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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Just one evil act

I am a passionate Elizabeth George fan and when my husband came home with a belated birthday present of her latest book, Just one evil act,  I was overjoyed. Unfortunately life got in the way and Inspector Lynley sat on my bedside table for a few weeks while I juggled  a crisis at work,flu and end of term concerts. Once I started it was a bit like watching a train wreck, you want to look away and at the same time you have to know what happens.

This riveting tale of love, betrayal and how an innocent little girl is caught up in the affairs of the adults who love her is one that is heartbreaking and so well told. Hadiyyah, the daughter of  Barbara Havers' neighbour, disappears with her mother and nothing can be done, as Taymullah Azhar's name does not appear on the child's birth certificate and they were never married. A private detective is hired but the trail goes cold. Six months later Hadiyyah is kidnapped in an Italian market place and Angelina rushes back to England with her new lover to confront Taymullah, who is as shocked as she is at the child's disappearance.

In her inimitable fashion Barbara Havers plunges in to help Taymullah find his daughter, at the risk of losing her career and her friendship with Lynley. Nothing in this tale is really as it seems and as new secrets come to light Barbara is plunged deeper and deeper into conflict with her superiors. There is also a twist in the tale that I never saw coming but Elizabeth George has this gift of keeping her readers entranced to the last page.

Just one act of evil also sees Lynley finally saying goodbye to Helen and entering into a new romance.

I enjoy Elizabeth George's novels not only because she writes so well or because her plots are so well researched and believable but mainly because her characters are so rich. You grieve with Lynley when his wife dies and feel Barbara's anguish when faced with Taymullah's betrayal. I really hate finishing one of George's books as I know there will be a long wait until the next one is published. However, I know that the wait will be worth it.

If there is only one good novel you read this year, make it this one.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Visit to the bookshops



Any date evening normally includes a visit to Exclusive Books as my husband and I are both avid bookworms. I love browsing and checking out what is new on the shelves and adding to my mental wish list. Two books I would love to own are The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and Winter food in Provence by Marita van der Vyver. I cannot wait to get hold of a copy of  The Miniaturist. It has so many excellent reviews and being an avid miniature lover as well as enjoying a good historical novel, I cannot wait to step in the pages of this book and be swept away. Marita van der Vyver's book also looks excellent. She is a wonderful author with the ability to draw her readers into her world. Combine this with delicious recipe's and photo's not only of the food but also French culture and there is a place on my bookshelf reserved for this lovely cookbook.

Hubby decided to gift me on this particular date with a very belated birthday gift and I came  home with one of my favourite authors. Just one evil act by Elizabeth George is a book I cannot wait to dive into. I have read every one of her Inspector Lynley novels and the characters feel like family friends. I will keep you posted once I have finished the book.

Another favourite bookshop of mine is Rutlands Books. They have such a huge variety of books and their prices are excellent. Today I found Sue Grafton's V is for Vengeance. I love Kinsey Milhone, she is one of my all time favourite characters. This book is the 22nd in Sue Grafton's alphabet series. Kinsey is hired to investigate a suspicious suicide. With the mob involved and Sue Grafton's gift for drawing you into the story, I am sure it is going to be an excellent read. I also picked up an old favourite, Encore Provence by Peter Mayle. I love Provence and Peter Mayle has a unique view of the French and their way of life. My copy of this book  has vanished and I am so glad that I manged to get hold of another copy.

Two practical books I came home with are Mini-boxes by Marian Ballog and 365 Easy one dish 
recipes. I cannot wait to try out some of the boxes, particularly the get well kit and the chocolate kit. I am sure they will really make someone's day. The instructions are clear and include pictures and Chapter 1 clearly lays out what is needed to create these boxes. If you enjoy crafts or know someone who does then I recommend this book.

The title of Easy one dish recipes is what caught my eye. I work full time and have two very hungry little mouths to feed at the end of the day. Lots of dishes and complicated recipes are two things I really do not have time for at the end of a stressful work day.Main meals,sandwiches,soups and even dessert are covered in this book. There is one recipe to a page and they are easy to follow. Recipes are given with metric as well as imperial measurements. I cannot wait to try out some of the recipes. They will make a change from fish fingers and chips.

And last but not least an easy read novel to curl up with on a cold winter's night. I am not a chick lit fan but Shelter me by Juliette Fay jumped out off the shelf and yelled TAKE ME HOME. I am a real sucker for stories of grief and loss and rebuilding your life afterwards. Janie LaMarche receives a very unexpected birthday gift from her husband 4 months after his death. A builder arrives to add a porch to her house. Grief still has her tight in it's reigns and she is living in self imposed isolation. Unlikely friends help her navigate this unknown future in a way she did not expect. Doesn't that sound like a great read. I am so looking forward to settling in with this book.

I hoped that in this mishmash of reviews that there is at least one book that captures your interest. Do you have any favourite neighbourhood bookshops? Please share, as I am sure there are many avid bibliophiles out there who love the smell of books ,old and new, who would love to discover a new hangout.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A new world

Lee Child is one of my all time favourite authors. I am busy reading Gone Tomorrow and it is quite chilling. A woman Jack Reacher profiles as a suicide bomber on the New York subway commits suicide by shooting herself. Reacher refuses to let go until he understands why she felt she had to kill herself. The more he investigates the deeper the mystery.As always there are twists and turns in the plot, with post 911 security making things even more difficult for him Throw in the FBI, a potential presidential candidate, a missing football student and a particularly nasty female murderer and it makes for a great page turner as always.

Lee Child's books are never boring and it is VERY difficult to switch the light off once you start reading, so be warned. His latest book Personal is on the shelves but be warned. Make sure you have the next 24 hours cleared to finish this book.