Category: Books

Read 2016 – A Particular Eye for Villany by Ann Granger

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Another book that my Mum lent me and another from a series. I have read this author before but this series is altogether different as its set in Victorian London.

Strangely I found it interesting not just because of the story which was a quirky detective tale but I also found myself wondering how hard it must be to set a story back in time. No DNA tests or forensic evidence for this detective! Overall I liked it and will probably read the other books in this series.

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Read 2016 – The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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Waited ages for this, the last in Raven Cycle, to be published. Here are my thoughts on book one, two and three.

Although I would say that I enjoyed it and it was good I was a teeny bit disappointed because it seemed to me like she tied the ending up in a neat bow in a very few pages. We pressed on meeting new characters, discovering new revelations then all of a sudden it was all finished and done. Maybe I should give YA a rest? Ha! Who am I kidding, that will never happen.

After thinking about this series of books for a while I came to a conclusion about Maggie and her books. Apologies if this was obvious! Her novels mirror growing up. I guess all YA books do because well the characters do grow up as the time in a story progresses. But Maggie tends to have all manner of crazyness happen to her characters then they come out the other side and get on with their lives. Just like the teenage years! She does it well and it’s a good lesson built into the novels, it’ll all be okay.

That was that then, another series bites the dust.

Read 2016 – Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

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Yes, more Dorothy. But this one, oh this one I struggled with so much. I found it quite surprising that after reading ten of her books and yes I have struggled with a few, this one almost got the better of me. It is way too long and there isn’t much action and Lord Peter is absent from over half the book. I think that author was indulging herself in a female lead here, testing out and pushing poor old Harriet to craft a different type of story and for me she failed. I was glad I kept reading but so thankful when I got to the end.

I have only one novel left to read in the Lord Peter series and although Gaudy was not fun I’m sure I will read Busman’s Honeymoon. (Another author came along and wrote some modern ones about the same characters and maybe I’ll read those?)

Anyway onward to a complete change of pace…..the final instalment of the Raven Cycle!

Read 2016 – Have his Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers

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Yes I know another Wimsey. But this was so good I really enjoyed it. We meet up with Harriet Vane once more in this story, in fact she is the one who finds the body! Of course Peter hot foots it to the scene of the crime and together they set about solving a very well thought our and cleverly written mystery.

As before I would recommend if you like that sort of detective tale.

Read 2016 – Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

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I know, I know another Wimsey.

This novel is when we meet Harriet Vane. I think it was sheer genius of Dorothy to make Wimsey fall for an accused murderer! And the author does a great job of altering the usual course of a detective story chronology. We have the accused murderer at the start of the book and Wimsey sets about trying to prove they have the wrong person.

I really enjoyed this one.

Read 2016 – Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers

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I said last time that I was in the middle of a Wimsey binge. So here is another one.

And a very good one at that! Clever. Actually lots of her books fall into that category, there is often a twist or a surprise and I love them all the more for that. But mostly I like returning to the familiar. They are lovely characters Wimsey and Bunter and I also enjoy reading about life set in the time of these books too.

This novel is actually the third in the Lord Peter series, I have been reading them out of order which didn’t really matter up to this point as most do not make reference to other stories. Or if they did I never noticed.

The final three novels that I have to read all contain Harriet Vane and are best read in order and I am progressing well with this task…

Anyway as I say I liked this one if you like a literary detective then its a good choice.

Read 2016 – Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayers

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The reading around here is still slow and I am reaching for familiar things. When the new year rolled round true to my word I did put the lap-top down more and as well as that we brought back reading night which we both look forward to every Monday, so that’s positive.

I’m on a Lord Peter binge at the moment and currently reading my third in a row. The one pictured here is a series of short stories. Generally I don’t like short stories but I gave this one a whirl and ended up enjoying it very much. I always think that authors use short stories to try different approaches to their work. Test new waters or tell a story that is not their characters usual fare. That could be why I’m not keen but like I say on this occasion I thought the shorter stories were good.

After looking in several charity shops for more Wimsey novels and coming up empty handed, I bought all the novels I have yet to read second hand from Amazon. I’d like to say that I won’t pick them up one after another but I’m not sure I can follow through on that. Only time will tell….

Read 2015 – Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie

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So milestone passed. Apart from a few short stories that I’m sure I have missed this was my final Poirot and I have resisted reading it for decades! But when we arrived at the cottage the other week there it was on the shelf of books they keep there for guests to read. It was fate and I decided what better way to while away a few hours in my favourite place than with good old Hercule.

Agatha wrote this book in the 1940’s although it was only published in 1975. I am both glad I waited all this time to read it (it felt like a treat I had been saving all these years without realising it!) and glad I finally read it. It is classic Christie. I mention that it was published long after it was written because I think that it’s obvious it was written during her most imaginative writing time, and quite different from novels she was writing in the late 1960’s.

If you are a fan then it’s a must read but only when you have read all the others first!

Checking in

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Just a quick hello from up here on the Northumberland coast. Internet and mobile phone signals are hit and miss, which is mostly a good thing. Well for a week at least!

I thought I’d share a pretty remarkable photo. Me reading Curtain: Poirots Last Case. I have put off reading this Agatha Christie for many years now but well…. I just felt it was time. I’ll be back with a sum up of what I thought about it when we’re back to reality in a few days….

The reading slump

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Is it a slump? Or a what? What is it? A readers block…… lol. Yes, I like that one. I’m having a readers block.

Can I blame the summer? Probably. Or the lack of YA fiction on my ‘to be read pile.’ Or the laptop and Youtube and scrapbook process videos. Or Gone Girl?! (didn’t even get halfway through that one before I gave up…..)

All of the above? Yes, all of the above.

I do go through phases sometimes but I don’t remember such a long spell of not reading for years and years. That photo is the one I shared in January and they are all still there waiting to be read except The House of Silk and Gone Girl. One I read and the other one, like I say, I didn’t finish.

Although I have had other distractions I do miss reading so it will be great to get back to it. We have a holiday coming up which is usually an opportunity to read all week long so I’m sure I’ll get back into it then.

And of course we’ll be visiting Bater books so more will be getting added to the pile and I can’t add more until I get rid of a few right?

Do you go through reading slumps?