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Ms. J. Jones "Julia Jones"
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The Golden Age of Murder
The Golden Age of Murder
by Martin Edwards
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for lovers of Golden Age detective novels, 16 May 2015
Martin Edwards has had such a good idea for this book. He takes the foundation of the Detection Club in the late 1920s and follows through into the postwar period, ending his account sometime in the mid-1950s, perhaps with the death of Dorothy L Sayers in 1957. The Detection Club itself still lives on, hosting three dinners a year for elected members. Edwards is its current archivist – yet there are no archives, unless you count the hundreds of books produced by its members, which of course he does. And he also explores their lives.

What I particularly admire about this book is the way Edwards shows why the founders of the Detection Club might have needed the comradeship and understanding it supplied. He blends biographical fact with clues in novels as well as the interactions around Club business to produce a unique and highly readable book which functions as an account of the genre as well as tracing the development of its practitioners. There's a liveliness to the writing and a talent for pen-portraiture which ensured that the Golden Age of Murder continued to entertain me even when the subjects were forgotten writers whose books I have never read.


The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril
The Health of the Nation: NHS in Peril
by David Owen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful explanation, 20 Mar. 2015
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I found most of this book clear and readable for a non-political non-miedical person. There were a couple of chapters wher my lack of knowledge left me a bit bogged down but overall I felt I had understood - and was shocked by - the damage done to the NHS in England by Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill 2012. I hope this can be remedied.


Mr Campion's Fox: A Brand-New Albert Campion Mystery Written by Mike Ripley
Mr Campion's Fox: A Brand-New Albert Campion Mystery Written by Mike Ripley
by Mike Ripley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read, 20 Mar. 2015
With Mr Campion's Fox Mike Ripley is flying solo. His previous novel, Mr Campion's Farewell, took its starting point from a fragment left by Margery Allingham's husband Pip Youngman Carter who died in 1969. It was, however very little more than a starting point and Ripley's experience and professionalism (as well as his long-standing appreciation for Allingham's work) enabled him to pick up the threads of the Allingham world and produce a lively and humorous continuation. With Mr Campion's Fox he offers more of the same, though this time he shifts the location to a bleak little village on the Suffolk coast which has overtones of Allingham's Mystery Mile or even her more controversial late work The Mind Readers

The Suffolk coastal location is (for me) a major pleasure of the novel. Gapton Spit is a long stretch of shingle that has extended over the centuries to choke off the village from the sea and transform what had been a thriving small port into a backwater, centred round a single pub and a traditional small brewery. (Ripley excels in writing about beer.) There's always another aspect to the East Coast of England, facing as it does across the North Sea to potentially hostile countries. Gapton Spit had been the site of a WW2 listening post and now, in the 1960s Cold War period, the ministry of Defence may be renewing its interest. Not for nothing does Ripley name his new spy-master L.C. Deighton.

There's plenty of humour, of course, and inconspicuous Allinghamesque touches such as the village policeman's tendency to lapse into a broad Suffolk accent when he senses things are not going well for him.

The decision to remain in the period where Margery Allingham and Pip Youngman Carter left off was probably an inevitable one. It has its difficulties as Albert Campion approaches his seventies and has already, rather too frequently, talked of his retirement. In Mr Campion's Fox Ripley makes good use of the elderly detective's younger (and anyway ageless) wife. If you like a bit of proper class with your detection, Lady Amanda is for you.
And, whether or not you're already an Allingham fan, if you enjoy a re-immersement in the world of eight-track stereos and mini-skirts 'no wider than a blacksmith's belt', without too much overt violence or emotional excruciation, then Mr Campion's Fox is most certainly for you.


Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
Price: £4.80

5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading, 22 Dec. 2014
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outstanding, deeply thoughtful and humane. Life-changing book


Die Klassischen Yachten 2: Die Kunststoffrevolution
Die Klassischen Yachten 2: Die Kunststoffrevolution
by Detlef Jens
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book - wish I could read German more fluently, 15 Nov. 2014
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Beautifully presented book with plans photos and clear layout illustrating a number of popular yacht classes. A pleasure to look at and to handle and my lack of Germans makes me feel frustrated at my inability to read more than the headlines as I know Detlef Jens is an expert in this area.


Prison Diaries
Prison Diaries
Price: £11.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complaining on behalf of others, 15 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Prison Diaries (Kindle Edition)
The importance of this book does not depend on the individual case - except in as far as all prisoners are individuals with their own problems, health issues, hopes and flaws. If the judicial system, could address this single fact it would be transformed. The fact that Denis Macshane spent his entire 7 weeks inside under the wrong name (Ian McShane) suggests that this change will be a long time coming. Too long for the prisoners who are victims of miscarriages of justice or who have untreated health problems. Too long also for the people who have done wrong but for whom a custodial sentence is a waste of public money and is likely to drag them and their families down for the rest of their lives. As another reviewer commented MacShane DOES complain about the way he is treated -- and his complaints are well-founded. But he also complains much more strenuously on behalf of other prisoners -- all those, for instance, who are beyond their release date but who are being kept inside (at significant expense) because of sheer uncaring, dehumanised, inefficiency.


Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 4: We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea: 1400 Headworms (Oxford Bookworms ELT)
Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 4: We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea: 1400 Headworms (Oxford Bookworms ELT)
by Arthur Ransome
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful and accessible, 9 Nov. 2014
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A useful and accessible introduction to Ransome for today's younger readers


Those Snake Island Kids
Those Snake Island Kids
Price: £5.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressively authentic, 9 Nov. 2014
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Excellent book with a huge amount of true ecological and sailing information


Firebird Dawn
Firebird Dawn
Price: £2.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 3 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Firebird Dawn (Kindle Edition)
Excellent writing and exciting story. The start of a brilliant trilogy.


Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
by Steffan Meyric Hughes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars London's forgotten waters, 17 Aug. 2014
"Every man must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing." Steffan Meyric Hughes chooses this quote from H.D. Thoreau to launch his ten day journey round the canals and forgotten rivers of London. He is, it's probably fair to say. a canoeist at heart and some of his reminiscences of teenage dare-devilry in kayaks convey a real feeling for water as a place where you can test yourself. His exploration down the South London River Wandle is undertaken in his own kayak and is one of the best pieces in a good book. The main journey is undertaken in a small versatile wooden dinghy, simple to sail, light enough to row and with an outboard engine when required. There's a poignant moment down the flight of locks from Victoria Park to Limehouse Basin where Hughes meets a small girl who is puzzled and then intrigued by the concept of a dinghy. "Can I come for a ride with you in it?" He has to refuse but rows away buoyed up by the realisation that "Kids don't sail or find some other way of leaving the world behind walls only because they don't know how to - not because they don't want to." One of the by-products of Circle Line may be a reminder of how much fun and challenge can be obtained from very small patches of water and how under-used and under- appreciated the waters of London are. There are of course odd characters living secretive lives in forgotten corners and Hughes makes the most of his encounters with the, He's also tremendously good on little known facts -- such as the plague of terrapin that resulted from the end of the Ninja Turtles craze and the number of disused power stations that are left after the age of Victorian engineering. To quote Thoreau again "One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels." The Thames is a mighty accumulation of obsolete enterprises and wrecked vessels but Hughes's technique of personal narrative keeps his story readable and in proportion. All I would really have liked to have added to this book would have been a very much better map.


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