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Madeleine

Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

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Thanks Athena.

 

Finished "A night on the Orient Express" yesterday, it was a nice easy read, a bit predictable as it told of various people spending the night on the famous train as they head to Venice.  No real surprises as to how all the plot threads turned out, but some lovely descriptions of the train, and even better ones of Venice.  7/10

Is that the one by Veronica Henry? If so, I have that one on my TBR. Glad to hear it was a nice, easy read :) (shame about the predictability though).

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Yes it is by Veronica Henry - I find this genre of books does tend to be predictable, which is why I don't read that many of them, but the setting is lovely, Venice sigh :D

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Yes it is by Veronica Henry - I find this genre of books does tend to be predictable, which is why I don't read that many of them, but the setting is lovely, Venice sigh :D

I agree, the genre does seem predictable quite a bit. Sometimes I don't mind that though and just enjoy the easy read. The setting sounds lovely :).

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Yes it is by Veronica Henry - I find this genre of books does tend to be predictable, which is why I don't read that many of them, but the setting is lovely, Venice sigh :D

 

Ooh, sounds like the sort of snuggly read you need for the colder weather now. Off to take a look at it on Amazon. :)

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Finished "The Last confession of Thomas Hawkins" the other day, it's the sequel to "The Devil in the Marshalsea" which was my favourite book of last year.  Tom is now living happily(ish) in London with Kitty, but is bored and unwisely accepts an invitation to work for notorious gangster James Fleet.  Soon he finds himself working for none other than Queen Caroline, who asks him to help out with a delicate situation involving the King's mistress, who is her one time friend and now main lady-in-waiting.  Then Tom's neighbour is murdered, just after Tom is heard openly threatening to kill the man after a suspected break-in at his house.  The plot twists and turns and Tom is up to his neck in it, literally as he is tried for his neighbour's murder and waits desperately for a pardon from the King or Queen.  The fact that the 3rd book in the series has just been published means that there's no secret that he survives, however the manner in which he does so is thrilling (and not too unlike the current series of Ripper Street) and what follows is also gripping.  Not quite as good as the previous book, but Tom is a great character, the book is well-written, fast-paced and quite humourous, and I look forward to the next one!  8/10

Edited by Madeleine

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I finished Mary Stewart's "Thunder on the right" the other day and it was another hugely entertaining read from this much loved author.  It's set in the French Pyrenees, in a convent near the Spanish border, where a young woman, Jennifer, goes to visit her cousin Gillian, who married a Frenchman but has been staying at the convent since being widowed, but when Jennifer gets there, she's told that Gillian died a few weeks ago, following a car accident.  However, what the nuns who nursed her tell Jenny doesn't match the Gillian she knew and grew up with, and she becomes convinced that her cousin is still alive.  It's an exciting, if slightly far-fetched, story that twists and turns, and I really liked Jenny, although some of the men were a bit stereo-typical, but I loved the setting, and the ending was genuinely exciting. 9/10

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Just ordered "Murder in Advent" by David Williams, saw it in a bookshop but much cheaper on Book Depository so I've ordered it.

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I finished Victoria Holt's "Time of the Hunter's Moon" yesterday, and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part, I did find the ending a bit rushed and something of a let down after all the build up to it.  I was also disappointed in the way that the heroine, who for most of the book was quite sensible and forward thinking, seemed to suddenly get extremely silly and not realise what was going on under her nose, despite a similar thing almost happening to her near the start of the book.  It got to the point where I was practically shouting at her....also the main male character, who for most of the book had been a dastardly cad who would stop at nothing (including attempted rape) to get our heroine into his bed, seemed to change character, showing that he was misunderstood, despite all the rumours of him killing his first wife (and possibly his mistress after she disappears) and various other salacious rumours that surrounded him (some of which were admittedly bizarre) and turned out to be the hero after all, despatching the bad guy in a few paragraphs, and causing our heroine to stay by his bedside, nurse him back to health, and of course, finally marry him.  Best read as an enjoyable romp, with great atmosphere and a lovely setting (an old school built on the site of an ancient abbey, complete with ruins) which was let down by a rushed, cop-out ending.  7/10

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I've just bought the latest in Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series, "The Nature of the Beast".

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I've just finished "Time's Legacy" by Barbara Erskine - overall I enjoyed it, but her characters were, as usual, pretty two-dimensional and the heroine was pretty silly at times, although it was acknowledged in the book.  Great atmosphere and spookiness though, with a lovely setting in Glastonbury.  8/10

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I finished The Drowning Pool by Syd Moore yesterday, and enjoyed it much more than her second book Witch Hunt.  This was my Halloween ghost story, and it was a bit spooky, as a young widow, Sarah Grey, finds herself being haunted by the ghost of an earlier Sarah Grey, a local woman who was meant to have been a witch, and who died under mysterious circumstances after supposedly conjuring up a storm at sea.  Sarah is struggling to raise her young son whilst working as a teacher, but instead spends most of the summer holidays trying to find out what really happened to her predecessor.  I enjoyed this, there were some genuinely creepy moments and the original story was sad, and is apparently partly based on a real sea-witch from the 19th century.  The ending was a little bit corny, although I liked the way that a logical explanation was also given for the events in the final confrontation. 8/10

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I've ordered another Linda Gillard book from Amazon, "Emotional Geology" and also Rachel Hore's "The House on Bellevue Gardens" which came yesterday.  I've got another instalment in the Lymond Chronicles "Checkmate" on it's way, and I've also won a book to review from Library Thing, "End of the Roadie", can't remember the author but it's a light-hearted crime novel.  So my poor postman/woman will be quite busy!

 

Emotional Geology is the only book by Linda Gillard which I've read so far, but I absolutely loved it! I hope you will love it, too! :) 

 

Is that the one by Veronica Henry? If so, I have that one on my TBR. Glad to hear it was a nice, easy read :) (shame about the predictability though).

 

 

Yes it is by Veronica Henry - I find this genre of books does tend to be predictable, which is why I don't read that many of them, but the setting is lovely, Venice sigh :D

 

I've not heard of the book by Veronica Henry that you two are speaking of, but oddly enough I have her How to Find Love in a Book Shop borrowed from the library! Have you read that one? :)

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I've not heard of the book by Veronica Henry that you two are speaking of, but oddly enough I have her How to Find Love in a Book Shop borrowed from the library! Have you read that one? :)

Let me know what you think! I was just given it for my birthday :) (well I ordered it for myself online, to give to my parents to give to me :P).

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Had a nice little delivery yesterday from the Book Depository:

 

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

Murder on St Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson

A Death in the Dales by Frances Brody

 

and last night I finished "Conjugal Rites" by Paul Magrs, the 3rd in the Brenda and Effie series, this time set in an alternative, hellish (literally) version of Whitby in which the gang have to rescue Brenda from the clutches of a former suitor, but will they be able to get back?  Well there are more books in the series so no real suspense there, but it was an entertaining, fun Halloween read.  7/10

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Let me know what you think! I was just given it for my birthday :) (well I ordered it for myself online, to give to my parents to give to me :P).

 

:D Same difference ;) We'll see if I can read it before I have to return it to the library :blush: I wouldn't hold my breath, mojo's been stupid lately :unsure: 

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:D Same difference ;) We'll see if I can read it before I have to return it to the library :blush: I wouldn't hold my breath, mojo's been stupid lately :unsure:

Awww, I hope your mojo starts behaving itself soon :(.

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I finished River of no Return this morning and must admit that I'm a bit disappointed with it.  It was well-written and had two good lead characters in Nick, who jumps from his own time in 1812 to the present day to save himself from being killed in a battle in Spain, is tried by the mysterious Guild in the present day, and then suddenly finds himself being sent back to his own time - as usual, to stop time being changed by the equally mysterious Ofan.  Along the way he meets a few people who may be Guild or Ofan (or even both) and takes up again with his friend from his own time,Julia, who is also gifted with the ability to time travel, but doesn't know because her grandfather, who was another time-traveller, kept it a secret from her.  And um that's about it really, just when they seem to be ready to take on the Ofan, the book finishes!  And there was way too much telling and hardly any showing; we'd get told about an incident that happened to one of the characters, but we don't actually "see" it happening, in fact there's an awful lot of sitting around in bars, or lounges or saloons, being told what's happened.  A missed opportunity at a good book; the author shows promise but needs to do more show and a lot less tell.  7/10 for writing and a good idea, and the way it plays with time.

Edited by Madeleine

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I finished two books yesterday:

 

Dishing the Dirt by M C Beaton - latest in the Agatha Raisin series, in which Agatha investigates the murder of a local therapist", finds that she's the prime suspect, and also ends up, as usual, in grave danger.  It's a fast read, with very little character development, but fine as a quick read in between my longer, more substantial books.  6/10

 

I do not sleep by Judy Finnigan - sigh, an example of a book by a celebrity which wouldn't have been published if she wasn't well known (for those who don't know, she's a very well-known journalist/TV presenter who was a stalwart of daytime and then afternoon TV with her husband, having their own magazine programme and book club, which is still going strong to this day.  This is her second novel and tells of a woman whose son disappeared during a boating holiday in Cornwall five years previously - his wrecked boat was found, but no sign of his body.  She's persuaded by her husband and surviving son to return to Cornwall, but not surprisingly finds it hard, but eventually becomes determined to find out what did happen to her son.  Fine so far, but she then spent most of the rest of the book procrastinating over what she should and shouldn't do, and came across as being incredibly selfish, as various local people tried to help her.  And the mawkish sub-plot about a seriously ill Down's syndrome girl just felt tacked on.  I struggled through to the end, which didn't come as much of a surprise, and didn't think it was particularly well-written.  As for the gushing comparisons with Daphne du Maurier on the book cover, well I can't see any similarities apart from the Cornish setting, and a brief, rather strange excursion to Jamaica Inn.  5/10

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Finished another quick read - 3 Bedrooms, 1 Corpse by Charlaine Harris, the 3rd in her cosy crime series about former librarian Aurora Teagarden who's now training to be an estate agent, but is somewhat put off when her fellow agents start getting murdered.

Naturally she tries to find out who the killer is, could her new boyfriend be a suspect?  A fast-paced read, with a nice dry sense of humour, and a likeable heroine.  7.5/10

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Just finished Murder in Advent by David Williams, a vintage murder mystery about a suspicious death in a small cathedral town, when a body is found following a fire at the cathedral during which the alleged copy of Magna Carta was destroyed.  The document had been a bone of contention in the cathedral community, with some wanting to sell it to raise much needed funds, and others not wanting to sell it.  So the list of suspects is quite long, and an insurance investigator is brought in to help with the investigation.  This was an enjoyable mystery, although at times I found it hard to keep up with all the characters, but it had a nice dry humour and went along at a brisk pace.  7/10

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