Sunday, 25 March 2012

Comox Valley Charity Book Fair

This weekend was the Comox Valley Charity Book Fair at the Comox Mall. It ran for 3 days, well, in fact, today is the last day, from Friday thru Sunday. We had a similar fair in November so I went on Friday with some trepidation. I couldn't see how there could be much variety after the previous one. I was most pleasantly surprised and managed to find 20 books for $.50 each. I could have bought more, but I was trying to be good. :0) Having said that, I'm trying to persuade the missus to join me for the last day as you can buy a bag of books for 50 cents as they try to clean off their shelves. There may be some design/ decorating books as I never got to that section.

Anyway, what did I manage to find during my search. I tended to focus on mysteries/ adventure/ SciFi/ and straight fiction. So let's go through them. Let me know if any interest you or if you've read before.

The Baron and the Stolen Legacy

John Creasey - The Baron and the Stolen Legacy. From the impregnable confines of a prison cell, the extraordinary ex-jewel thief know as The Baron, plans to save his reputation and solve a baffling crime by pulling all the right strings to unravel the complicated and insidious plot around the Stolen Legacy.
John Wyndham - Chocky. At first they thought Matthew was just going through a phase of talking to himself. And, like many parents, they waited for him to get over it. But it started to get worse, not better. Matthew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense. It was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear. Then Matthew started doing thing he couldn't do before. Like counting binary-code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky - the person who lived in his head. Whoever or whatever Chocky was, it wasn't childish imagination. It was far too intelligent and frightening for that.
 Val McDermid - The Distant Echo. It was a winter morning in 1978, that the body of a young barmaid was discovered in the snow banks of a Scottish cemetery. The only suspects in her brutal murder were the four young men who found her: Alex Gibney and his three best friends. With no evidence but her blood on their hands, no one was ever charged. Twenty-five years later, the Cold Case file on Rosie Duff has been reopened. For Alex and his friends, the investigation has also opened old wounds, haunting memories - and new fears. For a stranger has emerged from the shadows with his own ideas about justice. And revenge. When two of Alex's friends die under suspicious circumstances, Alex knows that he and his innocent family are the next targets. And there's only one way to save them: return tot he cold-blooded past and uncover the startling truth about the murder. For there lies the identity of an avenging killer..
Precious Blood
Jane Haddam - Precious Blood. Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Deadly Friday. Former FBI agent Gregor Demarkian is doing a friend a favour when he shows up in Colchester, New York. The Cardinal Archbishop has a problem: A young woman has been most mysteriously murdered, and one of his parish priests had the strongest of reasons for wanting her dead. But Father Andrew Walsh isn't the only one with a motive. It seems that quite a number of parishioners shared a damning past with the deceased. Something happened here twenty years ago. Something that's leading a desperate soul to break the deadliest commandment. And when the good Father himself keels over in the middle of High Mass, Gregor knows he needs a miracle.
Rudyard Kipling - Puck of Pook's Hill. Two children, Dan and Una, acting out their version of A Midsummer Night's Dream in a Sussex Meadow, miraculously conjure up Puck himself. Small, blue-eyed Puck, as old as Time itself, brings back the past for them to witness. He recreates a Roman centurion, a Norman knight, a Renaissance craftsman and the villages of times gone by and, in doing so, gives Dan and Una a clear sense of history and their own heritage.

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Eleven adventures from the crowded life of Sherlock Holmes including The Final Problem to close the career of his famous detective. But Holmes was a match for his creator and twelve more stories follow in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.
Ellis Peters - A Morbid Taste for Bones (Cadfael I). In the twelfth century, Benedictine monastery of Shrewsbury, Brother Cadfael has settled down to a quiet life in charge of the herbarium after an adventurous - and far from monastic - youth. But when his prior determines to acquire the bones of a saint from a remote Welsh village, Cadfael's worldly experience becomes vitally important. It is fortunate indeed that his skills as a herbalist are matched by his prowess as a detective, since the obstacles to the expedition include murder...
Ellis Peters - The Summer of the Danes (Cadfael XVIII) - In April 1144, Brother Cadfael leaves his monastery once more, this time in the company of Heledd, a young woman desperate to escape from an arranged marriage, and the youthful Brother Mark, who is representing the bishop on a matter of church diplomacy. Cadfael does not foresee trouble on their errand, but then the travellers become entangled in the conflict between Owain Gwynedd and his treacherous brother Cadwaladr, who has allied himself with a Danish mercenary fleet in order to vanquish Owain..
The Life of Charlotte Bronte
Elizabeth Gaskell - The Life of Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte Bronte was by situation and temperament a recluse, with an almost paranoid desire for self-effacement: the public knew little about her during her brief  and tragic life. However, only weeks after her death, following a request from Charlotte Bronte's father, Mrs Gaskell was at work on this 'official' biography. As one of Charlotte's few close friends, she was herself anxious to make known the facts of that 'wild, sad life, and the beautiful character that grew out of it.' The resulting Life has long been established not only as one of the greatest of English biographies, but also as one of the finest achievements of an author whose fiction by itself has placed her in the first rank of English writers.
Margery Allingham - Death of a Ghost. For John Lafcadio, it was just another annual exhibit of his paintings, a typical event in the course of his life. What was not quite so typical was the note he left for his wife before his sudden disappearance, in which he predicted her acquaintance with his own ghost. Albert Campion is summoned to the unhappy household of the great painter when further bodies begin to turn up, corpses that all are somehow linked to the artist. Among the list of suspects are Tennyson Potter, the failed artist who lives in jealousy of Lafcadio's legacy, Donna Beatrice, a model whose fading beauty has been supplemented by a disturbing fondness for the occult, and Lafcadio's own wife Belle, devoted through thick and thin - or is she?

Roderich Alleyn mysteries
 Ngaio Marsh - Hand in Glove. The April Fool's party had been a roaring success for all, it seemed - except for poor Mr Cartell who had ended up in the ditch - for ever. Then there was the case of Mr Percival Pyke Period's letter of condolence, sent before the body was found - not to mention the family squabbles. It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn. A case of fish on someone's fingers and some gauntlets fit to kill...
Ngaio Marsh - Artist in Crime. It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted - in earnest. The model will never move again. It's a difficult case for Inspector Alleyn. He's in love with Troy, but no one can be above suspicion.
D.H. Lawrence - The Prussian Officer. The sick sadism of a Prussian officer drives his orderly towards a bloody reckoning... In this book, his first book of stories, Lawrence makes an imaginative leap into the psychological maelstrom of German militarism. The other tales, including the classic Daughter of the Vicar, focus on the more familiar themes of class conflict and the dark forces of the heart. Sensuous, sometimes undisciplined, yet always passionately intense, these stories probe previously uncharted depths of feeling and experience.

Murder at Madingley Grange
 Catherine Graham - Murder at Madingley Grange. When Simon Hannaford is left temporarily in charge of his aunt's 20-bedroom Gothic pile he know he must be able to make a profit from it somehow. Murder, he decides, is the only way to do it. For Madingley Grange is the perfect venue for a 1930's mystery weekend and, before long, he and his long-suffering sister have set the stage for money-spinning mayhem. From the conservatory to the contents of the claret cellar the clues are sprinkled like pot pourri, and the hired retainers Gaunt and Bennet provide the finishing touch. but when the guests arrive it is obvious that the business of murder is bound to run off course. For neither Derek, who refuses to relinquish his deerstalker, nor Mrs Gibbs, a card-sharping grandmother, nor Gillette, the 30s fiend complete with ukulele, nor any of the other ill-assorted bunch is happy to play the victim. And when a body does appear, it hardly takes a Hercule Poirot to guess it is not a volunteer. The game of detection must begin in earnest.

A Small Town in Germany

John Le Carre - A Small Town in Germany. It is the recent future in Bonn - a time of student riots, critical Foreign Office negotiations, and a resurgent neo-Nazism. Turner, a formidable security officer, races against time to find Leo Harting, who has vanished from the British Embassy with certain secret files, before Germany's past, present and future collide in a nightmare of violence and death.
John Brunner - Manshape. The interstellar Bridge System was the greatest invention in the long history of cosmic humanity. Spread through dozens of planets, men and their societies had drifted apart in isolation until the Bridge came to link together humanity's multifold worlds.. and had affirmed once more that all men were brothers and sisters under the skin. But the far away world of Azreal was the exception, the one dissident world that refused the Bridge. It became the task of two agents, a man and a woman, to bring Azreal back into manshape unity, to ferret out the hidden reasons for the stubborn refusal. The problem, with its high risks, was to involve more than just secrets, for MANSHAPE is a John Brunner novel that deals with the very fabric of civilisation.

Gambit (Nero Wolfe)
 Rex Stout - Gambit. Jerin was a mental freak - one of those eerily brilliant geniuses who could play a dozen games of chess at once and win every one of them. Blount was a millionaire fanatic with a fiendishly ingenious plan for beating Jerin at his own favourite pastime. It was up to Nero Wolfe and Archie to prove that Blount's plan hadn't included murder.
J.J. Marric - Gideon's Fog. What was the connection between a series of savage assaults in a pea-soup London fog.. a strangled girl in a secluded park.. a seemingly senseless slaying on a deserted highway.. a crackpot anti-sex protest movement.. and a queen's ransom in stolen jewels? there was just one way for Commander George Gideon of Scotland yard to find the maddeningly elusive answer: Gideon had to put his own life on the line in the most dangerous gamble of his career.
Kathy Reichs - Bones to Ashes. The discovery of a skeleton in Acadia, Canada, reawakens a traumatic episode for forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan: could the young girl's remains be those of Evangeline Landry, Tempe' friend who disappeared when Tempe was twelve? Exotic, free-spirited, and slightly older, Evangeline enlivened Tempe's summer beach visits.. then vanished amid whispers that she was 'dangerous'. Now, faced with bones scarred with inexplicable lesions, Tempe is consumed with solving a decades-old mystery - while her lover, detective Andrew Ryan, urgently needs her attention on a wave of teenage abductions and murders. With both Ryan and her ex-husband making surprising future plans, Tempe may  soon find that her world has painfully and irrevocably changed once again.
Kathy Reichs - Spider Bones. When Tempe Brennan is called to the scene of a Quebec drowning, shocking discoveries await: the victim - identified as one John Lowery - was engaged in a bizarre sexual practise when he died; and the same John Lowery was an American soldier declared dead in 1968, after a Huey crash in Vietnam. Who then, Tempe sets off to find out, is buried in the vet's North Carolina grave? Exhuming the remains and having them analysed at a military compound in Hawaii gets complicated when Tempe's ex, Detective Andrew Ryan, appears.. and when a Honolulu ME consults with her on who or what lethally attacked a young victim - a shark, or a more sinister predator? And when Lowery's dog tags turn up linked to yet another corpse, Tempe must deconstruct a twisting tale of death that spans years, continents, and too many tragic losses.

Well, there you go, a successful outing in my 'books'... :0)

(Editor's Note: I went back this morning (that would be Sunday 25 Mar 2012, btw) for the final day as they were selling a bag of books for $2.00. I didn't find that many, but picked up a few mysteries -
Minette Walters - The Tinder Box
Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (a Hercule Poirot mystery)
John Mortimer - The Trials of Rumpole
Patricia Highsmith - Deep Water
Ellis Peters - The Rose Rent (the XIII Cadfael Chronicle)
Dashiell Hammett - The Maltese Falcon
Ngaio Marsh - The Nursing Home Murder (we saw the TV adaptation in England over the Xmas holidays)
        - Colour Scheme (both are Roderick Alleyn mysteries)
Winston Graham - Fortune is a Woman. )


  1. I have enough design books to open a shop so thank you for thinking of me but I'll pass. You can buy as many books as you want at 50c's each.. but when the shelves are full they're full. Geddit !!

  2. lol.. I'll just get rid of some.. ;0)


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