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Archive for November, 2014

The Shadowy Horses

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9781402258701

THE INVINCIBLE NINTH ROMAN LEGION MARCHES FROM YORK TO FIGHT THE NORTHERN TRIBES. AND THEN VANISHES FROM THE PAGES OF HISTORY.

Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he’s finally found it—not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has "seen" a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

"Like something out of the pages of Daphne du Maurier."— Daily Express

It seems I am drawn to books that either take place in England or Scotland.. or somewhere close by!

Susanna Kearsley always adds some romance to her books, and this was no exception.  However, it is never her main focus.  This time the focus was on an archeological dig to find traces of the Ninth Roman Legion on the property of a "madman"… or was he?!

The main characters are flushed out and become instantly likeable.  The dig itself becomes a "wonder".  Will they find something or not?  And then there’s the Ghost that only a young boy can see!  Even the ghost becomes a fine addition to the lineup of characters.

I quite enjoyed the book!   I don’t read "romantic novels" but when there is a good story and a good author, and the "romance" is secondary to everything else… then I do enjoy it.  And this is how Susanna Kearsley has written this book.  She wrote one other that had me really liking the "love interest, Scotsman" that I read some time ago called Winter Sea.  But others of hers jump back and forth between centuries and that generally drives me crazy lol. 

But this was one of her exceptions.. and it’s a nice laid back book to read.

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The 6th Lamentation

The 6th Lamentation by William Brodrick.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books;(July 27, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0142004626

 

 

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This first-time novelist was an Augustinian friar before becoming a barrister; his chief protagonist, Father Anselm, was a barrister before becoming a monk. The two vocations offer fitting keys–logic and compassion–to unlock the doors of this labyrinthine tale. A suspected Nazi war criminal, Eduard Schwermann, asks for sanctuary at Anselm’s home, Larkwood Priory. When the Vatican asks Anselm to investigate on its behalf, Anselm finds reason to suspect the church itself may have been complicit in Schwermann’s long-ago escape to England. In nearby London, dying Holocaust survivor Agnes Aubret shares a secret with her granddaughter, Lucy: Agnes was part of a French Resistance ring broken by Schwermann. Schwermann’s trial begins with both Anselm and Lucy still hurrying to make sense of the past. Sticky strands of deceit, loss, and betrayal bind together a large cast of characters, and untangling them is both difficult and painful. Though Brodrick builds tension slowly (he’s better at foreshadowing than planting clues), he’s mapped his plot masterfully, and his approach to the thorny issues of justice and punishment is thoughtful and complex. Keir Graff

So… if you like historical fiction you may well enjoy this book.

It’s a mystery with more then plenty of secrets to be learned about.    As you have read from the Amazon review it’s a story concerning a Nazi criminal who has taken up sanctuary with the Monks.   Also of a lady named Agnes with many secrets as she is told she will soon die and now thinks she needs to tell the truth about her past… but more went on than even she was aware of. 

Surprises emerge as you read and never stop until the last page of the book. 

The author was so good that at times I felt the story was not fiction!  He did his homework well!   While many don’t want to be reminder of the Holocaust and mass murders, which I can’t say would be my first choice for reading, it was not overpowering and I found the book very well written and the characters made interesting enough that I wanted to know their whole story.

So the book gets a thumbs up from me.

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I thought I’d play a little game…

Before DeForest Kelley became known as Dr McCoy from Star Trek, he made westerns.

I’ve posted some photo’s here and want to see if you can name the western that the photo is from!

Good luck! (and no cheating!)  Everyone should be able to get "one"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dark Rose

 

The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (January 29, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0143122746

From Booklist

Kelly follows up her outstanding debut (The Poison Tree, 2010) with another suspenseful tale that keeps the reader on edge until the last page. Quiet and troubled teenager Paul has become tangled up with hooligan Daniel, and the two of them get rich selling scrap metal they’ve ripped off from construction sites around Essex. When a run goes bad, leaving a man dead, Paul rats out Daniel in exchange for community service. He’s placed with a social-services group renovating a public garden, where he meets the mysterious Louisa. Louisa is tormented by her past; as a goth teen, her volatile relationship with a musician ended badly, and she’s blamed herself for the past 20 years. Despite their age difference, Paul and Louisa start an affair. Trying to hide their relationship while escaping their pasts proves to be too challenging for the lovers; a bad end seems inevitable, but there is considerable tension as it approaches. Reminiscent of early Ruth Rendell, Kelly is a master at teasing her readers by doling out just enough backstory, a little bit at a time, to keep the suspense high. –Rebecca Vnuk

I’m not a lover of books that jump back and forth.  Although the chapter gave the year in which things take place, I always find them hard to follow until I am half way through the book!  That being said, the book gradually got more and more secrets to come out and you found yourself wanting to know answers to certain things.

The last number of chapters really pulled the story all together rather quickly and put some twists into it so that the ending wasn’t quite what was expected.

It may not be my all time favorite book but I was pulled into the story, and having accomplished that, I read the book rather fast. 

I know I don’t write my own "reviews" but I figure that most of the time it was Amazons review that made me want to read the book so it would most likely be the reason someone else reads it!

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Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9780307950659

pemberly

 

From Booklist

Really, gentle reader, there are limits. When mystery grande dame P. D. James felt the mantle of Jane Austen fall on her shoulders, why didn’t she simply shrug it off? Instead, she has produced a straight-faced mystery—no zombies—in which a murdered body is found on the grounds of Darcy and Elizabeth’s stately home, Pemberley. James places a template of Austen characters and Austen-like language over a traditional mystery plot and even takes on the role of the omniscient Austen narrator herself. The mystery is set in 1803, six years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy, with ample space given to catching us up on the recent doings of the Bennet family. On the mystery side, there’s plenty of action, from the discovery of Captain Denny’s body, through a trial, assorted deceptions and mix-ups, and love affairs. Unfortunately, though, if this is meant as an homage, it’s a pretty weak cup of tea, starting with a greatly diluted version of Austen’s famous “truth universally acknowledged” opening. James’ many fans will be pleased to see any kind of new book from the 91-year-old author, but discriminating Austen devotees are unlikely to appreciate the move from social comedy to murder.

I am not sure why I picked up this book unless it was because I saw it often in reviews and then found it at a thrift store.  I’ve never read Jane Austen so I was surprised that I had no problem following the story.  

I am glad that it had a mystery attached to it, or I might not have read the whole book.  I love watching movies like Pride and Prejudice but unless there is a mystery or murder, reading it takes me too long!

I will say that one doesn’t have to have read other Austen books to be able to read this one.  It was pretty good.  I know this because when I can read a book quickly that means it kept my interest!  But, for sure, if you like Austen books you will positively like this one!

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Garment of Shadows

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Bantam;(August 20, 2013)
ISBN-10: 055338676X

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today’s most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.
In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.
With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It’s been some time since I read  a Mary Russell book by Laurie R King.  I think I read all of them up until the last 2 or 3.    Many of the books take place in areas like Morocco or Palestine.

After reading so many Mary Russell books I feel like Sherlock was really married to her and that they both solved international crimes! 

This one was another enjoyable read.  But if you have not read any of the other books there are some mentions in the book referring to other stories and other characters. However, I will say that I don’t feel you have to have read ALL the Mary Russell books to enjoy this one too.

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I was digging in old photo’s for Thowback Thursdays and I came across these four photo’s I had taken EON’s ago!  What they are, in case you aren’t sure, is:  I first drew these four drawings on my old "bellbottom" jeans and then embroidered them.

The drawings I copied from a book by Rankin/ Bass of Tolkiens Hobbit story which they had made a cartoon out of … again: eons ago.  I purchased the book in 1977 .   That gives you and idea of how old these are… when the jeans wore out I cut them off and sewed them to a second pair of jeans before they finally were getting not worth saving.

What no one realized back then is how many hours it takes to embroider these!  I had one person tell me they would pay me to do Smaug on his jean jacket… I told him I would only charge 1.00 an hour but Smaug would then cost about 45.00… he changed his mind lol.

Below is a scan of the book I copied the drawings from.. back then it was all there was of The Hobbit.

Now, of course we have Peter Jackson and his fabulous versions of Lord of the Rings and .. The Hobbit!

I doubt Peter Jackson will ever really know how it makes me, and many others, feel to see it come to life so magnificently!  It’s like he got inside my head.  But actually it’s what was in HIS head!  His obsession to do it and do it like no one else could have done.

Thank you more than you know Mr Jackson!

Meanwhile, I still have the old book… but no longer have the old embroideries….except for one…that’s rather large.  It would surely not fit on a pair of jeans!

   (it’s about 38 inches wide and took nearly a year to embroider it all)

Anyway…. enough of old memories…and on to December when we get to see the last installment of Tolkien/ Peter Jackson’s, The Hobbit!

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