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SALLY KATHERINE BRACHER (Spain)

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DESERT QUEEN; LADY HESTER STANHOPE (SCANDALOUS WOMEN Book 1)
DESERT QUEEN; LADY HESTER STANHOPE (SCANDALOUS WOMEN Book 1)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A modern woman, 2 Mar. 2013
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This is really a taster: a very short book about a woman who was a scandal in her time.
Hester Stanhope was born into a wealthy family. She was the eldest daughter of an earl. Her uncle, William Pitt the Younger, in his second term of office as prime minister invited Hester to live with him at Downing Street and act as hostess and private secretary for the bachelor premier, which she did successfully until his death.

With a pension of more than a thousand pounds a year, Hester was a wealthy woman at a loose end. Going from one engagement to another she eventually took to travelling to "the Continent", met a new lover in Gibraltar, and ended up in the Ottoman Empire. After many adventures this generous, uninhibited woman ended up alone and destitute, but she was ahead of her time; a modern woman.
Maybe it's mean of me to award only three stars. I can't say I loved it because I think there is probably a much bigger story than the few pages here give, but it's interesting and well-written.


Traitor: John Shakespeare 4
Traitor: John Shakespeare 4
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment, 8 Feb. 2013
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This is the fourth outing of William Shakespeare's big brother John. I have enjoyed all of them; so much happens, there's never a dull moment.

Is it believable? Not really. Shakespeare is rather like a compassionate James Bond, passing unscathed from one death-defying adventure to another. The plot lines are all neatly drawn together at the end; all the characters at the starting blocks for the next England-saving story.

But it is entertaining, fairly un-putdownable. I liked it very much.


Beat Route
Beat Route
Price: £3.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Police Voice, 28 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Beat Route (Kindle Edition)
I've called my review "Police Voice" because it's just that: the narration of a police constable relating episodes in his career on the beat.
You can practically hear him speaking as he tells the stories of chases and arrests; nobody gets away from this bobby. I liked the episode where our hero wins the dads' race at his children's school sports day in full uniform and immediately after has to chase a villain.
It's quite an endearing account, very simply written, but (please take into account that I'm an English teacher) full of those irritating errors of mistaken apostrophes and wrongly constructed compounds.


The Sunne in Splendour
The Sunne in Splendour
Price: £4.49

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ricardian history, 23 Jan. 2013
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The Sunne in Splendour is a big book. Reading it on a Kindle is very comfortable; far better than struggling with more than 900 paper pages!
Although the title refers to the emblem of Richard's brother Edward, the story always inclines towards Richard and favours him above all others; he is depicted as a real paragon.
We first see Richard "Dickon" as a very small boy, forgotten in the woods while his dashing big brother Edward seduces his nurse.He is last seen in the closing moments of Bosworth Field, betrayed by Stanley.
There are many points of view; we see through Richard's thoughts, Francis Lovell's, Anne Neville's, Elizabeth Woodville's, to name just a few. This helps to understand why people do the things they do.
Anyone who has read Josephine Tey's "The Daughter of Time" will be familiar with this sympathetic image of the infamous monarch, so different from Shakespeare's "bottled spider".
I don't think a single detail of Tey's argument is missed out. Ms Penman finds an explanation for everything; even providing a valid solution for the the disappearance of the nephews.
Richard and his brothers call their mother "Ma Mère". Due to a strange piece of substitution editing, every time the combination of letters "mere" appears, it is rendered as "Mère" (I'm Mèrely pointing it out)

Did I like the book? Well, I read it all; maybe it's a bit too sweet on Richard-romantic in its portrait of him. It's detailed, as far as I can see sticks to historical facts and leaves everything tidy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2014 7:59 PM BST


Chasing Venus
Chasing Venus
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!, 2 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Chasing Venus (Kindle Edition)
Author Annie Rowell finds herself top of the bestseller list and also top of the FBI's wanted list at the same time. She knows she's innocent of the murders of four bestselling crime writers, but it seems that everyone else thinks she's guilty...except for the very attractive Reid, Crimewatch show host, who risks pretty well everything to help her.
I enjoyed chasing Venus very much. It's an interesting, well-paced thriller with a few well-rounded characters; not too many names of minor characters to remember.


The Cuckoos of Batch Magna
The Cuckoos of Batch Magna

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Losing paradise, 29 Dec. 2012
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Much of the story of the Cuckoos of Batch Magna takes place in the pastoral paradise of the eponymous village on the Welsh/English border (I'm trying out eponymous to see if it works).
It's about a group of raggle-taggle house-boat tenants who are served eviction notices by their new lord of the manor Sir Humphrey ("call me Humph") Strange, a failed American financier, after unexpectedly inheriting the estate. He is being goaded into action by his adviser "uncle" Frank and his fiancée, who everyone can see is up to no good.
There is a parade of eccentric characters, including Lucy, the nymphomaniac barmaid, Owain the gamekeeper, the Commander with his Union-Jack glass eye, and so on.
I enjoyed the book and its characters, though I thought it was a bit slow in unfolding; there were times when I wondered if it was going anywhere at all, though it did get there in the end.


The Christmas Bake Off
The Christmas Bake Off
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious!, 21 Dec. 2012
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Quite a short, light story. I read it during an extended coffee break.
the inhabitants of a Yorkshire village prepare for an annual cake-baking competition. Some of them are really desperate to win this time round.
Once I finished the story I wanted to bake, and there was a recipe waiting for me in the closing pages. I couldn't wait to get home and try it out. My cinnamon stars are in a box in the kitchen; they are so delicious I have to ration them!


The Shoulders of Giants (A Jake Abraham Mystery)
The Shoulders of Giants (A Jake Abraham Mystery)
Price: £2.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What giants?, 14 Dec. 2012
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I enjoyed this crime story about Jake Abraham. Lots of murders (too many?) and a new private eye. In the light of events in Connecticut, I have to say that Jake goes about armed with not one but two guns, and he's one of the good guys.


Murder On The Danube (Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries Book 2)
Murder On The Danube (Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries Book 2)
Price: £2.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robbie Cutler, diplomatic detective, 8 Dec. 2012
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I enjoyed reading this book. The story takes place in Budapest in modern times but with many references to the terrible events of 1956. It's about betrayal, vengeance and murder.
This is the first book featuring Robbie Cutler that I've read-the second in the series, I believe. It was interesting, because I know very little about Hungary and nothing at all about the fighting in the 1950s.
Robbie is a clever and attractive character, although we don't get to know him very deeply. I liked the bits about restaurants in Budapest. Hungarian names are, frankly confusing and you have to pay attention to them or get lost. I'll probably go back and read the first one, which takes place in the South of France.


Mapac Choral Folder in Black
Mapac Choral Folder in Black
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job!, 26 Nov. 2012
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I needed a choir folder that was light and held the scores in place. This one is just that. It also has useful pockets and a loop for a pencil. AND a handle! This is not for carrying but to keep it from slipping; to give an example, we did a performance of the Mission Impossible theme, putting on dark glasses and taking them off at various times to enhance the song; great fun, but fiddly with a folder in one hand and singing all the while. You just have to put your hand through the strap on the spine of the folder and you're safe, the folder won't slip.
It's quite fiddly to put the scores in and take them out; I only use the folder for performances, not storage.


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