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David from Edinburgh (Scotland)

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Whiskies Galore: A Tour of Scotland's Island Distilleries
Whiskies Galore: A Tour of Scotland's Island Distilleries
by Ian Buxton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.89

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative and fun book which covers a lot more than whisky and ..., 23 Sept. 2017
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A very witty, informative and fun book which covers a lot more than whisky and gin. The author has a lovely chatty style which is quite a high risk strategy but works brilliantly and adds authenticity. Very good description of some of Scotland's loveliest corners. He wears his knowledge of Scotch whisky very lightly but has trenchant views on some of the wackier marketing strategies.
A very original and enjoyable book.


Codename Lazarus: The Spy Who Came Back From The Dead
Codename Lazarus: The Spy Who Came Back From The Dead

4.0 out of 5 stars Wartime Battle of Wits - British and German Spooks Slug It Out, 19 Feb. 2017
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This is a story of intrigue involving British Intelligence, which has some very solid chaps indeed and the Wehrmacht, whose personnel are not all bad, through to the SS who recruit only the nastiest of rotters. So far, so promising. If you add in the period of the story - 1933 -1940 - you have a fertile backdrop for an historical thriller.

The tension comes with the insertion into pre War Germany of a British agent which is followed by a German coming to Britain post Dunkirk posing as a Canadian.

The book's description of Germany as Hitler racked up the anti Semitic rhetoric and abuse is convincing and the buildup of tension towards the denouement was satisfying. However I felt the story had some flat spots in the middle and at times I felt that the author could benefit from the 'show, not tell' line of advice to a writer.

If you like the works of Alan Furst and David Downing, as I do, perhaps you will agree with me that this is a superior thriller which could have benefited from some more rigorous editing.


Kinox K888 Insulated Tea Pot, 20 oz., White
Kinox K888 Insulated Tea Pot, 20 oz., White
Price: £13.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase, 9 Feb. 2017
Bought as present for elderly mother. She is very pleased with it.


Guilt Edged (A Lina Townend Mystery)
Guilt Edged (A Lina Townend Mystery)
by Judith Cutler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Super 2nd book, 20 Jun. 2016
An excellent second book - thoroughly enjoyed it and looking forward to number three!


An Introduction to the Scottish Enlightenment (Lectures in Scottish History Book 1)
An Introduction to the Scottish Enlightenment (Lectures in Scottish History Book 1)
Price: £1.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful colloquial yet authoritative style, 18 July 2015
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Wonderful colloquial yet authoritative style. The author refers to it as an essay rather than a book. I thought it was wonderful and will probably read all the others in the series.


The Lady From Zagreb: Bernie Gunther Thriller 10 (Bernie Gunther Mystery)
The Lady From Zagreb: Bernie Gunther Thriller 10 (Bernie Gunther Mystery)
Price: £4.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth 6 Stars Really, 11 May 2015
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The author is on top form with this book. There are a number of elements to the story. One is the murder of a dodgy lawyer whose skull come second in a collision with a bust of Hitler. Another is mystery surrounding a vampy film star who has caught Goebbels' eye. All is seen through the jaundiced eyes of Bernie G whose commentary on the continual moral degradation of Germany is worth the price alone.

The scene where Bernie cheeks the 'Minister for Truth and Propaganda' is priceless and there are a number of other comic gems, but the grimness of the atrocities in the Balkans, not all perpetrated by the Nazis, is chilling.

Full marks to the author for keeping the standard up and the good news is that Bernie is returning in 2016. Still a lot of juice in the tank, if this one is anything to go by.


The Ivory Grinder
The Ivory Grinder
Price: £3.49

5.0 out of 5 stars ... handles the darker side of 18th century Edinburgh quite brilliantly. It has a cinematic quality and I hope ..., 9 April 2015
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This review is from: The Ivory Grinder (Kindle Edition)
This book is so original and the author handles the darker side of 18th century Edinburgh quite brilliantly. It has a cinematic quality and I hope that it gets snapped up by someone like Mike Leigh or Spielberg who could capture the atmosphere on screen. Hope the author has some more stories up his sleeve.


Jeremy Thorpe
Jeremy Thorpe
Price: £6.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot imagine that you will not enjoy and admire this book, 4 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Jeremy Thorpe (Kindle Edition)
If you are interested in biographies of British politicians, I cannot imagine that you will not enjoy and admire this book.
I saw Thorpe speak in the early 1970s and was captivated by his performance. I mentioned this to a man who had stood as a Liberal candidate and he snorted a bit indicating that Thorpe was a foppish showman.
The picture that emerges from this book is of a Jekyll and Hyde character and Bloch has diligently tried to unravel this complex character and has succeeded in writing an informative book which is easy to read. Brilliant.
Some of the secondary figures mentioned in the book are amazingly dodgy and it is interesting to speculate why Thorpe, who was undoubtedly talented, associated with them. Shades of Prince Andrew?


Foyle's War - Series 3 - Complete [DVD] [2004]
Foyle's War - Series 3 - Complete [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Michael Kitchen
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars So watchable, 20 Jun. 2013
I have never seen an actor convey so much with such economy - Michael Kitchen is a delight. But other depatments are also very strong, Each of the many episodes I have seen combine:
a) Brilliant performances by an excellent cast
b) Good plots
c) Very high production values - obviously a stack of money was spent to recreate England in the 1940s.
What's not to like?


A Spy's Life
A Spy's Life

3.0 out of 5 stars Too many bodies?, 20 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: A Spy's Life (Kindle Edition)
In the last year I have enjoyed various books by Alan Furst, Philip Kerr and Charles Cumming who write a superior sort of thriller. Plenty of action put together in a way which makes you want to turn the page, but set against an interesting period in history. They all pose the various dilemmas faced by people wanting to do good things in a pretty nasty world.
Henry Porter's book starts with a bang. The description of the hero's escape from a plane crash is gripping. The ending is also very strong. My reservations are caused by a feeling about half way through the book that I had cracked a certain formula and that it would be 'more of the same' up to the final act where all would be revealed. If a hero walked down a street or two, you can guess that there will be a baddie round some corner. If he gets on a train and there is an unscheduled stop, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is not just a technical hitch. At this stage I was worrying that this was more an outline for a movie than a novel with characters who had any depth to them at all.
One other reviewer said that he would have liked to give the author three and a half stars and I go with that. There are some very good things in this book. The basic set-up of the plot is fine. I felt that there were perhaps too many twists and turns. The body count was pretty enormous. I think that 'less might have been more.'


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