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Reviews Written by
Nicola Smith (Worcestershire, England)
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Murder in the Greenhouse
Murder in the Greenhouse
by Ann Bexhill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Fire the translator!, 11 Dec. 2013
I was hoping to buy this and the German version of the book for my mother this Christmas, as she's been hoping to brush up her language skills with some parallel texts.

Unfortunately even a quick glance through the text available through the "Look Inside" feature proves this book to be a truly awful translation into English. It is stilted and simplistic, it's grammatically incorrect, it has misspellings aplenty, there are no paragraph breaks (not even for speech!), and in an awful lot of places it makes no sense whatsoever - including such unintentionally hilarious gems as "Fortunately repressed her mind this not really unpleasant episodes" and "A clock of the Misses Bronkers claimed it to be French chic of the Mister Bronkers said only a retarded kitschy mind would buy something distasteful".

...Need I go on?

As a result of the fault-filled translation, I have no idea whether the original book is any good. What I do know, is that unless there's a better translation somewhere, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole!


Encapsulated Version "The Atlas of True Names" ~ British Isles Folded
Encapsulated Version "The Atlas of True Names" ~ British Isles Folded
by Kalimedia
Edition: Map

5.0 out of 5 stars Small but beautiful, 22 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love this map! I could read through it for hours and find something new every time I come back to it. It's a fascinating reminder that all the names we have for places and people, originally meant something; they're just not in the same language that we currently speak. I confess, I'm especially fond of Angry Mountain, Murderpath, Farm of the Beloved One's People, Remote Corner Where Rough Grass Grows, and Shining Fort.

It's carefully laid out and so beautiful that I keep wondering about the possibilities of framing it (though obviously it would have to be a double-sided frame so that I could still read the back) even though the folds of the encapsulation would make it difficult.

It's only A3 in size, so the text for the smaller settlements is small, as is the comprehensive list on the back of the map that links etymologies to the names we know them by. As a result, you need good eyesight (or a magnifying glass) to read everything - but there's so much information crammed in, that it's well worth the effort! Sadly my own town is not on the map, but not everything can be.


China Glaze Rainbow - TBP70324
China Glaze Rainbow - TBP70324

3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite live up to its name, 22 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First things first - China Glaze nail polishes always have a good formula, and this is no exception. It glides on smoothly, without leaving brush marks, dries quickly and is fairly hard-wearing. The base colour is white, so it's rather translucent and needs more than one coat. So far, so good! I have no problem with it on that level.

However, given the name of the polish, I was expecting the iridescent particles to be multicoloured like a holo polish (in fact, I was hoping for a replacement for my beloved but sadly long-dried-up No. 7 Opal). It isn't. The iridescence is strictly one colour - a rather nice shade of pink/purple, but still, only one colour. If that's what you're looking for - great! If, like me you assumed the name was suggestive of the effect when worn - you're going to have to look elsewhere, I'm afraid!


Honeymoon For One
Honeymoon For One
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Low on the angst, high on the characterisation!, 19 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Honeymoon For One (Kindle Edition)
What I really liked about this book, was a fair number of the standard romance cliches were absent. The hero didn't wind up bullying the heroine into anything "for her own good", the heroine didn't have a need to display how "strong" she was by being irrationally determined to do the exact opposite of what she was advised and generally, none of the main characters had to be suddenly and ridiculously foolish in order for the plot to work! There were no contrived failures to communicate, and no ugly arguments that seemed to be there purely for the sake of creating conflict.

It was just an easy, well-written romance about a woman who thinks her happy domesticity has fallen apart and decides to be daring for a short while, and a man who thinks he hates domesticity until it creeps up on him by accident.


Samsung Galaxy S3 'TARDIS' Dr Who RETRO 3D Phone Case Cover
Samsung Galaxy S3 'TARDIS' Dr Who RETRO 3D Phone Case Cover

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made!, 19 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My sister was very pleased with her birthday present. To the best of my knowledge, there were no problems with the fit, so full marks!


Friedland Illunminated Wired Brass Bell Push Benton Model D667UK
Friedland Illunminated Wired Brass Bell Push Benton Model D667UK
Offered by Anything 4 Home
Price: £3.90

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Product Description, 20 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The product description for this doorbell describes it as both "flush fitting" (the button sits in a hole in the door frame with a very flat surround holding it in place) and "surface mounted" (no need for a hole since the button sits on top of the door frame, using a more raised surround to hold it in place).

Just to lessen the confusion for anyone buying it: it's flush-fitting.


J.S. Bach: Complete Cello Suites
J.S. Bach: Complete Cello Suites
Price: £11.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A repeat listener!, 6 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't disagree with any of the other reviewers - this is a gorgeous recording that I've already listened to over and over since I bought it.

Jean-Guihen Queyras's cello has a wonderful, clear, warm sound with no harshness, and he makes the Bach Cello Suites a joy to listen to. His phrasing is lyrical and very natural, and his tempo is right on that Goldilocks knife-edge - fast enough to keep the music from ever dragging, but not so fast that it loses its relaxed character.


A House Party
A House Party
Price: £1.50

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice plot, pity about the characters and the dubious consent issues!, 22 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A House Party (Kindle Edition)
I wanted to like this story. The premise is good and had a lot of potential to be exactly the sort of thing I like to read: a love story set against a background of making up for previous mistakes whilst investigating crime and saving the country from a dastardly plot! Spies! Murderers! Misunderstandings! Yay!

And the writer is very good at descriptions and evoking moods. Unfortunately, the characters flip-flop about; the heroine, for example, swinging from dislike to "I can't live without him", to believing he's a cad, to knowing she's always loved him - and all in the space of a day! And rather than actually talk to each other and ask questions, the oh-so-passionate-about-each-other couple fall into the classic romance novel trap of making random assumptions in order to misunderstand each other better.

In addition, although we're promised a house party by the title and blurb, all of the minor characters disappear off the radar unless they're needed for window dressing or to act as suspects. I couldn't tell you what a single one of them is called, or what they look like, or what they are like as characters. It doesn't matter how many people are at dinner or what shared activity the house party is taking part in, you can guarantee that the romantic couple spend barely a second paying attention to anyone else. Even the heroine's aunt and guardian is more conspicuous by her absence; she appears whenever a romantic deus ex machina is required and conveniently disappears as soon as a plothole is required for the characters to meet alone, even though that's against the mores of the time.

And then there's the point at which the author completely lost me as a reader. I don't find infantilisation of the heroine romantic. Or attractive. Or erotic. When a woman starts acting like a spoilt child to gain attention from a man, or even worse, when she's acting true to her position as an independent adult because she hasn't been given a good reason not to, and the man treats that as though she's behaving childishly and threatens to punish her for it, it's an instant deal-breaker. I don't think I can emphasise how very much I do not want these people to be the couple that I'm supposed to hope get together in the end. The spoilt girl-child needs to grow up before she's ready to be part of a marriage of equals. The man with abusive tendencies needs to not be the romantic lead in a novel that implicitly promises me a happy ending.

(And let's get this straight here: I don't have a problem with characters who have a shared kink for spanking; what I have a problem with, is a man who thinks about and threatens to hit a woman as punishment, a woman who is humiliated and scared by that threat, and an authorial narrative that treats that situation as normal and right. That's not hot and sexy prose. Regardless of any pseudo-historical psychology the author wants to claim, the best light I can put on it is an unhealthy relationship dynamic that's going to go badly wrong at some point; at worst, it's reinforcing rape culture.)

All that combined, I'm afraid I gave up reading about a third of the way through, and scrolled through to the end to see if at least it had a decent ending. And well, it was OK, I suppose, but not really satisfying.


Silicone Mould Plane Icing Cake Cupcake Decoration
Silicone Mould Plane Icing Cake Cupcake Decoration
Offered by Cupcake Moulds
Price: £3.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly not suited to what I wanted it for..., 6 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I loved the idea of this product and its price, and willingly chose to ignore the evidence of the photos in which it looked like a rather informally produced imprint into food-grade silicon. Well, you get what you pay for!

The thing is, the mould really is very small - and I know, it shows that - but the point is that when you have very small details, like the tail fin, it's very hard to get the mould to release them intact. It's possible that if I'd bought more moulds and/or been willing to wait for longer to let the chocolate harden (say two or more hours per plane) it might have been possible to get an intact chocolate aeroplane out of the mould; it's also possible that the weather was just too hot to successfully manage it. I certainly couldn't manage it, and had to give up my idea of making cupcake decorations for my sister's birthday.

Also - and again, this may seem obvious - because the mould is essentially a lump of silicon that has had a plastic aeroplane pressed into it before hardening into a mould, it doesn't have a flat surface on top. That means that when you are spooning your less-than-a-teaspoon of chocolate into the mould, you can't just run a knife along the top to flatten the base into neatness.

I might try it again with modelling icing at some point, and see if that works any better.


Bead Reamer Battery
Bead Reamer Battery
Offered by G J Beads
Price: £11.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, pity about the construction, 12 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Bead Reamer Battery
I was surprised when getting this out of the packaging to find that not only were there no operating instrutions, but that the reaming bits didn't lock securely into the top of the reamer, which is what I would have expected of anything constructed to spin fast like a drill. Instead, it's a simple push and hope it stays put - I tried twisting the black plastic section at the top, but it doesn't tighten anything - so I put up with it shifting about and wiggling during use and having to stop and fish the bit out of the water (yes, yes, I know water and electricity aren't friends, but you have to keep the reaming bit lubricated with water or end up with bald patches on the bit!) and put it back in again every five minutes. As annoying as that might be, it was still good at the actual job of enlarging and smoothing the holes in my beads.

Less than three months after buying this however, the brass section that the reaming bits sit into, broke off, leaving the entire thing completely useless.

Needless to say, I won't be buying a second reamer of this brand.


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