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TopCat "TC" (Devon)

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Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Price: £1.27

4.0 out of 5 stars much loved, 6 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (App)
My 3 year old loves this game, and it was brilliant keeping her amused on a plane and train when we went away recently. It's got a range of fun educational games and it's been great to see her improve at them. The only shame is that I can't see a way of saving the reward stickers they get which would be a nice extra. Also the voice over gets a bit grating.


Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Spray - 200 ml
Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Spray - 200 ml
Offered by SMARTZPRICE
Price: £6.50

1.0 out of 5 stars Awful stuff - misleading calling it non-greasy, 14 July 2013
I bought this thinking my husband, who hates sun lotion because of the greasiness, might actually use it and stop giving that as an excuse for not wearing any. Big mistake - this stuff is horrible. I'm not sure what the are using as a definition of greasy because to me this is worse than regular sun creams. It left my skin oily (I'll humour them and not use greasy) and while it also boasts being non-sticky after attending an outdoor concert my feet and lower legs were covered in dust and dry grass that had stuck to them. Revolting! It also points out that you should spray it onto your hands to apply it to your face. I couldn't have, the alcohol smell was stinging my eyes just from applying it to my neck. I usually buy Nivea Sun but this particular product is not good, can't find anything to recommend it and I'll be pushing it to the back of the shelf only to be used in the unlikely event I run out of whatever I replace it with.


Birds of Britain
Birds of Britain
Price: £0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little app, 8 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Birds of Britain (App)
This app has some lovely pictures, the bonus of great audio clips of the bird's song/call and lots of information. I also like that you can look at them by family and the search function works well. It only took 3 minutes to download and have had no problems at all with it, so early issues have very clearly been addressed. This will be so handy when I am out and about and don't have space in my bag for one of our bird books.


E45 250ml Nourish and Restore Lightly Fragranced Body Lotion
E45 250ml Nourish and Restore Lightly Fragranced Body Lotion
Offered by Your247Chemist
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for dry sensitive skin, 3 May 2013
I have really dry skin on my legs in particular, and am very sensitive so have to be careful about which products I use. I have used original E45 in the past but was given a sample of this one by Bzz Agent to try. It's got a pleasant light fragrance, and is a very light moisturiser but with amazing hydration. Even after one application my legs looked and felt a lot less dry, and using it daily for a week my legs felt fab. Since the first week I have used it less often but my skin is still much better than it used to be. This will be my new must buy!


A Deeper Sleep (A Kate Shugak Investigation Book 15)
A Deeper Sleep (A Kate Shugak Investigation Book 15)
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Love Kate, but not all great, 12 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hadn't heard of this series until Amazon recommended it to me in an email when 3 of the books were on offer. The series sounded interesting - a crime series with a strong female lead and canine sidekick definitely caught my eye. Although it was clearly picking it up mid-series I was prepared to give it a go, as from previous experience long running series tend to be the least dependent on having read previous instalments.

It didn't take me long to read, and I enjoyed the Alaskan setting and the interwoven details of the local customs and way of life. I warmed to feisty Kate and found there was enough reference back to earlier books for this one to stand alone. The ideas behind the story provided some good thought-provoking material, and made me wonder about how often investigations are given limited resources because of the victim involved.

However I have two criticisms. Firstly the end felt really abrupt, and I felt a bit short changed by it. I suspect that has to do with the additional books coming up, and that the narrative will continue, but this did detract slightly from it as a book you could pick up, enjoy and put down without venturing further into the series. Secondly it was distractingly littered with typos, from unnecessary punctuation marks and editing notes to words that looked like they had been changed by auto-correct. At one point Bernie becomes Beanie for a while. It's rare to find a faultless book but this one was particularly bad.

I did buy the next two books in the series at the same time as this one, and will definitely go on to read No 16 hoping that it has been better proofed, as there is plenty of good about this series.


The Wrecking Crew (Janac's Games #2)
The Wrecking Crew (Janac's Games #2)

4.0 out of 5 stars Maritime thriller, 26 Dec. 2012
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This is Mark Chisnell's second outing for psychotic villain Janac. His team attack an old cargo ship under the charge of captain Phil Hamnet as a part of his latest venture. To Janac's delight also on board is Hamnet's heavily pregnant wife Anna. Back to the sort of mind games he delighted in during his first outing in The Defector he takes Anna hostage, initially to buy Hamnet's silence. However after his escape Hamnet has to deal with his conscience and decide whether the life of his wife and children are more valuable than the lives of many more sailors. For Janac the deal is even sweeter when he learns about Hamnet's past.

This book has similar threads to the first in the series, with the exotic locale, sailing and psychological games in common. However the cast of characters is almost entirely new, which allows the author to develop his intelligent villain while presenting a whole new story. The maritime aspect is slightly less important this time but provides a dynamic backdrop for parts of the tale.

Hamnet is a complicated character with an uncertain past. I sympathised with the dilemma he faced but found some of his actions hard to understand. Although he is helped, and hindered, by a number of people Hamnet and Janac really are the key protagonists and by far the best defined. I think my favourite aspect of the book is the fascination Hamnet holds for Janac, and his attempts to figure out how his victim will react to the pressure being applied.

As with The Defector this is full of action but provides plenty to think about. I have developed a strange and slightly worrying fondness for Janac over the course of the two books, and really enjoyed this psychological thriller.


While I'm Still Myself
While I'm Still Myself
by Jeremy Mark Lane
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: £7.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable anthology, 21 Dec. 2012
This anthology of short stories is set in a range of places and times, and provides plenty of thoughtful material. There's the Dad who meets his dying mother's old flame, who moves him to work harder on his failed relationship with his son's mother, and the young runaway who meets an old hand as she starts her new life. There are also darker topics with segregation, domestic violence and a hint of incest rearing their ugly heads. This provides a mix of hope and happiness with sorrow and darkness,

Most of the stories leave the ending hanging somewhat, allowing the reader to make assumptions or decide for themselves where the story will go next, which I quite enjoyed. The stories are largely plot driven, so I didn't find myself particularly connected to any of the main characters, but in stories of this length with such interesting content that wasn't a big issue. I liked the author's style and found this anthology a good, quick read.


The Snowman and The Snowdog
The Snowman and The Snowdog

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely game, 15 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Snowman and The Snowdog (App)
This is a beautiful little game, and I would have given it 5 stars but it is a bit fast in places for younger children, and it isn't ideal for those who struggle to see low contrast items like my daughter.


Morphy Richards 48822 Soupmaker - Black
Morphy Richards 48822 Soupmaker - Black
Price: £43.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple soups (and less washing up), 3 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just tried this for the first time, making a batch of vegetable soup, and am really impressed with it. I love making soup but usually leave a trail of dirty pans, spoons, ladles etc in my wake. None of that here so immediate benefits to using it. It was so nice to just chop the veg, throw it in, sprinkle in some stock granules and top up with water then leave it. The count down clock shows you how long is left (timing is pre-set for you) and there is an audible alarm when it's finished.

You have various options when it comes to consistency, which you select from an easy to use digital display. Smooth cooks and blends the contents, chunky will just cook them (so you need to prep the ingredients to the size you want) and there is a blend function so you can go for a consistency of your choosing. You can also use the juice function for juices and smoothies so great for summer and winter. I used the chunky option then blended a little and was very happy with the consistency and how well cooked the veg was - done without being a mush. The instruction booklet includes some recipe suggestions but I just used one I've done before in pans.

When I ordered it I was wondering about how it would cope with soups with meat in, and was happy to see that it's fine although the manual tells you the meat needs to be cooked before being added.

It looks like a large stainless steel kettle (really I suppose that is what it is)and although I'm not a big fan of the colouring on the top it is something I wouldn't be upset to have sitting on a counter top for regular use rather than wanting to hide it in a cupboard.

I'm very happy with this, and have a list of soups to try next, just need the time at home to use it! If it was a little bit more attractive I think I'd have gone for 5*.


Invisible Murder (Nina Borg Book 2)
Invisible Murder (Nina Borg Book 2)
Price: £6.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian crime thriller, 2 Nov. 2012
Invisible Murder is the second book in the series, coming on the heels of New York Times bestseller The Boy in the Suitcase. I missed the first book but the blurb for this one had me drawn in.

In Hungary two young Roma gypsy boys are scavenging in an old Soviet military hospital when they are able to access a formerly sealed up area and find something that could make them a lot of money. Their actions could threaten the lives of many others though. In Denmark nurse Nina is used to being in close contact with the poor and dispossessed but this time her work is about to damage everything she holds dear. Elsewhere Sandor is trying to escape his roots and make a good life for himself, but his new world is about to come crumbling down around him.

The story is told from a number of perspective and draws together several strands to an unlikely climax. In addition to the above we also see events unfold from the perspective of a Security detective, trying to head off terrorist threats, and an elderly man who thinks his wife is frittering away their life savings. It is clear how some of the threads dovetail but it takes right until the end to neatly tie them all together. Although there is a lot going on and plenty of characters to keep in mind I didn't find it hard to keep the strands clear or keep up with what was happening. The themes are very topical and I love that the ending wasn't what I had been expecting.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it had a plot that kept moving and was full of little twists and turns but that it also had some great characters with real depth to them, where some thrillers like this get carried away with plot and offer slightly flat protagonists. Nina is devoted to her work with the underground Network and determined to do what she can to look after children who need her, although husband Morten sees this as being at the expense of her own children. I also felt for Sandor while being slightly sorry for him feeling he almost had to deny where he came from. As a Roma man he is acutely aware of the discrimination his people face but wants to have a career. When his half brother comes bowling back into his life he struggles with uniting his two very different worlds. I felt for him as he became more controlled by others.

I really enjoyed this book and will try and get to the previous book at some point in the future.


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