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Macavity "macavity_books" (UK)

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Night Sky
Night Sky
Price: £4.68

5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite, 24 May 2016
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This review is from: Night Sky (Kindle Edition)
i loved this book from start to finish. Some of that may be because I recognise most of the places but the characters are excellent and the story moves along at a rapid pace. Well worth reading if you like the the WWII period and sailing and the sea.


Land of Blood and Water (The Long War for England Book 1)
Land of Blood and Water (The Long War for England Book 1)
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 24 May 2016
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The basic story was not too bad; I didn't mind that the characterisation was different to Bernard Cornwell actually. What I did find slightly off putting was the seemingly regular rape of one of the rather young characters. I realise that these were different times and different sensibilities but I did find it a little far fetched that this character seemed to survive her repeated ill use with little more that a worried frown.


Smoke and Mirrors: Stephens and Mephisto 2
Smoke and Mirrors: Stephens and Mephisto 2
by Elly Griffiths
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of the Seat, 21 Dec. 2015
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A great story with some excellent characters and an authentic period feel. It was however slightly silly to hear the policeman remark that a homosexual had 'committed no crime' which of course he had in the eyes of the law as homosexuality was illegal until 1967. Despite any personal liberal viewpoints this is how the detective would have had to regard this. Sad that a good story should be incorrect just for the sake of modern political correctness. Despite the niggle however I enjoyed the tale and was in the dark till quite near the end. I look forward to the next instalment of Stephens and Mephisto.


The Zig Zag Girl: The 1st Stephens and Mephisto Mystery
The Zig Zag Girl: The 1st Stephens and Mephisto Mystery
by Elly Griffiths
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me Guessing, 21 Dec. 2015
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I enjoyed this very much. Engaging characters and a story which kept me guessing. Would recommend. Interesting to see that Brighton of the 1950s is brash and showy and away from the seafront seedy and full of weird people. Nothing new today then.


Faith and Beauty (Clara Vine 4)
Faith and Beauty (Clara Vine 4)
by Jane Thynne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 11 Nov. 2015
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The fourth in an excellent series, I would heartily recommend this book. A very believable recreation of Berlin on the eve of war with an attention to detail so good that you could almost imagine that you were there. The characters are finely drawn and the various threads of the story are cleverly drawn together ending with an edge of the seat flourish that leaves you wondering what will come next. It is possible to read this as a stand alone but better I think if you read the set chronologically. Looking forward now to Clara Vine 5.


The Butcher Bird (Somershill Manor Mystery 2)
The Butcher Bird (Somershill Manor Mystery 2)
by S D Sykes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Oct. 2015
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You have to feel for our hero Oswald de Lacy as, out of his depth but growing up fast as the Lord of Somershill, he struggles to investigate a series of particularly upsetting deaths in a bleak post- Black Death era. Apart from the story what I love about this book and the earlier one are the clear parallels to today. Anyone says that History is not relevant and all about the past then I would recommend that they try these books as we clearly see that there is nothing which is ever new and there are always lessons to be learned which we ever seem to miss. Clever but naïve Oswald fights teenage hormones with his crush on a manipulative older woman, copes with rebellious tenants and truculent staff and battles with his truly dreadful family all with pragmatism and often a wry humour. We see mental illness and stark poverty, bullying officials and an out of touch government which built up to the Peasant’s Revolt 30 years later and could almost be a parallel to today’s world. London, expensive, dirty, traffic clogged and full of foreigners clearly has change little in the past six hundred or so years. A good story and well worth a read, the author does a good job keeping our interest with a twisting and turning plot. I look forward to the next instalment in the series.


The Streets of Town
The Streets of Town
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but some niggles, 5 Oct. 2015
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The recreation of the period is excellent and the author builds up the suspense well and has a particularly talent for creating a frisson of horror in places. Why only a 3-star? One reason is the loose ends of which there are a few including one murder which is never fully explained. Another is a particularly traumatic event which happens to one character which seems barely to concern them and having read the subsequent books never seems to give them a sleepless night despite there being other tragedies over which they spend a great deal of time brooding. I also found myself disliking some of the characters. In Dandy Tom the author is trying to replicate Lord Peter Wimsey but it doesn’t quite wash. Despite his gimlet mind and association with criminals, Sayers’s character is never less than the understated gentleman and the fact that suffers personal trauma due to recurring shell-shock shows his vulnerability and makes us like him the more for it. Dandy Tom is interesting but he tends towards being both boorish and a bore and far from being a bright spark and a spearhead for female emancipation in the Met, Suzie makes some remarkably stupid decisions and her thought patterns are often that of a love struck fifteen year old. Setting those frustrations aside though this is an enjoyable series and I would recommend reading them in chronological order if at all possible.


Angels Dining at the Ritz
Angels Dining at the Ritz
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the ending?, 25 Aug. 2015
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I read Bottled Spider and enjoyed it so I was eagerly anticipating this episode on the DS Suzie Mountford series. On some levels I did enjoy it very much. I liked the characters and the recreation of the wartime period was extremely good. The book is quite long but still manages to keep you guessing throughout although unfortunately it seemed to unravel completely towards the end. On occasions I was left wondering on the relevance of some happenings and the ending left more loose ends than a bowl of spaghetti. The book builds to a thrilling climax and then suddenly everything is over in the space of half a page. We never find out what happened to some of the villains, in fact I think they might be still in a police station somewhere in Norfolk. To some up, good in parts but draw your own conclusion.


Chains of Folly (Magdalene la Bâtarde Book 4)
Chains of Folly (Magdalene la Bâtarde Book 4)
Price: £2.51

3.0 out of 5 stars OK but spoiled by historical errors, 16 July 2015
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On a social scale this is an enjoyable enough book. I like the characters and it is an engaging mystery in a novel situation, although the characters do spend far too much time discussing things over meals in order to advance the plot. Unfortunately in a wider historical context I found it hard to take it seriously and wondered how good the research actually was - in fact I fear it has some glaring inaccuracies. The 12th Century Lords Of Meulan were known as BeaUMONT NOT BeauFORT! This caused me some confusion until I realised the error. The House of Beaufort did not appear until it was associated with the family of John of Gaunt in the 14th Century and later gained prominence in the Wars of the Roses. I would recommend anyone to read When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Penman. This book has a great story, good characters and the historical research and accuracy is also very good.


Black Roses (Clara Vine Book 1)
Black Roses (Clara Vine Book 1)
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Jun. 2015
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I am always on the look out for a good World War II series and this promises to be the start of something enjoyable. It is good to read a book which provides a feminine perspective on this turbulent period. Clara Vine is a likeable heroine and her experiences at the heart of the nazi elite give the author the opportunity to flesh out some well known but shadowy characters. Outside Downfall this is the only thing I have seen which depicts the extraordinary character of Magda Goebbels; a seemingly intelligent and privileged individual who had choices right up until the very end and yet elected to commit the most unthinkable crime. Worth it for that alone. I will be continuing with the series.


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