Thursday, 30 July 2009

Witch's Sabbath by J.M. Gregson

ISBN 0727863428
Bit of a disappointment this one, not that it wasn't a perfectly good murder mystery, the type where the police actually do the investigating rather than eccentric amateurs. But take a look at the bumf from the fly leaf:
"In an area famous for the Lancashire Witches four centuries earlier, it seems that witchcraft still flourishes. When a body is discovered in a derelict farmhouse, it is partly mummified, a pathetic ruin. Although an identity is quickly established, that is only the first of many problems. No one reported this young woman's disappearance when she went missing four months earlier. Most of those who were closest to her, from her former employer to her newly-acquired boyfriend, had reasons to keep quiet. Her flatmate, a woman of her own age, seems to have been very sure that Annie Clark was never going to return. And it appears she was a member of a modern coven, containing both male and female members...
Chief Inspector Percy Peach, Detective Sergeant Lucy Blake and the team, hindered as usual by the direction of Chief Superintendent Thomas Bulstrode Tucker, have one of their most puzzling and compelling mysteries to solve. "
I'm afraid I rather misinterpreted it and thought the book might contain a bit of "spooky" for want of a better word. It doesn't.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Murder Mysteries by David Roberts

I actually bought Sweet Poison, Bones of the Buried and Hollow Crown for my son in one of those bundles that The Book People do. Unfortunately at the time he was a little young for them and didn't get past the first chapter of Sweet Poison. Sometime later I picked it up and after a slow start I well and truly got into the world of Lord Edward Corinth - 1930s England, between the wars.
I love the fact that the characters get together for a confabulation, a word that is rarely used now days. Actually I think that is what I like most about these David Roberts mysteries, the settings, the time and the little snippets of history both political and social.
If you are interested you can read a synpopsis of all the books on The Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne Murder Mysteries website.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Rosemary & Thyme - And No Birds Sing

IISBN 978-0749083410
I didn't realise that there were books as well as the TV series until I found this at my local library. It's written by Brian Eastman the creator of the TV series and that is just what it is the book of the series, well the first episode actually, I think they call books like this "a television tie-in".
It is throughly entertaining, light reading with a little more background as to how our intrepid horticultural sleuths teamed up. It would make a good summer read.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Feb 25th 2009 - Reading

This past month I've spent too much time reading and not enough time doing. (Please tell me that you can never spend too much time reading).
It started with Stephenie Meyer's Twilight trilogy which were actually purchased by my husband from a hospital book stall (the broken thumb incident). He didn't know what he was buying, 3 plain black books without dust covers, he bought them because they were big, 50p each and he thought he had a long wait. Anyway they languished here for some months unread until I suddenly realised what they were and decided to see what all the fuss was about.
Now I understand, the Twilight series is strangley addictive, I might just have to buy the fourth book in the saga.(And no Zoe I'm not in love with Edward I think I'd much prefer Jacob!).
Next came Kathy Reichs Bones to Ashes. I've read several of Kathy Reichs books over the past year, mostly found in charity shops and have found that I far prefer forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan to Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta.
Another charity shop find was Missing Joseph, a Elizabeth George Inspector Linley mystery. I'm pretty sure the BBC have dramatised this one, the story was so familiar but there is so much depth to George's characterisation that you just have to carry on reading even when you know the outcome.
I've also found myself delving back into some Agatha Christie's notably Tommy & Tuppence and Miss Marple, oh how I love a good Miss Marple....

April 26th 2008 - Now Reading

I'm halfway through John Berendt's The City of Fallen Angels, his expose of Venice - "behind the exquisite facade of the world's most beautiful historic city, scandal, corruption and venality are rampant, and Berendt is a master at seeking them out". It has taken me a little longer to get into this than his previous book , Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (brilliant title) but I think it may have grabbed me now. Even so I'm finding it a book for dipping into rather than one that makes you want to keep turning the pages.

Bumps in the night - my 2007 Halloween book suggestions

As a child I was terrified of all things supernatural. Even as a teenager I recall having to have an adult accompany me up the stairs and see me safely to bed after I stayed up to watch some ghostly movie or other. But as is so often the case with things that one fears I seem to have developed a morbid fascination with the supernatural and a book with a few bumps in the night will keep me enthralled.
With Halloween fast approaching now seems like a good time to share some of those spooky books with you.
Last year I recommended this book as good Halloween reading.

Will Storr vs The Supernatural The recommendation stands, it's fascinating stuff. Our intrepid investigator Will Storr, who has written for both the Observer and The Times Magazines, sets off on a journey to discover the "truth" about ghosts after having all his beliefs turned upside down during a journalistic assignment with a Demonologist. Yes a real life Deomonologist from Philadelphia. Amongst others he meets paranormal investigators, mediums and the Vatican's chief exorcist. He visits haunted houses, goes on the set of Most Haunted, speaks to psychologists and has some very strange experiences. A throughly entertaining book.
If fiction is more your thing I suppose you can't really go wrong with a James Herbert, after all he isn't one of Britains foremost "horror" writers for nothing. I hadn't read James Herbert since his The Magic Cottage but was tempted by The Secret of Crickley Hall (also recommended by PG), it doesn't disappoint, I was dragged through with a sort of fatal fasincation from the very first page.
But I have to say that horror isn't my preferred genre, thrillers with an element of the supernatural are much more my thing and I don't think you can get much better than a Phil Rickman. I am a huge fan of his Merrily Watkins Mysteries (start with Wine of Angels-" a village mystery with murder, missing girls, incest, cider and a ghost") but for Halloween I would probably choose one of his earlier books such as Candlenight, The Man in The Moss, or Crybbe. Phil Rickman is a master of rich characterisation and you'll soon get to know (and love) many of the characters who crop up now and again in "cameo roles" in his books.
One last recommendation for readers who like a sprinkling of romance to sweeten their "chillers", this one comes from my 70 year old Aunt, she loves to read Barbara Erskine. Hiding From the Light complete with ghosts and witches would make the perfect Halloween book.

More Reading from June 2007

I mentioned in my last post that I had just sent an order to Amazon, well it has arrived and I have another two books for summer reading.
Regular visitors to Willow House will know that the whole family enjoys Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew series, The Tarnished Chalice is the 12th chronicle and apparently we will find Bartholomew, Brother Michael and Cynric in Lincoln. I'll have to wait to find out about this one, Alexander has already run off with it.
And I better be quick with Simon Brett's The Stabbing in The Stables or he will have run off with that before I get a chance to read it first. Love these Fethering Mysteries as do the reviewers just look at some of the reviews -
"Simon Brett writes the kind of good whodunnits that could have been written fifty years ago ... and he has a sly sense of humour" The Times
"This is lovely stuff, as comforting - and as unputdownable - as a Sussex cream tea. More please" Brighton Evening Argus
"For readers who like their crime told elegantly and light-heartedly, with a wit which bubbles throughout plot and narrative ... pure pleasure from beginning to end" Birmingham Post
"Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment" Guardian
"Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories ... I would recommend them to anyone" Jilly Cooper
I'm with Jilly Cooper on this I'd recommend The Fethering Mysteries to anyone starting with The Body on The Beach.

A Little Light Reading

A little light reading

I haven't seen any books I wanted to read in charity shops for ages and ages and then just as I cave and submit an order to Amazon what do I see not one book but six in a British Heart Foundation shop.
Elizabeth George writes the Inspector Lynley mysteries. Although I enjoyed the TV series I had no desire to seek out the books but couldn't really resist a 10p charity shop bargain a few months ago. Well now I'm hooked, Elizabeth George writes beautifully and the depth of her characterization far surpasses the TV adaptations. Can't wait to get tucked into these three.
I've been reading Anne Granger's Mitchell and Marksby mysteries ever since one of her books was given away free with a magazine. I've never paid full price for any of her books they are enjoyable but with so many favourite authors on the list she is one who I economise with.
I'm addicted to historical who dunnits! I discovered Bernard Knight and his Crowner mysteries while suffering withdrawal symtoms from Susanna Gregory (why can't authors write fast enough?).Our "dectective" is Sir John de Wolfe, Devon's first county coroner and it's all set in the time of Richard the Lionheart.
I've never read any Alys Clare but it's a medieval mystery so it should keep me quiet for a while!

(Frst posted June 2007)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

I am a book addict

There is no getting away from it I am a book addict. Whether it's old books

or new books,


fiction or children's books,

I can't resist books. My children learned at a very early age that I never refused them a book,so, all our shopping trips would end in a book shop. My Christmas list always contains an Amazon order as long as your arm.My book shelves are bursting at the seams and even though the only things I ever regret giving away are books( I have been known to buy them back from charity shops) I have carrier bags of books awaiting unwary visitors.
I am a book addict and this is my new blog.