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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 09:05am on 02/04/2017 under
March's books

35. Sun In Glory by Mercedes Lackey, et al.
36. Mrs Hudson and the Spirits’ Curse by Martin Davies.
37. Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller*
38. Wolverine’s Daughter by Doranna Durgin
39. A Bird in the Hand by Ann Cleeves
40. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
41. Angel by Carola Dunn
42. Conflict of Honors by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller*
43. In the Market For Murder by T.E. Kinsey
44. The Corpse With The Silver Tongue by Cathy Ace.
45. His Christmas Countess by Loiuse Allen
46. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
47. Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance
48. The Satanic Mechanic by Sally Andrew
49. Alas, She Drowned by Monica Knightley

Book Abandoned :- Shaded Light by J.A. Menzies

Best book of the month was definitely "A Monster Calls". It made me cry, but is excellently written.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 04:59pm on 12/03/2017 under
Just been reading a murder mystery.

Got about a quarter of the way through and there had been no detecting, nor yet any murder done. In fact we'd only met the detectives briefly in a short prologue. The first 90 odd pages of the book were introducing various members of a weekend party in modern day Canada and hinting at various reasons some of them might have for bumping off others.

Which is all well and good, but not my preferred style of mystery - I like to learn about the characters as the detectives do, so that I'm aware of the same evidence they are. Still I was prepared to give it a chance. Until one of the characters began banging on about her personal relationship with God in such a way that i strongly suspected she was a mouthpiece for the author.

I don't object to characters in fiction having sincere religious beliefs - indeed, one of my favourite fictional detectives is Brother Cadfael, a Benedictine monk - but I don't care for authors who *preach* at me. Shan't be reading any more of *that* one.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 08:32am on 02/10/2016 under

187. Dirty Blood by Heather Hildebrand
188. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
189. The Parting Glass by Elisabeth Grace Foley (34 pages)
190. Good to Go by Marg McAlister (82 pages)
191. Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming*
192. Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan
193. The Babe and the Baron by Carola Dunn
194. Unhappy Medium by Carola Dunn (14 pages)
195. Two Corinthians by Carola Dunn
196. My Lord Winter by Carola Dunn
197. Mayhem and Miranda by Carola Dunn
198. The Brass Dragon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
199. Smuggler’s Summer by Carola Dunn
200. The Black Sheep’s Daughter by Carola Dunn
201. The Fortune Hunters by Carola Dunn
202. Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey
203. Lord Iverbrook’s Heir by Carola Dunn
204. The Frog Earl by Carola Dunn
205. The Improper Governess by Carola Dunn
206. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier*
207. The Actress and the Rake by Carola Dunn
208. The Night of Morningstar by Peter O’Donnell*
209. The Bladerunner by Alan E. Nourse*
210. The Seventh Tower - The Fall by Garth Nix
211. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
212. A Poor Relation by Carola Dunn
213. The Thief Taker by C.S. Quinn
214. The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes*

As ever, the asterisk denotes a book I read aloud to Rob. Got through a few more than usual of those this month as we were on holiday for a week.

We have both decided that Peter O’Donnell was a much better writer than Ian Fleming, but of course without James Bond there would likely be no Modesty Blaise, so thanks is owed in any case.

Best book of the month probably goes to The Name of the Wind. It was pleasingly not predictable on the whole and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

For fans of Georgette Heyer, Carola Dunn’s Regency romances are not *quite* as good, but they come closer than anything else I’ve seen and I’ve been enjoying them a lot.

The Bladerunner has nothing to do with the film Blade Runner except that the makers of the film paid to use its title because they liked it better than Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep for some reason best known to themselves.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 07:19pm on 25/05/2016 under
I really must remember not to part with money for a book by an author I haven't read before without reading a few sample pages first.

"Uncomfortableness" is not a word. In the mouth of a character who knew no better it would be acceptable but in third person narration, not so much.

I actually bestirred myself to leave a review on Amazon, I was so irked.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 10:45am on 01/04/2016 under
Books read in March (numbered for the year) :-

35. At the Villa Rose by A.E.W. Mason.
36. Cat Out Of Hell by Lynne Truss
37. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.
38. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming*
39. Karma’s A Bitch by Shannon Esposito
40. My Lady Greensleeves by Fredrik Pohl (35 pages)
41. A Dark and Stormy Night by Jeanne M. Dams
42. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
43. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
44. Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood.
45. The Evil That Men Do by Jeanne M. Dams
46. The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
47. Wine of Violence by Priscilla Royal
48. Pompeii by Mary Beard*
49. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
50. Grave Visions by Kalayna Price
51. The Amersham Rubies by Rhys Bowen (18 pages)
52. Gently with the Painters by Alan Hunter
53. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
54. The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher
55. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier*

Books abandoned.

Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney
Minutes of the Lazarus Club by Tony Pollard
Scent of Shadows by Vicki Pettersson

I think my favourite this month has to be The Seventh Bride.

T. Kingfisher is a pen name of the wonderful Ursula Vernon, so I knew it would be good, and I was right. It's a retelling of the Bluebeard story essentially, but with a splendidly down to earth and sensible protagonist and interesting characters. And funny bits, despite it being quite dark.

I think if you like Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books, you'll probably like this too.

Special mention for Jamaica Inn, which was particularly atmospheric after a recent visit to the setting. Du Maurier writes beautifully and is particularly good at evoking the genius loci of the Cornish moors. I had to keep reminding myself that the book was written in 1939 in order to not get too cross at the repeated references to an albino character being a "freak of nature" but it's a very good book nonetheless.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 11:31am on 05/03/2016 under
For several years now, I have refused to buy any books from the Nook store, because they don’t allow you to download a copy of the book file.

Thus, if the store goes under and your device dies, you lose the books you’ve bought.




I’ve just had an email from Nook explaining that they’ll no longer be selling digital content in the UK and that “To meet your digital reading needs going forward, NOOK has partnered with award-winning Sainsbury's Entertainment on Demand to ensure that you have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books at no new cost to you. “

So, not *all* of them then….

On the plus side, I’d signed up to the Sainsburys book thing a couple of days before this, (they had the cheapest copy of an ebook I wanted *and* I could buy it with Nectar points) so I know that you *can* get a copy of the file from them, so if they do have the Nook books I already bought, I may be able to get my backup files for them at last.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 03:59pm on 01/03/2016 under
February's books (numbered for the year)
13. The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel.
14. The House Without A Key by Earl Derr Biggers.
15. To Perish In Penzance by Jeanne M. Dams.
16. Lethal Treasure by Jane K. Cleland.
17. A Question of Inheritance by Elizabeth Edmondson.
18. Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest*
19. A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole
20. Death Descends on Saturn Villa by M.R.C. Kasasian
21. Surviving the Evacuation, 1. London by Frank Tayell
22. Surviving the Evacuation 1.5. Zombies vs. the Living Dead by Frank Tayell. (36 pages)
23. Cell by Stephen King
24. Surviving the Evacuation 2. Wasteland by Frank Tayell.
25. Surviving the Evacuation 3. Family by Frank Tayell.
26. Surviving the Evacuation 4. Unsafe Haven by Frank Tayell.
27. Surviving the Evacuation 5. Reunion by Frank Tayell.
28. Hunter’s Trail by Melissa F. Olsen
29. Surviving the Evacuation 6. Harvest by Frank Tayell.
30. Sins out of School by Jeanne M. Dams
31. Surviving the Evacuation 7. Home by Frank Tayell.
32. Ten Second Staircase by Christopher Fowler*
33. Winter of Discontent by Jeanne M. Dams.
34. Touch the Dark by Karen Chance.

The Tayell series needed a thorough going over by a competent copy editor but had the great virtue of being a post-apocalyptic setting wherein the protagonists made good use of bicycles.
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 09:20am on 24/02/2016 under
I’ve been reading the Dorothy Martin detective series by Jeanne M. Dams. The main character is an American woman (as is the author) who has come to live in England, and the books are written in the first person, so the American terms sprinkled through the narration are entirely legitimate.

However, there are the occasional howlers where the author clearly hasn’t quite got all the facts about life in England.

In the latest one for instance, she refers to a character having a “pound box of sugar”. If it were sugar lumps that might be fair enough, those do come in boxes, but it’s clear from context that this is not the case. Granulated sugar in the UK comes in paper packages rather than boxes everywhere I’ve ever seen it. And the standard bag is a kilogram, not a pound, but a half kilo bag is close enough, so could have passed unnoticed… It’s funny, the little things that throw you out of the narrative.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 08:42am on 26/02/2015 under
Just finished reading The Religious Body by Catherine Aird and wondering why I've not encountered this author before.

I actually discovered her from a recommendation by a fictional character who rejoices in the name of Aurora Teagarden - Aurora is the protagonist of a series of detective stories by Charlaine Harris and it's mentioned in passing at one point that she was reading one of Aird's books.

(And I've just realised that esmeraldus_neo had a quote from one of Aird's books as their Usenet signature for ages, I just didn't pay any attention...)

Annoyingly, only the most recent of her books appear to be available as ebooks so far. Off to abebooks I guess! :)
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posted by [personal profile] cat63 at 08:41pm on 29/01/2015 under
Just finished reading a book by Mercedes Lackey. The protagonist needs to take part in a magical working which requires her to wear clothes "not of animal origin". So she wears an outfit entirely made of silk.....

Research fail....


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