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Patricia M. Straughan
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Christopeit Cambridge II Rowing Machine - 173 x 44 x 53, Silver (Silver/Red)
Christopeit Cambridge II Rowing Machine - 173 x 44 x 53, Silver (Silver/Red)
Price: 94.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed views, 27 Mar 2014
One of the panels of the machine arrived damaged. As the packaging was OK, this must have happened at the factory or warehouse. However, I decided to keep it as it is largely cosmetic and it does not interfere with the function of the machine. On assembling it, there seem to be a few spare components that do not fit anywhere.

This is a Gerrman-made machine and the instructions into English are not perfect. I can't get to grips with all of the information that the display gives as the layout is different from in the instruction booklet. I like the fact that it's folds up easily and can be stood in a corner. Seat is comfortable and the action is smooth. Also I like having the foot plate and strap rather than a bar to rest my feet but don't know if this would suit people with really big feet.

I'm only using this at the most basic level for 10 minutes at a time and it gives a good work-out. At this level it is robust enough for my needs. I'm a fairly small woman and can't judge whether it would be suitable for larger or heavier people or for a hard work-out.


The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike)
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike)
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More like this please, 16 Dec 2013
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I might possibly be the only person on the planet who has never read anything else by J K Rowling or seen any of the Harry Potter films as the genre doesn't appeal. The Cuckoo's Calling is the best detective story that I've read for ages: interesting characters with potential for development and a plot with just enough but not too many red herrings. I like a plot where I can work out who dunnit but not too early on and this fits the bill. Excellent writing. One picky point - football isn't normally on TV at 3pm on a Saturday!

More in this series please.


The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins War 3)
The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins War 3)
Price: 3.67

4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining story of an unfamiliar historical period, 25 Nov 2013
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An avid PG fan in the past, I missed this series of books. I found The White Queen difficult to get into because I was not very familiar with that period of history. However, I have revisited them after watching the TV series and have now read the first three books. Unfortunately, they weren't written in date order - the Lady of the Rivers comes first historically. I think it is the most fictionalised of the books and didn't form part of the TV series.

An entertaining way of presenting history and I became interested in some of the figures such as Joan of Arc and Henry VI. A long time since I studied history, so good to have a refresher.


Mr. Darcy's Secret
Mr. Darcy's Secret
Price: 5.03

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's only one Jane Austen, 7 May 2013
Not actually a bad book but I wish I had carried on with my intention to avoid Jane Austen follow-ons. It's very difficult for one author to imitate another's style and this didn't work for me

The secret was obvious and it was equally obvious that there would be a twist. I found myself skimming towards the end and not enjoying the use of language.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2014 3:42 PM GMT


The Betrayal of Trust: Simon Serrailler Book 6 (Simon Serrailler 6)
The Betrayal of Trust: Simon Serrailler Book 6 (Simon Serrailler 6)
Price: 3.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for quality of writing but did not enjoy the book itself, 30 Oct 2012
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I would have given 5 stars for the quality of Susan Hill's writing but the number of times scenes were filled with people drinking or making coffee looked like she didn't know what else to say. The characters must have had caffeine poisoning and it really irritated me.

I've long accepted that this series is about a detective and his family rather than detection. However, this book was obviously an attempt to explore other issues and the detective aspect was a bit perfunctory. It didn't seem quite finished, again as if the author was either bored or ran out of things to say.

In fairness, I probably read this book at the wrong time while recovering from an operation. While the subjects are worthy of discussion, it left me feeling depressed. Susan Hill is not the only author to bolt social issues on to detective fiction (cf. Elizabeth George) but the combination doesn't work for me.

As others have said, the romance storyline didn't work at all.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick read, 17 Jun 2012
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A well researched book with an interesting subject matter. However, I wanted more information about the prisoners/patients and the staff as I had no previous knowledge of them. A bit repetitive in places and I found myself scanning rather than reading thoroughly. There was an odd mix of Victorian and modern day terminology which didn't always work.

The book isn't long enough. There is a long list of references at the end but I wasn't really inspired to follow them up.


Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (Wheeler Hardcover)
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (Wheeler Hardcover)
by Tom Franklin
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Five star writing, 15 Jun 2012
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Just finished this book and I already want to read it again. Beautifully written with a feel for language and with great characterisation. It starts off like a thriller but interest in the characters takes over as the story develops. I've never been to Mississippi but it feels as though I have. The story ended quite suddenly.

My only quibble is with the amount of product placement in the book. I'm not really interested in the brands of fast food, beer and soft drinks that the characters consume.


Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie series)
Bitter Water (Douglas Brodie series)
Price: 2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of a TV series, 1 Jun 2012
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Gordon Ferris paints such vivid pictures with words. I found myself wondering who I would cast as the lead characters should this ever become a TV series. The final scene of the book is an absolute set-piece though I agree with some that it is quite unbelievable. Cracking pace and dialogue, hugely enjoyable.


The Frequency Of Murder
The Frequency Of Murder
Price: 1.53

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking pace with a good plot, 8 May 2012
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As another reviewer mentioned, there are a few blips which the editor should have put right e.g. One character with two names, someone cutting a cake before the candles have been lit. I found a 26 year old DCI difficult to believe in. There were a few clichés such as the awkward sidekick (shades of Barbara Havers).

I would guess that this has been written for a slightly younger audience. A lot of emphasis on tell rather than show and a lot of glamorous, youthful characters. Anyone over 30 is treated in a slightly patronising way.

Criticisms aside, the pace is cracking - a real page-turner. I liked the plot and there didn't seem to be many loose ends. I look forward to the Richard Cowell character developing. There is obviously an interesting back-story. I also hope that a greater sense of the south Devon location develops.


The Retribution (Tony Hill Book 7)
The Retribution (Tony Hill Book 7)
Price: 2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you would expect from the author, 28 Mar 2012
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Loved it! Yes, it is gory and very implausible in places. Tony is still weird but human, whereas Carol is cold. I found that the she became almost matter of fact about certain situations which should have affected her deeply. Moving the plot along at the expense of character perhaps.

I didn't see the twist at the end coming. The characters have been left dangling nicely for another book and I now want to go back and re-read some of the earlier books. Where will the next one be based - there's a lot of dashing about as if the author has got bored with certain locations and characters and is looking to move things on.


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