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Madeleine

Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

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I finished "Moving" by Jenny Éclair last week, another book by a celebrity (she's a well-known stand-up comedienne in the UK) and this one was at least well-written and had a decent storyline.  It's split into 3 parts, first of all we have Edwina who is now an old lady and has decided to sell her rambling house in London and, as she takes a young estate agent through the house so that he can evaluate it, we get a potted history of her life, including 2 marriages, as they go through each room.  It was quite enjoyable but I did wonder where it was going, then we get to part 2, which is set in the 1980s and is about a girl called Fern who's just started studying drama at Manchester University, and has moved into a shared house.  One of the other residents is Charlie, who is Edwina's son from her first marriage, and this section tells mainly of sleazy encounters with the opposite sex (especially Charlie, who for some strange reason despite having the morals of an alley cat and being a generally dirty, unwashed specimen, has no problem attracting women, including Fern (and anyone else who happens to be around).  Anyway for some bizarre reason Fern can't break her attraction to him, and he was so unappealing that I found it a bit hard to believe, even for late teen/early 20's students. I thought this part went on for far too long and got a bit tedious, to the point when I almost gave up.  Finally we get to part 3, which is set in the present day and is told from the point of view of Lucas, who is mentioned a lot in the first 2 sections of the book and is set up as a "bad guy" who was responsible for some sort of tragedy.  Lucas is Edwina's stepson (the son of her 2nd husband from his 1st marriage!) and has returned to England to see his mother who is dying, and he too starts rooting through her old possessions so that we finally find out what really happened all those years ago.  It's not really surprising and to be honest the "victims" were tragedies waiting to happen and although Lucas did make some mistakes, he's not as bad as he's painted; they were pretty much victims of their own misfortune and lifestyle.  Overall this wasn't a bad read, just a bit too long-winded, but well-written and with some great nostalgia for fans of the 1980s.  7/10

Edited by Madeleine

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Just finished Crimson Snow, this year's collection of Golden Age crime stories from the British Library Crime Classics range, and much better than last year's Silent Nights, which was fun but a much stronger collection this year - a couple are almost ghost stories, and a couple of others are long enough to be novellas.  Very entertaining 8/10

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Just got another book of Christmas crime short stories - Murder under the Christmas Tree, and another in the Crowner John series by Bernard Knight: "The Tinner's Corpse".

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Finished "Another Little Christmas Murder" so I've hit my target of 50 books, yay.  It was an enjoyable read, usual snowbound country house with lots of people being marooned due to the weather, and strange goings on and a mysterious death, which is investigated by travelling saleswoman Dylis, who was rescued from her car which was trapped in a snowdrift by the nephew of the owner of the house.  A bit long-winded and drawn out but quite entertaining, with a dry sense of humour and a bit of romance as well.  7/10

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Congratulations on hitting your target!

 

I've been reading your reviews and I like that you describe the stories so well without giving too much away! That's a difficult thing to do, but you're excellent at it.

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Thanks Alexander, I try  not to go into too much detail, it's difficult with crime novels sometimes.

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Finished Murder under the Christmas Tree last night - crime short stories set of course during the festive season.  My favourites were by Val Mcdermid, Ian Rankin (Rebus) and Ellis Peters (Cadfael).  6.5/10

 

Think I'm ready for something non-Christmassy now, but wintry!

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First purchases of the new year:

 

Rupture by Ragnar Jonasson

Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

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You will enjoy the Ragnar Jonasson book. I have just bought one of his books, the fourth in the Dark Iceland series.

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I've read the first Dark Iceland and have the next two, I didn't know there was another one out until I saw it today. I have some catching up to do!

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Thank you very much chaliepud, happy reading (and everything else!) New Year to you too.

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Book buying is back on form!  I went in to The works (discount book store in the UK) yesterday and got 2 books in the Wycliffe detective series, and the Promise by Alison Bruce (crime series set in Cambridge).

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I've read two Wycliffe books and enjoyed them. Glad you got a bargain on those three books, I hope you enjoy them all :).

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