Posted by: Admin | November 26, 2008

Sepulchre

Title: Sepulchre

Author: Kate Mosse

Started Reading: 26 November 2008

Finished Reading: 

Synopsis: 1891. Seventeen-year-old Leonie Vernier and her brother abandon Paris for the sanctuary of their aunt’s isolated country house near Carcassonne, the Domaine de la Cade. But in the nearby woods, Leonie stumbles across a ruined sepulchre – and a timeless mystery whose traces are written in blood. 2007. Meredith Martin arrives at the Domaine de la Cade as part of her research for a biography she’s writing. But Meredith is also seeking the key to her own complex legacy and soon becomes immersed in the story of a tragic love, a missing girl, a unique deck of tarot cards, an unquiet soul and the strange events of one cataclysmic night more than a century ago…(borders.co.uk)

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Posted by: Admin | November 25, 2008

Agatha Raisin and a Spoonful of Poison

Title: Agatha Raisin and a Spoonful of Poison

Author: M.C. Beaton

Started Reading: 20 November 2008

Finished Reading: 25 November 2008

Synopsis: Agatha has little time for the usual rural affairs with which she used to be so passionately involved in such as charity work, baking competitions and the Carsely Ladies Society. But in the quiet village of St Twadey on the outskirts of Mircester, tragedy strikes at the annual jam making competition. Someone has injected LSD into all the home-made jams and mayhem ensues. The judges go bananas on the spot and some of the more frail villagers who took the jams home end up either dead from heart attacks or from wandering under cars. Of course the youth of the village are the first to be suspected along with the few who have criminal records. But only blundering Agatha with her odd flashes of intuition would ever suspect the prim vicar’s wife – but it will take all of her detective skills to prove the woman guilty! (amazon.co.uk)

Posted by: Admin | November 24, 2008

Ethan Frome

Title: Ethan Frome

Author: Edith Wharton

Started Reading: 18 November 2008

Finished Reading: 24 November 2008

Synopsis: On a poor farm near Starkfield in western Massachusetts, Ethan Frome struggles to wrest a living from the land, unassisted by his whining and hypochondriacal wife Zeena. When Zeena’s young cousin Mattie Silver is left destitute, the only place she can go is Ethan’s farm. An embittered man and an enchanting young woman meeting in such circumstances unleash predictable consequences as passions are aroused between the three protagonists, Edith Wharton’s characterisation and deft handling of reversals of fortune are so accomplished that Ethan Frome has remained enduringly popular since its first publication in 1911 and is considered her greatest tragic story.(amazon.co.uk)

Verdict: A simple and sad story of the relationship between a man, his wife and the object of the man’s affections. The characters are beautifully written and captivate you right throughout this short story. The landscape echoes the situation when it’s bleak and when Ethan is at his happiest.

Title: Katherine Swynford: The Story of John of Gaunt and His Scandalous Duchess

Author: Alison Weir

Started Reading: 19 November 2008

Finished Reading:

Synopsis:

Posted by: Admin | November 17, 2008

The Face of a Stranger

Title: The Face of a Stranger

Author: Anne Perry

Started Reading: November 2008

Finished Reading:  17 November 2008

Synopsis: He is not going to die, after all, in this Victorian pesthouse called a hospital. But the accident that felled him on a London street has left him with only half a life, because his memory and his entire past have vanished. His name, they tell him, is William Monk, and he is a London police detective; the mirror reflects a face that women woud like, but he senses he has been more feared than loved. 

Monk is given a particularly sensational case: the brutal murder of Major the Honourable Joscelin Grey, Crimean war hero and a popular man about town, in his rooms in fashionable Mecklenburgh Square. It’s an assignment to make or break an investigator, for the exalted status of the victim puts any representative of the police in the precarious position of having to pry into a noble family’s secrets. 
Suggesting that his superior, the wily Runcorn, hopes he will fail, Monk returns to a world where he cannot distinguish friend from foe. Grasping desperately for any clue to his own past and to the identity of the killer, each new revelation leads Monk step by terrifying step to the answers he seeks but dreads to find. (amazon.co.uk)

Posted by: Admin | October 31, 2008

Seven Dials

Title: Seven Dials

Author: Anne Perry

Started Reading: 20 October 2008

Finished Reading: Later in October

Synopsis: Another Inspector Pitt novel

Posted by: Admin | October 31, 2008

The Full Cupboard of Life

Title: The Full Cupboard of Life

Author: Alexander McCall

Started Reading: 11 October 2008

Finished Reading: Later in October 2008

Synopsis: Mma Ramotswe, who became engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni at the end of the first book, is still engaged. She wonders when a day for the wedding will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting too much pressure on her fiance. For indeed he has other things on his mind – notably a frightening request made of him by Mma Potokwani, pushy matron of the Orphan Farm. Mma Ramotswe herself has weighty matters on her mind. She has been approached by a wealthy lady – whose fortune comes from successful hair-braiding salons – and has been asked to check up on several suitors. Are these men just interested in her money? This may be difficult to find out, but Mma Ramotswe is, of course, a very intuitive lady … (amazon.co.uk)

Posted by: Admin | October 20, 2008

Southampton Row

Title: Southampton Row

Author: Anne Perry

Started Reading: 20 September 2008

Finished Reading: Sometime in October 2008

Synopsis: Despite Thomas Pitt’s success in the Whitechapel case, the secretive Inner Circle prevent his returning to Bow Street police as Superintendent. Pitt’s next task for Special Branch is to investigate Charles Voisy – the corrupt Inner Circle man Pitt defeated in court – who is standing for election as a Tory MP. Pitt must obtain information to stop Voisy’s climb to political power. Then Pitt is ordered to Southampton Row, scene of the hideous murder of a spiritual medium. As the link between the spiritualist and political figures is revealed, the whispers of scandal grow louder. And with Charlotte in hiding for safety, Pitt must turn to his sister-in-law, Emily, to help him solve one of his most high-profile cases yet… (amazon.co.uk)

Posted by: Admin | September 30, 2008

Bedford Square

Title: Bedford Square

Author: Anne Perry

Started Reading: September 2008

Finished Reading: September 2008

Synopsis: The latest grand address to suffer the blight of Victorian crime is General Brandon Balantyne’s house in Bedford Square, whose doorstep, one early morning in 1891, is adorned with a cooling corpse. The general denies knowing the dead man, but although Bow Street commander William Pitt (Brunswick Gardens, 1998, etc.) – who’s had run-ins with Balantyne and his titled, frigid wife before – knows enough to keep a tradesman’s distance from the Balantynes, Pitt’s wife Charlotte, an old friend of the general’s, wastes no time in tying him in to a ring of blackmail victims. Each of the half-dozen victims has been threatened with the disclosure of a fictitious secret; the only thing demanded of any of them has been some symbolic trifle, like the general’s snuffbox that Pitt found on the newest corpse; and one victim who submissively sent in his bauble found his imaginary secret disclosed and his comfortable life mined anyway. Clearly, then, this is no ordinary extortion plot, and even when Pitt finds the common ground that connects all the victims, he still can’t figure out the blackmailer’s motive or identity, or even why he left a dead body on the doorstep in Bedford Square. Perry hammers on her tantalizing mysteries effectively enough to produce her sleekest, fastest-moving book in years. Only the solution, coming a few quick breaths before the last page, is a letdown. (Kirkus Reviews)

Posted by: Admin | September 20, 2008

Resurrection Row

Title: Resurrection Row

Author: Anne Perry

Started Reading: 15 September 2008

Finished Reading:20 September 2008

Synopsis: A Thomas Pitt mystery

Verdict: As always, Perry delivers an engaging murder mystery.

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