIA, preparing for the time when the world will be totally dependent on his memory for street maps. Thomas comes across a picture of a woman being strangled on a New York street and Ray sets off to find out what happened so he can placate his brother and get him to move forward with resolving his father's legacy. Also in this intensely layered but very readable story are a scheming political fixer, a failed gymnast whose second career is as an assassin for hire, and a family secret that has tormented Thomas's life since he was 13. Thomas is both more and less able then Ray gives him credit for and the brothers face danger together in the thrilling climax to this very different mystery. Wendy

November 11, 2013

Book Review - The Death Sculptor by Chris Carter

Another fine mystery featuring genius detective Robert Hunter and his partner Carlos Garcia as they hunt a killer who is organized, ruthless and without pity. The victims are tortured and then their bodies are arranged into grotesque sculptures. But just what is the killer trying to tell them and will they figure it out before there are more victims? Not for the faint-hearted. Wendy

November 09, 2013

Book Review - Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

Kate Burkholder grew up Amish but is now the Chief of Police in a small town close by to Amish communities. This gives her an edge when dealing with several cases of missing Amish teenagers. Kate is reminded of her own troubled past as she joins with her new some time lover, Agent John Tomasetti, to try and solve the case. Kate has had previous adventures in fiction but this reads well as a stand-alone. The extraordinary detail of the Amish way of life adds an intriguing clash of cultures to this excellent mystery.