HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

lkernagh (Lori's) Book-ish Journey through 2020 - 2nd Thread

This is a continuation of the topic lkernagh (Lori's) Book-ish Journey through 2020.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

Join LibraryThing to post.

1lkernagh
May 9, 2:21pm Top

lkernagh (Lori's) Book-ish Journey through 2020 - 2nd thread



I decided to start off my second thread with some pictures I took this past week while walking in my neighbourhood. I do love all the colour (and the lilacs smell divine!).

Hello everyone, I am back! For those who don't know me, I am Lori, a walking/kayaking/cycling enthusiast, bookworm, foodie 'gal' (age is a state of mind) who has happily called Vancouver Island home for the past 28 years. When I am not working or reading, my winter months are usually occupied with a craft project of some kind, while my spring and summer months are when I engage in my on-going attempts at container gardening.

2020 will be my eighth year as part of the 75 group. Given that I completely bailed on my reading plans half-way through 2019, I am not making any special reading plans or challenges. Going to take 2020 one (or two) books at a time and just see where my reading tastes take me. Having completed my virtual walking challenge back in February, I am taking things easy. Still walking, just not tracking it. Maybe I will be ready for a new walking challenge in the fall. We shall see.

Posters and lurkers welcome!

2lkernagh
May 9, 2:23pm Top

Books Read:

January:
1. Her Revolution by Gemma Jackson -
2. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers -
3. The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell -
4. The Unseen Bridegroom by May Agnes Fleming -
5. Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan -
6. A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi -

February:
7. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers -
8. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel -
9. Father Briar and the Angel by Rita Saladano -
10. What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris -
11. The Gauguin Connection by Estelle Ryan -

March:
12. The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore -
13. Miss Cecily's Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman -
14. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray -
15. When Gods Die by C. S. Harris -

3lkernagh
Edited: Jun 30, 2:38pm Top

Books Read:

April:
16. Threads: A Depression Era Tale by Charlotte Whitney -
17. Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris -
18. Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers -
19. Rainwater by Sandra Brown -
20. Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris -
21. The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick -
22. What Remains of Heaven by C.S. Harris -
23. Where Shadows Dance by C.S. Harris -
24. When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris -
25. Sentence of Marriage by Shayne Parkinson -
26. Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayers -

May:
27. What Darkness Brings by C.S. Harris -
28. Fathers of Edenville by Corrine Ardoin -
29. Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris -
30. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers -

June:
31. Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris -
32. When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris -
33. Where is My Mind? by Shirley Benton -
34. The Ghost in the House by Sara O'Leary -
35. Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris -
36. Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers -
37. A Letter from Munich by Meg Lelvis -
38. Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen -

4lkernagh
Edited: Jul 11, 9:47am Top

Books Read:

July:
39. Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris -
40. Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers -
41. Bad Axe County by John Galligan -

August:

September:

5lkernagh
May 9, 2:24pm Top

Thanks for stopping by. This bare-bones 2nd thread for 2020 is now open for business. Come on in!



6mstrust
May 9, 2:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! And thanks for including all the beautiful Spring flowers!

7banjo123
May 9, 2:40pm Top

Happy new thread! Great flower pictures.

8richardderus
May 9, 3:11pm Top

Happy new thread! Those lilacs are luscious looking. I don't see many around here, the sea breeze isn't their jam I'm afraid.

9PaulCranswick
May 9, 5:08pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori. It really is great to have you back this year.

10Familyhistorian
May 9, 10:07pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori. Those are wonderful flower pics. I love lilacs.

11Carmenere
May 9, 10:11pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! I'm totally impressed by the beautiful flowers on your topper.
It's been so cold by me that the trees are holding back their leaves. It's been a crazy spring. Had about 2 inches of snow this morning. *Sigh*

12vancouverdeb
May 10, 1:26am Top

Happy New thread, Lori! It's so great to have you back. I'm a big fan of irises, among others. I saw some on my walk today. A lovely warm day, but I am glad of the breeze off the water.

13BLBera
May 10, 8:38am Top

Happy new thread, Lori. I love all your photos of flowers. Spring is coming.

14drneutron
May 10, 9:53am Top

Happy new thread!

15lkernagh
May 10, 1:48pm Top

>6 mstrust:, >7 banjo123:, >8 richardderus:, >9 PaulCranswick:, >10 Familyhistorian:, >11 Carmenere:, >12 vancouverdeb:, >13 BLBera: and >14 drneutron: - Thank you Jennifer, Rhonda, Richard, Paul, Meg, Lynda, Deb, Beth and Jim for the well wishes and for the appreciation of the flowers. I wish they were mine but I love that I can enjoy the floral delights of my neighbours.

>8 richardderus: - The variations of flora from region to region is both a blessing (something different to enjoy) and a sadness (like the lack of lilacs where you are, Richard). Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers, after yellow roses and before cornflowers.

>9 PaulCranswick: - Thanks Paul. I find LT to be a comfort zone in these crazy times.

>11 Carmenere: - Wow, you had snow yesterday, my Dad had snow this morning (or overnight, really) and here on the island we are already at 20'C and expected to hit 26'C later today. I actually had to put up our blackout curtains this morning to keep out the morning sun and try and keep the temperature in our unit from getting too hot. Here is hoping that the warm weather comes and the trees can leaf out.

>12 vancouverdeb: - Hi Deb, it was warm yesterday, wasn't it? We had a late night last night because it was too hot to sleep (not much of a breeze in our area last night). I am hoping to not have a repeat this evening.

16lkernagh
May 10, 1:48pm Top

Wishing all the Mom's (and Mom's to be) a



.... understanding that Mother's Day in the UK was back in March, so a belated Happy Mother's Day for my UK visitors.

17lkernagh
May 10, 10:00pm Top

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend. While I was hoping to get the kayak out and hit the water for the first time in 2020, the tide tables were against me, as low tide was mid-day and I am not an after dinner/evening paddler. Oh well, next weekend is a long weekend and the tide tables will be more favorable (and hopefully, so will be the weather).

This evening was my first "How do I improvise?" while preparing dinner. Unbeknownst to me, I was completely out of both chili powder and cayenne pepper, both kind of important ingredients for tonight's chili dinner. No way I was heading out to the store for two ingredients, so I got a little bit creative with hot sauce, paprika, cumin, dried chili peppers and some other ready-at-hand ingredients.

Tonight will be spent taking in Stratford Festival's production of Macbeth. Last night was National Theatre Live's production of Antony and Cleopatra. I am really enjoying this arm chair tour of Shakespeare's plays, but I find it a bit odd that the plays that have been offered up so far - King Lear, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra and Macbeth - are all tragedies. I would have thought, with the whole pandemic thing going on, that there would have been more of Shakespeare's comedies as part of the programming. Now, in all fairness, The Tempest is the next play that Stratford Festival will be streaming (starting this Thursday) so that will be a change from the tragedies.

Not complaining... I am really enjoying the streaming of these productions.

18SandyAMcPherson
Edited: May 11, 2:07pm Top

Love your topper flower photos. Especially the clematis in bloom on the gate or is it just the fence? Such a quintessentially English-cottage garden look.

I am on a hold list for that first book in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series, What Angels Fear. All the recent BBs I've wanted have (of course) been e-Books, so it is me and probably at least 2/3 of the population in the province trying to borrow books. I'm thinking there should be just 2-week loans or less so that the loans circulate more quickly.

Not like I have *nothing* to read, of course. I do have some of my own novels that I haven't read yet. But they are a bit heavy going for my current neediness of escapist literature!

19lkernagh
May 11, 11:53am Top

>18 SandyAMcPherson: - Hi, Sandy, you are correct, it is an entrance gate covered with the clematis. I agree that the digital library services have been doing extra duty these last couple of months! I "Return Now" when I finish a book so that it can go to the next patron, but not everyone makes use of that feature (and I cannot remember if all of the digital services provide a return early feature). Yes, escapist literature is a big draw for me as well.

20richardderus
May 11, 1:28pm Top

>19 lkernagh: I wish more people were thoughtful enough to do that "return now" thing.

Of course, I should talk, since I have six-year-old DRCs unread on my various Kindle devices. But nobody's waiting for me to finish them!

21figsfromthistle
May 11, 1:44pm Top

Happy new thread!

Great topper with all the spring flowers.

22lkernagh
May 11, 5:35pm Top

>20 richardderus: - I know that I have been very frustrated waiting for some digital holds to get released, RD, so that is my motivator to return books as soon as I finish them. Of course, I also love that I can now renew digital books if there are no holds, which is another nice feature. ;-)

>21 figsfromthistle: - Hello Anita, thank you for stopping by! As you can probably guess, I am a big fan of blossoms, in all their forms.

--------------------------

Day off from work today, although I have to admit, the days are starting to blend together what with working from home and all. Today's tasks included replenishing our dwindling supply of coffee beans. Our coffee of choice is a locally roasted product that I would usually just go and buy from one of their cafe locations. Now, we purchase the coffee beans online through their website, and do next business day curbside pickup. A little more planning and time involved, but happy to support the local businesses that are continuing to stay "open" for their customers.

I also finally caught up with my Lord Peter Wimsey reading... or I should say I have finally finished the planned April reading. ;-) Review to follow.

23lkernagh
May 11, 5:35pm Top

.
Book #26 - Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayers
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: AlphaKIT - "S" Sayers
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "L" Lord
Source: TBR
Format: ebook
Original publication date: 1928
Acquisition date: January 6, 2020
Page count: 271 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.40 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the penguin randomhouse.ca book listing webpage:
"The first collection of Lord Peter Wimsey short stories. In this collection brilliant amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey tackles a variety of confounding cases, covering everything from crossword puzzles to a spectral carriage."
Review:
In this twelve short story collection, we follow Wimsey through a number of different mysteries (from creepy gothic to espionage to the more puzzling and frivolous); a variety of modes of transportation (bicycle, motor car, train, plane and even on horseback) and locations both within the UK and on the European continent. Following Wimsey's logic is not always easy - even Wimsey describes it, "Shocking way I have of wandering." - but the reasoning does tend to generate results in the end. As with most short story collection I have read, this one is a little uneven. Some stories I rather enjoyed while other were just okay and the last one was just really bad, IMO.

flash reviews per short story:

The Abominable History of the Man with Copper Fingers - A darker, morbid (and a bit downright creepy) departure from the earlier, lighter Lord Peter Wimsey stories I have read so far.
The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question - A delightful short mystery that also revealed (to me), just how rusty my French is!
The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will - Love how Lord Peter takes frivolous "literally" to solve this creative cryptic crossword-themed case! I kind of wished I could make a print out of the crossword and attempt to solve the puzzle myself.
The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag - Ha, in true Wimsey style, Peter just happens to solve a murder while chasing down his own missing property.
The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker - Delightful case of theft, poker and blackmail.
The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention - Trust Wimsey, while visiting friends in the countryside, to find himself inquisitively looking into a Sleepy Hollowish mystery to unravel.
The Vindictive Story of the Footsteps that Ran - A wonderful little mystery to showcase Lord Wimsey's scattered-logic approach to detection.
The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste - A James Bond-styled espionage caper where the game is a foot with impersonators and fine dining.
The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head - There be treasure in them there books! Wimsey and his nephew embark on a treasure hunt.
The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach - Scotland, interesting thing about wills and human anatomy.
The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with no Face - A mysterious death, an unplanned meeting on a train, and a telling portrait for Wimsey to ruminate over.
The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba - Undercover work, secret society and what is up with the dancing?

Overall, maybe a good introduction to Wimsey as a character and Sayers writing style, even if it is a bit uneven.

24richardderus
May 11, 6:16pm Top

>23 lkernagh: "Uneven" at the DLS level is a different hippogriff entirely than the usual, less-talented writer's unevenness.

25Familyhistorian
May 11, 8:38pm Top

The kayakers that I saw here were on the river so they didn't have to worry about tides. They also tend to only go one way - with the flow of the river. So I don't know what they do to get out of the water.

Good on you for catching up on your DLS reads. I don't read e-books so I am behind on my Wimsey reads. They are still both in my library holds list.

26lkernagh
May 11, 10:54pm Top

>24 richardderus: - Good point, Richard. Sayers stretches the Wimsey stories with her short story collection, providing an insight in to our main protagonist that a read of one or two of the novels leaves lacking. reactions of certain stories are more based on personal preferences, although I still stand behind my belief that The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba has some deficiencies that, addressed, would have made for a better short story.

>25 Familyhistorian: - I am assuming, Meg, that, like the Cowichan River tube rides - which will not be occurring this year - the kayakers on the river in your area have access to vehicles at their destination through the river passage. Somehow, I don't envision a bunch of kayakers portaging their kayaks back to their vehicles if they are parked at the starting point, although, that would be kind of fun to see. I have high hopes of completing the Victoria Waterway Loop at some point (maybe this year), which will involve a roughly 1 KM portage:



Oh dear on waiting for the Wimsey books. I have my fingers crossed that the opening of the libraries in BC - whatever that may involve - will enable you to read the short story collection. It is an interesting mix of stories, that is for sure!

27karenmarie
May 12, 10:50am Top

Hi Lori, and happy new thread!

>23 lkernagh: I like your review, and your comments about each story are spot on. Probably my favorite is The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach, but the one that haunts me is the first one.

Our Library will be starting curbside pickup sometime down the road – no date yet. Our county is 8th highest out of 100 counties for cases, and our state is 20th highest out of 50 states. There’s still a long way to go here.

28Donna828
May 12, 5:51pm Top

Hi Lori. I should take pictures of the flowers in my neighborhood... and the yard sculptures. Our local art museum has a challenge out for lawn art. We have lots of sparkly dangles from tree branches and even bicycles hanging from trees. Very interesting. Love your flowery toppers!

So I guess it is warm enough to kayak? It was 41 degrees F when we walked today with a drizzly rain. The rain will continue for the rest of the week but the temps will warm up.

It looks like the CoronaVirus has helped your reading. It looks like you more than doubled your usual number last month. It's funny that my reading has stayed pretty close to my usual amount. It seems like I have found other things like playing online games to fill my time. ;-(

29drneutron
May 13, 8:43pm Top

Oh, I wish our library would do curbside!

30tymfos
Edited: May 13, 10:33pm Top

Happy new thread, Lori! Pretty flowers in thread topper!

31jnwelch
May 15, 2:35pm Top

Happy New Thread, Lori!

Refreshing to see Spring in your neighborhood up top. Thanks for posting those.

32lkernagh
May 17, 2:09pm Top

>27 karenmarie: - Hi Karen! glad to see we came away from the Lord Peter short stories with a similar experience. YAY for curbside pickup, when it comes to your area! I still don't know if our local library has any plans for transition. They are just offering the digital services for now. the Covid-19 numbers are scary to see. Stay safe!

29 - I know! Such a great idea!

>30 tymfos: - Thanks Terri!

>31 jnwelch: - Thanks Joe!

-------------------------

Hello everyone. It is a quiet, relaxing weekend, mainly due to the rain. I am enjoying the quiet. Continuing to get in my weekend play viewing. This weekend three plays were on our to watch list:

Cats - via The Show Must Go On YouTube channel
The Tempest - via the Stratford Festival YouTube channel
Barber Shop Chronicles - via National TheatreYouTube channel

I have to admit, I was not that enthralled with Cats, ending up bailing on the musical at the halfway mark. The other two plays were good and worth watching.

On the crafting front, I recently finished knitting a scarf to go with a headband I crocheted last year and finger-less gloves I made last month. With two local grocery store chains requesting shoppers wear masks, I have been watching YouTube videos and made a couple of masks, using fabric from a shirt I no longer wear. It was easier than I thought, so I am now doing some online shopping for fabric so that I can make more. My sewing machine no longer feels neglected! For anyone interested, here is a link to the YouTube video I followed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbGCqFJp7r4 Super easy design!

Time for a book review and a Currently Reading update.

33lkernagh
May 17, 2:09pm Top


Book #27 - What Darkness Brings by C.S. Harris - audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Other
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: 2013
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 369 pages / 11 hours, 13 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 4.00 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: adapted from the amazon.ca book listing webpage (to remove spoilers for earlier books in the series:
"Regency England, September 1812: After a long night spent dealing with the tragic death of a former military comrade, a heart-sick Sebastian learns of a new calamity: Russell Yates, the dashing, one-time privateer has been found standing over the corpse of Benjamin Eisler, a wealthy gem dealer. Yates insists he is innocent, but he will surely hang unless Sebastian can unmask the real killer. Sebastian plunges into a treacherous circle of intrigue. Although Eisler’s clients included the Prince Regent and the Emperor Napoleon, he was a despicable man with many enemies and a number of dangerous, well-kept secrets—including a passion for arcane texts and black magic. Central to the case is a magnificent blue diamond, believed to have once formed part of the French crown jewels, which disappeared on the night of Eisler’s death. As Sebastian traces the diamond’s ownership, he uncovers links that implicate an eccentric, powerful financier named Hope and stretch back into the darkest days of the French Revolution. When the killer grows ever more desperate and vicious, Sebastian finds his personal relationships being tested and must face a bitter truth that he has been less than open about his family secret with the woman in his life."
Review:
As a general observation, I have to admit that the body count in these stories is starting to worry me slightly. Kind of like when I watch too many Midsomer Murders in a row and start to wonder how a small collection of hamlets can have so much murder and mayhem. Of course, it doesn't help when Sebastian finds himself explaining, with increasing frequency, that the blood on his clothes is not his (or not mostly his). That being said, the series continues to intrigue me. Harris has a gift for developing complex characters and giving them complicated relationships. For example, I honestly didn't think the depth of animosity between Lord Devlin and Lord Jarvis could get any worse. Boy, was I mistaken! That is a powder keg just waiting to ignite. As with the previous installment, Harris brings to this story a lovely carat of historical intrigue: this time in the form of the theft/disappearance of the Le bleu de France (the "French Blue") diamond, known today as the Hope diamond. This is probably one of the most tightly woven plots in series so far as Harris weaves fact and fiction effortlessly. Usually at this point - Book 8 in a series - my attention starts to wane. Not so with this series.

Overall, another good murder mystery imbued with a dash of romance, suspense and a swirling of secrets to keep me happily enthralled.

34lkernagh
May 17, 2:09pm Top

Currently Reading:
..
Audiobook:
Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris - narrated by Davina Porter - Continuing to enjoy this series!
ebook:
Fathers of Edenville by Corrine Ardoin - An LTER book from the March batch.... I am a bit behind with my ARC reading.
The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers - This will be a year-long read. May read is Unpleasantness at Bellona Club.
Physical books:
Nothing at the moment.

35SandyAMcPherson
May 17, 9:08pm Top

Nice reviews Lori. I like the one-liners.
I'm hoping to start reading (e-Book) the first Sebastian St. Cyr novel, What Angels Fear. The wait list is short (i', at #3) but there's only a single copy available in the system!

In the meantime, I'm reading some Anne Tyler and have a Maisie Dobbs for when I'm finished.
I'm starting to get the hang of my e-reader, so the enjoyment is better for e-Books now.

36lkernagh
May 18, 11:46am Top

Hi Sandy. Short story collections always befuddle me as to how best to review. Glad you like the short reviews. I am getting all excited that you will soon be dipping into the first Sebastian St. Cyr novel! If I recall, the first book was published in the early 2000s, so not surprising your local library only has one copy available. Here is hoping they don't have gaps in the series... that is one thing that I tend to struggle with when reading a series by borrowing books from the library. It took me a while to transition to e-books (a couple of years and two e-readers later).

37lkernagh
May 18, 12:04pm Top

Today is Victoria Day in Canada. Here in Victoria, this day has been celebrated with a parade every year for 122 years (the longest-running annual parade in Canada). It has been a showcase for school marching bands from BC and the United States. This year, obviously, the parade has been cancelled, so to celebrate, I will be watching this 2019 Victoria day parade YouTube video. Enjoy!

38richardderus
May 18, 1:43pm Top

Hi Lori! Happy Monday!

39lkernagh
May 19, 8:01pm Top

>38 richardderus: - Thanks RD! holiday Mondays are always good Mondays. ;-)

---------------------

BC entered Phase 2 (easing of some restrictions) today. What does that mean? Well, for starters it means that opticians, dentists and some other personal health professionals can now re-open for regular/routine appointments. For me, it means that only my optician is opening right now. My dentist, supported by the dental association, will not be opening until they figure out what is necessary to keep everyone safe (and resupply the necessary PPE). Hair stylist/barbers can now open but a number of stylists/barbers have been petitioning to be moved to Phase 3 (for a later easing of restrictions). Restaurants can now offer in-house dining but with necessary social distancing and a bunch of other things that I just won't go into right now. Happily, Canada and the US have agreed to keep the border restrictions in place for another 30 days.

I won't be doing anything different over the next few weeks. It was encouraging to learn that BC only had 2 new cases today, but the big test will be what the numbers look like in the coming weeks.

Continue to stay safe everyone!

40lkernagh
May 20, 5:25pm Top

Today's excitement: A tiny mouse scurried past me as I headed down the hall to the kitchen for a coffee refill. Suffice to say, I freaked out! (Okay, the mouse was probably more afraid of me, but still). Thankfully, other half was home. He grew up on a farm so he was able to take charge of the situation and deal with the mouse. Pest control coming tomorrow. In the meantime, we have scrutinized the place. Found two loose baseboards in the kitchen that exposed small gaps (potential entry points?). We have fixed those. It was a tiny mouse (less than 4 inches body and tail), so I want to know if the old styled radiators we have may also be an entry point. Will learn more tomorrow.

41lkernagh
May 20, 5:25pm Top

.
Book #28 - Fathers of Edenville by Corrine Ardoin
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Author - "A" Ardoin
Source: LTER
Format: e-book
Original publication date: April 16, 2020
Acquisition date: May 4, 2020
Page count: 194
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.35 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Sylvia Sumner is meeting her lover, Jim Hart. From an alleyway, she dashes across the road and hurries down a pathway crossing a field. Tucker Stewart, who has loved Sylvia since one, brief encounter in the woods back in high school, sees her from his office window and follows her. He fails to acknowledge that her husband, the detective-obsessed Forty Sumner, is watching them from a distance. Forty takes his gun to go after Tucker. In the aftermath of that night, Sylvia revisits the past overshadowed by her father’s estrangement. Tucker faces his own father’s tragic legacy, inadvertently befriending Forty. When Jim Hart is found dead, the town is in a mad scramble to rectify the wrongs laid bare when Sylvia disappears to go in search of her father. The lesson they must learn is that the only way to their salvation is forgiveness."
Review:
Set in a small mountain community, circa 1960s, this story examines the dark obsessions of some of the community inhabitants. Told through a third person perspective, and nebulously flowing between characters and time, there is a dreamlike quality to the story. At its heart, this story is an examination of relationships, repressed childhood memories and the impact of physically and/or emotionally absent fathers. Ardoin's descriptive prose makes it easy to visualize the story. While parts of the story did not work all that well for me, I really like how the author conveys the interconnected nature of the community and the impact that misinformation, and lack of action, can have on people and events. It is always tricky to communicate character development when using the third person perspective, but the author pulls this off rather well. The story, for me anyways, is just as much about how the characters view themselves and are viewed by others. While I admit to not being all that taken with the story at first, by the time I got to the end, I was rather surprised to discover just how much the story had drawn me in. One of those sleeper stories that slowly ensnares the reader as the story develops.

Overall, a darkly poignant story of the destructive nature of obsessions.

42mstrust
May 20, 6:32pm Top

>40 lkernagh: People on the next block would have heard my scream. Hope you get to the bottom of it tomorrow.

43karenmarie
May 21, 10:50am Top

Hi Lori!

>34 lkernagh: I hope you like The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. I found it fascinating.

>39 lkernagh: Our state will go into phase 2 tomorrow, which I disagree with, but hey, they didn’t ask me! My hair stylist already texted to see when I want to schedule an appointment, and I told her I’ll be in touch later. I made sure that I got what I called a 'pandemic haircut' on March 17th, so my hair isn't out of control yet. Our dentist is also going to start scheduling appointments, but I have a cleaning already scheduled for August. We’ll see how things go by then.

I agree with you about not doing anything different over the next few weeks. It seems that wherever things are being opened up there are new spikes in cases.

>40 lkernagh: Major excitement indeed. Glad your husband was home. We have indoor/outdoor kitties, and Inara likes to bring us presents – sometimes alive and sometimes dead. Since we live in the country, I expect creatures and although I let Bill take care of them if he’s home, will do the dirty work if I have to. Not to say I don't scream if there's unexpected movement...

44The_Hibernator
May 22, 8:03am Top

>40 lkernagh: Too bad about the mouse! My parents had a terrible mouse problem until they got a cat. That cat really was a good mouser! And was sweet. Sadly she managed to stumble outside and get lost. Not sure what happened to her.

45bohemima
May 22, 9:14am Top

>40 lkernagh: Mice (and small lizards) always manage to startle one so...that sudden movement glimpsed in the corner of one’s eye...
When I was a kiddo, the radiators did present a little problem of access for the creatures. Like others here, we had a useful cat (and two others who let him do all the heavy lifting as they sat around being sleek and beautiful) who mostly took care of the issue.
There was one memorable Sunday morning, though, when my mother and I wound up on her bed, feet well tucked up, while my dad took care of things, muttering all the while.

Anyway. I love The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. I’m sort of following the Wimsey reads this year, and you’re right: like any short story collection, LPVtheB is uneven. I like Copper Fingers, Piscatorial Farce, Practical Joker, and Bibulous Business the best, an strongly dislike Ali Baba.

I hope your weekend is full of books and peace.

46lkernagh
May 22, 11:37am Top

>42 mstrust: - I tend to gasp rather than scream, but we probably share a very similar emotional effect. ;-) Rodent problem is hopefully solved. Time will tell.

>43 karenmarie: - Hi Karen! I am three chapters into Bellona Club and finding it to be very good.... more in keeping with an Agatha Christie story than the typical breezy Wimsey stories I have read so far. Yes, the easing up of restrictions is facing a bit of a mixed bag response. I feel for the businesses that don't think they are ready to re-open but are worried that if they don't, they will lose customers to the competition. I would like to think that customers would not be so flaky but, human nature being what it is, I fear many businesses will discover the true depth of their loyal customer base (not being as large as they thought it was). It has been years since we last had a cat. We live in an apartment and I have always had furkids that could freely roam the large open spaces. I so wish I had a cat right now... or maybe not, given that previous cats had a habit of wanting to bring their catches into the house. I am not sure how I would react to a cat presenting me with its catch now. I think I would first jump on the furniture and then call the other half to deal with it (so, not much different than my reaction on Wednesday morning). ;-)

>44 The_Hibernator: - Hi Rachel. Sorry to learn that your parent's cat got lost. ;-( As I mentioned to Karen above, I have mixed feelings about having a cat again. I don't want to be on the receiving end of "gifts".

>45 bohemima: - Hi Gail. I am okay with small lizards but I am no good with mice or spiders. LOL your two cats who let the third one do all the "heavy lifting". ;-)

I am loving all the cat stories. Having spent part of my childhood living in the tropics, we learned to be very cautious of anything that moved (assume poisonous or deadly until confirmed otherwise). One evening as my sister and I were getting ready for dinner after having spent the afternoon at the pool, we noticed the box in the corner by the bedroom door moving. We both screamed for dad (and I believe we both jumped on our beds). Dad came in with a golf club (my mom's as my dad didn't and still doesn't play golf). He gently lifted the lid to the box. We were all expecting a snake as it was not uncommon for friends and neighbours to discover snakes in their homes, but nope, it was just the cat.

So happy to see you are also a fan of Bellona Club! I am enjoying it and hope to finish it this evening.

----------------------------
Happy Friday everyone! Looks like it will be a good weekend. Pest control came yesterday. Lay down some traps and we found one more possible entry point that we have now sealed off, so fingers crossed we have no more speedy little guys hiding in the house!

Continuing my weekend play watching, below is a new feature I will be posting on Fridays (provide I remember to do so):



This Week's Play Line-up:
The Sound of Music - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel
A Streetcar Named Desire - National Theatre YouTube channel
Timon of Athens - Stratford Festival youTube channel
The Winter's Tale - Shakespeare's Globe YouTube channel

47SandyAMcPherson
May 22, 6:05pm Top

>40 lkernagh: Hope you got the mouse problem sorted. This is when they look for a place to 'nest', isn't it?

Yes, those utility holes are a really good access point. Brillo pads stuffed around openings for pipes etc under the sink was our fix back when we lived in the Kootenays. That was our first home where mice were a major problem. Also, we used to have a pair of cats (in Victoria), so mice were just never seen in our old rentals!

48alcottacre
May 22, 7:32pm Top

Happy holiday weekend, Lori! I hope you have a great one.

49vancouverdeb
May 23, 1:46am Top

>40 lkernagh: Oh , sorry to hear about the mouse, Lori. I'd be freaked out too. Cross my fingers, we've not had a problem. But living in the same province as I do, you know they are around. I see them sometimes after dark scrabbling around when I am walking the dog. Ugh. My maternal grandma had a real phobia about mice and seemed that whether my grandparents lived a new house or an older one, mice seemed to often be a problem. Their new house was out in the country, and thus somehow mice even in brand new place.

May you never see another one in your place!

I've never had a cat - my husband is very allergic, plus we are kind of dog people, but I sure recall my mom getting little presents at the side of her bed when my family had a cat. What a joy for my mom to wake up to a dead mouse or bird. I guess my mom was the cat's favourite person, because she never left the presents for my dad or anyone else.

50The_Hibernator
May 23, 7:38am Top

Happy weekend Lori!

51PaulCranswick
May 24, 7:51pm Top

I am celebrating the end of Ramadan, Lori, a time of thanks and forgiveness and I want to say my thanks to all my LT friends for helping keep me somewhat sane these last few years.

52Donna828
May 29, 11:38am Top

>32 lkernagh: I don't blame you for bailing on Cats at the halfway point, Lori. When our performing arts center opened here almost 20 years ago, I was so excited to get tickets for the live performance of Cats... my DH was in agony the entire time and begged to go home at intermission. I made him stay, but secretly I was bored to almost tears. haha

>40 lkernagh: Eek! A mouse! I hope the problem is solved permanently by now.

Btw, I think you missed me in >28 Donna828:. No problem, so easy to do, but I know how meticulous you are about responding to every comment, so I thought you'd want to know. ;-)

53lkernagh
May 29, 7:59pm Top

>47 SandyAMcPherson: - If you say this is when they look for a place to nest, Sandy, than I am really glad that we caught it when we did! I still cringe at the thought that, with our busy schedules pre-pandemic, we might not have discovered the little critter as quickly as we did. We found very few droppings and the pest control guy said that this one probably just found his way into our unit and was "scoping out the joint" and probably wouldn't have stayed once he realized that no food offerings were to be had (Thank goodness for my fixation with Tupperware style food storage containers!

I love your suggestion about Brillo pads! Thanks for sharing it here!

>48 alcottacre: - Thanks Stasia! Lovely to see you stopping by and posting!

>49 vancouverdeb: - Hi Deb! Like you, I am not a rodent fan. If I had to choose, I would take mice over rats, any day. I still remember driving through the Uplands community in Saanich on a Sunday afternoon and seeing, what must have been the largest rat, ever, racing across the road. Luckily, I was just the passenger in the car, not the driver. Rats have been a problem in Greater Victoria for some time (proximity to water and all that). So far, no new mouse sightings so fingers crossed he was just a rogue visitor and we have blocked off their entry point. I understand that some dogs - terriers come to mind - make great ratters, but I have say, I am not a fan of the family cat bringing its kill home or presenting it to its human family.

>50 The_Hibernator: - Thanks Rachel! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

>51 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul, Happy Eid! I am probably late with this message, but the sentiment remains unchanged. Wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead.

>52 Donna828: - You have given my such a feeling of relief, Donna! Cats has received such acclaims, I felt bad that I just did not like it. Oohhh... your poor DH, having to suffer through it. Does he know now that you also didn't enjoy the play all that much?

So far, no further mouse sightings and not traps have been tripped so I am hopeful we have nipped that issue in the bud.

OMG.... I did miss you! A thousand apologies! I love that your neighbourhood has been participating in your local art museum challenge. That sounds like a lot of fun! As for kayaking, the weather - and the tides - have not been that conducive to motivate me to get out on the water, just yet. We had a rather cooler May than usual but I admit, I have been feeling that I am missing out by not being out on the water. Maybe in June I will find the weather, the tides and my motivation will get me back out on the water. I wish I could say that my reading continues to be trucking along, but it looks like my April numbers are an anomaly. Of course, May is when we started watching all the play productions on-line, so that has been impacting my reading time. Playing online games is a great way to spend time during this pandemic! Other half loves to play online multiplayer games, but I have noticed that even he has shifted gears, now watching lots of YouTube videos related to car mechanics. He is sourcing parts and doing mechanical maintenance repairs that he can himself. I have been enlisted as able-bodied assistant. Our current standing joke is that when I am helping him with Jeep repairs, I go by Vanna (as is Wheel of Fortune letter turner Vanna). No, I am not wearing couture while helping out, but it is still fun.

54lkernagh
Edited: May 29, 8:03pm Top

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Hard to believe that Monday will be June 1st. I have been home since March 31st, in close quarters with my other half and as he likes to jokingly comment, "Hey, we haven't killed each other yet". ;-)

Our pre-pandemic schedules were such that we really only saw each other for dinner, late at night and on the weekends/holidays. No longer just ships passing in the night and we are still getting along, which is great as I have always wondered how we would adapt to spending a large swath of our time together stuck (trapped) in close quarters. One of our dreams is to purchase a boat and sail the world. This pandemic has been great in that I now feel confident that we could live together on a small boat and not drive each other crazy.

On the book reading front, I have managed to completed two books, with book reviews ready for posting. Weather forecast for the weekend is not the greatest so I might find some time to pull together some reading stats for the first 5 months of 2020. I might. We shall see.

Book reviews and a new Play line-up, coming up.

55lkernagh
May 29, 8:00pm Top


Book #29 - Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris - audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "K" Kings
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: March 4, 2014
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 352 pages / 10 hours, 45 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.85 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: adapted from the amazon.ca book listing webpage (to remove spoilers for earlier books in the series):
"Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of London’s worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past — an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him. As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite Lord Jarvis's warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin,” the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphin’s sister—the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette—who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost. With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears on the home front. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider.... "
Review:
Okay, the series is starting too wane, just a tad, for me. Not series fatigue, as I continue to be intrigued by the character relationships and developments. More a lack of interest in the historical topic Harris weaves into this installment: the mystery surrounding King Louis XVI of France's young son, Louis-Charles (Louis XVII, the "Lost Dauphin"). I have never really taken much interest in the last royal family to rule France before the Revolution and the rise of the French republic. Even so, it is always fun to speculate "what ifs" given rumours that the Dauphin escaped his prison and survived. A quick skim of history shows that Harris continues to exhibit a skill to effortlessly weave fact (and rumour) with fiction in creating her stories. As with previous installments, unraveling the mystery is a complicated matter. A lot of different lines of questioning to consider. I "thought" I had the murderer pegged, but the author managed to present the murderer in a manner that I must applause. Murder is never as simple as one might think or assume, so kudos for that. Even better, this time we actually get to see a potential new romantic interest, this time for Sebastian's Irish surgeon friend, Paul Gibson, so yes, I was rather giddy about that new development.

Overall, continuing to enjoy this series.

56lkernagh
May 29, 8:00pm Top

.
Book #30 - The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "C" Club
Source: TBR
Format: ebook
Original publication date: 1928
Acquisition date: January 6, 2020
Page count: 211 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.80 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.com book listing webpage:
"On November 11, ninety-year-old General Fentiman is found dead in an armchair at the Bellona Club. No one knows exactly when his death occurred—information essential in determining the recipient of a substantial inheritance. But that is only one of the mysteries vexing Lord Peter Wimsey. The aristocratic sleuth needs every bit of his amazing skills to discover why the proud officer's lapel was missing the requisite red poppy on Armistice Day, how the Bellona Club's telephone was fixed without a repairman, and, most puzzling of all, why the great man's knee swung freely when the rest of him was stiff with rigor mortis."
Review:
Best story in the series so far for me. More Agatha Christie and less P.G. Wodehouse in style and substance this time. Sayers really knew how to craft an intricate mystery with unexpected plot twists! In this one we get to see an expansion of Wimsey's close circle of friends. I found Marjorie Phelps to be an absolute delight! Hope we get to see more of her in the future books in the series. While Sayers continues to hold some of Wimsey's thoughts close to hand until ready for a "reveal", it wasn't done in as showy a fashion as with some of the earlier stories. We even find Wimsey facing a dilemma as he struggles with turning his back and walking away or following the investigation through to its conclusion. Nice to see more depth to Wimsey's otherwise "whimsical" personality. I found it interesting to learn more about the attitudes of the time period as they relate to honour, reputation and feminism. The depiction of a hallowed men's club on its decline makes for the perfect backdrop for the story. Sayers portrayal of society is one of an England that has been heavily marked by war, with the psychological and physical effects an underlying theme throughout this story.

Overall, a good mystery that kept me guessing to the end.

57lkernagh
May 29, 8:01pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:
Hairspray - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel May 29 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
This House by James Graham - National Theatre YouTube channel May 28 - June 4
Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare - Stratford Festival youTube channel May 28 - June 18
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare - Shakespeare's Globe YouTube channel June 1 - June 14

58lkernagh
May 31, 1:04pm Top

READING STATS (January to May): It has been a long while since I last pulled together any reading stats.

Books Read: 30
Pages Read: 10,184 pages
Best Reading Month: April, with 11 books/3,535 pages read
Worst Reading Month: May, with 4 books/1,126 pages read - I blame this on all the plays I have been watching, so not a bad thing. ;-)
Format: This is not surprising as I have given away my print library and with local public libraries closed, all of my reading has been either ebook or audio format.
- Audio - 11
- Ebook - 19
- Print - 0
Author: Typically, my reading is more a 50/50 balance for author gender. Thinking my binge reading of the Sebstian St. Cyr series is helping to skew the numbers. Interesting how the only male author read is a hold over from 2019 that I was reading using the Serial Reader app.
- Female - 29
- Male - 1 William Makepeace Thackery for my read of Vanity Fair
Fiction vs. Non-Fiction: I am not a big non-fiction readers, so this is no surprise.
- Fiction - 30
- Non-Fiction - 0
Publication Year (by decade) I tend to typically read books published more recently (thanks in part to the ARCs I read) but still nice to see the numbers spread out a bit more, thanks to the year long Lord Peter Wimsey group read. As for my pre-1900 reads, those were Vanity Fair and The Unseen Bridegroom.
- 2020 - 4
- 2010 - 10
- 2000 - 9
- 1990 - 0
- 1980 - 0
- 1970 - 0
- 1960 - 0
- 1950 - 0
- 1940 - 0
- 1930 - 0
- 1920 - 5
- 1910 - 0
- 1900 - 0
- pre-1900 - 2

TOP 5 READS (so far in 2020):
./..
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 1 - /4.85 out of 5
Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries, Book 4- /4.35 out of 5
Where Shadows Dance by C.S. Harris Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries, Book 6 - /4.35 out of 5
The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell - /4.30 out of 5
Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan Gilded Age Mystery, Book 1- /4.20 out of 5

59ChelleBearss
Jun 1, 12:18pm Top

Love that you are making time to watch all these awesome plays! It's so great that theatre companies, like Stratford Festival, are offering these for free!

60AMQS
Edited: Jun 1, 2:03pm Top

Hi Lori! I am finally caught up here (and on your previous thread). I LOVE the flowers up top - so beautiful!

Things are reopening here also, and for too many, it seems like "back to normal" and I don't feel nearly comfortable enough to do that! Like you, I am perfectly happy to stay at home, as is my husband (though he gets out on his bike regularly). Marina is definitely an introvert, but she's also 18, and should be hanging out with her friends. She has started cautiously visiting people after not really leaving the house for more than 2 months. I think this reopening with caution is our new normal. I just can't see that this country, anyway, will have the appetite to shut down on a large scale again, though I can see it happening in local communities. We've talked a lot about college - it looks like both of the girls' schools will open with distancing measures. So... Marina is applying those measures and carefully visiting friends outside with masks, etc. I'm sure it will be good for her mental health!

I enjoyed your hair discussion on your previous thread. I've had a lot of gray and white and silver for awhile now. I used to do partial lowlights and used the silver as a highlight. I always said I would stop coloring at 50, but I actually took the plunge at 45. I turned 50 this year, and definitely don't miss coloring. My stylist suggested I pin my bangs back, which I need to do now every day, so I look a bit like a gray-haired 8 year old. I'm considering growing them out since I've been in the "difficult" phase for a few weeks... we'll see.

I hope your mouse issue is at an end. We had a couple of years when we were between cats, and we had mice inside. Our cat is no mouser - she's kind of a cupcake but I think just the smell of a cat is enough sometimes to keep mice out. She's also indoor only, so no gifts are forthcoming:)

I've noted the Sebastian St. Cyr series on my list - looks like a good one! How many books are there? How close are you to the end (if there is one)?

61lkernagh
Jun 1, 7:38pm Top

>59 ChelleBearss: - Hi Chelle, I have been in play heaven, I have to admit. ;-) As I was mentioned to my dad yesterday, I am glad I was able to "try out" CATS without having to purchase a ticket (I bailed at the 1 hour mark). That is the only "dud" play, so yes, the plays have been awesome!

>60 AMQS: - Hi Anne! Glad you enjoy the flower pictures. I am really enjoying the colour that I encounter on my daily walks.

I am excited that more businesses are reopening, but we haven't raced out to dine in our favorite restaurants that are now open again and do not offer the curbside pickup/take away option.

Glad you enjoyed the hair discussion! Kudos for you to make the decision to "ditch the dye" when you did. I will admit to continually snipping at my hair over the past 2 weeks, while still keeping it long enough that I can pin it back or put it in a ponytail. I am looking forward to being finally free of the colour treated parts of my hair, but I think it will be another 12 months before I get there. Right now I am enjoying how unique my natural colour interspersed with grey and silver looks. I had a video call with two of my work colleagues on Friday... first time I have seen them since the end of February, so we spent part of the video call to showcase our covid-19 hairstyles (and roots).

So far, no new mouse sightings or any signs of visitors like droppings, so fingers crossed we won't have any more visitors.

Re: The Sebastian St. Cyr series, there are currently 15 books in the series (book #15 was released just April 2020) and I am currently listening to book #10 in the series.

62richardderus
Jun 1, 7:48pm Top

Hi Lori! Have a terrific St. Cyrian week ahead.

63Storeetllr
Jun 1, 8:24pm Top

Hi, Lori! Happy new(ish) thread! You've got pics of two of my favorite perennials up top - the lilac and the bleeding heart. Of course, roses are always lovely too, but oh! the scent of lilacs in the spring is simply wonderful!

Glad you're still enjoying the St. Cyr mysteries. I know what you mean by flagging series, but this one has only badly disappointed me once. (I won't say which one, since you haven't gotten to it yet. I'll be watching for your reaction when you've read it.)

64ronincats
Jun 1, 8:53pm Top

Finally catching up with you here, Lori. Love, love, love the flowers at the top, simply gorgeous! And I'm a St. Cyr fan, only two left to read at this point.

65lkernagh
Jun 3, 1:44pm Top

>62 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard! My latest St. Cyr book was not quite up to the level I have grown used to with the series. Oh well, to encounter a dud in book this far into the series is still impressive, IMO. ;-)

>63 Storeetllr: - Hi Mary! I was really happy to discover the bleeding heart plant on my walk. Not too many of them in my neighbourhood (tons of lilac bushes!) and my walks do take me rather far a field. Ohhh.... now I am curious. Is the disappointing St. Cyr one the one I just finished reading? (see review below).

>64 ronincats: - Hi Roni, lovely to see you stopping by! Overall, I have been really impressed with the St. Cyr series. I am stunned that Harris has managed to churn out these books on an almost yearly basis.

66lkernagh
Jun 3, 1:45pm Top


Book #31 - Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris - audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Other
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: March 3, 2015
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 386 pages / 10 hours, 32 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.20 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: adapted from the amazon.ca book listing webpage (to remove spoilers for earlier books in the series):
"London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with Lord Jarvis' independent-minded daughter Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen. But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, that dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything - and everyone - Sebastian holds most dear."
Review:
Hum... not a favorite installment, for a number of reasons. I struggled to stay connected with the story. Yes, Harris continues to present a very vivid depiction of England of the time period. Interesting focus on burial plot that contained the remains of not only King Henry the VIII and Jane Seymour, but also Charles I. The Sub-themes of chattel slavery and the underground market for relics are new themes for Harris to explore. While she does a good job of tying these sub-themes to the mystery at hand, I have to say that including Jane Austin as a character - and the various references to her novels - was an unnecessary and frivolous inclusion to the story. It added nothing, although it may be exciting for Jane Austin fans. The writing still continues to be solid, as is the character development, but I feel that this story was rushed. The publication schedule indicates that she was churning out a book a year (except for one instance where there was a two year gap between books), so maybe the author started to develop writer's fatigue. For example, I found Sebastian to be just a little too fixated on his earlier military experience with one of the suspects for any clear reasoning. Clouded judgement can be tricky, and annoying when it is harped on time and time again.

While still an decent mystery, this one just did not entice me like earlier installments in the series have. Fingers crossed this is an anomaly and that the next book is more captivating.

67Storeetllr
Jun 3, 3:39pm Top

Yep, that's the one! I almost DNFd it I found it so unenjoyable and seriously considered quitting the series, but I persevered and then continued reading the next books and am glad I did because I really enjoyed them. So, yes, it was an anomaly. Phew!

68lkernagh
Jun 3, 5:06pm Top

>67 Storeetllr: - Oh, that is good news, than! I won't fault the series (or the author) for the odd clunker of a story.

69SandyAMcPherson
Jun 5, 1:52pm Top

I'm still waiting on hold queues for the first St. Cyr mystery! But glad to note that there is the odd clunker and to not be put off when I run across one.

Lori, somewhere (I guess not your thread) I remarked on your comment about the best pizza place in Victoria. Maybe I got that wrong, but did you say so? I was interested in the name/location of the outlet... for the distant future when I can *finally* get back to the Island.

70lkernagh
Jun 5, 10:40pm Top

>69 SandyAMcPherson: - Hi Sandy, sorry to learn you are still on hold for the first St. Cyr mystery. Good news is that - at least for my library system - there doesn't seem to be too much demand for the earlier books in the series.

Not sure I mentioned a best pizza place in Victoria. My personal preference is for Hot House Pizza as I have never been disappointed with their offerings and I love the sauce selection for the create your own pizza menu. I have a work colleague who just raves about Pirate Pizza in Fisherman's Wharf in James Bay, but I have not sampled their offerings, yet. Definitely something I will try... if I ever get back to working out of the office (which is situated in James Bay. I live in Vic West).

So, there you go. Stop by with a question and get two pizza suggestions as a response.

---------------------------

Happy Friday and best wishes for the weekend. I have no special plans this weekend. I have been hunkering down avoiding my social media news accounts as I find the recent news even more overwhelming than the Covid-19 news back in March. I hope we can move forward and right the wrongs that have persisted for way too long. 2020 is becoming a "reset" year. Lets take this time to pay attention, ask questions, learn and grow in a positive way as a
community.

--------------------------


This week's play line-up is on pause in solidarity with The Show Must Be Paused.

71SandyAMcPherson
Jun 6, 12:25am Top

>70 lkernagh: Thanks for the pizza recommendations! Why not - along with book suggestions -- an all-purpose thread. ❤️💙💜

72vancouverdeb
Edited: Jun 6, 12:39am Top

I've been looking at The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell, but was not sure. I'll look for it more seriously now. I'll travel back a little to see your review. Have a good weekend, Laurie!

I found your review, Laurie. It's on my wish list now! Thanks for the BB!

73lkernagh
Jun 6, 11:23am Top

>71 SandyAMcPherson: - Happy to help, Sandy!

>72 vancouverdeb: - Glad you found the review and it has enticed you to consider The Caretakers, Deb.

74BLBera
Jun 9, 11:22am Top

Hi Lori - Glad to see the St. Cyr series is still good. I've got to pick it up again. I may check to see if my library has audiobooks. I'm always looking for audiobooks that hold my attention.

75MickyFine
Jun 12, 4:11pm Top

Slowly catching up on threads, Lori. Hope you've got some great weather ahead for the weekend. :)

76The_Hibernator
Jun 12, 10:56pm Top

I've been finding the news more overwhelming than the COVID-19 news too. I think it's just exhaustion from all the COVID-19 stuff, but these riots have been really hard. Especially as many of them took place in the Twin Cities, where I live. My sister lives within blocks of where George Floyd died.

77lkernagh
Jun 13, 7:18pm Top

>74 BLBera: - Hi Beth! Short of that one installment that didn't work too well, I have been enjoying the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I hope you library system has the audiobooks. Davina Portor is a wonderful narrator for the stories.

>75 MickyFine: - Hi Micky! I hope you are now settled into your new home. The weather so far this June has been what my neighbour refers to as "Junuary" - Some days it has been more like winter than summer here. Not bad today. I am hoping for some sunshine for Sunday.

>76 The_Hibernator: - Hi Rachel! I am with you on feeling exhausted. 2020 has been quite the overwhelming year so far. I hope you and your family are staying safe what with Covid and the protests.

---------------------
Another week down and nothing special to report. On the good news front, I did manage to finish two books and we are back to having a play line-up for this week.

78lkernagh
Jun 13, 7:18pm Top


Book #32 - When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris - audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "F" Falcons Fall
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: March 2016
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 384 pages / 10 hours, 55 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 4.10 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: spoiler-free summary from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help. Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government’s watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous. Sebastian’s investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first, or even the second, beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades — and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian’s own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he’s willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer."
Review:
Happily, Harris is back in fine story-telling form with this installment in the series. No unusual attempts to make an author of the time period into a literary character, this time around. Yes, I could take issue with the inclusion of Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother Lucien and his family as characters, but I think adding them actually works well with the story as a logical flow for the on-going sub-theme of espionage and the French war that has been present in the earlier books in the series. Okay, some may take issue with the literary license of having the Lucien's family vacationing in the area and not in Grimley Worcestershire, as per history, but I don't. What I really loved about this story is it felt as thought the author was going back to basics, allowing the focus of the story to be on the vast web of mysteries for Viscount Devlin and Hero to unravel. So many possibilities! So many avenues of inquiry! Delightfully good fun to tag along for the ride.

79lkernagh
Jun 13, 7:19pm Top

.
Book #33 - Where is My Mind? by Shirley Benton
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "M" My Mind
Source: LTER
Format: ebook
Original publication date: February 25, 2020
Acquisition date: May 4, 2020
Page count: 312 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.30 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: adapted from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Katie Turner’s heart is thumping against her ribcage so hard that it feels like it’ll rip through her skin and land in her hands. Is she really going mad? She’s convinced she was abducted, but when the hospital finds Rohypnol in her system, everyone tries to convince her that it was a hallucination. Are they all right and she’s wrong? There was the stranger at the bar . . . And what about the sinister letter sent to her office? Is it related? Not to mention the state of her clothes, her face, her back . . . Something isn’t adding up and everyone is bringing it back to her past, to her state of mind. Why won’t even the police investigate further? How can she get people to believe her when even her own family think she’s just hallucinating? But she knows something happened! It’s real. Fearing for her life, she needs to do something concrete to help save herself. Panic is taking over – she can feel it coming down the tracks, hurtling itself at her at full speed. Someone did this to her. And it could be anyone . . ."
Review:
If you like psychological thrillers where you don't know who is telling the truth (do we have an unreliable narrator on our hands?), this one may appeal to you. For the most part, I enjoyed the story and the building suspense. The plot is good, providing some red herrings that left me guessing up until about the 3/4 mark and then I sussed it all out. Even knowing the answer, I was still curious to see how events would play out. For the most part, the supporting characters are rather two-dimensional and their reactions to Katie's insistence that something happened run the usual gamete of disbelief, sympathy and frustration. Katie is an interesting character and yes, her past history makes it easy to question what she remembers from that alcohol-fueled night. I get that someone trying to discover the truth may go to extreme lengths to find the answer, especially if they feel that no one - not even the police - seems to care, but this leads Katie to teetering at times towards obsessive behaviour and some misguided decision-making. Parts of the story dragged for me, especially in the middle. The climatic ending is a little far-fetched, in my opinion, but it does deliver some page-turning suspense, which is really what I look for in a psycho-thriller. Overall, a decent quick reading suspense story, just a little slow in some places.

80lkernagh
Jun 13, 7:19pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:
The Wiz adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Charlie Smalls - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel June 12 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
The Madness of George III by Alan Bennett - National Theatre YouTube channel June 11 - June 18
Hamlet by William Shakespeare - Stratford Festival youTube channel June 11 - ?

81MickyFine
Jun 15, 11:54am Top

Who's playing Hamlet in the Stratford production?

82mstrust
Jun 15, 11:59am Top

Dropping in to wish you a fabulous week, Lori! And thanks for the update of plays available.

83richardderus
Jun 15, 3:06pm Top

Hi Lori! Also pleased that the St. Cyr ship righted itself, and that you're back in the play groove.

Have a lovely new week!

84lkernagh
Jun 15, 4:27pm Top

>81 MickyFine: - Hi Micky, I "think" Hamlet is being played by Jonathan Goad, but I am not 100% sure as the plan is to watch it this evening. Jonathan was part of the live viewing party Thursday, along with Amaka Umeh, so the production was probably filmed in 2015.

>82 mstrust: - Thanks Jennifer. It is a wet and miserable Monday but I guess I shouldn't complain as it means the plants don't need watering. I hope you get to enjoy some of the plays.

>83 richardderus: - Thanks RD and I am also happy that the St. Cyr series only appears to have one potential dud, so far.

85vancouverdeb
Jun 15, 5:41pm Top

Stopping by to wish a great week, Lori. Though as you say, it 's wet and soggy day. But maybe tommorow will be better? I'm going have haul out my pants and rain gear for my dog walk today. I guess Poppy will need her raincoat too.

86alcottacre
Jun 15, 5:57pm Top

>55 lkernagh: That is a series that I need to get to at some point!

>57 lkernagh: I watched Hairspray a couple weeks back and The Wiz this past weekend, neither of which I had seen before. I really enjoyed them!

87bohemima
Jun 15, 6:04pm Top

>79 lkernagh: Book title
I ask myself this daily.

I’m thrilled with your play watching! I’ve been dipping into some Shakespeare on YT. The tiny snippets of Mark Rylance’s performances have been fascinating. Wish I could watch his Merry Wives of Windsor and his Richard II.

Have a happy and healthy week, Lori.

88lkernagh
Jun 15, 10:24pm Top

>85 vancouverdeb: - Hi Deb, lovely to see you stopping by! Fingers crossed, we move away from the rain and back to warmer weather and sunshine. Sad when we need to have our fall clothes handy for going outdoors. Glad to see Poppy has her own raincoat! Thanks for the great week wishes.

>86 alcottacre: - Hi Stasia, if you like historical murder mysteries set in the Regency period, I think you will like the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Like you, I had never seen productions of either Hairspray and The Wiz, and I enjoyed both very much!

>87 bohemima: - Hi Gail, LOL your response to Where is My Mind?. All of my play watching has been a very positive outcome of this pandemic. Such amazing productions! I am half tempted to try and watch a production of each of Shakespeare's plays this year. Not sure how do-able this would be as a side challenge as I have only watched 9 productions so far - Hamlet this evening will be #10 - but I am kind of keen to give it a go. Thanks for the well wishes for the week ahead, Gail.

89AMQS
Jun 15, 10:47pm Top

Hope your weather improves. It was quite cool in Oregon! Here we're having a heat wave which will last for the next few days. It's not really normal weather for June, and bodes ill for the "real" hot months of summer.

90lkernagh
Jun 16, 7:10pm Top

>89 AMQS:- Hi Anne, I would offer to send you some of our cooler weather if I could. It seems that few areas are experiencing "normal" June weather. I have my fingers crossed for July.

91BLBera
Jun 17, 10:11am Top

>79 lkernagh: The title of this one sounds like my life these days, Lori! Where is my mind indeed.

92SandyAMcPherson
Jun 17, 10:21am Top

I just started Book #16 in the Richard Jury series. It was the earliest book available for request as an e-Book.

I read very early Richard Jury mysteries when they first came out and then didn't read any fiction for years and years (my employment ate my life!). So I thought with seeing discussion lately of Jury mysteries, I wanted to revisit them.

I'd like to start the St. Cyr (CS Harris) series as well.

93lkernagh
Jun 17, 7:13pm Top

>91 BLBera: - Hi Beth, I think we can all relate to that title, in some fashion, these days. ;-)

>92 SandyAMcPherson: - Nothing wrong with starting a series mid-stream, Sand, or in your case, coming back to the series after a hiatus! I have done that - more often than I can count . So long as I can remember the characters and have a general sense of the story arc, no biggie. I have to admit that I have not read any of the Richard Jury books, yet. I tend to get a bit daunted when a "new to me" series is already in the double digits like that one, but you have intrigues me enough to look into the series. I will need a new series to explore once I am all caught up with the Sebastian St. Cyr series.

-----------------------

Peeking my head into my own thread just to say not much to report, except to mention that I started a new ARC read last night that has really caught my attention. I will be finished it this evening, so will hopefully have a new book review for you all in a day or two when I find the time to pull my thoughts together.

Oh, .... probably should mention the book. It's this one:


The Ghost in the House by Sara O'Leary

94MickyFine
Jun 18, 10:09am Top

Gorgeous cover!

95karenmarie
Jun 18, 11:34am Top

Hi Lori!

>>55 lkernagh: First time I’ve heard the phrase “series fatigue” although I’ve had it many, many times.

>56 lkernagh: I’m glad you like this one and that the series is improving for you.

96lkernagh
Jun 18, 6:39pm Top

>94 MickyFine: - Hi Micky, the cover goes well with the story, too!

>95 karenmarie: - Hi Karen, I think one could claim fatigue for almost anything, but I agree, not a term one comes across very often. ;-)

97lkernagh
Jun 18, 6:39pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:

Peter Pan adapted from the book by James Matthew Barrie - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel June 19 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
Small Island adapted from the book by Andrea Levy - National Theatre YouTube channel June 18 - June 25
King John by William Shakespeare - Stratford Festival youTube channel June 18 - July 9
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - Shakespeare's Globe YouTube channel June 16 - June 28

98SandyAMcPherson
Jun 19, 12:14am Top

>93 lkernagh: I'm really enjoying the The Lamorna Wink. The plot is in that dreamy mode of setting the atmosphere and bringing the characters forward very effectively.
I couldn't recall Martha Grimes' writing style in this series, but it sure is paced the way I really appreciate right now.

99lkernagh
Jun 20, 11:39am Top

>98 SandyAMcPherson: - Sounds like a good one, Sandy! Thanks for mentioning it here.

100lkernagh
Jun 20, 11:39am Top

101Storeetllr
Jun 20, 2:30pm Top

Oh! I hadn't realized the Solstice was today! Happy Happy Summer! Even with the heat and humidity and mosquitoes, I love summer best of all seasons. Hope yours is full of golden sunshine, pleasant breezes, moderate temperatures and the perfect amount of rain to keep the air fresh.

102SandyAMcPherson
Jun 20, 2:38pm Top

>99 lkernagh: Revised my opinion... the first 2/3rds was engaging. Grim thoughts and bad dreams thereafter.

103lkernagh
Jun 22, 5:46pm Top

>101 Storeetllr: - Hi Mary. I have to admit with all that has been going on so far this year, I was rather surprised to find that we are now in summer! Saturday was a hold over of the fall weather we have been experiencing so far this June but the weather forecast provides some hope that summer weather is coming.

>102 SandyAMcPherson: - Oh dear, Sandy. Not a good sign. ;-(

---------------------------
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. We took things easy puttering around the house on Saturday as the weather was not all that great. I made a huge pot of soup for my work form home lunches for next week. Found locally grown strawberries and rhubarb in the grocery store so I also made a batch of tarts and froze some rhubarb for later baking. That is when I also discovered that my counter-top convection/toaster oven is starting to die on me. Still okay for warming things but just does not have the capacity for full cooking/baking anymore. Warranty expired some time ago, so I am now in the market for a replacement and will need to put aside some time to do some product research. If you have a brand/model of convection/toaster oven that you have been happy with (or one that has been a bad product purchase), please do leave a comment!

Late Saturday night we noticed that we had a small coolant leak coming out of our Jeep. We had a new radiator installed just 6 months ago and new hoses just last month, so we were baffled as to what the cause could be. Popped the hood Sunday for a look and discovered a couple of things: the clamp holding one of the hoses in place had slackened slightly and the new radiator was not fully mounted to the frame of the Jeep (the bolts to fasten it in place were there by you could just remove them with your fingers, it was not properly bolted in place). We figure that the movement of the radiator while driving probably contributed to the slackening of the clamp holding the hose in place. Jeep went in to the shop that installed the radiator this morning and they have now fixed there "oops". Thankfully an easy fix but still, other half and mechanic went over the car to make sure nothing else had been missed.

104lkernagh
Jun 22, 5:46pm Top

.
Book #34 - The Ghost in the House by Sara O'Leary
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Author - "O" O'Leary
Source: NetGalley
Format: ebook
Original publication date: July 7,2020
Acquisition date: May 25, 2020
Page count: 208 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 4.30 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"What if a ghost were haunting your house? What if you were the ghost?
Everything in Fay's life is perfect--living in the house she dreamed of as a child, married to a man she loves, and planning her life as an artist. Her life seems full of possibility. Then, late one night, Fay realizes that something has gone wrong. Things have altered in the house and some­how time, and Fay's husband, Alec, seem to have gone on without her. Fay--who thought her life was on the verge of beginning--finds it has abruptly ended. And she comes to learn that sometimes the life you grieve may be your own. This glimmering and darkly comedic novel explores both the domestic and the existential, delving into the dark heart of marriage and the meaning of a life."
Review:
This is not your typical ghost story, where family moves into a new home and starts to encounter strange and unusual events. It is more a portrayal of the stages of grief and loss, a journey in the case of this book for both the dearly departed and those left behind. Told from the point of view of Fay, we are made intimately aware of Fay's mental and emotional shifts as she slowly processes what has happened to her, the changes that have occurred in her home and the impact on Alex, her husband. Beautifully written, there is a muted quality to the story. This is in keeping with the ethereal properties of our narrator and the fact that she cannot make physical contact with the inhabitants of the house, communicating a very real sense of loneliness. Before you think this is a sad story to avoid, I will say that while this is a heart-wrenching story, the author skillfully makes use of conversations and memory shifts to also provide readers with experiences of hope, love, laughs and happiness.

A moving story of love, loss, grief, longing and letting go by a "new-to-me" Canadian author and one who's other works I look forward to reading.

I received an advanced reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

105karenmarie
Jun 22, 6:01pm Top

>103 lkernagh: I've had a Cuisinart TOB-175C Convection Toaster Oven/Broiler for probably 15 years or more and it still works perfectly and cleans up nicely. I don't know what the current equivalent model is.

106AMQS
Jun 23, 12:32am Top

Sorry about your Jeep troubles - hopefully the repair was done at no cost to you? And sorry about your toaster oven - we do come to rely on our favorite appliances, don't we? We had a toaster oven when I was growing up - I've never had one as an adult and though I've considered it, I don't really have counter space and just use the regular oven (or toaster). Hope someone recommends something really good!

>104 lkernagh: I am putting The Ghost in the House on my list.

107lkernagh
Jun 24, 4:36pm Top

>105 karenmarie: - Hi Karen, I have seen some good reviews for the Cuisinart convection toaster ovens so the brand is on my short list for options. Good to learn your has lasted as long as it has!

>106 AMQS: - Hi Anne, thanks! Yes, the repair was done at no cost. The mechanic was rather sham-faced when he discovered what had happened. I have grown to really love my toaster oven. We chose a convection/toaster oven over a microwave and it works well for us, but when you are only preparing meals to feed two people, I grudge turning on the large oven just to roast veggies for a side dish. I have found that it is perfect for baking bread and small tarts (I have not tried to bake a whole pie, yet). Like you, we have limited counter space, so all the models I am considering, I am paying particular attention to the dimensions!

The Ghost in the House is such a great story. I hope you are able to get your hands on a copy.

108lkernagh
Jun 24, 4:36pm Top


Book #35 - Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris - audiobook narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Other
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: April 4, 2017
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 347 pages / 10 hours, 35 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 4.15 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"London, 1813. One of the city's many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and murdered — and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin's fate, but Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, refuses to let this killer go unpunished. Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city's most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: Someone from society's upper echelon is preying upon the city's most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm..."
Review:
As with previous installments in the series, Harris likes to bring the reader's focus to different societal aspects of the English time period, that usually involves London's underbelly. This time, the focus is on street urchins who find themselves forced to survive on their own when their parents die or are transported for crimes. As you can imagine, the dismissive attitudes of the elite members of society to the plight of these children is heart-wrenching (and a perfect subject for social reformer Hero's next article). Add to this the fact that Sebastian is on the hunt for a sadistic killer (or killers) who engage in despicable acts prior to killing their victims, and this becomes a rather disturbing read. The fact that Sebastian has a number of possible suspects, is great for the mystery as Sebastian allows his judgement to be clouded by his dislike for one of the suspects (who is to wed Sebastian's niece, no less!). Harris includes the now typical suspenseful moments I have come to expect from previous installments. You would think we could have one installment where someone isn't attempting to kill Sebastian - or harm someone in his household - but he does have a habit of brashly ruffling feathers of influential individuals who would rather he didn't stick his nose into their business, so I guess the attempts on his life will continue. The story closes off with further sad news about a reoccurring character that I will not go into here.

Overall, Yes, Harris continues to capture my attention with her intricate mysteries set in Regency England. Onward to the next installment!

109lkernagh
Jun 26, 12:03pm Top

.
Book #36 - Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "P" Poison
Source: TBR
Format: ebook
Original publication date: 1930
Acquisition date: January 6, 2020
Page count: 223 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.30 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: adapted from various sources:
"Harriet Vane, a famous mystery novelist, is accused of murdering her former lover. The Crown's case is watertight. The police are adamant that the right person is on trial. The judge's summing-up is also clear. Harriet Vane is guilty of the killing her lover. And Harriet Vane shall hang. When the jury disagrees, Lord Wimsey has the opportunity to try and solve the case. Can he prove that Harriet is not guilty of murder - or find the real poisoner in time to save her from the gallows?"
Review:
I really did enjoy this one.... even if the whole "Wimsey in Love" sticks out like a sore thumb. Okay, this may be a lead in for future installments, but still, really odd, IMO. Happily, the story has not just a delightful return of Miss Climpson, but we are introduced to Joan Murchison, an employee of Miss Climpson and part of the "Cattery". I think Sayers likes to have Wimsey play the role of the airy intellect while others do the leg work, and I am okay with that as Wimsey isn't my favorite character, not by a long shot. I think if I were to meet someone like Wimsey in person I would find him highly annoying. That being said, I did enjoy some of the dialogue, in particular the awkward conversation Wimsey engages in with Detective Inspector Parker on a private matter. I do so love witnessing characters squirming uncomfortably when certain topics of conversation need to be broached, and this whole "lets dance around the topic and hope you understand what I am trying to say" occurs! As for the mystery itself, Sayers does not disappoint. While I tend to eye-roll when seances and spiritualism comes into play, I like how Sayers worked this into the story as a means to an end while exposing fraudulent mediums in a comic way.

Overall, a fun mystery that, IMO, was greatly improved by the focus that was placed on Climpson and Murchison. Wimsey just tires me out.

110lkernagh
Jun 26, 12:04pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:

The Sound of Music by Rogers and Hammerstein, starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel June 26 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare - National Theatre YouTube channel June 26 - July 2
The Adventures of Pericles by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins, produced by Scott Wentworth - Stratford Festival youTube channel June 25 - July 16

I don't watch different adaptations of the same play... more sharing the information here, should anyone be interested. I am also a bit behind with my play watching... I still need to watch the Stratford Festival production of King John from last week's play lineup, which will be tonight's entertainment.

111lkernagh
Jun 26, 11:07pm Top

.
Book #37 - A Letter from Munich by Meg Lelvis
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Author - "M" Meg
Source: LTER
Format: ebook
Original publication date: April 9, 2020
Acquisition date: May 27, 2020
Page count: 201 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.00 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Two distinct voices emerge: one, a jaded ex-cop, the other, an aging, but spirited German lady, telling her story of love, war, ethics, and redemption.

Germany, 1930s. In the peaceful village of Dachau, Ariana lives with her family, ordinary German citizens, during the Third Reich. Ariana and her sister, Renate, come of age amidst the growing horrors.

Munich, 2012. Hard-nosed ex-cop, Jack Bailey, is determined to locate Ariana Schröder, who wrote a WWII wartime love letter to his father decades ago. Jack and his brother think the letter may hold the key to his past drunken abusiveness.

Jack’s friend, Sherk, invites him to visit his native Munich, where Jack learns more than he bargained for, including a shocking disclosure. Back in Chicago, should he reveal family secrets and put his father to rest? From the Dachau death train to the camp’s liberation by the Americans, a tale unfolds, connecting two people in an unforgettable, ever-changing story."
Review:
I will start off this review by mentioning that when I requested a copy through the LTER program, I did not know that this was the third book in a series, so I don't have the insights or background information that the first two books may have provided. Lesson learned. I will now double check books before requesting.

For the most part, I found the premise an interesting one, which can be summed up nicely with the following quote from the story: "What is the boundary between a person's right to the truth and the right to keep painful secrets?" A dilemma for some of the characters.... and pretty much what makes a story about family secrets so intriguing. I tend to very away from war stories but this one does take a more personal, intimate look at WWII and in particular, the Munich-Dachau area. Ariana's story, told by her younger sister Renate, was well written and I was able to get a sense of time/place/person. On the downside, the story tends to get bogged down in details, making it at times seem like a geography/history lesson. Also, Jack Bailey's gruff, abrupt and impatient manner and attitude really grated against my sensibilities. None of the characters are fully developed. They come across as actors walking through their lines during a script read. Like I mentioned earlier, I haven't read the first two books in the series, so maybe I am missing something.

112PaulCranswick
Jun 29, 5:36pm Top

>111 lkernagh: Interesting premise certainly, Lori. Went and looked at the first in the series which surprisingly has only 5 people with the book and it does look like a series which is not quite run-of-the-mill.

113vancouverdeb
Jun 29, 6:58pm Top

>104 lkernagh: I just saw a good review of The Ghost in the House in the Saturday Globe and Mail. I'll keep an eye out for that one.

114lkernagh
Edited: Jun 30, 3:07pm Top

>112 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. I was a little surprised when I researched the series myself. First two books appear to be of the police procedural genre while in book three, Jack is retired from the force and delving into his's family's past. The author's website states that the fourth book will be focused on Jack's Aunt Betty, growing up in the Depression, so this seems to be one of those loosely linked series where the common thread is Jack.

>113 vancouverdeb: - Hi Deb, oooohhh... I must go and read the Globe review! Thanks for letting me know!

------------------------

This is one of those weird weeks. I know, every week since the start of this pandemic has been anything but normal. I am referring to the fact that the Canada Day holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, so today feels like a Friday with a lot of co-workers booked off for the week or half of the week. This has given me the opportunity to get completely caught up with work, which is a really good feeling. On the reading front, I finished another book last night, my last completed book for June. Needed a change of pace so found a fun quick read on my ereader. Review to follow.

115lkernagh
Jun 30, 2:38pm Top


Book #38 - Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: AlphaKIT - "Y"
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Author - "Y" Yen
Source: TBR
Format: ebook
Original publication date: April 10, 2018
Acquisition date: December 26, 2018
Page count: 368 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.30 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"During the heady years of the tech boom, incorrigibly frank Sophia Young lucks into a job that puts her directly in the path of Scott Kraft, the eccentric CEO of Treehouse, a studio whose animated films are transforming movies forever. Overnight, Sophia becomes an unlikely nerd whisperer. Whether her success is due to dumb luck, savage assertiveness, insightful finesse (learned by dealing with her irrational Chinese immigrant mother), or a combination of all three, in her rarified position she finds she can truly shine.

As Scott Kraft’s right-hand woman, whip-smart Sophia is in the eye of the storm, sometimes floundering, sometimes nearly losing relationships and her health, but ultimately learning what it means to take charge of her own future the way the men around her do. But when engineer/inventor Andre Stark hires her to run his company’s investor relations, Sophia discovers that the big paycheck and high-status career she’s created for herself may not be worth living in the toxic environment of a boys-club gone bad."
Review:
Needing a change of pace from my mystery/historical fiction reading, I let my fingers do the walking through my ereader and stumbled across this techie-styled chick lit story (Yes, cover art usually gives a very good impression of what type of story is lurking inside). Nothing earth-shatteringly unique about this story, down to the thinly veiled caricatures of Steve Jobs/Pixar and Elon Musk/Tesla. While the story is based on the author's experience as a Silicon Valley veteran, it is easy to see Yen is a Lauren Weisberger fan, replacing the NYC fashion world of The Devil Wears Prada with her perspective of the Silicon Valley tech industry. So, a lot of familiar references for readers like me to connect with, which I like when I am in the mood for a light beach read. I found Sophia to be a fun character. She is spunky, outspoken, driven to succeed, and terrified of failure, which is kind of odd given that she has such an amazing support network in her family and friends. I enjoyed following Sophia as she navigates through the vaulted offices (and insane hours) of investment banking and IPOs to high energy vibe of tech startups and the life lessons learned from a creative visionary.

Overall, a light-hearted professional coming-of-age story set in the fast-paced Silicon Valley tech scene.

116lkernagh
Jun 30, 5:34pm Top

Currently Reading:
..
Audiobook:
Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris - narrated by Davina Porter - 13th installment in this series... and the last installment in audiobook format that is available through my local library so it looks like I will be checking out the ebooks for books 14 and 15.
ebook:
Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers - Found this first book in the The Indranan Wars series lurking unread on my ereader. Reading it for the July Space Opera SSFKIT.
The Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries by Dorothy L. Sayers - This will be a year-long read. July read is Five Red Herrings.
Physical books:
Nothing at the moment.

117mstrust
Jul 1, 2:31pm Top

Happy Canada Day!
You're working? Come on, have just a little spoonful of maple syrup to celebrate.

118lkernagh
Jul 1, 4:57pm Top

>117 mstrust: - Thank you for the Happy Canada Day wishes, Jennifer! No, I am not working today, but I am working the other days of the work week, so seems like two mini-work weeks this week.

119vancouverdeb
Jul 1, 6:11pm Top

Happy Canada Day, Lori, such as it is this year! A wee bit rainy for my tastes.

120lkernagh
Jul 1, 6:53pm Top

>119 vancouverdeb: - Hi Deb! Wishing you a Happy Canada Day, as well.... even with the rain. No rain here on the island, but windy and overcast still makes it more enjoyable to be indoors rather than outside.

121lkernagh
Jul 2, 8:44pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:

Michael Flatley - Celtic Tiger dance show - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel July 3 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry - National Theatre YouTube channel July 2 - July 9
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins, produced by Scott Wentworth - Stratford Festival YouTube channel July 2 - July 23

I admit, Celtic Tiger is not a play, but I am still looking forward to taking in the performance of one of the original Riverdance principal dancers!

122lkernagh
Jul 4, 8:43pm Top


Book #39 - Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris - narrated by Davina Porter
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: N/A
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "I" Innocent
Source: GVPL
Format: audiobook
Original publication date: April 2, 2018
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 345 pages / 10 hours, 15 minutes listening time
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.70 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose's ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panics the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and Hero refuse to allow Jane's murderer to escape justice. Untangling the secrets of Jane's world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death . . ."
Review:
I keep wondering if I am going to tire of this series. Happily, not yet, although I was thankful that the story was back on more familiar ground of political intrigue. Everything from a paranoid, controlling and jealous Prince Regent, a willful princess, palace machinations, a scheming foreign courtesan, and a growing body count as Sebastian investigates... good stuff to keep me happily enthralled. All of the characters (even the cat, Mr. Darcy) have settled comfortably into their respective roles. Maybe a little too comfortably, as Sebastian does not seem to be getting into as many scraps as in previous installments. While there are still moments of suspense (most notably in the Berkeley Square Gardens and on the river during the Frost Fair this time) the outcomes are not a huge surprise. That is always the downside with a long-running series: Unless the author is prepared to occasionally kill off some re-occurring characters suddenly, the suspense scenes start to loose their edge. I know, I can be ruthless sometimes. For me, this series has three strengths: The author's ability to craft wonderful murder mysteries, the atmospheric setting and the strength of the lead characters to be both a team and strong, independent characters.

Overall, another intriguing Regency period whodunnit.

123lkernagh
Jul 4, 8:43pm Top


Book #40 - Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: SFFKIT - Space Opera
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Title - "T" Throne
Source: TBR
Format: ebook
Original publication date: August 2, 2016
Acquisition date: May 13, 2018
Page count: 358 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 3.15 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Hail Bristol has made a name for herself as one of the most fearsome gunrunners in the galaxy. But she can't escape her past forever: twenty years ago, she was a runaway princess of the Indranan Empire. Now, her mother's people have finally come to bring her home. But when Hail is dragged back to her Indrana to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.."
Review:
As far as Space Operas go, this one is not too bad. I should point out that this is the author's debut novel - something I learned after I finished the story - so I am prepared to cut her some slack. The world build is a nice blending of unique with familiar as the Indranans are a race that originated on Earth and have built their traditions, religion, etc around some familiar Earth foundations. Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol ("Hail") fits the bill as a strong female protagonist: a kick-ass gunrunner/privateer with a royal upbringing that she must now return to to save the empire, albeit putting up a fuss and rackling against the prospects of an unwelcome homecoming in the process. Sound kind of familiar? Probably more so in the fantasy genre than Sci-Fi (except Star Wars does come to mind), but that doesn't mean it still can't make for an enjoyable, quick-paced read filled with political/court intrigue. For me, I prefer action/intrigue over world build. I also tend to like my villeins to be the evil individuals they are supposed to be and I like the lead character's "support team" to be composed of equally interesting characters. Behind the Throne ticks all the boxes for a fun bit of fast-paced action escapism reading. the matriarch rule within the empire is captured well. On the downside, there is some repetition (like Hail's speaking/acting before thinking, "I can survive this" attitude and repeated moments of memory angst) that gets redundant really fast. Also, for a woman in her late 30s who has spent the past 20 years living by intuition and gut instincts in the cut-throat gunrunner world, there is way too much of the younger coming-of-age emotional (crying or on the verge of crying) Hail happening here.

Overall, a decent enough first book in what appears to be a series/trilogy. While I enjoyed this one, I will be considering borrowing the other two books in the trilogy from my local library, instead of purchasing them for reading.

124PaulCranswick
Jul 5, 11:44am Top

Dropping by to wish you a lovely Sunday, Lori.

125richardderus
Jul 5, 2:34pm Top

Happy week's reading ahead, Lori.

126SandDune
Jul 5, 5:22pm Top

Catching up here Lori and reading about your mouse encounter. While a spider in the house is enough to spend me into near hysterics a mouse is a different matter - Mr SandDune found one in the garage recently and I was very disappointed that it had disappeared before I got to have a look!

127lkernagh
Jul 6, 11:38am Top

>124 PaulCranswick: - Thanks for stopping by, Paul! I hope you had a lovely weekend and will have a great week ahead.

>125 richardderus: - Thanks RD! Wishing you the same. I was happily in reading mode this past weekend. Nice to disappear into a book and forget about the world outside, isn't it?

>126 SandDune: - Hi Rhian! LOL you wish to see the mouse Mr. SandDune found in your garage! I am okay with rodents, insects and other creepy-crawlies when they are outside (I do consider a garage to be outside as I don't live in a garage) but when they come indoors to my living space, I freak out. I admit it. I wish they understood that I will not disturb them in their space (outside) if they leave my space (inside) alone. Oh well, one can wish and I believe we have closed off all entry points, at least for the furry critters.

-------------------------------------

I hope everyone has had a happy and safe weekend! Not much to report on my end. Took things easy, did some chores, did some reading, did lots of sleeping. You know.... weekend stuff. :-)

I did finish a book last night: Bad Axe County by John Galligan. A dark, Noir-styled police procedural (and first in a series) set in the small towns and coulees of southwest Wisconsin. I am still pulling my thoughts together but can report out that I am giving this one two thumbs up.

128Storeetllr
Jul 6, 1:11pm Top

Hi, Lori! Glad you had a good weekend. Hope your week is the same!

>122 lkernagh: I bought the audio of Who Speaks for the Damned - the latest St. Cyr mystery - from Audible because I really enjoy them as audiobooks and couldn't wait for my library to get a copy. I loved it!

129lkernagh
Jul 6, 4:17pm Top

>128 Storeetllr: - Hi Mary! Yes, the weekend was my idea of an everyday thing, but not until I am ready to retire will that be a reality. So happy to see that you loved the most recent installment! I find I am tempted to dip in and purchase maybe one of the last two Sebastian St. Cyr audiobooks but I am going to try out Who Slays the Wicked as an ebook. I feel that I have the voices of the various re-occurring characters sharp in my mind so here is hoping I will have no problems transitioning to reading from listening. I do have a couple of NetGalley reads I needs to clear the decks of, so it will be a few days before I return to Regency England, Sebastian and Hero.

130karenmarie
Jul 9, 9:10am Top

Hi Lori! I hope your week is going well.

>109 lkernagh: Wimsey in love is one of the aspects I liked and there are future installments. I particularly like the kind of woman he’s chosen – not beautiful, intelligent, a writer of detective stories, unflinchingly honest. I hope you continue with the series, because there are always a few beautifully written scenes that always stagger me in every novel.

>111 lkernagh: I’ve unintentionally requested an ER book that’s NOT the first of a series and always kick myself and never remember to do my homework before requesting ER books. My most recent fail was from the May batch, the second in a series. I actually bought the first, cheaply on Kindle, abandoned it halfway through, and then read enough of the ER book to realize that it wasn't worth reading either.

>121 lkernagh: For a while Jenna and I watched Michael Flatley’s videos obsessively, appreciating the creativity and sheer exuberance he brings to the stage, much less the talent. I’d happily watch more by him, haven’t seen Celtic Tiger. Looks like I missed it this time, though. However, I’ve just subscribed to The Shows Must Go On on YouTube, so thank you!

131lkernagh
Jul 9, 7:39pm Top

>130 karenmarie: - Hi Karen! I have been having a great week. Super busy work wise and still managing to balance that with relaxing evenings. Good to know that the Wimsey in love continues in future installments. Maybe it will grow on me. I will continue with the series, mainly because it is the only group read that I have committed to this year, and I own the omnibus ebook, so there is little to no reason for me to not stick with it. ;-) Besides, it does make for a nice change of pace from my other reading.

Wow, talk about a double whammy on the ER read! I will keep your experience in mind to make sure I research any LTER books I am interested in so that I don't find myself wading into a series late.

So sorry you missed the short viewing for Celtic Tiger! 48 hours is a rather short window to find out about a Shows Must Go On event and watching it.

-------------------
Not much to report this week. Just being kept busy with work and balancing that with relaxing evenings. I still need to get around to writing that review but that might not happen until sometime this weekend. In the meantime, here is the latest Plays lineup.

132lkernagh
Jul 9, 7:40pm Top



This Week's Play Line-up:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond - The Shows Must Go On! YouTube channel July 10 (available for 48 hours worldwide)
The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan, starring Helen McCrory - National Theatre YouTube channel July 9 - July 16
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins, produced by Scott Wentworth - Stratford Festival YouTube channel July 9 - July 30

I am looking forward to all three productions! While Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat is a re-broadcast from March, I never say the March showing so looking forward to taking it in this weekend.

133charl08
Jul 11, 3:47am Top

Hi Lori, sounds like you are keeping busy, including with your theatre scheduling.

>132 lkernagh: I love Helen McCrory - she was in a series about lawyers years ago that I was a fan of. She doesn't seem to ever be bad in anything.

The Wimsey discussion is fun - have you/ would you read any of the new ones? I've picked up a couple, but find I'm not quite sure about the whole thing!

134lkernagh
Jul 11, 9:46am Top

>133 charl08: - Hi Charlotte, so happy to learn you are a Helen McCrory fan! There are new Wimsey books? Are they previously unpublished works by Sayers or has a different author taken up the pen to continue the Wimsey stories?

135lkernagh
Edited: Jul 11, 9:52am Top

.
Book #41 - Bad Axe County by John Galligan
Challenge(s): 75 Group, 2020 Category
CAT/KIT: KITastrophe - Weather Events
Bingo DOG: N/A
Category: Author - "G" Galligan
Source: NetGalley
Format: ebook
Original publication date: July 9, 2019
Acquisition date: N/A
Page count: 325 pages
Decimal/ Star rating: 4.20 out of 5 /
Book description/summary: from the amazon.ca book listing webpage:
"Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth — if only the investigators would listen. Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface. As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard — where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade. As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core — and finding out what really happened the night her parents died."
Review:
Richly textured and cinematic in scope, this intense Noir-styled police procedural (and first in a series) is set in the rural coulees of southwest Wisconsin where the Mississippi and Bad Axe rivers meet. Visions of a bucolic dairyland countryside are shattered as readers encounter a gritty, seedier world of derelict farms, dangerous back country roads, ingrained attitudes of bigotry and misogyny, police corruption, human trafficking, meth addiction, drug-fueled thefts and acts of senseless violence. Oh yes, and murder. Can't forget that. Told from the alternating points of views of interim sheriff Heidi Kick, recently returned home local baseball player Angus Beavers and runaway teenager Pepper Greengrass, this is more than just a crime/murder mystery. At its heart, this is your classic good versus evil story. In true Noir fashion, the motives of our three strong-will protagonists are fueled by revenge, determination and a 'go it on your own' approach, giving us flawed complex characters to understand and cheer on from the sidelines, even though some of the decisions they make are questionable ones. The author give the reader a lot to think about and really exposes human nature for the complex, dynamic aspect that it is. This is also what I like to describe as a train wreck kind of story... you watch the bad unfolding, helpless to intervene. A lot of this comes from having the three points of view: we know what is happening that the other characters are not aware of, which adds to the gut-wrenching suspense.

The overall effect is a well written, fast-paced, atmospheric crime story filled with long-kept secrets, well developed characters and adrenaline-pumping moments of suspense. Word of caution: If you are uncomfortable reading a story with some really unpleasant (okay, nasty) characters, blatant misogyny, cruelty and violence, this is not a story I would recommend for you.

I received an unedited proof copy from the publisher via NetGalley as lead up to the September 2020 release of the second book in the series, Dead Man Dancing, in exchange for an honest review.

136lkernagh
Jul 12, 12:49pm Top

So, the uneven weather from spring continues into summer. Yesterday was cool, with overcast skies and drizzling rain for most of the day. When I went to sit on our balcony to read in the afternoon, I had to put on my fall down puffer jacket to keep warm! So far this morning it is blue skies and warmer temps (a tad too warm for the pants and 3/4 sleeve shirt I put on expecting more cooler weather). Sighs

137richardderus
Jul 12, 1:49pm Top

>135 lkernagh: That sounds like a darn good read! I'll wager vol. 2 is on your list now.

138charl08
Jul 12, 3:51pm Top

139AMQS
Jul 12, 9:35pm Top

I'm dreaming of needing a jacket, Lori - it's just blazing hot here, and we're taking some refuge in the mountains at my mom's house. I've always disliked the idea of getting air conditioning, as it used to be there were only a few days a year we were truly miserable, but there seem to be more and more of those days!

140MickyFine
Yesterday, 12:46pm Top

>136 lkernagh: We're definitely having a cooler and damper summer here as well so you've got my sympathies, Lori. Apparently there's hot air masses that have stalled over Eastern Canada, which means we're stuck under cooler and wetter fronts here. The weather article I read about it described it as bowling balls stuck in the distribution chute... :P

Hope you got in some play viewing while the weather was less conducive to being outside.

141lkernagh
Yesterday, 6:56pm Top

>137 richardderus: - Yes, and I have it on my list for when it is published. I have also put in a request through NetGalley to see if the publisher will send me an ARC. Doesn't hurt to ask.... :-)

>138 charl08: - Thank you for the link, Charlotte! Once I finish the Sayers' books, I will check out the ones written by Paton Walsh!

>139 AMQS: - Darn, one would think that being in the mountains (or the foothills of the mountains) would mean cooler temps, Anne. Sorry to learn that you have been sweltering!

>140 MickyFine: - Sorry your summer has been as "off" as ours has been here on the coast, Micky.

"Bowling balls stuck in the distribution chute..."

That description generates quite the visual!

I continue to enjoy all the plays, usually watching one play a night over the course of the weekend (counting Friday night as part of the weekend). ;-)

------------------------

I had a surprisingly (unplanned) productive Sunday. Managed to get out and re-pot a number of plants, so the plants are happy. In the process, I discussed the idea of getting some new side tables for the deck area. We currently have resin tables that can be left out in all weather conditions but over the years, they have gone from white to shades of grey with splotchy bits from various outdoor projects undertaken near the tables. While we were debating replacement tables, I remembered the can of white paint I had bought last year to repaint my wooden plant stands. The paint stood up to last winter's weather really well so I thought, "why not paint the tables?" A scrub and two coats of paint later and the side tables look as good as new. No need to go shopping. ;-)

142SandyAMcPherson
Yesterday, 7:56pm Top

Hi Lori,
I saw your comment on my thread and thought I'd answer here...
yes, I always take the easy route and just copy the link from the book page on LT.

I've never had a problem until that one particular novel (Crazy Rich Asians), even faffing around with all the alternative approaches that I could use to upload a cover. The cover image didn't have any problem appearing in my book list, just in a talk thread. Whatever it was, is fixed by the LT goddess now.

I also am hooked on the S-St-Cyr saga. It *is* like those Midsommer Mysteries, isn't it (as suggested in #33)? So many murders around one sector of the community, but I'm keeping the books a bit spaced out, mainly because the eBook availability fluctuates and some are long wait times. My reviews are packed closely because I keep putting down other in-progress reading.

Now I'm deliberately taking a break from all the currently reading pile and enjoying The Ten Thousand Doors of January. A really brilliant theme in this novel. I have only 2-weeks left on the loan, so I don't want to have it digitally-yoinked back, unfinished.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

297 members

83,125 messages

About

This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

Touchstones

Works

Authors

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 148,043,558 books! | Top bar: Always visible