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Showing posts from November, 2008

Major library cleanup

I've been having a major cull of my library and have added some 17 books to my BookMooch inventory, and will be adding more soon. The rest of the culls (mostly heavy books that cost to much to mail abroad) I will be donating to a library.

The books are:
Margery Allingham: Death of a Ghost
Mary Balogh: Slightly Wicked
Agatha Christie: A Pocket Full Of Rye
Stuart Kaminsky: Murder on the Yellow Brick Road
Karen Kijewski: Alley Kat Blues
Pamela Labud: Spirited Away
Donna Leon: Through a Glass Darkly
Charlotte MacLeod: The Luck Runs Out
Anne Perry: Rutland Place
Ellery Queen: The Siamese Twin Mystery
Nora Roberts: Chesapeake Blue
Nora Roberts: Inner Harbor
Nora Roberts: Rising Tides
Nora Roberts: Sea Swept
Dorothy L. Sayers: Lord Peter Views The Body
Arthur W. Upfield: The Battling Prophet
Valerie Wolzien: We Wish You A Merry Murder

I have another 70 books in my inventory, mostly mysteries and romances with a few non-fiction books thrown in.

Click on the title of this entry to see my BookMooch inventory.

Mystery author #51: Donna Leon

I think it was Maxine who first recommended Donna Leon to me, and after that I got several more recommendations for her books, so I decided to include her in the challenge.

Series detective: Commissario Guido Brunetti
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Police
Setting & time: Venice, contemporary
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Title:The Death of Faith (alternative title: Quietly in Their Sleep)
No. in series: 6
Year of publication: 1997

SPOILERS ahead

Story:
A young nun who has left her order comes to Commissario Brunetti with a story of some deaths at a nursing home where she worked that she finds mysterious but that at first appear to be perfectly normal. She seems to suspect that members of her order or of the Catholic church may be involved. When Brunetti starts digging, the nun is attacked and Brunetti’s boss tries to have him stop the investigation, which just makes him more determined to get to the bottom of the case.

Review:
The writing and characterisations in the book are very good. The characters com…

Thanks for the laugh!

On the Book Design Review last Friday there was a post about an article on the Guardian books blog about the value of reading bad books. In the post, BDR author Joseph Sullivan mentions a bad book that he once read, and, well, I guess you'll have to read it to find out why it was so funny: take me there.

I recommend reading the Guardian article as well.

Mystery author #50: Caroline Graham

At first I hesitated to include Caroline Graham in this challenge, as I have seen at least a dozen episodes of the television series based on the characters from the Barnaby books. However, I think I am justified in including her, since books and television are different mediums and I have not seen the episodes based on either of the books I read for the review (although I did watch Death of a Hollow Man after I read the book).

The first book in the series, The Killings at Badger’s Drift, made it onto the British Crime Writer’s Association list of The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time, despite having won neither the Gold or Silver Dagger, but it must have come close because the books that did get these awards that year are also on the list. Clearly it was a very good year for the Daggers.

About the series:

Series detective:Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby
Type of investigator: Police
Setting & time: Causton, a fictional town in southern England, and the surrounding area; contemporary

T…

Reading report for October 2008

I got through 10 books in October. 3 were rereads and 3 I had been reading for several months. I also discovered that Jennifer Crusie is becoming one of my favourite comfort read authors, and I am now trying to get hold of those of her books I don’t already have.

Here are the books:
Scott Adams: The Dilbert Future (humour, philosophy, comics)
Isabel Allende (text), Robert Shekter (illustrations) & Panchita llona (recipes): Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses (food, erotica)
Caroline Graham: The Killings at Badger's Drift (police procedural, murder mystery)
Donna Leon: The Death Of Faith (police procedural, murder mystery)
Sigurður Ægisson (text) & Jón Baldur Hlíðberg (illustrations): Íslenskar Kynjaskepnur (Meeting with Monsters) (bestiary)
Jeffrey Steingarten: It Must've Been Something I Ate (food, article collection)
Marion Trutter, ed.: Culinaria: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan (culinary geography)

And the rereads:
Jennifer Crusie: Faking It (romance)
Terry Pratch…

Bibliophile reviews The Withdrawing Room by Charlotte MacLeod

Title:The Withdrawing Room
No. in series: 2
Year of publication: 1980
Type of mystery: Murder
Type of investigator: Amateur & semi-pro
Setting & time: Boston, USA; 1970´s

Story:
Following the deaths of her husband and mother in law (see The Family Vault), Sarah Kelling is stuck with 2 houses and 2 killer mortgages that may or may not be illegal, but it will take months or perhaps years to sort them out, so until then she is close to broke. Being a practical person and not as proud as her richer society relatives, she turns her townhouse into a boarding house, accepting only people with good references. Soon, however, one of her boarders is murdered, and another one soon afterwards. The case is solved with the help of a bag lady and Max Bittersohn, who has returned to the scene and rented a room in the house.

Review:
Some of what I wrote about the previous book in the series may be applied to this one as well, except the plotting is even more intricate. The author subtly points the read…

Book crafts: A purse made out of books

Check this out: book purse

I share Penwiper337's opinion of Reader's Digest Condensed Books. However, while I do loathe them, I do think their gilded faux leather bindings look good enough for using as decorations (as long as no-one has to be victimised by the contents), and I think this is a pretty damn good idea. My only concern is that it would be a bit heavy to carry around, but of course it could just be used as decoration by dedicated purse collectors.

Bibliophile reviews Steel Guitar by Linda Barnes

Series detective: Carlotta Carlyle
No. in series: 4
Year of publication: 1991
Type of mystery: Blackmail/murder
Type of investigator: Private detective
Setting & time: Boston, Massachusetts, USA, late 20th century

Story:
Cab-driving PI Carlotta Carlyle runs into her former friend Dee Willis who is now a famous blues singer. Despite ambivalent feelings towards Dee, Carlotta accepts an assignment from her: to find their old friend Dave. At first Dee is unwilling to tell Carlotta why, but then admits that Dave seems to be trying to blackmail her. When Dee's recently fired ex-bass player is found murdered in Dee’s bed, she wants to cry off the search for Dave, but by that time Carlotta has become personally interested in finding him and discovering the truth, and enlists the help of another old friend.

Review:
While I have read one other book by Barnes (thus making her ineligible for the reading challenge), this was my first book about Carlotta Carlyle. I found the style snappy and the st…

Addictive website: Lists of Bests

Not only will you find people's personal lists there, but also all sorts of other lists, including lists of award winners and official Best of... lists, and you can choose items on the lists to indicate that you have read the book, seen the movie, been to the place, eaten the dish, etc.

Clicking the post title will take you directly to the website, clicking the link below will open in it a new window.

Lists of Bests