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Madeleine

Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

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Thanks, I used to like the Wycliffe TV series too.

I didn't know there was a TV show! Good to know :).

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Happy reading in 2017 Madeleine  :hug: Well done for reaching your target in 2016. Brilliant!  :clapping:

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Thanks Poppy and Chrissy, I wish you a happy reading year as well.  Sorry if I haven't wished everyone a happy reading year, but there are so many posts I can't keep up with  them all, plus a few who I haven't seen before, so all the best to everyone for a great reading year!

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I really like the fact everyone's book-buying has got back on track.. only took us all a couple of weeks. :lol:

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Westmorland alone by Ian Sansom - perhaps one for the English counties challenge, although I don't think it exists any more?

 

Edit to say I looked it up and since 1974 it's been part of Cumbria.

Edited by Madeleine

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Thanks very much Peacefield, I wish you the same.

 

bought the latest in the Mary Russell series yesterday - The Murder of Mary Russell.

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Thanks very much Peacefield, I wish you the same.

 

bought the latest in the Mary Russell series yesterday - The Murder of Mary Russell.

 

I`ve still got Dreaming Spies to read ; looking forward to your review of the latest in the series. :)

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I got another Wycliffe novel today - the guilt-Edged Alibi, and also the latest in Ann Cleeves's Shetland series "Cold Earth".

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Thanks very much Peacefield, I wish you the same.

 

bought the latest in the Mary Russell series yesterday - The Murder of Mary Russell.

 

I know nothing about this series but that title sounds like a rather definitive end for Mary's series :o:giggle:

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January has been a mixed month so far.  My first read was "The Angel Tree" by Lucinda Riley which I held over from xmas so I could read more Christmassy-themed books, and it was disappointing, telling the story of Greta who when we first meet her is working as a dancer at a revue in London.  After a fling with an American GI she realises she is pregnant and obviously won't be able to keep her job much longer, but David, who is working as a comedian, persuades her to go to his country estate in Wales, where she has her baby, a girl called Francesca (Cheska) and duly returns to London where she finds an office job, which she loses after another disastrous love affair!  In the meantime her small daughter has been "spotted" by David's agent and soon Greta lives through the child, who starts to earn a fortune and becomes the British Shirley Temple.  But child stars grow up and Cheska is obviously very troubled and disturbed, however Greta pumps her full of pills and says she just needs rest.  At this point I really started to dislike Greta, and it's no surprise when Cheska rebels and falls pregnant, and is soon whisked off to Marchmont to have the baby.  In the meantime Greta has a terrible accident and spends the next 20 years or so in a coma, and when she does come round she goes back to Marchmont to try to regain her memory.  Cheska has become a huge star in the US, but falls prey to the usual drugs, divorce etc and when she is fired from her hit show she returns to the UK, supposedly to pick up her career there and finally get to know her daughter Ava, who has just started college in London.  At this point it really becomes Cheska's story and frankly it's just not very interesting; although she is obviously seriously ill I found her very unsympathetic, but she's really a victim of her mother's ambition and is a tragic figure.  I found most of the characters two-dimensional and in some cases a bit too good to be true.  apparently this book is a re-issue and has been extensively re-written, it would be interesting to see what the original version was like.  5/10

Edited by Madeleine

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I have read all the Wycliffe books.  I bought one when we were on holiday in Cornwall more than 20 years ago and really liked it and then spent ages tracking down as many as I could (this was before the TV series).  I actually wrote to the author W J Burley - I simply addressed it to 'Author of the Wycliffe Books, Newquay, Cornwall' and it got to him and he replied, telling me about the TV series.  :) 

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January has been a mixed month so far. My first read was "The Angel Tree" by Lucinda Riley [...]

That sounds like an odd book!

 

I have read all the Wycliffe books.  I bought one when we were on holiday in Cornwall more than 20 years ago and really liked it and then spent ages tracking down as many as I could (this was before the TV series).  I actually wrote to the author W J Burley - I simply addressed it to 'Author of the Wycliffe Books, Newquay, Cornwall' and it got to him and he replied, telling me about the TV series.  :)

That's so nice :)!

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My other reads for January have been better:

 

Larkswood by Valerie Mendes - another country house mystery, this time set in Hampshire at the house of the title, where a young woman, Louisa, has been sent to convalesce after a nasty bout of glandular fever.  The house is owned by her grandfather, who inherited it from his parents who were obsessed with each other and had little time for their 3 children, Edward and his two sisters, Cynthia and Harriet. Edward has recently returned from India, following the death of his wife.  Louise gradually recovers and becomes fascinated by the garden and all the different plants and herbs, and soon falls for young gardener Thomas, and despite her mother's protestations has no wish to return to the shallowness of London society and parties so loved by her mother and her sister.  But as she tries to find out more about her family, Edward is very reticent and even becomes angry and withdrawn, so with Thomas's reluctant help she gradually discovers what happened in the past, revealing the cover-up of a major scandal which would have ruined the whole family (which I guessed fairly quickly) and several other twists and turns.  I enjoyed this, I thought it was quite well-written and it held my interest.  Although some of the characters were a bit flat, especially the parents, I really liked Louisa and Thomas and wanted things to work out for them, especially with WW2 looming.  8/10

 

End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn - cosy crime set in London, in which a roadie for a well-known pop star is shot dead immediately after a gig, and D I Angela Costello and her team, two of whom were at the gig, take on the investigation and uncover some very unsavoury details about the victim, who had a lot of enemies, including the star himself - could he have hired a hitman, or was it someone who the guy had upset with his various scams?  I quite enjoyed this, it made a change to read about happy detectives who love their work and don't have the usual problems, although at times some of the characters seemed a bit too good to be true; it was strangely old-fashioned at times and didn't really ring true, however as a bit of escapism it was fine - I was sent a review copy from the publisher through Library Thing.  7/10

 

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor - 3rd in the St Mary's series and the beginning is as mad cap as ever - Max returns from a day in Thirsk to discover her entire history team have painted themselves blue - and it won't come off.  More seriously, jumps to Troy and Agincourt end in danger and heartbreak, there are shocks along the way and not everyone comes out unscathed.  Another great read which can only be described as a rollercoaster.  8/10

Edited by Madeleine

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I know I sound like a broken record, but I love the Jodi Taylor books.  That blue paint incident was hilarious, and I think I've honestly learnt more about history from this series than any other book I've read.

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Yes the blue paint had me in fits as well, shame she didn't make more of the cheese rolling incident though.  It's certainly made me look at Troy in a different way, it certainly makes sense.

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I got a hardback version of a book (cheap from Amazon marketplace) which I don't usually buy, but this one looks like it's never going to come out in paperback, and I liked 2 of her other books, so I ordered "The Pierced Heart" by Lynn Shepherd.

 

I've also bought the latest in the Grantchester series "Sidney Chambers and the Dangers of Temptation", and "The Fire Child" by S K Tremayne.  I also hoped to get Charlaine Harris's latest "Night Shift" but Waterstone's didn't have a single copy of any of her books, which I was annoyed about.

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I've just finished Anya de Jager's debut novel, "A Cold Death in Amsterdam" - she's Dutch but lives in the UK and writes in English. I quite enjoyed this, fairly standard crime novel in which the main character, detective Lotte Merman, is still reeling from her previous case involving the murder of a child, in which she is due to testify in court.  However she is haunted by some terrible misjudgements, and can't stop thinking about it, whilst investigating a new case in which a man who's involved in a major investment company, is murdered at his home.  The police think the case has links to the another murder, several years ago, of another banker just after he was released from jail.  The two men worked together, and the new victim married the first man's widow, so there are obvious connections in both cases.  It's a police procedural, and although some of the banking information went over my head a bit, it was quite involving, although some of the plot lines didn't ring true - Lotte's father investigated the first case, and she's desperate to keep his name out of the new investigation, and also the fact that she's his daughter, and I found it hard to believe that no one in the police knew their relationship, and even when it is finally revealed, she does several things which I'm sure in real life would have made most of her evidence inadmissible.  Not a bad debut though, even if I did want to shake her sometimes!  7/10

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How interesting a Dutch author writes in English, I only know of one other one that does that, Michel Faber.

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