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Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl
Roger Ascham and the King's Lost Girl
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but frustrating - not a genuine novelette., 20 Jan 2014
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This novelette is really the first few chapters of a much longer novel and, as such, the ending ( which is NOT an ending ) is annoyingly frustrating. The premise is somewhat fanciful - or highly unlikely to be strictly accurate - but that doesn`t actually detract from the story. This is a `teaser` for a full length novel and not a genuine short story but it is well-written and entertaining.


The Mystery of the Yellow Room (Start Publishing)
The Mystery of the Yellow Room (Start Publishing)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned but enjoyable, 20 Jan 2014
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The writing style of The Mystery of the Yellow Room is antique - the book was first published in 1907 - but it is still an enjoyable read with a less fanciful explanation for the events that transpire than many crime novels of the era ..... except, perhaps, for some of the victims behaviour which is fantastically inexplicable/illogical.
I`m bemused by a mutton bone being described as:
" this instrument of crime, the most terrible invented"
and still wondering why that should be the case but it`s a detail that doesn`t detract from the story.
The only major problem I have with this Kindle edition is that the two building plans which are extremely important for the reader to understand much of what takes place are not reproduced in a form that is of any use whatsoever. Something drastic has happened during the transcription of the novel with the result that these garbled `plans` are absolutely useless.
If the plans had been reproduced as they should be I would have given this novel a four star rating however as their loss impinges so directly upon the ability to enjoy and understand the book I can only give a three star rating


The Judas Pair (Lovejoy 1)
The Judas Pair (Lovejoy 1)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read but be aware ...., 12 Dec 2013
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It`s interesting that I obviously used to only skim through Lovejoy novels as I used to find them lightweight but fun. On a second reading, many years later I find that Lovejoy is a detestable, cowardly, sexual chauvenist with a predilection for hitting women. To my joy I found that there is the most massive howler in this book during one of Lovejoy`s `tips of the trade` interludes where the author either made a hugely mistaken assumption or, more likely, was set-up by someone in the trade who was getting fed-up at being `pumped` for information. It really makes Jonathan Gash look the most awful fool ..... to the extent that later in the book there is another major gaffe concerning antiques later but that almost pales into insignificance in comparison to the first. Read these books but accept that you might well find Lovejoy a vile sh*t of a man .... and take the antiques `tips` with major `pinch of salt` in this book and many of the others because they are frequently absolute rubbish. It`s very difficult to rate this book - it`s mostly quite entertaining but with instances of major negativity.


Until Thy Wrath be Past: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation
Until Thy Wrath be Past: A Rebecka Martinsson Investigation
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and different., 12 Dec 2013
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A mystery story with a twist ..... a combination of a `straight` detective novel with a touch of the supernatural. Normally I`d find such a combination totally unacceptable but the ghostly` element doesn`t impinge upon the process of detection and, in fact, adds a extra interest. I found the book satisfying and enjoyable. I would rate this 7/10 but with only 5 stars to `play` with I`ll uprate to 4/5.


Death and the Devil
Death and the Devil
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 12 Dec 2013
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A well-written and well-translated mystery novel that doesn`t have the most involved plot but, frankly, doesn`t need it as the story is thoroughly engaging. The main characters are interesting, well developed and very likable ( and the villains thoroughly dislikable ) and the story itself moves along at a comfortable pace. The author manages to communicate much of the style of life in medieval Cologne - especially the extent of the oppression of the the under-privileged - and utilses it as major component of his story. I wouldn`t be at all surprised to learn that there are further books to follow and look forward to reading them. I would would give this a rating of 9/10 ( Amazon PLEASE change the rating system to ten stars ! ) but on a 5 star scale that would mean dropping to 4 stars or raising to 10 ..... I`ve decided not to downgrade this book so it gets a full 5.


To Dream of the Dead: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
To Dream of the Dead: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable consistent series, 12 Dec 2013
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It might seem unreasonable and and lazy to leave exactly the same review for all of Phil Rickman`s Merrily Watkins Mysteries but I make no apologies for doing so as the series is remarkable consistent - all are well-written, all have well-developed characters and all are engaging, worthwhile reads. My negative criticisms are the same also - all contain rather too much to-ing and fro-ing to little effect, all have plots that are not 100% satisfactory as regards their credibility, all tend to feature the uselessness of trying to communicate via mobile phones ( which is tedious ! ) and all rather indicate that Merrily Watkins is making a rather poor job of bringing up her daughter through sheer lack of contact ..... especially by mobile phone...... It does appear that my negative criticisms outweigh the positive but that`s because they are specific - the books generally are enjoyable and, as I said, worthwhile.


The Remains of an Altar: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
The Remains of an Altar: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
Price: 2.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably consistent series, 12 Dec 2013
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It might seem unreasonable and and lazy to leave exactly the same review for all of Phil Rickman`s Merrily Watkins Mysteries but I make no apologies for doing so as the series is remarkable consistent - all are well-written, all have well-developed characters and all are engaging, worthwhile reads. My negative criticisms are the same also - all contain rather too much to-ing and fro-ing to little effect, all have plots that are not 100% satisfactory as regards their credibility, all tend to feature the uselessness of trying to communicate via mobile phones ( which is tedious ! ) and all rather indicate that Merrily Watkins is making a rather poor job of bringing up her daughter through sheer lack of contact ..... especially by mobile phone...... It does appear that my negative criticisms outweigh the positive but that`s because they are specific - the books generally are enjoyable and, as I said, worthwhile.


The Fabric of Sin: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
The Fabric of Sin: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
Price: 2.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably consistent series, 12 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It might seem unreasonable and and lazy to leave exactly the same review for all of Phil Rickman`s Merrily Watkins Mysteries but I make no apologies for doing so as the series is remarkable consistent - all are well-written, all have well-developed characters and all are engaging, worthwhile reads. My negative criticisms are the same also - all contain rather too much to-ing and fro-ing to little effect, all have plots that are not 100% satisfactory as regards their credibility, all tend to feature the uselessness of trying to communicate via mobile phones ( which is tedious ! ) and all rather indicate that Merrily Watkins is making a rather poor job of bringing up her daughter through sheer lack of contact ..... especially by mobile phone...... It does appear that my negative criticisms outweigh the positive but that`s because they are specific - the books generally are enjoyable and, as I said, worthwhile.


TUPPENNY HAT DETECTIVE
TUPPENNY HAT DETECTIVE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 12 Dec 2013
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Don`t be misled into thinking this is a childrens book just because the main character is a young boy as it is definitely adult reading ..... although younger people would enjoy it just as well I think. This is quality detective mystery that is well written and always engaging. My only criticism is that I believe the author has added a twist too many at the denouement with a consequently startling loss of continuity ...... but as no-one else seems to have noticed it`s obviously of little consequence and could be explained away with a tiny, one line, re-rewrite. Don`t let that put you off reading this thoroughly enjoyable novel however as it is thoroughly recommended.


To the Grave: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #2 (Jefferson Tayte)
To the Grave: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #2 (Jefferson Tayte)

4.0 out of 5 stars Competent and well-written., 12 Dec 2013
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A good novel - detective fiction with a genealogical twist. The pace can be somewhat slow and uninvolving occasionally but the general quality of the writing is good enough to maintain interest through these patches. Both this and it`s predecessor in the series are well worth reading.


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