Saturday, 22 March 2014

Latest Purchases

It's a coldish, drizzly day, the missus is out and it's just me and the dogs. The dogs are rough-housing and I'm avoiding doing housework for another half hour or so. What better way to do that than to go through my most recent purchases. I've purchased 4 new books in the past week, three used mysteries and one new history book. Let's start with the mysteries...

Kate Ellis' The Skeleton Room - The Skeleton Room is the 7th book in Ellis' DI Wesley Peterson series. I've been reading the DI Joe Plantagenet series so far and enjoying very much. There are only 4 books in the Plantagenet series so I'll have to start the other sooner or later. Not that I'm complaining. I understand that the Peterson series involves more archaeological type mysteries. Looking forward to seeing what they are like. This is the synopsis of The Skeleton Room -

"When workmen converting former girls' boarding school, Chadleigh Hall, into a luxury hotel find a skeleton in a sealed room, DI Wesley Peterson and his boss, Gerry Heffernan are called in to investigate. Within minutes they have a second suspicious death on their hands—a team of marine archaeologists working on a nearby shipwreck have dragged a woman's body from the sea, and it becomes clear that her death was no accident. The dead woman's husband may be linked with a brutal robbery of computer equipment, but Wesley soon discovers that the victim had secrets of her own. As he investigates Chadleigh Hall's past and the woman's violent death, matters are further complicated for Wesley when a man wanted for a murder appears on the scene, a man who may know more about Wesley's cases than he admits."

Arnaldur Indridason is an Icelandic mystery writer. He has written a series of crime novels set in Reykjavik, featuring police detective Erlendur as his main character. I have purchased a couple of books in the series now, Jar City and Silence of the Grave. They do look interesting and I have enjoyed most of the Scandinavian mysteries I've read so far. This is the synopsis -

"Building work in an expanding Reykjavik uncovers a shallow grave. Years before, this part of the city was all open hills, and Erlendur and his team hope this is a typical Icelandic missing person scenario; perhaps someone once lost in the snow who has lain peacefully buried for decades. Things are never that simple. Whilst Erlendur struggles to hold together the crumbling fragments of his own family, his case unearths many other tales of family pin. The hills have more than one tragic story to tell: tales of failed relationships and heartbreak; of anger, domestic violence and fear; of family loyalty and family shame. Few people are still alive who can tell the story, but even secrets taken to the grave cannot remain hidden forever."

Kate Atkinson writes the Jackson Brodie mysteries, amongst her other stories and it has become a favourite of mine. When Will There Be Good News? came out originally in 2008. I'm sure it'll be as good as the others.

"On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason's family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna's life is changed forever... On a dark night thirty years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound... At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency... These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read."

I read one of Margaret MacMillan's other books, Paris 1919 while I was stationed in the Middle East. I thought it was a fascinating history of the events that took place at the Paris Peace conference following WWI. She described the events so very well and her way of breaking down the various personalities and how the decisions the made affected the world even of today made it a fascinating read. This latest venture describes the events leading up to WWI, a book that is especially appropriate given that this is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War. If this is half as good as Paris 1919, I will enjoy very much.

"The First World War followed a period of sustained peace in Europe during which people talked with confidence of prosperity, progress, and hope. But in 1914, Europe walked into a catastrophic conflict that killed millions, bled its economies dry, shook empires and societies to pieces, and fatally undermined Europe’s dominance of the world. It was a war that could have been avoided up to the last moment—so why did it happen?

Beginning in the early nineteenth century and ending with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, award-winning historian Margaret Macmillan uncovers the huge political and technological changes, national decisions, and just as important, the small moments of human muddle and weakness that led Europe from peace to disaster. This masterful exploration of how Europe chose its path towards war will change and enrich how we see this defining moment in history."

So there you have it, my latest purchases. I'll let you know what I think of them as I get a chance to read them.. Now it's back to some house cleaning and maybe a chance to settle down with A Feast of Crows for an hour or so. :0)

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