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An Appetite for Murder: A Frances Doughty Mystery (Frances Doughty Mysteries)
An Appetite for Murder: A Frances Doughty Mystery (Frances Doughty Mysteries)
by Linda Stratmann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another superb Frances Doughty mystery, 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Another excellent case for Frances Doughty. This extremely well-realised series of Victorian mysteries is fast becoming my favourite new detective fiction series. I eagerly await the fifth book!


Veho VPP-004-PS 2800mAh Pebble Smartstick with Emergency Portable Battery for iPhone/Blackberry/Samsung/HTC/Nokia - Silver
Veho VPP-004-PS 2800mAh Pebble Smartstick with Emergency Portable Battery for iPhone/Blackberry/Samsung/HTC/Nokia - Silver
Offered by Decold
Price: £22.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent emergency charger let down by cable adapter, 24 Jun 2014
This is a small, easily carried battery with which to charge a mobile phone when not near a power socket. It is a silver cylinder with rounded ends, one with a carabiner-style clasp. (This clasp is pretty fragile and mine fell off after being used to attach toa keyring twice.) This end unscrews to reveal the two ports, a standard USB and a micro USB. The unit comes with a short cable, one end of which has a standard USB plug; a series of adapters for the other end is provided which should fit most current devices. The device is charged by plugging the USB end of the cable into a computer, and the other end into the Smartstick using the micro USB adapter. During charging a red light is displayed which switches to blue when charging is complete (note that the instruction leaflet has this the wrong way round).

To charge a mobile, the USB end of the cable is plugged into the fully charged Smartstick, and the appropriate adapter is used to connect the other end of the cable to the phone. I have found it can take an almost fully discharged Nexus 4 up to more than 90% of charge, with some use during charging, which is satisfactory for me.

The one problem is that the device relies on adapters to connect to different devices, and to connect it to a PC for charging itself. Initially this works fine, but before long the cable-adapter connection loosens. This means that the Smartstick can only be used for charging if the mobile and the charger are placed on a flat surface where they will not be disturbed, otherwise the charging connection is repeatedly broken and reestablished, leading to a great deal of heat and a mobile which hasn't been charged. So, no connecting the charger to the mobile and placing it in a pocket or a bag, or even lying it on a table on a train. The only solution is to get a cable with the right connections which does not need an adaptor - fortunately, easy enough if your mobile uses a micro USB connector as most seem to now. A USB-micro USB cable can be got for a couple of pounds. Replacing the original cable+adapter with such a cable restores the Smartstick's functionality; it is an extremely useful option which keeps the mobile running in circumstances where it would otherwise run out of juice. I have no hesitation in recommending it with the caveat you should make sure you get a cable which can work with it without any adapter.


Jules Verne: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics) (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
Jules Verne: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics) (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection)
by Jules Verne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A handsome volume which will grace any bookshelf, 24 Jun 2014
This is a handsomely bound volume containing English translations of seven of Jules Verne's "Voyages Extraordinaires" - Five Weeks in a Balloon, Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, Around the Moon, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island. It's a beautiful artefact, a pleasure to read and to look at on the shelf. The only worry if you can't actually examine it before purchase is over the quality of the translations. As is noted in the introduction, some of Verne's novels have received pretty poor treatment at the hands of "translators", especially Journey to the Centre of the Earth. There is no need to be concerned here: the quality of the translations is good, befitting such a beautifully presented volume of several of the key works of one of the fathers of science fiction.


The Girl on the Stairs: A Masterful Psychological Thriller
The Girl on the Stairs: A Masterful Psychological Thriller
Price: £5.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 9 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had read one of Louise Welsh's other books and been thoroughly impressed, so I came optimistically to this. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. It's a straightforward example of the genre of thriller in which one character believes some terrible is happening or has happened but no one believes them, and everyone advances entirely reasonable explanations, leaving the protagonist increasingly isolated (this is obvious from very early in the book). Straightforward as in routine and uninvolving. Remarkably, there is not one single sympathetic character, not even the main viewpoint character. I never believed in the central relationship; it felt like the surface details were there but the deeper feeling wasn't established. Events unfold in order to drive the plot, rather than as a result of well-realised characters acting as they might in real life. Worst of all, there's no sense of tension. Once you have realised what genre this belongs to, the progression through a series of events with ambiguous significance until the final inevitable scenes feels like box-ticking. The final flaw is the rapidity and ease with which matters get resolved - it simply is not credible. I didn't hate this book: it wasn't interesting enough to evoke such a strong reaction.


The Axe, the Elf and the Werewolf (Wyrdwolf Book 1)
The Axe, the Elf and the Werewolf (Wyrdwolf Book 1)
Price: £2.54

4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging crime/fantasy mixture, 25 Mar 2013
This is a very enjoyable combination of crime and fantasy, strongly seasoned with Norse mythology. This is a world where there are magicians, and werewolves and other supernatural creatures, and there are anti-discrimination laws and unions to protect their interests. The protagonist is a werewolf in just such a job. This is a well thought-out world, and quite a lot for the reader to absorb - fortunately this is made easy by the clutch of engaging characters driving the story along. At the end of the book I wanted to ignore my large "to read" pile and go straight to the second in the series.


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