Archive for August, 2012

Nine Coaches Waiting


(Book 1 for RIP)

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1556526180


Book Description

A governess in a French château encounters an apparent plot against her young charge’s life in this unforgettably haunting and beautifully written suspense novel. When lovely Linda Martin first arrives at Château Valmy as an English governess to the nine-year-old Count Philippe de Valmy, the opulence and history surrounding her seems like a wondrous, ecstatic dream. But a palpable terror is crouching in the shadows. Philippe’s uncle, Leon de Valmy, is the epitome of charm, yet dynamic and arrogant—his paralysis little hindrance as he moves noiselessly in his wheelchair from room to room. Only his son Raoul, a handsome, sardonic man who drives himself and his car with equally reckless abandon, seems able to stand up to him. To Linda, Raoul is an enigma—though irresistibly attracted to him, she senses some dark twist in his nature. When an accident deep in the woods nearly kills Linda’s innocent charge, she begins to wonder if someone has deadly plans for the young count.

When I saw this book in a used book store, I thought it looked like a book for RIP.  Then I saw the author was Mary Stewart who’s Arthur/Merlin books I had enjoyed eons ago and so I took it home.

Admittedly, I did begin reading this before Carl put up the RIP announcement but hey, it fit so I am using it as my 1st RIP read!

Upon reading the first 70 pages or so I thought maybe this wasn’t for RIP after all.  It talked about Linda who went to France to be a governess to a young boy named Philippe. It went on letting you learn of Linda and how she came to become a governess and such.. it was interesting but not “wow”.  Then about half way thru the book someone started the car and the story took off like a dragster going well over 200 mph!!

The mystery part of the book began in an instant and didn’t let up until the end!  It went for an “ok” book to being a good book!

For many it might not be their cup of tea.  It does have a slow beginning. Or I should say, half a book.  I found the second half made up for it , but that might not be for everyone.



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Rip is here at last!


Each year when Carl begins RIP my mind jumps back to the first time I joined in. Not knowing what to read because my mind said  things I just was not into reading I found a little book who’s main characters were a vampire and a werewolf.  With a deep breath and a *here I go* I read Gil’s All Fright Diner and found it delightful!… so no I cannot enter RIP without the thought of that book coming to mind. 

Beginning today Carl is  Hosting yet another new RIP for all to find those new spooky, or gothic, or murder books.

His goals are simple:

1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as:

Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

So choose a Peril and jump right in to all the fun!

I have decided to do Peril the Second which is to read 2 RIP type books. (we all know this is because I don’t do commitment well. I will read more then 2)


Anyway….Carl like to see pools of books, so here’s my pool!………..

Books on my TBR shelves that fit the bill are:

1. Atonement, 

2. 20th Century Ghosts,  

3. Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, 

4. Pickwick Papers

5. Bleak House

6. Oliver Twist

7. Kept

8. The Terror……………


9. Nine Coaches Waiting,

10. Irish Ghosts and Hauntings

11. The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories

12. Mina

13. 11/22/63

14. Nevermore

15. What the Dead Know

16. The Anatomy of Ghosts

17. City of Nets

18. The Night Watch

19. The Name of the Rose

20. An Unpardonable Crime

And if that isn’t enough to choose from…. there’s always my 2 favorite reads at RIP time,  The Thirteenth Tale and Drood!


Of course just because there’s there’s a pool  doesn’t mean I”ll be swimming in it!  In fact, it’s generally more possible  that I find new ones along the way!

RIP is the best way to *fall* into the new season….

Let the ghostly, ghastly , ghoulish reading begin!!!! I think I will head for my dungeon and find a good book………………………………………


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It began to get very windy and rain about 10:30 am. (note the grass between the walk and pond)


(an hour later: note the grass left between the pond and the walkway)


an hour later: the ducks are now swimming ON the walkway!


It finally eased up about 3:30 pm… can we say it’s flooded around here?!


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From Hell

A quickie post :

I came across a BBC American movie channel today.  It was playing a movie I had never seen called:  From Hell.



Johnny Depp

Heather Graham

Ian Holm (the elder, Bilbo)

Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid)

Great cast!!!!… this would be such a good movie for anyone to watch for RIP!  If only it came on tv next month!


From Hell (2001)

It is 1888 in London, and the unfortunate poor lead horrifying lives in the city’s deadliest slum, Whitechapel. Harassed by gangs and forced to walk the streets for a living, Mary Kelly and her small group of companions trudge on through this daily misery, their only consolation being that things can’t get any worse. Yet things somehow do when their friend Ann is kidnapped and they are drawn into a conspiracy with links higher up than they could possibly imagine. The kidnapping is soon followed by the gruesome murder of another woman, Polly, and it becomes apparent that they are being hunted down, one by one. Sinister even by Whitechapel standards, the murder grabs the attention of Inspector Fred Abberline, a brilliant yet troubled man whose police work is often aided by his psychic abilities. Abberline becomes deeply involved with the case, which takes on personal meaning to him when he and Mary begin to fall in love. But as he gets closer to the truth Whitechapel becomes more and more dangerous for Abberline, Mary, and the other girls. Whoever is responsible for the grisly acts is not going to give up his secret without a fight….will they be able to survive the avenging force that has been sent after them from hell? Written by Anonymous

I am still surprised that I hadn’t seen this movie before.  David, my brother’s partner, was a huge fan of Johnny Depp and every birthday or  Christmas I’d look for something he didn’t have of Johnny Depp’s to get him and never heard of this one!

It was a very good “jack the ripper” type movie and if you like Johnny Depp I would recommend that you find this movie and watch it.   Of course for me it was also seeing Robbie Coltrane without a beard as Hagrid!  I’ve only seen him in 2 movies where he looked like himself and I think he’s a fine actor.


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The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
ISBN-10: 0547953836


Amazon.com Review

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

The hobbit-hole in question belongs to one Bilbo Baggins, an upstanding member of a "little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves." He is, like most of his kind, well off, well fed, and best pleased when sitting by his own fire with a pipe, a glass of good beer, and a meal to look forward to. Certainly this particular hobbit is the last person one would expect to see set off on a hazardous journey; indeed, when Gandalf the Grey stops by one morning, "looking for someone to share in an adventure," Baggins fervently wishes the wizard elsewhere. No such luck, however; soon 13 fortune-seeking dwarves have arrived on the hobbit’s doorstep in search of a burglar, and before he can even grab his hat or an umbrella, Bilbo Baggins is swept out his door and into a dangerous adventure.

The dwarves’ goal is to return to their ancestral home in the Lonely Mountains and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, they and their reluctant companion meet giant spiders, hostile elves, ravening wolves–and, most perilous of all, a subterranean creature named Gollum from whom Bilbo wins a magical ring in a riddling contest

The Hobbit was probably the book that turned me into a fantasy fiction book reader. And well it should!

I decided to reread the Hobbit since I believe I’ve heard that Part 1 of the movie will come out this December.

When I began reading it was good because it had really been eons since I last read the book.  All of the dialogue has been well forgotten by me and I found I had even forgotten one of their adventures on the way to Mirkwood.  Beorn, the skin-changer. I’m not sure how I managed to completely forget him but I did!  So it was good for me to reread the book so I might see how well Peter Jackson sticks to the book.  Though I have full confidence in Mr Jackson to do as superb a job with the Hobbit as he did with LoTR.

Since Amazon gives a good review I will  just write a part of a dialogue that I had forgotten.  It was when Bilbo first meets Smaug and although invisible talks with him.  How amazingly clever Tolkien was to be able to “give so many clues” and not give away who he was!

Smaug: Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?

Bilbo: You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air. I am he that walks unseen.

So I can well believe, said Smaug, but that is hardly your usual  name.

I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly, I was chosen for the lucky number.

Lovely titles!  sneered the dragon.  But lucky numbers don’t always come off.

I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water.  I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.

These don’t sound so creditable scoffed Smaug.

I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles.  I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer, and I am Barrel-rider, went on  Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.

That’s better! said Smaug.  But don’t let your imagination run away with you!

It was good to reread the Hobbit after such a long time.  Now I can’t wait for the movie to come out!  I am a bit troubled though to know it will be out in 3 parts..I hope the releases are 6 months apart and not a year apart!!!

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Who Am I?

I picked these two books up at Books a Million for 10.00 (for both)… when I put them together to snap a photo I thought them a very odd pair!


The word : eclectic jumped to mind.   I found this very interesting for someone 68 yrs old.

When I was younger my reading was all: fantasy/ fiction. (I still read fantasy/fiction)

A little later in life I found I had added a few biographies. (now I have many more)

Then I met Carl (Stainless Steel Rats) and found myself adding Gothic Mysteries to my reading agenda.

Then I met my “sis”, Cath, of Read_Warbler fame, who lives across the pond, and found my mysteries all seemed to want to be in England!  I think I can blame her for my love of YA books now too! (happily I have found some wonderful YA authors like Michael Scott and James Owen)

Then I added Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens! (me?!…classic writers?… this was no longer me!)

Toss in Daphne du Maurier, & Frances Hodgson Burnett for a few female authors and I am beginning to wonder who I am!

And now it’s come to this:  non fiction! (gulp) and books on Roosevelt!  I think I am going to hell in a handbag!  Why were these sort of things not interesting when I was young enough to become smart by reading them?????  To be honest… at my age with a memory like a sieve ..just what do I think I will learn and why do I want to?

Ok.. so I don’t necessarily look at it as learning as much as it being like a good movie… interesting. 

I think I am terrified to ask:  what’s next?

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Back in the Day….

First off I have to say I had a shock yesterday.   After doing my  post about Little Lord Fauntleroy the movie actually came on TCM later that day!!!  I didn’t know it was coming on and missed half of the movie but I was glued to the second half since I had just read the book!

All I can say is wow!  Almost verbatim from the book!!!  I guess back then they figured if a book was that good to be made into a movie why mess with perfection?!!!  Extraordinary!   Seriously… if you can see Little Lord Fauntleroy don’t miss the opportunity!

Since seeing the movie made me nostalgic for the old black and white movies and the child stars I thought I’d post a few to see if you know who they are.

A dead giveaway will be their name “lightly” below each photo… but try to guess first!









If you have seen these child stars as adults it wouldn’t surprise me.. but what you should do is to find some of the movies they were in as children…you’d be amazed at what good movies they were in.

Below is Freddie Bartholomew , Mickey Rooney and Jackie Cooper.


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Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

When I think of Little Lord Fauntleroy what  comes to mind is Freddie Bartholomew…

 freddie2[1] (Cedric)

C. Aubry Smith… (the Earl of Dorincourt)


Dolores Costello Barrymore…. (Dearest)


and Mickey Rooney ….(Dick) (check out the bike!)


I loved this movie and watched it every time it would come on television.  Freddie was perfect as Fauntleroy, and so was the rest of the cast. I could never picture anyone else in the parts to this movie.

And so, when I picked up the book, Little Lord Fauntleroy, to read …it was with the greatest pleasure that it was their voices I heard when I read the dialogue in the book!


Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Forgotten Books (April 19, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1440063974

Book Description

One very special boy weaves some magic in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s sentimental favorite. When young Cedric Errol learns that he is actually a British lord and heir to an estate, his life is transformed. He leaves Boston for Dorincourt Castle to live with his uncle, the Earl—a tyrant who’s loathed by one and all. Will Cedric succeed in melting his cold, cruel uncle’s heart?

It has been eons since the movie has been on television and so,even though I knew the story, the dialogue was long gone out of my memory .   And the delicious writing of Frances H Burnett had never been mine to remember.

But I will remember it now.

Like her other book, The Secret Garden, I found the writing of this book so eloquent that I couldn’t put it down for more than an hour without picking it up again.

Neither of the two books should ever go unread.  Are they faery tales?  Are they children’s stories?   I can’t say for sure because they are so easily read yet with every page they seem to effect your very being.  Exquisite writing to be sure.

If you have the chance to do both, read the book and see the Freddie Bartholomew movie… don’t miss either of them!

Please Read Little Lord Fauntleroy, let Cedric do for you what he does for everyone he comes in contact with…

It makes me wonder if there every has been such a child ?

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The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: The Greenwich Workshop Press;(2001)
ISBN-10: 086713075X




Book Description

When orphaned Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, with the help of a friendly robin, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all — a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?

I bought this book for 1.00 some time ago at the used book store…

I think I put off reading it only because I felt I knew the story too well from having seen both the 1949 black and white Movie of the same name, and staring Margaret O’Brien and the newer color version from 1993 with Maggie Smith as the housekeeper.

Finally I just picked it up and looked inside to see the size of the print etc and before I knew it I had read the first 50 pages! Ah well.. guess I’ll just read this heh.

It seems quite strange to me that as much as I’ve seen the movies numerous times that my mind still see’s what’s happening like it’s the first time I’ve seen it. 

Mary is described as not a very pretty child and, ah well.. Margaret O’Brien was a very cute child star.

How fun to find the hidden garden in the book rather than in the movie, and how fun to meet a new friend to enjoy it with!  And boy-howdy but it made me miss living in a four season area when in the spring all things begin to bud and come alive after a snowy winter.

This may well have been written to be a child’s story… but it’s every bit an adult story too.  Surviving after the death of loved ones seems nearly impossible…the the Secret Garden and all it’s magic let’s you know that you will get through it.  It may take long.  It may be the hardest thing you ever will do.  But we all learn to live with it when our thoughts turn to the happiness that we found from loved ones instead of only missing them.

It’s a great classic read.

It has options for everyone.

Have you read The Secret Garden lately?

You should.

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Wildthorn by Jane Eagland.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children;(September 6, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0547370172


From Booklist

A caution for readers eager to enjoy the traditional trappings of a gothic historical romance: this novel, like its protagonist, doesn’t always conform. Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove wants to be a doctor, but she is constantly blocked by societal and familial opposition. Only her father, who educates her himself, much to her mother’s concern and brother’s jealousy, wants Louisa to succeed. Shortly after his death, she is tricked into going to Wildthorn Hall, an insane asylum. Now addressed as Lucy Childs, stripped of her clothes and, ultimately, her identity, Louisa must plan her escape and uncover the betrayal that landed her in Wildthorn. While paying proper homage to women of the past wrongly locked away for an “over interest in learning,” Eagland casts just the right amount of doubt about Louisa’s sanity, with the conflicted heroine thrown into further confusion as she slowly falls for the kindnesses of a chambermaid named Eliza. Though predictable on occasion, Eagland’s debut stands out for its well-crafted treatment of an unconventional love affair.

Once again I took a book off the tbr  shelves that I’ve had there for some time. In all honesty, most of them have been there for some time!   Anyway….

This books was a touch small in size, double spaced and fast reading.  *smile*  So why it sat there so long I am not sure.

As the Amazon review states, the book is about Louisa’s life growing up in a time when woman in England were groomed to be nothing more then a wife and mother.  But even though Louisa was more intelligent then other woman, and knew her mind right from the start…those were things that were shunned back in the day.

Life was about to dish out some horrible things to Louisa.  In doing so there is a mystery for you to think about, who put Louisa in the asylum?. 

One thinks one knows the answer but one is quite wrong! 

And then there is a romantic, life changing time, in Louisa’s life.  along with all the cruelties that are happening to her… is she falling in love ?

This is a very quick read (even for me!) and quite an enjoyable little book.  Which sounds weird considering the horror of being put in an insane asylum…. and if you think they may be horrible now , wait until you read how they were then!

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