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Footsteps in the Dark
Footsteps in the Dark
by Georgette Heyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, secret passges and noises in the night, 21 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Footsteps in the Dark (Paperback)
This was the first book that I have read by Georgette Heyer, and it won't be the last. It was such fun, it was like Scooby Doo, but for adults. You have a group of people who inherit this old house, and from very early on it is clear that there is something up. Are there ghosts? Or is someone trying to scare them away from the house? It has all the essential ingredients, a secret passage, bones that suddenly fall out of old panelled cupboards, people who disappear while in their own house, and strange noises in the night. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of the murder mystery books by this writer.


Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cufflinks, The (Burford Family Mysteries 3)
Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cufflinks, The (Burford Family Mysteries 3)
by James Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful end to a 3 book series, 21 Jan. 2013
I have recently read the Affair of the 39 Cufflinks and I did enjoy it. The second book in this short series, The Affair of the Mutilated Mink did not work as well for me. I felt that the addition of American film people was rather silly and contrived. Even though these books are a light hearted murder mystery, I felt that the plot of the second book required a little too much suspension of disbelief, was it really possible that an Earl would be that obsessed and silly about film people? But with this third and final book in the series I felt that the author had got back on track, all the wonderful elements of the first book were present in this final one. The country house murder, the secret passage, people up to no good in the middle of the night. Not everyone is who they appear to be, and it had the classic "gather everyone together at the end to reveal all". It's a pity that the author did not live to write any more books, as I would definitely have wanted to read more of them.


The Leader And The Damned
The Leader And The Damned
by Colin Forbes
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Too long and a bit of a let down, 21 Jan. 2013
I was looking forward to reading this. Although Colin Forbes' books are a little predictable and formulaic I tend to enjoy them as they are usually relaxing and good fun. This one had such good reviews that I was really looking forward to it, but for me it just did not work. It's nearly 700 pages long, which isn't necessarily a problem, but I felt that a couple of hundred pages could have been removed, and it wouldn't have greatly affected the plot. A few characters could also have been dispensed with, again, without any detriment to the plot. If you are going to write a book of this length then it is important to have lots of good content, and for me it just dragged on for too long. I was looking forward to finishing it, and when I got to the end I felt totally cheated. I won't spoil the plot but it was a complete let down. I did wonder if the author had himself got tired of writing the book, just as I was getting tired of reading it.


Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth)
Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth)
by M.C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and good fun, 23 April 2012
I've read several of the books in this series, and have really enjoyed them.

They are light, easy reading and good fun. There is nothing pretentious about them, they are what they claim to be, fun and enjoyable reads.

I get cross when people criticise them for a lack of content or action or characterisation. To me it is obvious from the description that they are not intended to be a serious book, and as they are around 200 pages long they are clearly not intended to be a heavy weight novel. Even the cover is suggestive of something fairly light and easy reading. Despite this, they do contain a genuine murder mystery.

There is a time and a place for solid 500-600 page crime books, I enjoy these myself, and there is also a place for these types of books, I quite like to read something easier going sandwiched in between several longer books. This is the sort of book you can slip into a pocket or a bag and it will be there whenever you have time to dip into a few pages.

I always enjoy slipping into one of these books, and spending a little time with the characters of Lochdubh.

My advice would be, if you don't like cozy, light stories then these are not going to be for you. If however you have enjoyed one of these books then I suspect you might enjoy them all, as so far they are all very similar.


Castle Dor (VMC)
Castle Dor (VMC)
by Daphne Du Maurier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not one of her best, 23 April 2012
This review is from: Castle Dor (VMC) (Paperback)
I came to this book with high expectations as I have read several Daphne Du Maurier books and enjoyed them all. I found this one to be less enjoyable than the others. For the first 80-90 pages there didn't appear to be any real plot or story, and I nearly gave up reading it, as I couldn't face 300 more pages of nothing. Fortunately it did improve, although for me it wasn't as exciting or interesting as any of her other books. Much was made of it being a re-creation of a Cornish legend, but the book never rose to these heights and it seemed to fizzle out into nothing at the end.

My advice would be not to read this book if you are new to Du Maurier, read almost any of her other books first, as they are all a great deal better, and perhaps save this one for a later time. Otherwise I feel there is a risk that you might be put off reading her other books, which are generally a lot better.

I began reading Du Maurier with some reservations, anything that is called a "classic" recalls memories of books that you had to read at school, which tended to actually put you off reading. Classics always seem to be heavy going with very little plot or action. I find Du Maurier is usually well worth reading, and her classics are usually well written books that are very easy and enjoyable to read. Hopefully this one, which was partially written by another author, and finished by Du Maurier, will be an exception.


Night Train to Memphis (Vicky Bliss)
Night Train to Memphis (Vicky Bliss)
by Elizabeth Peters
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book in this series, 7 Dec. 2011
I have read all of Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss books, and have generally enjoyed them. This book was also pleasant, but I did feel that it went on a bit too long. There was perhaps at least one too many occasions when the heroes were captured, which then necessitated yet another escape. Also, Vicky Bliss is supposed to be giving lectures while on this cruise in Egypt, but never once is any hint of work or lecturing mentioned, which I felt made the plot a little less plausible and contrived. Don't get me wrong it was an enjoyable, fun read, it perhaps just went on for a little too long. Other reviewer's have mentioned the quantity of typing or spelling errors in the book, normally I don't tend to notice these, but they tended to crop up at times when they were most annoying, and on a few occasions I did have to re-read sentences and mentally correct the error in order for the book to make sense. Of course, this isn't the fault of the author or Amazon, but clearly someone in the printing or publishing process did not do their job properly. I also noticed that the book was very flimsy, the cover in particular was no where near as firm as a normal paperback cover, which gave the whole book a feeling of being printed and bound on the cheap. Having said all of that I will read the next book in the series, as I enjoyed this book for at least the first 300 pages before it became a little tedious. I find that when Elizabeth Peter's books get close to 400 pages or more they do tend to suffer a little, perhaps the author or publisher should do a little more editing before publishing takes place. I would also urge any new readers to this series to start with an earlier book, as the characters and their relationship to each other will make more sense and the book will be more enjoyable if you start at the beginning and work your way through.


Caravan to Vaccares
Caravan to Vaccares
by Alistair MacLean
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A poor book by A Maclean, 28 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Caravan to Vaccares (Paperback)
I began this book with some reservations, as I wasn't sure how exciting it might be, as it didn't sound terribly interesting from the description on the back of the book. As I'd bought a set of A Maclean books as a boxed set, so I thought I might as well give this one a try and see whether I enjoyed it. Sadly it didn't live up to the usual high quality of A Maclean's other books. I couldn't see any point to the story, why the various characters had got involved, why the story or events mattered, none of these points became clear until the very end, by which time I had lost interest in reading the book and just wanted to finish it. Normally with A Maclean you get a great book, they are usually exciting with a battle between the good guys and the bad guys, but this had none of those fine qualities. Many of A Maclean's books have been made into famous films, and I would recommend any new reader to start with those, do not try this book otherwise it will possibly put you off reading his other books which are a lot better. It's only redeeming quality was that it wasn't too long, although at just under 300 pages it was more than long enough, and also due to the author's easy reading style I was able to get through it reasonably quickly.


The Parasites (VMC)
The Parasites (VMC)
by Daphne Du Maurier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but a weak ending, 17 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Parasites (VMC) (Paperback)
I went through various phases while I read this book. At the beginning when the children were very young I was exasperated by them, they were spoiled, badly behaved and totally lacking in any respect for the people that they encountered as they went along in their cosseted life. I felt that they truly deserved their description as "parasites". But as the book developed I began to enjoy it more, and actually began to find it funny, there were several moments during the middle part of the book where I did laugh out loud. I did find it amusing when the Delaney family came to stay with the in-laws and the quantity of social howlers that they made, simply because they were not aware of how to behave. Equally, if they had known the right thing to do I am not sure that they would have cared, the whole family do come over as being very selfish, and at times not very likeable.

I did get cross with Maria who had a baby daughter but was totally incapable of caring for the child on the one day when the nanny could not be there, I suppose she had a child because it was the "thing" to do, all part of the package of being married to someone with a social position. But was put out when the baby cried and it interrupted her while she was writing letters.

The ending of the book disappointed me, it ended rather abruptly. It would have been very interesting to see how all the characters coped, as they were all on the cusp of big life challenges, and it felt as if the author just gave up. I know that the book would have potentially doubled in size had the author completed the lives of all of the characters, but after such an enjoyable book it really did feel as if the author just suddenly stopped writing.

But apart from my niggle about the ending of the booking I think the great quality of Daphne Du Maurier is the quality of her writing. It is rare for an author to actually make me care or have any opinion about the characters in one of their books, but with Du Maurier I always find myself drawn into the books, and if I am not careful I can get quite carried away and forget that her characters are not real people. The quality of her writing is excellent, but it is also very easy to read. Unlike traditional "classics" which tend to be very hard going, Daphne Du Maurier seems to have found the secret of writing very good quality books, that are also easy to read. You do not need to be a student of English Literature to enjoy her work.

This is the 6th Du Maurier book that I have read, I have several more lined up ready to read, and I am already looking forward to the next one. Each book tends to be very different, she didn't take the easy way out and write a series of books featuring the same characters, she starts each new book from scratch with different characters in different settings every time.


Lord Brocktree (Redwall)
Lord Brocktree (Redwall)
by Brian Jacques
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Animals do battle, 9 Nov. 2011
I have read a dozen of Brian Jacques novels in this series, and have enjoyed them all. Perhaps as an adult I shouldn't really be submitting a review on what is considered a children's book as I will no doubt view them in a different light to younger readers. The Redwall series in general is very good, it is also very consistent. If you enjoy the first one that you read you will probably enjoy all of the others. Likewise, I am yet to find a poor book in this series, so if you do not enjoy your first Redwall book then you probably will not like any of them. I think of these books as a blend of Wind in the Willows and Lord of the Rings. All the characters in the books are animals, there are no people, and like Wind in the Willows they are divided up into good and bad animals. For example, rabbits, hares, mice, badgers are good animals, whereas foxes, rats, stoats, wild cats are always bad animals. Which generally follows the classification of animals in the Wind in the Willows. However, there is a great deal more action in the Redwall Books, they have huge battles and adventures just like in Lord of the Rings. Personally I like the hares best, and I was pleased to find that the Hares soon made an appearance in this book. I do not have any children of my own, but if I did, then I would be very happy to see them reading these books. They are well written and I think contain good values, such as looking after your friends and family, and not taking excessive revenge on your enemies when you have defeated them. I also feel sure that many children would enjoy reading them as I think they contain elements that I would have enjoyed as a child, such as fantasy, adventure, humour and excitement. Some of the vocabulary might be a little difficult for younger children, which is perhaps why they are suitable for older people, and especially adults who may have reached a stage in their life where they would like to read something a little different, in these books you can re-live the best of being a child again.


Pretty Dead Things (Inspector Ikmen Mystery 10) (Inspector Ikmen Mysteries)
Pretty Dead Things (Inspector Ikmen Mystery 10) (Inspector Ikmen Mysteries)
by Barbara Nadel
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK read, but I wouldn't read any more by the author, 1 Nov. 2011
I came to this book without terribly high hopes of enjoying it. I had read Ashes to Ashes, which features Francis Hancock as the detective earlier in the year and found that book to be rather dull and pointless. As I had purchased 2 Barbara Nadel books at the same time I thought I would give this one, which features a different set of characters a try to see if I enjoyed it any more. Pretty Dead Things is part of a series of books set in Turkey, and features Inspector Cetin Ikmen as the main character. Having not enjoyed the first book by the author, and also not being terribly interested in Turkey I had fairly low expectations of this book. But I found that I did enjoy it a lot more than I expected to. The plot was quite original, although I have read many 100's of crime novels I have not across anything that closely resembles this story. The book was easy to read, although I did notice a few spelling and grammatical errors in my paperback copy. I don't think that I will read another book by the author as I didn't find it sufficiently compelling, although I do note that one other reviewer has mentioned that this is not one of her best books, so perhaps I didn't pick the best one in this series to start with.


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