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Bluecashmere. (Scotland)
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Melissa & Doug 14004 8 Activity Cones
Melissa & Doug 14004 8 Activity Cones
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, colourful and versatile., 22 Aug. 2016
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These are very well made, a little smaller than indicated, and immensely versatile. They can be used as goal posts, baseball/rounders bases, obstacles for dribbling around for football, distance markers and for all manner of other purposes and uses. Only the imagination places a limit on them. There colourfulness is a great attraction to young children but their value extends to all age groups. Like many simple devices they are splendid. No complaints and fast delivery as well. Recommended.


Top Trumps - World Football Stars (Red 2016 Version)
Top Trumps - World Football Stars (Red 2016 Version)
Offered by Fun Collectables
Price: £3.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Great source of entertainment and knowledge for the young., 22 Aug. 2016
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These must have made a fortune for the manufacturers. There is a good reason for that. They are irresistible to children, who delight not only in the games, often inventing their own to supplement the standard one, but love the information provided. My grandchildren say this is one of the best; they certainly find it addictive.


Dunlop Unisex Fort All Court Tennis Balls 1 Dozen
Dunlop Unisex Fort All Court Tennis Balls 1 Dozen
Offered by K_Buuks Fast Shipping Efficient Seller
Price: £10.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value., 20 Aug. 2016
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These have proved much better quality than I anticipated. I’m uncertain as to how long they will remain on offer but for other than really serious, quite accomplished tennis players, they are all that could be wished for. At this price they are a real bargain. Recommended.


Dead Simple (Roy Grace)
Dead Simple (Roy Grace)
by Peter James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars A writer well worth getting to know., 20 Aug. 2016
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Well, there can’t be much to add to the huge number of reviews already on board. For what it’s worth here is my two cents worth. I came to Peter James via his horror/supernatural stories, much derided by some on the grounds that they don’t measure up to his detective novels featuring Superintendent Roy Grace. I enjoyed the gothic novels, especially “Sweet Heart”, so came to the first of the crime fiction books with high expectations. I found “Dead Simple” very well written with a more interesting central character than many of these novels and a far more authentic and sympathetic view of the police, based I imagine on the Brighton police, whose station I walked past regularly when living in Brighton.
I shall certainly go on to delve more deeply into this series but I shall also keep up my allegiance to the other James novels, which I rate more highly than their detractors.


Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys (2-Pack) - Pet Tunnels and Tubes With Crinkle Peep Hole Design for Small Medium & Large Cats Dogs and Other Small House Animals by Pet Magasin
Collapsible Cat Tunnel Toys (2-Pack) - Pet Tunnels and Tubes With Crinkle Peep Hole Design for Small Medium & Large Cats Dogs and Other Small House Animals by Pet Magasin
Offered by Pet Magasin Direct
Price: £21.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully made but cats being cats....., 20 Aug. 2016
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I’m somewhat at a loss here. These cat tunnels are very well made, colourful and indeed high quality in every respect. I couldn’t wait to introduce them to my two cats and to sit back and watch them play happily. So far so good. They still lie on the living room floor in forlorn hope of attracting attention. The cats, alas, are totally indifferent to them so I shall pass them onto my daughter who has a lively cat in the hope that they might yet excite interest. I suspect that they’re best for kittens and the very young felines. Mine seem to think themselves too sophisticated for this kind of thing.


Russell''s mens L/Slv Oxf Shirt in Black Neck Size 16.5
Russell''s mens L/Slv Oxf Shirt in Black Neck Size 16.5
Offered by Legendary Leisurewear
Price: £14.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine value., 20 Aug. 2016
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This is an excellent quality shirt, a little full in the fitting but well-made, washes well - keep the black one well apart from whites and other light colours - and is all anyone who fancies the Johhny Cash look could ask for. It's smart casual, fit for a whole range of occasions. An excellent buy at the price.


Draw: The Greatest Gunfighters of the American West
Draw: The Greatest Gunfighters of the American West
by James Reasoner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Wild West from the inside., 20 Aug. 2016
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This is a fascinating book, well-researched with James Reasoner not unafraid to admit that much that circulated by word of mouth at the time and afterwards may well be apocryphal. It is often the less-celebrated/notorious figures whose histories are the most absorbing. Sam Bass and the youngest of the Earp brothers, Warren, are just two examples.

One of the features most notable throughout is how often key individuals flourished on both sides of the law: the Mastersons, Pat Garrett et al. Most came to an abrupt end but some flourished into later life, notably perhaps the most deadly killer John Wesley Hardin. Others disappeared into obscurity their fates unknown.

Reasoner is no great prose stylist. His matter of fact, somewhat folksy style might seem to be an effective way to avoid dramatizing events that needed no added ingredients. Nonetheless, the writing is rather flat and clichéd, though in the last analysis this does not detract from the impact of these accounts. In addition the book is by no means without humour. Some of the disasters and micalculations are hilarious for all but the participants. It is a world of the most striking contrasts, the colourful and flamboyant Wild Bill Hickock, psychopaths such as Clay Allison and others, dedicated and determined lawmen such as Mike Meagher and those for whom the badge was a cover for their own criminal activities. It’s a book very well worth the reading.


Front Row Long Sleeve Classic Rugby Polo Shirt (L) (Black/Black)
Front Row Long Sleeve Classic Rugby Polo Shirt (L) (Black/Black)
Offered by The Prime Group
Price: £14.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, beautifully made and great fit. First rate., 17 Aug. 2016
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I couldn’t be more pleased with this polo jersey. It’s well made, fits perfectly and washes back to new. I couldn’t ask for more. Whole-heartedly recommended.


Sweet Heart
Sweet Heart
by Peter James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive. A real page-turner and intelligent too., 17 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: Sweet Heart (Paperback)
I came to this from “The House on Cold Hill” which many panned, but I found one of the better horror/supernatural books. This, I think an earlier novel, is even more impressive. Around many of the ingredients required by the genre, Peter James weaves a compelling and intelligent narrative which never releases its grip. The central character is most skilfully developed and James makes most effective use of ordinary, everyday experience to offset the more dramatic gothic elements. As yet I have only encountered one of the Superintendent Grace books, but for me anyway, this stands up very well by comparison. Gothic horror may not be in fashion but this a fine example of what can still be turned out in that genre.


Nightmare Alley (New York Review Books (Paperback))
Nightmare Alley (New York Review Books (Paperback))
by William L. Gresham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Early and superior noir., 6 Aug. 2016
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It is interesting and strange that this novel remained so long out of print. Certainly there is nothing dated about it. It seems to me to pack all the power it must have done on its initial publication. The opening chapters are centred amongst the carnie folk under the cynical, but not heartless, Hoakley. Hoakley has no illusions about “the marks”, the rural gullible who are induced to part with their meagre cash for all manner of trinkets, “valuable” potions, tracts and all the rest of the paraphernalia. He is no less realistic and forthright in declaring his total lack of scruples in exploiting those who draw the marks forward. The most obvious example is “the geek” – an interesting use of the word long before it assumed its current fashion and rather different meaning. Ever in fear of dismissal and loss of his needed drink, Michael is drawn ever more deeply into total commitment. The stick and carrot treatment can rarely have been used so blatantly or successfully.

It’s worth dwelling on Pete, Zeena, the geek, Molly et al because collectively they embody the ethic and dramatic centre of the book. However, it is Stan Carlisle who stands out from the beginning and it is his progress/degeneration that moves the novel onto a wider and higher/lower level. There is no doubt that Gresham draws heavily on his own background in portraying not only Stan, but others we are never allowed to see entirely as freaks. Gresham weaves two key devices into the structure of his novel: Stan’s family background and the tarot cards, sometimes with rather eccentric meanings attached to the major arcana. His preface is the Madame Sosostris passage from T. S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. I’m not altogether convinced that this use of the major arcana of the tarot adds that much to our understanding. At worst it seems to me forced and sometimes half forgotten. Neither does the book really need it. The underlying imagery, especially the dark alleys, I far more effective in holding Stan’s story together.

Nonetheless, I was surprised at just how compulsive I found the book, how strong a grip it took and maintained until the end. It’s not so unusual for “forgotten masterpieces” to be unearthed and relaunched. Many are justifiably lost in the mists of time and would do better to stay there. This is a rare exception, a strikingly original novel, not perhaps 100% successful, but very much worth picking up; it won’t be easy to put down and will linger in the mind long after completion.


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