Oh, and before I say anything else... I'd like to wish Canada an early
The missus has been trying some new recipes this week and they've been very successful. She made Chicken Chasseur (a fond memory of her mother's cooking) and yesterday, Boeuf Bourguinon (we'd seen it on a CBC show, Back in Time for Dinner. They follow a Canadian family from Toronto; making them live in a different decade from the 40's to the present. In the '60s episode, they had the mother cook Boeuf Bourguinon... Jo's was much better... :0)
I finished one last book this month.
"The Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Emma Orczy was a little gem. I'd read her adventure, The Scarlet Pimpernal, and had enjoyed quite a bit. While I was reading it, my wife mentioned that she remembered a radio series she'd listened too many years ago, which was based on Orczy's book about The Old Man in the Corner. It sounded interesting and so I decided to see if I could find a copy; which I did at The Book Depository (one of their print on demand books).
Basically, the book is a collection of short story mysteries. They remind me somewhat of Isaac Asimov's books about the Black Widowers, in which a group of older men, meet regularly at their club and meet someone who explains their circumstances (normally involving a crime) and then without leaving their club they try to solve it (usually with final words from the waiter). The Old Man in the Corner features a similar situation. Newspaper reporter, Polly, meets regularly with The Old Man at a local cafe (an A.B.C shop as it's called) and the old man details a recent court case; a robbery, a murder etc. Polly basically listens while the old man tells her the story and then solves the case, a case that has continually befuddled the police and courts.
There are a variety of stories in the book and each is interesting as is the Old Man's solutions. I enjoyed each case and the Old Man's quirks (he is impulsive about tying a string in knots as he goes through each case). Once solved he basically disappears until the next meet. The stories are short and grab you right away and the solutions are also interesting. What I particularly enjoyed was the final case and Polly finally getting in the last word. It was a surprising ending that actually had me laughing out loud in amazement. I enjoyed this book very much and recommend highly. (4.5 stars)"
I didn't start a new book when I finished this last book as I already had 4 books on the go. I'll finish one of those first before I start another.
Bill's Authors A - Z
"Definitely a different mystery writer. I enjoyed it very much. I had seen a couple of episodes of the TV series, Vera previously and Ann Cleeves had received some recommendations from my Goodreads acquaintances. So I finally got the first book and took the time to read it. Quite different from the series which is, of course, Vera-centric. In the book, you don't really meet Vera Stanhope until about half way through and she is almost peripheral as we explore the other women's lives and the events which are being investigated. Very methodical, interesting way of developing a story and ultimately the solving of the mystery is almost incidental. Vera is an interesting copper, not like any others I've read about, grumpy, a busy-body, but still with an intuition towards solving the crime. I enjoyed this and will read other Ann Cleeves stories."
There are currently 8 books in the Vera series. You can also catch the TV series based on the books. It's also quite good.
"This was an enjoyable mystery. It's the first book in the Shetland series, with Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, a former resident of the Shetland islands, looking to solve the murder of a young girl. Now I had already watched the TV mini-series based on the books so found myself trying to find the similarities and differences between the show and the book, but the book was interesting enough that this constant comparison didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book, itself. There are quite a few differences; characters (the female Sgt from the TV show was not in the book) and I think that the resolution of the story was quite different from that of the TV series, which is interesting in itself. All in all, it was an excellent, entertaining introduction to this series by Ann Cleeves. I look forward to reading more of the books."
"World War I hero and Scotland Yard detective Joe Sandilands is traveling to Simla, summer capital of the British Raj, when he is thrust abruptly—and bloodily—into his second case of serial murder: His traveling companion, a Russian opera singer, is shot dead at his side in the Governor of Bengal's touring car at a crossroads known as Devil's Elbow. Like Cleverly's award-winning and enthusiastically reviewed The Last Kashmiri Rose, which debuted Sandilands, Ragtime in Simla effectively combines exotic settings with high suspense in a deftly plotted tale of 1920s India. At Simla, in the pine-scented Himalayan hills, the English colonials have re-created a bit of home with half-timbered houses, glittering dinner tables, amateur theatricals, and gymkhanas. But when Joe's murder investigation turns up an identical unsolved killing a year earlier, he begins to uncover behind the close-knit community's sparkling facade a sinister trail of blackmail, vice, and deadly secrets."
b. The Damascened Blade (#3).
"In the northwest frontier 1910, the screams of a wounded British officer abandoned at the bottom of a dark ravine are heard by a young Scottish subaltern. Ignoring the command to retreat to base the Highlander sets out alone, with dagger in hand, to rescue his fellow officer from the Pathan tribesman who is slowly torturing him to death. But the bloody outcome of this rescue attempt is not what anybody could have predicted. Over a dozen years later the backwash of this tragedy threatens to engulf Joe Sandilands. On a welcome break from his policing duties, Joe is spending a fortnight with his old army friend, James Lindsay, commander of the British army's front line fort at Gor Khatri on the Afghan border. However, the fragile peace is soon broken resulting in the death of a Pathan prince and the taking of hostages, and Joe and his companion are given seven days in which to identify, arrest and execute the killer before the frontier erupts into war. The deadly edge of the final days of the Raj sets the backdrop for this third engrossing novel in the popular Joe Sandilands series"
c. The Palace Tiger (#4).
"This is the 4th book in the Joe Sandilands mystery series, so far set in India during the time of the Raj. Sandilands is a Scotland Yard commander who, in the first book, was seconded to the British police in India to teach law enforcement techniques to the Indian police and to learn from them as well. In the 4 books he has also worked for Sir George Jardine, the governor of Bengal, traveling around India solving various mysteries and acting as Sir George's eyes and ears in outlying areas. This story finds Sandilands in Ranipur, looking into the suspicious deaths of two heirs to the throne of the prince who is also dying. As well, he is to assist if possible with tracking and killing a tiger that has been killing local people. I like the pace of the story and I've grown to like Sandilands, his detective style and his personality. The mystery is interesting and worked at methodically and this allows Barbara Cleverly to give an excellent portrayal of the region and of life in the Raj at the time. The story isn't complex but it's still an entertaining read. I will now have to find the next in the series, The Bee's Kiss, which finds Sandilands returning to London. I'm looking forward to seeing him in action in more familiar turf for him. 3.5 stars."
a. Confined Space.
"When respected ex–Canadian Forces commander Bern Fortin cuts short his military career to take a job as the coroner for a small mountain town in the heart of BC, he’s hoping to leave the past behind. Bern’s looking forward to a quiet life, but the memories of what he witnessed during his stints in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries haunt him still.
When the body of one of the workers is found floating in the huge bottle-washing tank at the local brewery, Bern is called in for a routine investigation. What first appears to be a tragic accident takes a menacing turn when the body of the worker’s girlfriend is discovered in a nearby field. Bern needs the help of brewery safety investigator Evie Chapelle, who, burdened by tragedies she might have prevented, is more determined than ever to keep her workers, and their tight-knit community, safe. Soon, Bern and Evie find themselves risking their jobs—and their lives—to uncover a killer hiding in a place where it is awfully hard to keep a secret. "
b. Open Secret (#2).
"After the abrupt end to his military career Bern has settled into an uneasy peace in his new life in Kootenay Landing—a peace he knows can’t last. Out for a fall hike, he discovers Dr. Juniper Sinclair, the town’s lone doctor, attempting to revive small-time drug dealer Seymour Melnychuk, who has been shot in the forehead. In a seemingly unrelated incident, Gary Dowd abandons his van while crossing the US border. Gary is a local father of two, an accountant, and a steady, predictable guy. He’s also been best friends with Seymour Melnychuk since elementary school.
Bern knows the two disturbing events must be related and works with police constable Maddie Schilling to uncover the hidden ties that connect the two cases. Why was Dr Sinclair already on the scene? Why is there no exit wound on Seymour’s body? Why did Gary Dowd disappear while trying to cross the border? Who truly controls the hills and forests around Kootenay Landing? Amidst the chaos of the case, Bern’s military background comes back to haunt him, forcing him to confront the secrets of his own past that he has long sought to keep buried.
As Bern and Schilling close in on the killer, each is drawn into the case personally and the stakes are higher than anyone can imagine. Everyone has something to hide, and no one in Kootenay Landing seems willing to talk. But Bern Fortin is well aware that no secret can remain buried forever—not even his own. "
So there you go... Time to take the puppies out for their evening walk. They've been very patient. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.