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Hi, in the past couple of years I have been away from LibraryThing for health reasons, prior to that I was a member of the 250 Challenge and one year I did manage to reach my goal. This year I have decided to be more realistic and aim for 100 or more. To date I have read 17 which I will list in a separate post.
I like mysteries - police procedurals, ecclesiasticals, and medieval are some of my favourites. I have been reading a lot of World War I and II novels, mysteries and non-fiction lately. I think because of the one hundredth anniversary of the start of WW I in 1914 there has been more focus on the two world wars by writers, in particular fiction writers. In novels it varies depending on what I see and my mood. I read a mix of non-fiction it depends on what catches my eye. I like history, biography and literary travel.
I read e-books and find titles to read from lists published by bookbud.com, Crime Writers of Canada, and Stop You're Killing Me among others. Also by following books like this on Amazon.ca and, of course, LibraryThing recommendations.
I am a retired librarian living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. In one of my jobs I also ran a publishing company and did editing hence my comments, complaints about 'loose' books! 📚
In honour of Canada's 150 birthday I have decided to turn this into a 150 Book challenge for 2017. 🇨🇦
January 2017 - not in the order read:
M.D. Grayson, Danny Logan P. I., Seattle, Washington
No Way To Die
Mona Lisa Eyes
Blue Molly And I am waiting for number 6 in the series!
The Japanese Lover, Isabel Allende
A young Jewish girl is sent from Poland to relatives in San Francisco in 1939. There she meets the gardner's son who is Japanese. His family is interned by the government for the duration of the war and are not allowed to return to California. Their story is told as a memoir. The was a fair amount of repetition hence the half star.
A Daughter's Tale A Memoir of Winston Churchill's Youngest Child, Mary Soames
The early years of Mary Churchill's live with an emphasis on WW II. She served with a mixed corp involved with antiaircraft tracking and shooting down bombs mainly over London. She also served as an aid to her father, prime minister of Great Britain, on trips to Canada, Washington, D.C., Paris and Berlin. The book ends with her marriage to Christopher Soames in 1946.
The Sisters of St. Croix, Diney Costoloe
A young English woman, finding out she was adopted, flees to France to visit an unknown aunt, a nun, to learn about her history. With the coming of WW II both become involved in the French resistance.
Under the Sun, M.W. Kennard
The Danish resistance, a downed British pilot and romance.
The Plum Tree, Ellen Marie Wiseman
Christine and Isaac fall in love, but in Germany in 1938, this is forbidden vas he is a Jew. The Plum Tree follows Christine and her family through WW II, her father is sent to the eastern front and becomes a Russian POW, Christine is dent to a concentration camp. It is an interesting story providing the war experience by a poor German family who don't support Hitler. However the editing could have been much better to make it tighter, with less repetition. That is why I only gave it 3 stars.
Murder in G Major, Alexia Gordon
Gethsemane Brown, with the help of an Irish ghost, investigates a twenty-five year old murder of the ghost's wife. At the same time she is trying to focus young teenage boys on music and an important orchestra competition.
Broken Angels, Gemma Liviero
From the Polish ghetto to a German orphanage, raising Aryan babies as well as experiments on Jewish women and fertility. This brings Jewish Elsi
Romanian Matilda and Willen, a Nazi doctor together as they try to help each other survive the war.
Picture This, Tobsha Learner
I did not read the Early Reviewers description of this book carefully enough. What I took from it was art world and mystery and this is true, Maxine Doubleday's exhibit at Felix Baum's gallery in New York is not well received and she commits suicide. A year later an English photographer, Susie Thomas, is in New York preparing an exhibit for the same gallery and she has a connection to Doubleday. The question becomes did Maxine Doubleday jump from the bridge or was she pushed?
I did not read the entire book just the beginning and the end, which confirmed a couple of suspicions I had from the opening chapters. I didn't find the book very well written and I don't think the erotica was necessary to the plot. If I had read the book blurb more carefully I wouldn't have requested it. It is other people's taste just not mine.
I do like the cover, it represents the title well and in a print edition would be very eye catching on a book store shelf.
This review was written for Early Reviewers.
#14 - 16
The Glassblowers Trilogy, Petra Durst-Benning
The American Lady
The Paradise of Glass
The Steinmann sisters are forced, upon the death of their father, to support themselves in the mid-1880's in Germany. Marie becomes the first woman glassblower in the region known for glass and she starts a line of Christmas tree ornaments. Johanna works for a glass wholesaler until she returns to help manage Marie's studio. Ruth, leaves an unhappy marriage and goes to America with her lover, Stephen Miles. Her daughter, Wanda, returns to Germany to try and help the family.
To Dwell in Darkness, Deborah Crombie
I love the Gemma James, Duncan Kincaid police procedural series set in London. The seventeenth title is being released February 7 so I reread this in order to refresh my memory and be prepared for Garden of Lamentations.
January = 17
Welcome aboard! I'm also a big fan of police procedurals, so I will be watching your thread for suggestions.
Hiroshima Maidens, Rodney Barker
8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Barker presents the lives of twenty-five young woman, who were school girls when the bomb fall, and collectively became know as the Hiroshima Maidens. They travelled to New York City in 1955 for plastic surgery to free their arms from fixed positions and to undergo skin grafts to repair damage to their face, neck and arms. Major Japanese American commitment supported the project with funding, free medical aid, billeting by the Quakers and over all support for the twelve to eighteen months the women were in the United States. Barker follows the women and their lives, successes and failures through to the early 1980's. His family had a personal connection as one of the young women stayed in their home and was a big sister to him.
This book presents a different side of the bombing, and war in that it's focus is the suffering of civilians and the on going impact it has on their lives. There were numerous attempts to draw the women into discussion of their views of the United States' use of the bomb to end the war and possible future use. It was not part of the group's role to politizies their experiences, although some spoke out individually later in life.
The Suez Canal, S. C. Burchell
In 1832 French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps lay in a hospital bed in Alexandria, Egypt waiting to take up his post when he was given the "Description de le Egypte" to help him pass the time. The volume he picked up described the engineering study into a canal from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea which Napoleon had commissioned in 1798. It became Lesseps dream to build the Suez Canal.
In 1855 he received a commission from Egypt to go ahead, but that was just the beginning. Raising the money and overcoming England's opposition were major obstacles but he let nothing deter him and finally in 1859 construction started. The plan was to connect five dry desert lakes which would be filled with sea water once the forty miles of sand and rock was dug out. It started with men and shovels as there was no money for equipment but that changed when Napoleon III finally gave his official backing to the project.
Ten years in the making the Suez Canal opened with great fanfare on November 17, 1869. With the Industrial Revolution and the need for raw products from the east and finished products moving from the west the canal was an immediate success.
Politics have continued to play a role in who has control of the Suez Canal, France, then Egypt, then Britain and back to Egypt where it remains today.
Ferdinard le Lesseps dream was for a canal that would be used by all nations. At the base of his statue in Port Said these words express his dream "Open the land to all nations."
I gave the book 4 1/2 stars because it is missing two appendices I would have found most interesting, the technical information on the width, depth, number of workers, actual budget figures and the like. The second would be clear maps showing the areas dug out, the five lakes and the canal. There is a gallery with photos of some of the work but not in detail.
You had the much the same reaction to Picture This as I did, and made the same mistake in requesting it. Great minds!
Fixed the touchstone. Picture This is a popular title.
Garden of Lamentations, Deborah Crombie
Gemma James is called into another station's investigation of the murder of a 24 year old young woman. Kincaid is surprised to learn of the return from leave of his former boss Dennis Child. An attack on Child pushes Duncan further into the investigation of undercover police.
Good luck with your challenge! I'm impressed that you managed 250 books one year, I haven't made even 100 for the past few years. This year, I will again! :)
The Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood
Phryne Fisher is introduced as a very rich, bored, society young woman from England who returns to Australia on a whim. She left Melbourne as a poverty stricken ten year old but because of deaths in the line of succession her father comes up roses and wealthy to boot. Her whim to become a private investigator actually has a job attached to it which leads her into a cocaine distribution ring as well as back street abortions. Fortunately she is an intelligent social butterfly!
I look forward to more in the series.
Phryne Fisher is a wonderful character, glad you enjoyed the first book! (Can I assume the "Pharynx" in your review is due to autocorrect? :)
The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
The bare facts of this fictionalized biography are Hadley Richardson met Earnest Hemmingway in Chicago in 1920, they married in 1921, lived in Paris for most of their marriage and divorced in 1927. At the same time she provides a good view of the 1920's literary scene
With Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford amd other American authors.
Paula McLain, while keeping to the facts builds on this and presents a well rounded account of the marriage. Hadley grows into a strong woman, true to herself and her ongoing love for Ernest. In Hemingway you find a man, although broken and afraid from events in WW I and in need of friends and support, willing to step on his friends and make fun of them and their talents in his writing. Easily led by Pauline he turns his back on the best person and support in his life. He doesn't come out of this book looking well.
Autocorrect is a nuisance at times. Thanks for pointing that out, my eyes saw what they expected to see. I actually read the first five titles some years ago as I slowly realized as I read this. I will reread them over time.
#27 The Ophelia Cut, John Lescroart
Moses McGuire is accused of the murder of the man who brutally raped his daughter and is being defended by his brother-in-law, Dismas Hardy. The police have little to no substantive evidence but the case has turned into a political football involving the chief of police who wants it solved quickly and so directly takes over the investigation, a dirty city politician who wants it closed so no one looks closely at the activities of the dead man, and the police investigators who don't look beyond Moses. It is a difficult case for Hardy.
If you liked the Paris Wife you might like Loving Frank, about Frank LLoyd Wright's first wife. Sort of along the same lines, but liked this better.
#28. The Keeper, John Lescroart
Katie Chase goes missing the evening before Thanksgiving and her husband, Hal, a guard at the San Francisco jail becomes an immediate suspect. With no substantive evidence he is arrested. A newspaper columnist brings to the publics attention the number of deaths, sucidies and OD's that have occurred in the jail and lays the claim that the jail administration are behind this. Is Katie's death tied into the coverup of these crimes or is their another explanation?
#29 The Fall, John Lescroart
Rebecca Hardy takes on her first murder case which has many challenges. Her client has pushed for having his case heard as soon as possible which greatly limits her prep. time, he becomes a friend as well as a client and he becomes personal involved with Harding's assistant which adds pressure. As with all Lescroart books the plot flows well, characters from previous books float in and out adding to the depth of the plot development. The trial ends with a very surprising twist leaving Hardy with a puzzle to solve. Good read.
# 31 Damage, Felix Francis
Jeff Hinkley, undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), is drawn into an investigation to determine who is trying to destroy the BHA and jump racing in Britain.
I keep returning to Dick, and now Felix, Francis for a comfort read!
February = 15
Total = 31
# 32 Smokescreen, Dick Francis
Edward Lincoln completes the last scenes of a movie which has him left in the desert handcuffed in a car. He then goes to South Africa to help a friend with her race horses. There the movie scene becomes real life. In the movie the focus was on the mental aspects of being left to die but he realizes when he is undergoing the real thing, no stopping for lunch, it is the physical that is the hardest thing to cope with. And it is all because he was given the gold mine shares someone else wanted to inherit.
# 33. The Bootlegger's Goddaughter, Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell got her start writing stand-up comedy and she carries that talent through to the writing of The Bootlegger's Goddaughter. Gina Gallo's wedding day is three days away and Christmas not far on so after a day of errands and shopping she is more than annoyed when her purse and shopping bag is stolen and, although she chases the thief he gets away with a cheeky wave. Then the news, from many sources, that Zia Sophia in Sicily saw a crow, a sign of bad luck, and that a winter storm was heading towards southern Ontario. The wedding champagne is stolen, along with a truck of booze, and finally the reception hall nearly burns down when a still blows up. Oh, did I mention that Gina's family is part of the Mob, but she tries her hardest to stay out of the business!
The Bootlegger's Goddaughter is the fifth in the Gina Gallo mystery series which are published as part of the Rapid Read literacy series. The second title The Goddaughter's Revenge won the 2014 Derringer and the 2014 Arthur Ellis awards.
Reviewed for Early Reviewers.
# 34. The Brendan Voyage Across The Atlantic In A Leather Boat, Tim Severin
Tim Severin sets out to, as historical as possible, replica the voyages of the Irish monk Saint Brendan to the Promise Land to the west of Ireland, the new world. Saint Brendan made his voyages over a period of seven summers, approximately one thousand years ago. Severin made his aboard the Brendan in the summers of 1976 and 1977.
Following closely the information in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis the recorded history of the saint's voyage, an open curragh was made of forty-nine oxhides stitched together with a flax thread to forming a patchwork quilt and then stretched over an ash frame. The flexibility of the hide and the ash was extremely important in the sailing and survival of the craft. Two tarpaulins mid and aft provide shelter, covered storage, sleeping quarters for the five then four crew, as well as cooking and radio facilities. Saint Brendan traveled with a crew of twelve to fourteen.
Based on his interpretation of the Navigatio Severin believed the route was north to the Hebrides, then west to the Faroes, Iceland and then to Newfoundland, Canada. His account of the wild North Atlantic waters, the icebergs of Greenland, the people encountered on route would make for a wild seafaring yarn except this is nonfiction, a true life adventure!
Severin provides detailed information on his research and even the ebook contains some photos. What is missing are maps, for me a deduction of half
a star. Highly recommended.
Reviewed for Early Reviewers
#35 From Sand and Ash, Amy Harmon
Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco met when they were children in 1929 and there lives joined forever. He became a priest, she was Jewish, he tried to hide her in a convent in Rome during World War II, instead she helped print false documents for people hidden by the Catholic Church, and became a secretary to a German officer. But their lives were joined forever, they just needed to work it through.
# 36. George and Marina Duke and Duchess of Kent, Christopher Warwick
Marina, a descendant of the Russian royal family, the Danish royal family and the British royal family, was a member of the Greek royal family. Following a political coup her family became wandering exiles. George, fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary, was a man about town, had bi-sexual relationship and at one time was addicted to cocaine and heroine as well as a lover of art, music and fine antiques. Two very different people who shared a short marriage before George died in a wartime plane crash and Marina carried on raising a family of three, maintaining strong connections with her own family and carrying out a full range of royal duties. She died of a brain tumour at age 61.
# 38. The Color of the Water in July, Nora Carroll
Jess inherits the family cottage from her grandmother. As a child she spend all her summers there until she was seventeen when she left it for good. Now, at thirty-three she reluctantly returns with plans to sell it quickly but once there she is caught up in her family's story and tries to discover the truth.
# 39. Loving Eleanor, Susan Wittig Albert
Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert is what I term a factionalized biography. All of the characters, except for three, are real people; the three exceptions are used to either move the plot along or as a way of introducing necessary information. An example of the latter is an up-stairs maid who tells outsiders about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena "Hicks" Hickok. Witting Albert read the correspondence between the two women as well as researched the time period and people involved. So, although it is fiction it is true to the history of the lives of the two women.
The represention of Eleanor as less than confident and reluctant to be the First Lady goes counter to the reputation she has but makes sense when her childhood is examined. The focus in other books I have read, including the mystery series by her son Elliott, is on what she did as First Lady, the weekly women's press conference, her "My Day" newspaper column (both suggested by Hicks), social engagements and community and committee meetings as well as representing her husband, FDR, across the country. In "Loving Eleanor" we see how much being First Lady supresses the real Eleanor or as Hicks expresses it the personage takes over Eleanor the person.
FDR's love life extended beyond his marriage and carried on until his death, a woman he had a relationship with dating back to the 1920's was with him when he died. Much less is known about Eleanor's bisexual relationships. At least one author, Doris Faber was in her words "in something like a classic state of shock" when she went to research a book on Eleanor Roosevelt and discovered the correspondence between Eleanor and Hicks. After attempts to have the material locked away for thirty ot forty more years failed she wrote The Life of Lorena Hicks, reinterpreting the material and demeaning Hicks and her accomplishments.
Hicks was a professional journalist who, in 1928 when she met Eleanor, was the only woman reporter working for the Associated Press in the New York bureau and was covering the Democratic ticket in the 1928 presidential and New York governortorial races, Al Smith for president and Franklin D. Roosevelt for governor. She saw a story in Mrs. Roosevelt and thus it began.
"Loving Eleanor" presented a new side of Eleanor Roosevelt and introduced Lorena Hickok who was previously just a name to me. It is well researched, well written, interesting and entertaining.
# 40. The Traitor's Story, Kevin Wignall
The Traitor's Stoty brings together two events that happened six years apart. The first, titled "History" tells of a failed British Intelligence sting operation in Estonia which results in Charles 'Finn' Harrington being labeled as a traitor. Six years later a fifthteen year old girl runs away and her parents turn to Finn for help, knowing him to be a former spy,. In doing this he discovers that he has been under surveillance for the past two years. As the history and the present merge Finn works to set himself free from the events of six years ago so he can live a 'normal' life.
# 41. Felony Murder Rule, Sheldon Siegel
California has an obscure law, the Felony Murder Rule, which means if you are with someone who causes a murder to happen you can be charged with murder. Thomas Nguyen is sitting in a car outside a liquor store in San Francisco while his friend goes in for beer. The store owner thinks Duc Tho is going to pull a gun and rob him so within five secoof Tho's entrance he takes five bullets in the chest, The owner, Ortega Cruz, claimed it was self defence, so Thomas was charged with murder under the Felony Murder Rule. Mike Daley, out of private practice and in the Public Defenders Office takes on the case.
# 42. A Hunter's Prayer, Kevin Wignal aka For the Dogs
Ella Hatto' father, mother and seventeen year old younger brother are murdered by a hired hit man. She is in Italy and survives the attempt on her life because her father had hired a bodyguard to follow and protect her. The book provides an interesting look at the way such hits are set up, the middle man, the hired killer, the numbered account to keep it all secret and hoe Ella exacts revenge.
# 43. The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George
Jean Perdu sells books from his barge, the Literary Apothecary, moored on the Seine in Paris.He believes the right book can help one overcome whatever ails one, sleepless nights, sad love affairs, grief. But for the past twenty-one years he has not been able to face his own grief over the loss of his lover let alone recover from it.
# 44. Wildcat V. I. Warshawski's First Case, Sara Paretsky
During the summer of 1967 there were race riots in Chicago and the violence was heightened by the presence of Martin Luther King. V. I. hears her cousin's uncle threaten her father and leave for the riot to find the policeman. She follows and becomes involved in her first murder investigation.
# 46. The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis
The Barbizon Hotel for Women in New York rented rooms to young women from across the country going to New York to become models, secretaries or the like. In 1952 the lives of a model, secretary and a maid became enmeshed and ended tragically. By 2016 the building had been converted to condos, except for some rooms for the remaining Barbizon women, now retired. A journalist seeks to determine the tragedy and write a history of the building, sometimes called The Dollhouse, and it's occupants.
# 47. The Writers, Robert Wernick
Short biographical notes on eight writers: Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeline series, Agatha Christie, Britain's First Lady of crime, Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holme's fame, Rudyard Kipling, the Anglo-Indian author of "Kim," Jack London who wrote of the north, Herman Melville who is best known for "Moby Dick," Ezra Poundwho introduced a new form of poetry to the world and George Sand (Aurora Dupin) the famous female French writer of the mid 1800's. A children's author, novelists, mystery writers and poets, a doctor, a whaler, a traitor. Why these writers? I don't know.
# 48. The Miracle of Dunkirk, Walter Lord
A great book The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord. I knew about the evacuation of the British army from the beaches of Dunkirk in May, 1940 but I didn't know much more. Lord explains what the Germans did to make it necessary and how the telephone communications system the French insisted upon failed completely so no one, the army in Northern Europe or the command officers in Dover or the war cabinet in London, had a clue what was actually happening on the ground. And finally how it was done, using fishing boats, pleasure crafts, destroyers and every size of boat available to evacuate close to 400,000 English and French soldiers from France to England. An amazing feat that is well told using official records as well as personal recollections. Highly recommended.
March = 17
Total = 48
# 49. In Farleigh Field, Rhys Bowen
At the beginning of WW II some members of the upper classes felt Britain would be better off having the Duke of Windsor back on the throne and peace made with German. Following the discovery of the body of a German spy in a field of Farleigh and the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Churchill there it is essential that the pro-German sympathizers be identified and stopped from killing Churchill.
# 50. Kate Middleton: Our Princess, Irene Bell
A superficial overview of Kate Middleton's life as told by a reporter. Some interesting information on her family's background, a life of poverty working as coal miners on her mother's side to the wealth earned by her mother's idea for a party business which grew from a one person kitchen company to a multi-employee business. The book ends with the birth of Prince George.
# 51. Dead Lawyers Don't Lie, Mark Nolan
Jake Wolfe, former Marine, is a photojournalist in San Francisco who witnesses the assassination of a lawyer and gets a photo of the assassin. Once this hits the air Jake is a marked man. A Russian is identified as the assassin and the SFPD, the FBI, the Secret Service and Jake and his dog are all involved in finding and eliminating him as the killings continue. A great read, I didn't want to put it down.
# 52. The Girl With No Name, Diney Costeloe
Lisa, a young German is evacuated to England in August, 1939 and placed with a foster family. When the Blitz starts she is caught outside a shelter, loses her memory and is again evacuated to an English village where she becomes Charlotte. She ends the war working in a children's home in London.
# 54. While the World Is Still Asleep, Petra Durst-Benning
Berlin, 1889, Jo sees and rides her first bicycle and is in love with the freedom and the feel of the wind in her hair. Clare, Isabelle and Jo share that day and there lives will be marked by it, loves and lies, will define their future. And always the bicycle. The first in The Century Trilogy.
# 55. Quick and Clever Watercolour Pencils, Charles Evans
Evans provides a quick introduction to watercolour pencils and the takes the reader through a variety of projects, e.g., hills and moors, wild birds, still life. He provides good information on using brushes and water with the pencils.
# 57. Blood and Belonging, Vicky Delany
Blood and Belonging by Canadian author Vicki Delany is the third in the Ray Robertson Mystery series. Ray is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stationed in Haiti to assist in training and mentoring at the Haitian Police Academy.. While on holiday in the Turks and Caicos Islands, with his wife, he finds a body on the beach when he is out jogging. This involves him in the refugees from Haiti who are landed in the Turks and Caicos instead of there expected destination, the United States.
Blood and Belonging is part of the Rapid Read series published for ESL students, reluctant readers and people with literacy problems. This series offers short reads that would be of interest to adults. Based on my experience as an ESL tutor and the titles I have read in this series Rapid Reads meets its goal.
This book is a good, quick read that meets the Rapid Read goals and would also interest anyone looking for a short mystery. I recommend it.
An Early Reviewers book.
# 58. Private Investigations, Quintin Jardine
A fender bender in a shopping mall parking lot reveals the body of a toddler in the trunk when the driver flees the scene on foot. The car he hit was Bob Skinner's. Skinner is asked to investigate the theft of a luxury yacht which, it's owner believes the police dismissed. The two apparently unrelated incidents lead to more deaths as the unified Scottish Police Force and Skinner follow different leads to a solution that will surprise the reader.
# 59. Making a Mark: Letter to a Grandson on the Story of European Painting, Marjorie Ann Watts
Making a Mark: Letter to a Grandson on the Story of European Painting by Marjorie Ann Watts both hits and misses the mark. (Pun intended.) It was offered as an Early Reviewers title and I requested it because I justed started to paint and I thought a refresher on European art would be interesting. And it was, to a point.
The author started wiith cave paintings and ended with 21st century art. Information is provided on the artists, techniques and historical events. In that area the book achieves what it set out to do and on that bases I recommend it.
Where it completely misses the mark was the publisher's decision to publish it solely as an ebook. An art book without pictures is not an art book. Detailed information is provided whereby the reader can look at pictures on the internet, and while this maybe helpful for some it didn't work for me. Leaving the book to search the internet interrupted the flow of the book and became a nuisance, which meant I stopped doing it. Having run a publishing company for seven years and thus have some background in the publishing process, I really question the assumptions the publisher made about the book's audience and why they short-changed both the book and it's author by publishing Making a Mark as an ebook.
Ebooks are useful to readers who are looking for portable libraries, who don't want to be bothered by heavy, cumbersome books, who want to be able to adjust the font size. They are great for straightforward books. But, for me, once illustrations, photos, maps and the like are introduced they start to fail the reader as the technology does not support these in a large, clear format. This is where Making a Mark failed me.
⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 For the text.
⭐️⭐️ For presentation
# 60. Hour of Darkness, Quintin Jardine
The body of a murdered woman is identified as Bella Watson which brings forth crimes of two opposing crime lords, Manson and Holmes, from the past. An Edinburgh case Skinner gets involved because of the past history and it will hit closer to him than he can imagine before it is solved.
# 61. Game Over, Quintin Jardine
A famous model, married to a famous footballer, is found murdered in Edinburgh, and the manager of the football club is arrested. Alex Skinner is hired to defend him and despite the overwhelming evidence she believes in his innocence. She persuades her father, a former policeman, Bob Skinner to investigate the case for her. Interesting twists and turns lead to the conclusion.
# 62. The Lost Soldier, Diney Costeloe
In a grove of nine ash trees in a small English village eight trees were planted in remembrance of eight soldiers from the village who had served and died in World War I. The ninth tree appeared overnight with a marker The Unknown Soldier. This is the story behind that tree.
# 64. My Favourite Husband, Pam McCutcheon
Perhaps it was done in the wrong order but Kelly married for the second time in the morning and buried her first husband in the afternoon. Then #1, missing in the jungle for five years reappears in time to go on the honeymoon. It gets more confusing and silly.
# 65. The Night Lives On: The Untold Stories and Secrets Behind the Sinking of the "Unsinkable" Ship—Titanic, Walter Lord
The Titanic was a disaster in the making: the shortcomings in building it, the captain's casual approach to navigating a ship the size of the Titanic, the handling of information on icebergs in the area provided by other ships, the number and loading of the lifeboats, the lack of exposure the crew and passengers had to lifeboat drill, the lack of information provided to both crew and passengers once the iceberg had been hit and more. Lord's second book on the Titanic disaster is based on personal interviews and extensive research. He takes this book from the construction of the ship to its discovery in 1985.
April = 17
Total = 65
# 66. Long Upon the Land, Margaret Maron
Susan Stephenson has been brought up to be a proper lady, to marry, have children and do good work but there is something within her that rebels at this, she wants more. She wants to do something that is real and different. While working at the airfield in Goldsboro in 1943 she meets a flight instructor who before he goes overseas gives her his lighter and makes her promise to not waste her life by playing it safe as he did.
Forward to the present Deborah Knott is wishing she had listened more to her mother, Susan, the last summer they were together and found out how the proper lawyer's daughter from town married a bootlegger with eight sons. So she sets out speaking to everyone she thinks will know and ends with her father who provides the last bits of the love story.
As always there is an interesting murder to be solved as well.
I enjoy Maron's novels and this one satisfied my curiosity as well as Deborah's regarding her family history.
# 67. The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan
Nina loves her library that has story times for children, services for seniors, literacy tutoring and she especially loved recommending the right book to someone. She is devastated when the library is closed but decides to follow her dream and so buys a van to serve as a travelling book store. This leads her to a new life in the Scottish highlands.
# 68. A Family of Kings The descendants of Christian IX of Denmark, Thero Aronson
One would expect to find the descendants of Queen Victoria on the European thrones today, but, surprisingly of the seven European countries with kings or queens five have descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark on their thrones, Denmark, England, Norway, Belgium, and Spain and if Greece were to recognize their king that would make six.
The major focus is on Christian IX's immediate family, Alexandra who married Edward VII, Dagmar, future Empress of Russia, wife of Alexander II, his son who became George I of Greece and their children. An interesting read.
# 69. Death of a Temptress, P.F. Ford
Detective Sargent Dave Slater has taken the fall for the sloppy work of senior cops in London. He is assigned a cold case involving a missing woman and assigned a partner, Norman Norman, who is in similar straits. One missing woman leads to prostitution, policy corruption and murder. A good read, I will read more in this series.
# 74. Bewreathed, Margaret Maron
Chronologically, this story takes place between "Rituals of the Season" and "Winter’s Child." An increasing number of home robberies are happening and the only common thread is having a one or more newspapers delivered.
# 75. With This Ring, Margaret Maron
With this Ring is a short story that fits in between High Country Fall and Rituals of the Season. Deborah and Dwight are invited to a dance where all the women wear a bride's maid dress.
# 76. Deborah's Judgement, Margaret Maron
Deborah Knott is running for a district judgeship and family circumstances, involving friends of her mother's, cause her to make her first legal judgement. This predates Bootlegger's Daughter.
I have enjoyed the 20 titles in Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series. Now she is returning to an earlier series and her next book will be Take Out, the ninth in the Sigrid Harald police procedural series started in 1981 and the last title written in 1995. In preparation I decided to reread the entire series.
# 77. Death in Blue Folders, Margaret Maron
A top New York lawyer is murdered, his office ransacked and some files burned. The cases in the blue folders stand out, not just by colour, but because of the prominent people involved. What was he up too?
# 78. The Right Jack, Margaret Maron
Lt. Sigrid Harald, NYPD, is investigating a bombing at a cribbage tournament. Links are made back to the more violent student protests against the Vietnam War in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
# 79. Baby Doll Games, Margaret Maron
The lights come down on a Halloween dance concert for children when a dancer is brutally murdered during the performance. Lt. Sigrid Harald and hr NYPD team are hard pressed to follow the tangled threads, one of which leads back to the murder of a child almost a year previous.
# 82. Just A Coincidence, P. F. Ford
The body of a young woman is found and nearby a dog finds the bones of her sister and niece, missing for 15 years. A plane is heard flying from a small airport at night on a regular bases and the police are investigating a smuggling ring. The body fell from a low flying plane on a Monday night, the night the plane is regularly heard. A coincidence?
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# 83. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
Maddie Brodatt is a pilot in the civilian Air Transport Auxiliary, her friend Julia Beaufort-Stuart is a Special Operations Executive agent and both are involved in World War II work where "Loose Lips Sink ships." Both women end up in France, Julia a German prisoner and Maddie working with the French Resistance to determine what happened to her.
# 85. Fugitive Colors, Margaret Maron
In one day in February Harald faces the death and deception of one member of her team (see Past Imperfect), her father's feet of clay and the death of Oscar Nauman in a car accident in California. In Fugitive Colors she grieves, she changes. Her case takes place inside the world of art more than any other and brings together art stolen in World War II and the art world of today.
# 86. Florence, P. F. Ford
An old man is found dead in his home, first it is attributed to natural causes but later it becomes a murder case. The investigation leads Slater and Norman to a long closed orphanage, a former chief constable whose house has been robbed, a lawyer who seems to have everyone involved as a client and a bag lady who drifts about town like a ghost. It takes time and digging to solve this case.
# 87. The Wrong Man, P. F. Ford
She is described as an angel, a friend and helper caught in an abusive marriage and now he has murdered her. Others say she was a sex addict and cared only about herself. Slater has one opinion on who the evidence clears but Norman strongly disagrees. Who is right? Can they come together to solve this case?
# 88. The Big Book of Canada (Updated Edition): Exploring the Provinces and Territories, Christopher Moore
The Big Book of Canada (Updated Edition): Exploring the Provinces and Territories by Christopher Moore has a large mandate to fill and it pretty much meets it. The historical, geographical, political and industrial sections on each province/territory provide a good overview and the information is about the right depth for it's audience of 8 - 12 year olds. The tidbits that will tickle the reader's fancy are a plus. The colourful layout catches the eye and adds to the. enjoyment of the book.
The fault I find with the book is with the production side. The font size is small for the target audience. The glossy paper makes it difficult to share the book as it has to be held at the right angle to avoid a glare off the paper and It is heavy to handle which again is a possible problem for young readers.
Overall I rate the content ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2, and the book ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 for an overall rating of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Early Reviewers Review 2017-5-19
# 89 - 92. Dave Slater Mystery Box Set Two, P.F. Ford
# 89. The Red Telephone Box, P. F. Ford
In The Red Telephone Box Norman disappears when his flat is set on fire. Detective Inspector Marian Goodnews comes in to lead the investigation with Slater as second in command. A sign of changes to come?
# 90. The Secret of Wild Boar Woods, P. F. Ford
The Secret of Wild Boar Woods has Slater matched with a new partner, Naomi Darling and Norman retired and back as a civilian research clerk. A missing child investigation is the major case.
# 91. A Skeleton in the Closet, P. F. Ford
A Skeleton in the Closet starts with an explosion in the police station and the death of forensic expert Ian Becks. The investigation discloses unknown facts about Becks' life which complicate the process for Salter.
# 92. The Kidney Donor, P. F. Ford
In The Kidney Donor a young man is dying while waiting for a kidney transplant and his father will take whatever steps possible to get him a kidney. Does this include murdering three homeless men?
# 94. Maude, Donna Foley Mabry
Donna Foley Marby retell the 20th century life of her grandmother, from hurt early life in Tennessee and Missouri to the latter depression years in Detroit. Of her brief periods of happiness in a life raising five children in a life held together by her faith in God. A moving story.
# 99. What's In A Name, P. F. Ford
Slater and Norman are planning to open a private investigation agency when a woman approaches them to look into the death of her neighbour. Slater is approached by a senior police official asking him to reconsider his leave of absence and move to a different part of the police service investigating cold cases.
# 101. Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobb's investigating into a possible unfaithful wife leads her to an investigation of The Retreat, a farm for scarred veterans of WW I. Dobb's life from a 13 year old housemaid to student at Cambridge to nurse at the front is interspersed through out.
# 102. Birds of a Feather, Jacqueline Winspear
Durning World War I the white feather was a sign of cowardliness when given to men not in uniform. In 1930 Maisie Dobbs takes on a case involving a missing daughter which becomes connected to the murders of three young women. Finding the solution is a challenge.
# 103. Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear
Dobbs has three cases, two are similar in that she S looking into the death of two World War Isoldiers hose relatives are questioning the official records of their deaths. Thi other case involves a 13 year old girl accused of murdering her 'uncle' who is pimping her on the streets of London.
# 104. Her Honor, William J. Coughlin
Kathleen Talbot, a newly sworn in judge, is presiding over a trial of a police officer charged with murder because he unplugged the life support equipment of a brain dead man. Something Talbot had caused to happen to her father just prior to the trial. Add in a little romance, judicial politics, public protests, a couple drunks and a man listening to voices and you get a good read.
# 107. The Violinist and the Ballerina, Angelin Sydney
A man meets a woman he bullied for years at school. Being bullied himself made him understand what he had done. Add in his family who adhere to Chinese family traditions and the resulting clash of values and some romance to fill out the story.
# 108. Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent, Pearl Witherington Cornioley
Pauline was parachuted into France in 1943 by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) to organize and provide the means, weapons, radios, money, for the French Resistance to undermine the Germans.
# 110. Only Time Will Tell, Jeffrey Archer
The first of the Clifton Chronicles introduces the main characters, Harry Clifton, his mother Maisie, Giles Barrington, his father Hugo and sister Emma. Covering the years 1919 to 1939 brings us to torpedering of a ship Harry is on in the Atlantic and anxious to start The Sins of the Father.
# 112. Sins of the Father, Jeffrey Archer
Harry Clifton's merchant ship is torpedoed in the Atlantic in the first days of World War II. Seeing it as an escape of his problems he assumes another man's identity and Harry Clifton is buried at sea. This episode takes us from 1939 to 1945, ending in the House of Lords where a vote is being taken that could have a major impact on the Barrington family.
# 113. An Incomplete Revenge, Jacqueline Winspear
Fall, 1931, Londoners, locals and gypsies gather in a village in Kent to pick hops. The village has a dark history of petty vandalism and fires, a Zeppelin bombing in 1916 which have silenced the villagers. Dobbs has undertaken an investigation that means finding the truth so the village can move forward.
# 114. Among the Mad, Jacqueline Winspear
What happens to the hundred of thousands of men and women who return home to England broken in body and mind and receive little to no monetary support from the government and there are no jobs? Society has forgotten and don't want to be reminded of the war these people endured. Dobbs, Scotland Yard and Special Branch join forces when letters arrive warning of consequences for this lack of caring.
# 116. Be Careful what You Wish For, Jeffrey Archer
Lady VIrgina, Martinez and Fisher continue their individual and combined vendettas against the Clifton and Barrington families. The shipyard goes ahead with the building of a passenger liner, the MV Buckingham which is sailing to New York as the book ends.
# 117. Mightier Than The Sword, Jeffrey Archer
Harry and PEN take on the Russian government in an attempt to free a Russian author. Emma continues to battle the opponents of Barrington shipyards, Sebastian losses the love of his life and buries himself in The City and Gilles runs into political problems. I couldn't put it down.
# 118. Cometh the Hour, Jeffrey Archer
Time marches on, marked by the death of Harry's mother Maisie. Harry continues his activities with PEN, Emma becomes more active in the Conservative party, as well as taking on a new role in health care. Sebastian losses and regains a lost love. Is Giles' wife a Russian spy?
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