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Reviews Written by
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset)
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Blood on the Water (William Monk 20)
Blood on the Water (William Monk 20)
by Anne Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A place plot, 17 Jun. 2016
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I have read every book in this series and this is the weakest link in what has been an engrossing chain of Monk novels. It failed to engage me and I found myself only ploughing through it with no real engagement. The emergence of Scuff and his maturing relationship with Hester was a focal point as was the growing partnership of Hester and Monk. The placing of the Suez Crisis as a central point didn't seem to work. All a bit of a hit and miss. Certainly not Anne Perry's usual standard.


Old Smuggling Days In East Devon
Old Smuggling Days In East Devon
by Coxhead
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Smuggling as it began..., 10 Jun. 2016
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This is a thin pamphlet but contains a great deal of evidence, well researched and documented carefully. Useful to the local historian or anyone wishing to document the evolution off smuggling. Useful for other regions besides East devon where of course the vast number of coves lent them selves to the hiding of contraband.


Killing the Shadows
Killing the Shadows
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Evil leading to more evil..., 10 Jun. 2016
A striking and as usual very original plot with the killer putting into effect the MO of killers in novels; the authors being the targets. This is the first novel featuring Fiona Cameron which I've read. The plot is tight and tense with a staggering denouement. Each chapter and part-chapter ends with a cliff-hanger; the reader kept on a perpetual rollercoaster. McDermid can mix her gritty prose with beautiful poetic imagery. Perfect orchestration as usual.


The Big Sleep (Phillip Marlowe)
The Big Sleep (Phillip Marlowe)
by Raymond Chandler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mood music, 11 May 2016
As I read this I felt the tempo of the great Hollywood movies, the swanky guys, sultry females. The words throb with the sound and feel of those great times in a way I've never felt with a novel before. Apart from that, which is a pretty colossal feature, I wasn't gripped. It's survived the test of time but even being kind it fails on plot line. But the lingo and style is staggeringly atmospheric. Must have been weighty in its day.


Freeze Frame: An Enzo Macleod Investigation (The Enzo Files)
Freeze Frame: An Enzo Macleod Investigation (The Enzo Files)
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I finally understood the title., 11 May 2016
Enzo's own life is as complicated as the case he's working on in this novel; as he grapples with both scenarios the reader is caught in two parallel universes and the result is compelling. Peter May's research into forensic methods and their development over recent times is meticulous and plays out fully in this plot line. Other reviewers have recorded this so I won't repeat it. Eerie, weird, surreal, yet possible, seems to sum it up for me. It's amazing what happens in small towns and on small islands. I already have Blowback waiting...


The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope)
The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope)
by Ann Cleeves
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Retired hedonists and moth catching, 28 April 2016
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Apart from the hedonists living rather a silly vacuous life in their little commune Holly emerges strongly in this latest Vera instalment. She's not unlike Vera - single, focussed, and having a mind-searching moment about her isolated life. That aside, which gave an interesting insight, this was a story which travelled far around the realms of the title, delving back into the connections between Randle, Benton, Crow and Hewarth. Once again Ann Cleeves writes a smart novel incorporating social issues, bearing a grudge, the various frictions of marriage and the antagonisms of friendships. I was never convinced that the title of this gave much of a clue but it's as good as anything perhaps.


Betrayed in Cornwall (The Rose Trevelyan Series)
Betrayed in Cornwall (The Rose Trevelyan Series)
by Janie Bolitho
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Touring around Newlyn, Hayle, St. Ives and Falmouth with murder thrown in., 11 April 2016
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Not quite up to Janie Bolitho's standard but a comforting read nevertheless. The plot was a bit thin and padded out with bits which would have fitted well into a tour guide. However anything which evokes nostalgia for Cornwall sits well with me. This is one of the earlier novels I would say as it refers to the time when Rose and Jack Pearce have had a change in relations. However I've not read the Rose Trevelyan novels in order so this could be wrong. Somehow death and murder seem to be simplified. Rose's relationship with her parents are analysed well.


The Tea Planter's Wife
The Tea Planter's Wife
by Dinah Jefferies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilt has a long life., 7 April 2016
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This review is from: The Tea Planter's Wife (Paperback)
A heart stopping story of a marriage built on layers of guilt. Set in 1930's Ceylon where cross-cultural tensions and the class system thrive. Desperately sad, tragic in fact, it is a novel which won't let you go until you've finished the feast. At times it is almost unbearable to read of the plight of Gwen and her husband Lawrence; yet the reader must complete their journey with them. Tense and spellbinding the way of life entrances, mystifies and terrifies in turn. One feels bereft when the book finishes and the reader has to reflect on the romance of a tea planter's life and the torture it brought with it. Guilt casts a long shadow and silence is not the answer.


Paying the Price
Paying the Price
by Janie Bolitho
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a theme....., 27 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: Paying the Price (Hardcover)
I found myself a little confused about what was going on at first and where this plot was leading; the more so as the reader is told the core of the plot on the sleeve on the hard cover. Hence I was expecting more. However once I understood I became engrossed by how credible this story was and thus how frightening in this age of blended families. The tortured mindset of Lorna Daniels is the focus of the novel and the torment of the people she targets. Is this credible? I'm not sure. Maybe. What a pity the book sleeve reveals so much. Still it's a good read for fans of Janie Bolitho. For me I prefer the Rose Trevelyan series but DCI Roper is charming and his seemingly happy marriage a rare thing in crime fiction novels.


An Academic Death (Lambert and Hook Mysteries)
An Academic Death (Lambert and Hook Mysteries)
by J. M. Gregson
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Death on Campus, 23 Mar. 2016
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This crime fiction novel will not make you heart race or your guts churn but it is a satisfying read; not as gripping as Agatha Christie but worthy and certainly well-written, if a touch pedantic. Hook and Lambert are a likeable duo plodding along as the traditional detective would have done.Little insights into academic life are given but it would have benefited more from greater emphasis on feuding amongst intellectuals. Splendid location with good glimpses of Malvern scenery. The ending was a surprise.


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