Sunday, 4 January 2015

Back to work tomorrow.. *sigh*

Well, we've had our nice weather, it seems. Over Christmas, it was sunny, cool and fresh for the most part. Since New Years, it's been cloudy, gloomy, rainy and windy, must mean I'm going back to work soon.. ;).. So there you go, my first weather report of 2015.

The missus and I enjoyed a very entertaining movie last night; Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm and Lake Bell. It's a true story about the first two Asian/ Indian men to try and make in major league baseball. It was well-acted and an excellent sport movie.

I also took my first visit to my local used book store, Nearly New Books, yesterday, and found a few books. So after all my shelf organising, I've got to find spaces for 7 new books.. *sigh*.... Oh, what books, you ask? Well, these are they....

1. Murder in the Latin Quarter by Cara Black. I have the first book in the Aimee Leduc series on my 12 + 4 reading list. It looks like an interesting series, featuring detective Aimee Leduc who has her practice in Paris. Each book in the series seems to focus on different areas of Paris. Obviously this one is set in the Latin Quarter. This is the synopsis, "A Haitian woman arrives at the office of Leduc Detective proclaiming that she is Aimee's sister, her father's illegitimate daughter. Aimee is thrilled; she has always wanted a sister. Her partner, Rene, is wary of this stranger but Aimee embraces her. She soon finds herself involved in murky Haitian politics which lead to murder in the old university district of Paris, the Latin Quarter." This is the ninth book in the series, so it'll probably be awhile before I get to it.

2. The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty. My sister-in-law, Sue bought me the third book in this trilogy set in Northern Ireland and featuring Catholic detective, Sean Duffy. Luckily, the first book was one the first ones I saw as I was wandering around the store. Believing totally in fate, especially when book shopping, I purchased it. This is the synopsis, "Spring 1981, Northern Ireland. Belfast on the verge of outright civil war. The Thatcher government has flooded the area with soldiers, but nightly there are riots, bombings and sectarian attacks. Amid the chaos, Sean Duffy, a young, witty, Catholic detective in the almost entirely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, is trying to track down a serial killer who is targeting gay men. As a Catholic policeman, Duffy is suspected by both sides, and there are other layers of complications. For one thing, homosexuality is illegal in Northern Ireland in 1981. then he discovers that one of the victims was involved in the IRA but was last seen discussing business with someone from the Protestant Ulster Volunteer Force. Fast-paced, evocative and brutal, The Cold Cold Ground is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles and a cop caught in the cross fire." It does sound like an interesting trilogy and I should read in order. It's a period of which I've read about in the news, but which is quite alien to the culture in which I was raised. Fascinating to try and get another perspective on it.

3. Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson. I've enjoyed the Longmire series on TV ever since it started. It was cancelled by A&E at the end of last season, but I've read that Netflix has picked it up. Excellent series. I've had the first book for a couple of years now and it, also, is on my 12 + 4 list for this year. I've avoided buying any other books in the series until I actually read the first, but I can't knock the price and I can read at least one more. This is the fourth book in the Longmire series. "When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is discovered alongside the interstate in Wyoming's Absaroka County, Sheriff Walt Longmire finds only one suspect, Virgil White Buffalo, a Crow with a troubling past. In what begins as an open-and-shut case, Longmire gets a lot more than he bargained for when a photograph in the young woman's purse connects her to an investigation that Longmire tackled forty years ago as a young Marine investigator in Vietnam."

4. Landed Gently by Alan Hunter. I have read a couple of the George Gently books and have a couple of others waiting on my bookshelf for me. As well, Jo and I enjoyed the TV series very much, although I have to say it had quite a different feel than the books. Landed Gently is the fourth book in the series and was published in 1957. "A Christmas break means business as usual for Gently when there's murder beneath the mistletoe. Having been invited to spend Christmas in the country fishing for pike, Gently finds himself hunting a completely different predator when a guest at Merely Hall, a nearby stately home, is found dead at the foot of the grand staircase on Christmas morning. At first the tragedy is assumed to be a simple accident; but Gently is not one to jump to conclusions and is soon in no doubt whatsoever that this was murder. Merely produces the finest tapestries in England, but the threads that Gently must unravel in his investigation are more complex than any weaver's pattern. Everyone, from the lord of the  manor to his most lowly servant, falls under suspicion. It's a cold Christmas in the country when the air is sharp with the chill of murder." Always a good read and well worth trying out both the books and the show.

5. The Snare of the Hunter by Helen MacInnes. Helen MacInnes is a British spy writer who I'm not familiar with. I know her name, but have not read any of her books. She lived from 1907 - 1985 and wrote 22 novels. While I was reading Alistair MacLean's The Last Frontier over Xmas, one of her books was mentioned in the back of the book, so I decided to try one out, as I do like Alistair Maclean. This one seemed the most interesting of the 4 or so that were on the shelves in the bookstore. This is her 17th book and was written in 1974. "Get Irina Kusak safely out of Czechoslovakia. that is the plan. Bring her to the hideout in Austria where she will be reunited with her famous father, a Nobel Prize nominee, who has escaped from behind the Iron Curtain. It is a dangerous mission. Almost certain to fail. For the gallant little band of amateurs picked for the job is no match for professional killers. Or are they?" We'll see how much I enjoy her stories.

6. The Blue Ice by Hammond Innes. Like Helen MacInnes, Hammond Innes is another new author for me and his books were also listed in the back of the MacLean book. Innes was a British author who lived from 1913 - 1998. Over his life, he wrote 30 novels. The Blue Ice was his 11th book and was written in 1948. "George Farnell's legacy came to light ten years after his disappearance. Two lines of poetry and a lump of mineral ore were all he left. Yet they were enough to send mineral expert Bill Gansert to Norway. But word of Farnell's findings had already leaked out. Gansert found himself caught in a maze of ambition and treachery whose roots lay deep in the years of German Occupation. Yet the danger threatened by his rivals was as nothing compared with the blinding snow and the blue ice of Norway's glacier country." Brrrrrrrr!

7. Cover Her Face by P.D. James. P.D. James lived from 1920 until 1914, having passed away last November. She is most noted for her Inspector Dalgliesh mystery series, although, she is not limited to that. One of my favourite books of hers was Children of Men, a dystopic SciFi story. I have read one of the Dalgliesh mysteries so far, Original Sin, which I enjoyed very much. In my Mystery book group on Goodreads, we have started a thread, encouraging discussion of her books and her writing style, etc. I thought it would be a good idea to try and find her first book in the Dalgliesh series, hence Cover Her Face. I will try to read this in the next month or so. "Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler's fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death... And it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find out who that someone is."

So there you have it, my first purchases of 2015. I'll try to be good for awhile and focus on reading and Blog writing and stay out of book stores for a week or two.. ;)..

Anyway, off to find a place for these books.

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