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mark eliot "eliot1966" (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne)

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The Last Confession of Sherlock Holmes
The Last Confession of Sherlock Holmes
by Kieran Lyne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Trying Hard, 14 Aug. 2016
This book packs a lot in. In a sense it is trying very hard, a series of characters familiar to readers of Sherlock are all there, occasionally they don't really need to be. At times I really liked this book, it kept me turning the pages - but I really didn't like the ending.
I won't spoil anything, but for me the ending didn't work on many levels - it was again trying to do something different I think.
So a brave effort that generally works, but I can't say that I entirely found it convincing - thus a missing star.


Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen
Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen
by Josephine Wilkinson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable account of a Tudor Tragedy., 5 Jun. 2016
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I have really enjoyed reading this book. I have always rather felt sorry for Katherine Howard, and therefor this sympathetic reading of her and her actions I was anyway largely in agreement with. The fact she was sexually abused as a twelve year old, then forced into a sexual relationship when around 13 - possibly raped - before being married off to an infatuated despot with a girth of 54 inches - makes her very much a character to feel sympathy for. Quite simply her life is a true Tudor tragedy. I have read the earlier biography on her by Baldwin Smith, which has far more of the politics and Henry in - here the concentration is more on Katherine and her role. Of course we have conjecture, but whereas in the Baldwin Smith account (which was very well written) I was often searching for Katherine, this text keeps her to the fore - as appropriate for a biography on her. Sometimes the age of Katherine is disputed, Josephine Wilkinson tends to present her as at the younger age of the parameters, which makes her even more of a person to feel sorry for - an abused child.
In summary this is an easy page turner, holds a strong narrative and concentrates on the tragedy that was the so short life of this young girl. It makes you wish you could quickly nip back in time and save her!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2016 4:48 AM BST


The Man from U.N.C.L.E. [DVD]
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. [DVD]
Dvd ~ Henry Cavill
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Really loved this film!, 30 May 2016
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I saw this at the cinema and ended up getting the DVD, which I rarely do now to be honest. I thought this was a great film that we all as a family enjoyed, and the DVD is great to have on the shelves as well. I know this is a short review, but basically it great!


Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Ruby Elephants
Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Ruby Elephants
by Chris James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A strong tale., 30 May 2016
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As an observation I find people write reviews when they either love something or occasionally hate it! I certainly found this with my own books, where one in particular got either five stars, or the one star damnation! It seems to be the same here. I'm reviewing this as I am a huge Sherlock fan and have reviewed a few Sherlock books over the years. I enjoyed this one, I thought it kept very true to the key characters and the Watson/Holmes relationship was accurate. This book begins in an interesting fashion with an escaped elephant, and I loved the cover as well! There are a host of interesting characters, the Maharajah being one such, and the villains are suitably villainous - the four archangels being the cream of these.
So why four stars and not five? It was because the story was often very confusing, it jumped from one plot line and group of characters to another, and left threads for a long time. It sometimes had me wondering what exactly had happened previously, or if I had misunderstood something. The threads do all just about tie up at the end. However although very good, I have enjoyed other Holmes stories more, this one made me as a reader have to work a little too hard at times!


The Albino's Treasure (The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
The Albino's Treasure (The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good story and one that kept me turning the pages, 18 Aug. 2015
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This is a very good story and one that kept me turning the pages. I have read a few of the New Adventures and I would place this as one of those I would recommend. I suppose as a Holmes fan who has read a lot of Holmes tales there were a couple of niggles that meant I held back a star. I found Holmes' dislike of the police and Lestrade overplayed, I know Holmes is not the police but I think his level of contempt for them here was overdone. Also I found the ending rather too complex, a lot of threads being unravelled and I found it a little complicated! That said I still really enjoyed it and I think the writer has done a great job!


Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter
Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter
by David Starkey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.14

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear, readable and enjoyable account for the general reader., 7 Aug. 2015
I have read some other comments on this book, and do agree from the off that it is deceptive in size, as around a third of it is essentially a glossary with the Magna Carta and the points within compared between versions. However that said, we are left with an interesting, concise version, attractively presented and easy to read for the general reader who is unaware of the detail and characters. Starkey is of course a Tudor Court historian so he is operating out of his own comfort zone historically, but he narrates the events and keeps the pages turning without it ever becoming a difficult read. Therefore I gave it four stars for readability and attractiveness, it loses one for the actual length and huge glossary - not a problem if the price was a little lower to reflect this.


Crooked Herring (The Elsie and Ethelred Series)
Crooked Herring (The Elsie and Ethelred Series)
by L C Tyler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LC Tyler delivers again, 5 Oct. 2014
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It's funny writing a review for a book in which Amazon reviews play such a huge part in the plot! I have read all the books in the Ethelred and Elsie series and so therefore am a fan of the books, which I really enjoy. Consequently I am somewhat surprised at the seeming low profile of the books, my local Waterstones didn't have a copy and WH Smiths struggled to find it even on the computer. Considering these are really well crafted pieces I don't understand why. This book for those of you who enjoy the series is as ever quirky and unusual, with a plot that drives you along and holds the interest. As a regular reader (and I wonder if LC Tyler will read this review, as Ethelred reads his on Amazon!) - I felt that LC Tyler hadn't quite got Elsie's voice right this time, and her input in the book was less than usual. I love the Elsie character and prefer the books where she is more of a companion in the piece (Herring in the Library for example), here she operates more as an outsider. If you've never read any of the books previous in the series, you would find little difficulty getting started with this one as it stands alone. So there we are, buy it and you will enjoy it I'm sure, if you are into slightly unusual detective fiction.


Edward II (English Monarchs) (The Yale English Monarchs Series)
Edward II (English Monarchs) (The Yale English Monarchs Series)
by Seymour Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, 25 Sept. 2014
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This is a really exhaustive biography, and at the end there can be really little more to say! Certain of the authors conclusions/interpretations I found surprising and I did not always agree with them - however it is written in a style that makes it very easy to pick up and read a section and then leave for a while. Although it appears a huge historical tome, for anyone interested in the fourteenth century this is actually a very easy read. As for Edward himself he appears to be a king universally condemned in his own lifetime and never rehabilitated as centuries went by, so pretty bad! However this is probably as close as he will get to a positive hearing and Seymour Phillips treats his subject with understanding and even with a sense of the positive. For the work, the scholarship and most of all the approachability of the writing style I have given this five stars.


Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox 360)
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox 360)
Offered by Bargain Games UK
Price: £19.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have a boy and he absolutely loves this - it IS annoying that you have to join the XBox live thing, 22 Sept. 2014
Well. I have a boy and he absolutely loves this - it IS annoying that you have to join the XBox live thing, I bought a card for 15 pounds for the golden connection thing that gives him three months as a player. This was very annoying and I totally agree with reviewers who say that the game should be able to stand alone. However once you do get into the game it is really worth while, it is full of action, very enjoyable and he really likes playing it, so the game itself gets five stars but with that massive buyer be aware attached to it.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It says it all!, 30 May 2014
I give this book a five star review, not due it being a light and enjoyable read, it's not. This is not popular history as such, but it is the history of those ordinary men and women who make up the population! This is the book of the metal workers, Methodists and miners who formed our industrial revolution and took this country forward. It is the book of the masses and what created that class of people we call the working classes today, the class who are at the heart of our nation. I use this book more as a reference book than one I sat and read from start to finish. It's exhaustive in its study and appraisal and for any student of the English working classes this would have to be the starting point.


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