Amy James

Helpful votes received on reviews: 90% (27 of 30)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 166,962 - Total Helpful Votes: 27 of 30
Talking About Detective Fiction by P. D. James
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder at the Vicarage, 17 May 2014
Oh, the wonderful, guilty enjoyment that is to be had in the consumption of detective novels! Delicious bite sized snacks, bursting with nostalgic delights, the page-turning thrills of the plot, the discovery of the vital clues, the characters lining up one by one. To be frank, I could exist very happily on a pretty much unvaried diet of Golden Age detective fiction and yet inwardly I know I Should Not. My moral compass is against it. It would be like confessing one reads only Heyer... a perfectly reasonable (and delightful) thing to do, but a behavioural trait apt to be harshly judged by other people. Although I cannot see exactly why: it's difficult to envisage many serious crimes being… Read more
Weeds: The Story of Outlaw Plants by Richard Mabey
Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature is a book stuffed to the gunwales with endlessly re-tellable stories and factlets. An excellent representative of Mabey's brilliant non-fiction output, the narrow remit of Weeds perfectly suits his skills as a writer of beautiful entertaining prose and as an unparallelled linker of apparently unrelated trifles. By turns witty, informative and dazzlingly well read, Mabey is the perfect companion for this cultural odyssey into the natural world.

Full disclosure: As a lazy and economically challenged gardener with a tendency to embrace the appearance of weeds in my patch (all that… Read more
The Butterfly Isles: A Summer In Search Of Our Emp&hellip by Patrick Barkham
5.0 out of 5 stars A Noble Quest, 17 May 2014
The Butterfly Isles is the intertwined narrative of the history of Britain's butterflies, the people who have studied, pursued and conserved them, and one man's quest to see every species in the UK over the course of one summer.

At heart the book is a sweet affectionate story about a man and his father coming together in a very British manner - on the further shores of a mutual obsession with their butterfly nets and binoculars in hand. On some levels the book could equally well have been about steam trains or plane-spotting. Butterflies lend themselves particularly well to this format because the list of British species (59 in total with additional migrants) is so seemingly… Read more

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