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Archive for May, 2020

The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis.

 

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Headline; Reprint edition (July 30, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1472255097

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

Read her letter. Remember her story…

Gripping. Mesmerising. Haunting. Heart-breaking. Once you’ve heard her story, you will never forget The Girl in the Letter.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Kathryn Hughes, this page-turning, moving novel of separation and long-buried secrets will stay with you for ever.

In the winter of 1956 pregnant young Ivy is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a home for unmarried mothers in the south of England, run by nuns, to have her child. Her baby daughter is adopted. Ivy will never leave.

Sixty years later, journalist Samantha stumbles upon a series of letters from Ivy to her lover, pleading with him to rescue her from St Margaret’s before it is too late. As Sam pieces together Ivy’s tragic story, terrible secrets about St Margaret’s dark past begin to emerge. What happened to Ivy, to her baby, and to the hundreds of children born in the home? What links a number of mysterious, sudden deaths in the area? And why are those who once worked at St Margaret’s so keen that the truth should never be told? As Sam unpicks the sinister web of lies surrounding St Margaret’s, she also looks deep within – to confront some unwelcome truths of her own…

 

This book is fiction, however many things in this story  are from truths from long ago.  It’s a really good mystery and keeps you reading to find out what’s next.  I like stores about people finding out about their past, surprises all the time.

The book is sad in many ways..but I found I couldn’t put it down for long!  A great book if you like “family secrets” being discovered.

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The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer.

 

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 15, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1250228956

 

Amazon Review:

 

With the international bestseller The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Dr. John H. Watson. Now Meyer returns with a shocking discovery―an unknown case drawn from a recently unearthed Watson journal.

January 1905: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes’ brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world.

Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo―in the company of a bewitching woman―aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes as never before.

 

This is book 4 that Nicholas Meyer has written about Sherlock Holmes.  (yes I have them all)  All I can add to the review is that he absolutely nails how Sherlock and Holmes spoke back in the day. He knows the History and If you didn’t know better you’d think Conan Doyle wrote the books that Nick Meyer has written

For Star Trek People:  Nick wrote the screen plays for Start TrekVI, Star Trek II, and Star Trek IV.. as well as directed them. 

He is also the writer of Time After Time, Sommersby and others.

I am honored to say that I actually got to meet Nicholas Meyer once in my life.  At the time I lived In California. My dear friend DeForest Kelley invited me and Sue Keenan to the movie set to see a shot being filmed from Undiscovered Country. (It was the scene where Kirk and McCoy were being beamed up from Rura Penthe.  Before the filming began De told us to “wait right here, I’ll be right back.”… moments later out he walks with Nicholas Meyer to introduce us to  him!  When it came to De introducing “me”.. he hemmed and hawed like he didn’t know my name..(one of his jokes.. so of course I wanted to get even) Mr Meyer had put out his hand to shake while I looked at De who was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  I looked at Mr. Meyer and said.. oh, I’m a hugger and wrapped my arms around him for a hug! ( De couldn’t control his laughter… poor Nick!)  After that incident Sue and I referred to him as “Nickie” (no disrespect meant)  So to say “Nickie” became someone special to me.  Not to mention that DeForest thought the world of his writing and and directing ..He always knew when someone was special.

So…..   If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes (my movie favorite was Basil Rathbone). Any and all of the books Nicholas Meyer has written would be a no brainer for you!

 

     

  

 

About the Author

NICHOLAS MEYER is the author three previous Sherlock Holmes novels, including The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for a year. He’s a screen-writer and film director, responsible for The Day After, Time After Time, as well as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country among many others. A native of New York City, he lives in Santa Monica, California.

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What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr.

 

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; (September 17, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1250207134

 

Amazon Review

 

Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she’s been committed to an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she’s “not making it through the week,” Rose is convinced that if she’s to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.

The only problem is―how does she convince anyone that she’s not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn’t sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.

With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year old granddaughter Mel, and Mel’s friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back―to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they’re holding all the cards.

 

I enjoyed this book very much.  It was fast moving , double spaced, and makes you want to get back to the book after you’ve closed the book.

There are few books written with an older (60’s) person as the main character.. this is one of the few.. but let me tell you.. she doesn’t act like “some old lady”!! 

Totally like this book.. and I think you will too.

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The Hunt for History by Nathan Raab.

 

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Scribner (March 10, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1501198904

 

 

Amazon Review:

 

Nathan Raab, America’s preeminent rare documents dealer, describes his years as the Sherlock Holmes of historical artifacts—questing after precious finds and determining their authenticity—and he shows us what the past can tell us about the present.

A box uncovered in a Maine attic with twenty letters written by Alexander Hamilton; a handheld address to Congress by President George Washington; a long-lost Gold Medal that belonged to an American President; a note that Winston Churchill wrote to his captor when he was a young POW in South Africa; paperwork signed and filled out by Amelia Earhart when she became the first woman to fly the Atlantic; an American flag carried to the moon and back by Neil Armstrong; an unpublished letter written by Albert Einstein, discussing his theory of relativity.

Each day, people from all over the world contact Nathan Raab for help understanding what they have, what it might be worth, and how to sell it. The Raab Collection’s president, Nathan is a modern-day treasure hunter and one of the world’s most prominent dealers of historical artifacts. Most weeks, he travels the country, scours auctions, or fields phone calls and emails from people who think they may have found something of note in a grandparent’s attic.

In The Hunt for History, Raab shares some fascinating stories about his professional exploits: spotting a letter from British officials that secured the Rosetta Stone; discovering a piece of the first electric cable laid by Edison; restoring a fragmented letter from Andrew Jackson that led to the infamous Trail of Tears; and locating copies of missing audio that had been recorded on Air Force One as the plane brought JFK’s body back to Washington. Whether it’s the first report of Napoleon’s death or an unpublished letter penned by Albert Einstein to a curious soldier, every document and artifact Raab uncovers comes with a spellbinding story—and often offers new insights into a life we thought we knew.

 

When I sent for this book I wasn’t sure how it would be, but it wasn’t a big book so I sent for it.  In the beginning I thought I made a mistake.. it was a father teaching is son how to tell if something like an autograph was authentic or not. It should have interested me, as I collected autographs.. but I got mine most all in person so I had no doubts they were authentic! 

Anyway it finally got to when the son was older and they were mostly interested in documents from history.  When they found something they said how they checked for authenticity and then just because it was a letter from, lets say, Einstein , what was in the letter was far more important then the signature.

As it went on they got deeper into historical letters and documents and then he talked about why each piece was or was not important in value of the History of it.  The book became more and more interesting as it went on. In the end it could have been longer as far as I am concerned. 

Very different for me to read , yet, I learned a lot from it.  Probably some “forgotten history” along with things I vaguely remembered.  Not a bad choice for a book if you want something different and you have interest in some history.

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A Gift of Dragons by Anne McCaffrey.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; 1 edition (October 29, 2002)
ISBN-10: 0345456351

Amazon Review

For more than thirty years, Pern has conjured visions of brave men and women mounted upon the backs of dragons. As anyone knows who has been touched by the storytelling magic of Anne McCaffrey, to read of the exotic world of Pern is to inhabit it—and to experience its extraordinary dragons is to soar aloft with them and share their dazzling adventures.

Now, A Gift of Dragons brings together three beloved stories and a thrilling new tale of Pern in a single volume illustrated with beautiful artwork by Tom Kidd. In “The Smallest Dragonboy,” Keevan is the youngest dragonrider candidate, determined to impress a dragon when the next clutch of eggs hatches. But what transpires will surprise everyone—Keevan most of all. In “The Girl Who Heard Dragons,” a young girl’s rare ability to communicate with dragons puts her family in danger and will bring her face to face with her greatest fears—and with her most secret desire. The “Runner of Pern” is a girl named Tenna, who follows family tradition by delivering messages—and who will find her destiny on the mossy traces that runners have used for centuries under the dragon-filled sky. And finally, a very special gift: an exciting new Pern adventure, published here for the first time, fresh from the imagination of Anne McCaffrey.

Honestly, there’s not much left to say after the amazon Review.  Since the book is 4 short stories they have given a good account of it.

I will add that the pages are all decorated and every so often the is a full page drawing of what is happening in the story.  The book is call A Gift of Dragons.. but it also a special little book that is a gift in itself.

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The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey.

Hardcover: 340 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; 1st ed edition (September 6, 1994)
ISBN-10: 0345368940

 

Amazon Review:

 

The humans of Pern are reunited, after eons of noncontact, with the intelligent dolphins who had originally settled the planet with them. When a boy, Readis, is rescued by “shipfish” and realizes that they can talk, he develops a lifelong obsession with the fascinating creatures. But, though his interest is shared by the young dragonrider T’Lion and his dragon, Gadareth, it is forbidden by his mother, who has feared the unusual ever since she was kidnapped by outlaws because of her ability to hear and talk with dragons. Readis pursues his briney friendships nonetheless, reporting his findings to the computer, Aivas, which is attempting to guide the humans to a new era by freeing Pern forever from the devastating, life-consuming Thread. Meanwhile, the leading dragonriders and holdlords must act to contain the lust for land and power of Toric, Lord Holder of the South. Expanding upon events related in All the Weyrs of Pern, McCaffrey here adds yet another dimension to her colorful and vivid saga by focusing on the attractive dolphins and their highly believable society.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

 

This book “happens” at the same time Avis is teaching others about their ancestors who came to Pern.  The Dolphins are mentioned in other books but “barely”.  It seems the ancients had changed something in Dolphins to make them understand man and even English speech!

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All the Weyrs of Pern by Anne McCaffrey.

 

Hardcover: 404 pgs
Publisher: Ballentine Books; First Edition edition (January 1, 1991)
ASIN: B0026HQGDA

 

 

Goodread Review:

 

For generations, the dragonriders had dedicated their lives to fighting Thread, the dreaded spores that periodically rained from the sky to ravage the land. On the backs of their magnificent telepathic dragons they flew to flame the deadly stuff out of the air before it could reach the planet’s surface. But the greatest dream of the dragon riders was to find a way to eradicate Thread completely, so that never again would their beloved Pern be threatened with destruction.
Now, for the first time, it looked as if that dream could come true. For when the people of Pern, led by Masterharper Robinton and F’Lar and Lessa, Weyrleader and Weyrwoman of Benden Weyr, and Jaxom, excavated the ancient remains of the planet’s original settlement, they uncovered the colonist’s voice-activated artificial intelligence system – which still functioned!
And the computer had incredible news for them: There was a chance – a good chance – that they could, at long last, annihilate Thread once and for all!

 

Goodness!  I was so long since I read some of these that I actually had forgotten how the book would end!!

All the favorite characters are back and are amazed at what they had found and the information AVIS was giving them!  I just love the characters that Anne McCaffrey created and can never get enough of them… however, when her son took over writing them he took things in different directions..(woman’s view and man’s view?) Anyway I tried 2 of his books and stopped…  No one, not even her son can write like Anne McCaffrey did.

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