Monday, 29 March 2010

Elspeth Thompson 1961 - 2010

It was with great sadness that I read of the tragic death of Elspeth Thompson
prior to discovering her wonderful blog Off the Rails
I had spent many a Sunday enjoying her gardening column in the Telegraph
so I'm sure you can imagine my delight in finding a comment from Elspeth on my old blog.
It was probably THE highlight of my blogging experience.
As the news of this tragedy spread across the world of blogging it has become obvious that so many of us have been bouyed up by the charm and grace of Elspeth.
Frank and Mary you have my heart felt condolences.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mad About the Boy? A Jack Haldean Murder Mystery

ISBN-10: 1845296095
ISBN-13: 978-1845296094

Mad About The Boy? by Dorores Gordon-Smith

Now this I liked:

"It’s the height of summer 1923 and Isabelle’s parents are celebrating their Silver Wedding with a ball at their country house, Hesperus, in Sussex. Isabelle has a problem: two men, the glamorous, earnest Malcolm and the quiet, troubled Arthur are in love with her, but worry is soon replaced by tragedy. One of the guests apparently commits suicide at the ball. Jack Haldean, the hero of A Fete Worse Than Death, thinks it’s murder, but everything is thrown into chaos when a group of Russian Revolutionaries become involved in the affair. In a case involving deception, greed, jealousy, kidnap, torture and more murder, Jack faces an agonizing choice on his journey to the truth – a journey which will change Isabelle’s life forever. "

A thoughly British murder mystery set in the "Golden Age" of murder mysteries and throughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.

The Shakespeare Curse by J L Carrell

ISBN-10: 0751542229
ISBN-13: 978-0751542226

One of those books one picks up from the newstand when desperate for something to read.

"A brutally murdered body is discovered on a remote Scottish hillside ? with a mysterious ancient knife beside it. The victim was a beautiful young woman, throat slashed by an unknown assailant. The circumstances of the murder suggest ancient Pagan sacrifice. Then a trench on that same hill is found filled with blood. The shocking discoveries all seem to be linked by the ancient curse of Macbeth. From the streets of New York to the twisting corridors of Hampton Court Palace to a remote loch in the Scottish Highlands, the race is on to stop a deadly modern serial killer who will do anything to uncover priceless ancient treasures...A thrilling, action-packed page-turner, The Shakespeare Curse blends present-day crime with fascinating revelations from the life and work of Shakespeare. "

Readable but it doesn't string together that well. It's Carrell's second "Shakespeare" book maybe they will get better.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My old blog

I discovered the other day, quite by chance, that my old blog Willow House has been taken over by advertisements, the latest being for some company that organizes murder mystery themed parties no less.

Needless to say I'm not exactly over the moon with this development and had I realised that Typepad did this when one cancelled one's account I never, ever would have used them as a blogging platform. But of course they don't tell you that when you sign up...

Anyway there is nothing I can do about it now, although I would like to tell everyone that I do not have any association with any of the advertisers and that in no way do I endorse their products.

Absolutely no way!

Oh and if you still have Willow House on your links list you might like to delete it.

Friday, 2 October 2009

A Grave Man A murder mystery featuring Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne by David Roberts

ISBN-10: 0786715960 ISBN-13: 978-0786715961

I've mentioned before that I like this series of books and this one does not disappoint.
Here's the synopsis from the Lord Edward Corinth website:

"1937. Verity Browne and Lord Edward Corinth attend the Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey for Lord Benyon killed a few months before when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames as it docked in New Jersey. Seated a few rows in front of them in the Abbey is the distinguished archaeologist Professor Pitt-Messanger and his daughter Maud. As the congregation begins to disperse after the service, Edward hears Miss Pitt-Messanger cry for help. Her father is slumped in his seat. When he goes to her aid he finds that the Professor has been stabbed to death with an ancient Assyrian dagger.
Edward has no wish to investigate the murder but Verity gets herself invited to Swifts Hill, the ultra-modern house in Kent belonging to the millionaire Sir Simon Castlewood. His wife, Virginia, is one of Verity’s few school friends and she is looking after the grieving Maud. Verity quickly discovers that Pitt-Messanger was a selfish bully who made his daughter’s life a misery and prevented her marrying the man she loved.
By coincidence, Winston Churchill asks Edward to investigate the Castlewood Foundation which Sir Simon has set up to fund worthy projects including medical research. Churchill has received information that Sir Simon’s protégé, the eminent surgeon Dominic Montillo, is using the Foundation to fund research into the so-called science of eugenics which pretends to distinguish between racial types. No less a personage than Reichsführer Himmler is interested in pursuing the idea of racial purity through selective breeding.
When Maud Pitt-Messanger is herself stabbed to death with a dagger from Sir Simon’s archaeological museum, Edward and Verity join forces to find her killer but Verity’s dislike of Mr Churchill and her growing attraction to the young German, Adam von Trott, drives a wedge between them which brings them both unhappiness and endangers the investigation."

It's excellent , there is a real sense of impending doom as WWII slips ever closer. I highly recommend this book.

The Death Maze by Ariana Franklin

ISBN-10: 0593056515 ISBN-13: 978-0593056516
"Deep midwinter 1172, and an assassin is on the loose..."
The second of Franklin's books featuring the Scilian Adelia Aguilar who is charged with the task of finding the murderer of Henry II's mistress Fair Rosamund.
Great atmosphere you can feel the tention and claustrophobia buiding I'll definetly be looking out for more of Ariana Franklin.

House of Shadows A Historical Mystery by The Medieval Murderers

ISBN-10: 0743295463 ISBN-13: 978-0743295468

Our Medieval Murderers are:
Bernard Knight who writes the Crowner John series
Ian Morston whose detective is William Falconer
Michael Jecks writes the Templar series.
Philip Gooden author of Elizabethan mysteries starring Nick Revill
Susanna Gregory authour of the Matthew Bartholmew and Thonas Chaloner series.

The nedieval Murderers basically each write a short story around a given theme which is then pulled together with a prologue and epilogue. I've read a few of these and they are usually entertaining with some of the stories being more interesting tham others. This one is set in Bermondsey Priory and I'm afraid I found the introduction of a golem a little far fetched!