Monday, 31 December 2007

Books for 2007

January 2007

1. Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee *

2. Yarn Harlot, the Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee *

3. The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

4. Footprints in the Sand D by Sarah Challis *

5. Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson *

6. The Birth Order Book by Dr Kevin Leman

7. Testimony of an Irish Slave Girl by Kate McCafferty

8. The Jasmin Moon Murder (A Tea Shop Murder Mystery) by Laura Childs

9. No! I don’t want to Join Another Book Club by Virginia Ironside

10. (Un) Arranged Marriage by Bali Rai

11. Will You Be Mother?, Women who Choose to Say No by Jane Bartlett

12. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

13. Bound for Murder by Laura Childs

14. The Quilters Apprentice (Elm Creek Novel Book 1) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

15. Round Robin (Elm Creek Novel Book 2) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

February 2007

16. The Cross Country Quilters (Elm Creek Novel Book 3) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

17. The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek Novel Book 4) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

18. The Quilter’s Legacy (Elm Creek Novel Book 5) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

19. The Master Quilter (Elm Creek Novel Book 6) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

20. The Sugar Camp Quilt (Elm Creek Novel Book 7) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

21. The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Novel Book 8) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

22. Circle of Quilters (Elm Creek Novel Book 9) by Jennifer Chiaverini *

23. The Florabama Ladies Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle

March 2007

24. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom *

25. Journey to the South by Annie Hawes

26. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

27. Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde

28. The Rose Revived by Katie Fforde

29. Paradise Fields by Katie Fforde

30. Stately Pursuits by Katie Fforde

31. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

32. Wild Designs by Katie Fforde

33. Life Skills by Katie Fforde

34. Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Gray

35. Coyote Dreams by Jessica Davis Stein *

36. Letters Between A Father & A Son by V. S. Naipaul

37. Lucinda’s Secrets: The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 3 by Tony Diterizzi & Holly Black

April 2007

38. Do it Tomorrow, and Other Secrets of Time Management by Mark Forster

39. Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz

40. Buried Treasure by Victoria Finlay

41. A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes

42. Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

May 2007

43. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs *

44. The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank: A Novel by Ellen Feldman

45. Welcome to the Great Mysterious by Lorna Landvik

46. Animals Dream by Barbara Kingsolver (DNF)

47. Blue Slipper Bay by Wendy K Harris

48. Capability’s Eden by Diana Saville

49. Knitting by Anne Bartlett

June 2007

50. Toast by Nigel Slater

51. The Perfect Paragon (Agatha Raisin Mystery) by M. C. Beaton

52. Night by Elie Wiesel

53. Roots & All, A history of the Eaton & Hastings Families by Dinah Eaton

July 2007

54. The Founding (Moreland Dynasty Series Book 1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

55. 16, Lighthouse Road (Cedar Cove Series book 1) by Debbie Macomber

56. 204, Rosewood Lane (Cedar Cove Series book 2) by Debbie Macomber

57. 311, Pelican Court (Cedar Cove Series book 3) Debbie Macomber

58. 44, Cranberry Point (Cedar Cove Series book 4) Debbie Macomber

59. 50, Harbor Street (Cedar Cove Series book 5) by Debbie Macomber

60. The Quilter’s Homecoming (Elm Creek Novel Book 10) by Jennifer Chiaverini

61. Sullivan’s Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

62. Small Town Girl by LaVyrle Spencer

63. Amy’s Honeymoon by Julia Llewellyn

64. Bond of Blood by Benjamin Nicholls

65. Scuba Dancing by Nicola Slade

66. The Island by Victoria Hislop *

67. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

August 2007

68. Murder in the Museum by Simon Brett

69. Murder in the Family Tree by Patricia Sprinkle *

70. Ancestors by Paul Crooks *

71. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

72. Puppet Maker by P. M. Mason *

73. In Search of Henry by Arnold Powell *

74. The Day the World Came to Town 9/11, In Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede

75. Susannah’s Garden by Debbie Macomber

76. Family Skeletons by Rett MacPherson

September 2007

77. Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott

78. Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

79. Silenced by Syrah by Michele Scott

80. A Misty Mourning by Rett MacPherson

81. Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

82. Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton

83. A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton

84. On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

85. Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle

86. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

87. The Geographer’s Library by Jon Fasman

88. The Postcard by Beverly Lewis

89. The Crossroad by Beverly Lewis

90. The Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis

91. Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels

October 2007

92. Sweatwater by Dorothy Garlock

93. Hero in Disguise by Vicki Lewis Thompson (Hometown Reunion book 4)

94. Those Baby Blues by Helen Conrad (Hometown Reunion book 5)

95. A Touch of Texas by Kristine Rolofson (Hometown Reunion book 7)

96. More than a year in time by Jane Lassen

November 2007

97. Life Planner (thought catcher) by Jennifer Percival

98. Blood Orange Brewing (Tea Shop Mystery) By Laura Childs

99. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

100. Rice Mother by Rani Manicki

101. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

102. It’s my Party & I’ll knit if I want to by Sharon Aris

December 2007

103. Slippery when wet by Martin Goodman

104. Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

105. Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester

106. Cane River by Lalita Tademy

107. Killing Cousins by Rett MacPherson

108. Dead Angler by Victoria Houston

109. The Xmas Factor by Annie Sanders

110. Siege by David Humphry

Siege by David Humphry

From the back cover - "Manchester 1976. The oldest living Victoria Cross holder and the last survivor of three friends who went to do their duty for Queen and country in the Boer War collapses at a remembrance Sunday service. A young newspaper reporter is assigned to cover the story and is treated to a unique first hand insight of life before and during the siege of Ladysmith in a long forgotten war, fought over three quarters of a century earlier. Natal 1899. Britain and her empire are at war with the Boer republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Three old school friends, Privates Charlie Browell, Walter Shawcross and Frank Hoyland are involved in their first armed conflict which will leave one of them dead and another the proud recipient of Britain’s highest gallantry award, the Victoria Cross. As the twentieth century beckons, this last great imperial war will have far reaching consequences for many people including the three generations of the van Oppen family, riding on commando together in the service of the Transvaal Republic; Sarah Dyson, a volunteer nurse who finds love among death, disease and deprivation; Ada Dunkley, matriarch of a prominent Ladysmith family, left shattered by the tragedy of a murder of which and innocent man is accused and Joseph Ncube, a fifteen year old Zulu boy left disillusioned as his loyalty and courage are quickly forgotten after the siege is lifted."

The author is a member of the Boer War mailing list and a web page about the book is Here

Purchased a signed,advance copy from the author.

A page turning story about a young reporter sent to interview the last surviving British soldier of the Boer War. The reporter sits and listens as the old soldier relives the moments and events of 1899. The stench of illness & death, the friendships which were so treasured because they could be snatched away through the events of war, the way the black South Africans who were unrewarded for their involvement in the war were treated, and of the nurses who cared for the soldiers against all odds.

Entwined through the story are three generations of South Africans who are fighting the same war, but on opposite sides and of how one of the medals of the eldest generation of this family came to be back in Manchester with the surviving British soldier.

A really enjoyable book, well researched, and will there be a sequel?......Very thought provoking to someone who has an ancestor who fought in the Boer War.

William Arthur West in South Africa 1899-1902 with a boy soldier

This photo is a group of Soldiers in the Royal Medical Corps during 1899-1902. My Ancestor, William Arthur West is in the back row, second from the right

Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Xmas Factor by Annie Sanders

"The hilarious new novel from Annie Sanders about two very busy mothers and how their Christmases collide"....Bella Magazine

Well, I would not describe the book as Hilarious. It was a lovely gentle story of four people whose lives become entwined.....Jacob and his younger second wife, Jacob's daughter Holly who plays the "terrible stepdaughter" role and is journalist who works with Carol, at a failing magazine whose Christmas becomes entwined with Holly, Jacob & Holly. Carol is a single mum who meets a musician called Nick, who indirectly helps Carol gain a fabulous scoop, which is a tragic story dealt with in a compassionate manner.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Dead Angler by Victoria Houston

This is the first book in what looks to be a promising series.

Paul Osbourne, or as he in known in Loon Lake, Doc, is starting to fish again. He is recommended to spend sometime with Lou who is excellent at fishing.....Lou is not the man Doc is expecting, but a divorced woman and the local police chief and called Lew.

While on the initial fishing trip Doc stumbles over what he thinks is a truck of wood only to find that it is a body, the body of a school friend of his daughter. What could have been passed off an a tragic accident is spotted by Doc as suspicious based upon that the victim has had all her gold fillings removed! As they investigate the plot thickens.......

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

KIilling Cousins by Rett Macpherson

Torie's mother marries Colin Brooke the town sherrif. Colin also owns the loval antique shop, and has purchased the contents of a local well known recluse and asks Torie to catalogue them while he is on his honeymoon. Meanwhile, Sylvia of the local historical society asks Torie to write a biography of the same local recluse - a lady called Catherine Finch. What unfolds is that Catherine's youngest child, 60 odd years ago vanished from his bed.....meanwhile a man is found dead in a derilict building that is just about to be demolished. Did he die from natural causes or was he murdered? Either way he is the nephew of Catherine Finch, the coincidences stack up and whetting Torie's appetite for investigation. Then the demolishion crew find the remains of a young baby....the plot gets thicker and thicker.....

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

NSS Santa 2007

NSS Santa 2007
Originally uploaded by AnglersRest

Thanks to my Secret Santa who was SwanOfKennet

I have been very spoilt. My parcel contained four books, three from my
wish list -

  • Italian Food by Elizabeth David
  • Genealogy, a novel by Maud Casey
  • Dead Angler by Victoria Houston
  • Edwardian Rambles by Henry Atty

Several bars of chocolate - mint aero, whole nut & a pack of mint creams.
A bar of fudge, and a pack of 20 engraving fish stickers, plus a lovely
card with a photo of one of the kitten's on.

Thanks SwanOfKennet, you have truely spolt me.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

This is the incrediable story of three generations of the author's ancestry. Through their years as slaves, to their freedom. Their loves and dispair, grief and bewilderment. The novel does not portray the many horrors that slaves suffered at the hands of their "owners". Wonderfully and lovingly the author has attempted to peice together their lives, using official documentation and living memory


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester

A compelling story of four people whose lives are entwined. Tom Stewart who in the early 1930s leaves the UK for Hong Kong, leaving behind his only family, a Grandmother & his brother and the public house they run. On the boat he meets an assortment of people and becomes involved in a bet, that he can not learn Cantonese. Sister Maria, the person responsible for him learning Cantonese. As Tom leaves the boat he is given the name of someone who will, given, he can now speak Cantonese give him a job. His friendship with Sister Maria develops and lasts until her death.....The remainder of the four characters are Matthew Ho who is Anglo Chinese, and grandson to Tom, who meets Dawn Stone on her maiden flight to Hong Kong. Their lives become completely entwined as they, in one way and another fight for survival.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon

This has finally made it to the top of Mountain TBR! A fascinating account of the military and sexual underworld of London during 18th Century, and with focus on Lord John from the Outlander Series, who sets about trying to establish if his cousin will marry Trevelyan, who it seems has a transmitted there is the event of a missing soldier who is found murdered...... Can be read as a standalone book from the Outlander Series, which is equally fascinating!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Slippey when wet by Martin Goodman

I wasn't sure just what to make of this book, but nonetheless, it was a compelling read. The story of Maggie who is eccentric to say the least, who, upon hearing that her husband has died in another woman's bed then manages to put her dead husband into the car and drive him home. If that wasn't strange enough Maggie then leaves home without burying her husband, making arrangements with her grand daughter to send the ashes to her in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, Maggie befriends a young man, Seppen, and eventually seduces him, before leaving for Thailand where she scatters her husband's ashes. Although I found the book in places strange, there was something about it that made me devour it in just over two days.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

It's My Party and I'll Knit If I Want To! by Sharon Aris

An amusing and light hearted look at knitting. For me it was nice that it focused on knitting in Australia, a Country close to my heart. It didn't make we want to rush out and grab my needles, but it did make me realise that I miss my Aussie family more than I thought! - I enjoyed the mini biographies of those being interviewed and it was good to get pointers towards mailing lists and web sites.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

The very gentle story of Lena Fleet, who has made a promise with God. That she will stop sleeping with every boy she meets, move and not return to her home town and she will not tell lies, all she asks from God is that her secret remains that way.....all was OK until she met the love of her life.....

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka

The very gentle story of Lakshmi, who has an arranged marriage to Ayah a widower with two children. Lakshmi returns to Malaysia with her new husband and finds that financially things are not as they were promised and so follows a life of hardship, love, duty and family life. The book follows the family from their six children and various spouses, hardships and the Second World War when the Japanese invaded, and the shocking atrocities that occurred, and the diaries that one of Lakshmi's children leaves behind

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Inkheart by Cornealia Funke

I found this a bit of a slog to get into, but once I had established exactly what the issues of Dustfinger, and Meg's missing mother were, I found that I enjoyed the book more; I guess I am an impatient reader! The book is about a story, set within a story, which has the potential to be complicated for a child, remembering that this is a children's book. There is a special relationship between Meg and her father Mo, with his secret friendship with Dustfinger, and their secret world. There is also the character of Aunt Elinor and her wonderful, wonderful library of books.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Blood Orange Brewing (Tea Shop Mysteries) by Laura Childs

Delaine Dish hosts a benefit candlelit evening at a house which is in the process of being donated to the Historical Society. A grisely discovery is made as soon as the recital breaks for refreshments - a member of the group has been murdered. Theodosia, owner of the Tea Shop, simply has to investigate......

One of the best of the Tea Shop Mysteries, with an ending that I didn't see coming.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Life Planner (Thought Catcher) by Jennifer Percival

From the back cover:

If you:

* Make plans only to find other things take over

* Juggle commitments such as work and relationships

* Wonder when you will have time for yourself

* Find life does not turn out the way you expect

this book will help you find creative solutions.

Life Planner helps you understand yourself and turn your goals into reality by exploring:

* Your life as it is now

* Where you want to be

* The skills you need to get there

Life Planner is a new type of self-help workbook which combines though-provoking text and exercises to help you achieve your goals.

What a fabulous book. I took opportunity to work through the various sections, which then gave rise to me analysing my work situation and reflecting on it and enabling me to develop further for the future.

The web site associated to the books is here

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Plant ~ Brunnera macrophylla ~ 'Betty Bowring'

In June 2006 I wrote the following entry on my blog

"I am always interested as why some things are named after specific people, I clearly have an enquiring mind!, so this one was no exception, and as the surname of BOWRING appears in my family tree I simply "had" to record it.

Brunnera macrophylla 'Betty Bowring' is a superb white flowered brunnera. The white flowers emerge in early spring and grow taller as the leaves come up. Then the dark green heart shaped leaves form superb groundcover in summer. The height is about 18 inches.

But who was Betty Bowing & why?"

Today I received an email from the daughter of Betty Bowring, how wonderful is that? Here is what she said:

"This plant first appeared in my garden it seeded itself from the blue Brunnera - not sure of this name - and was given to my mum who passed it on as gardeners do and it went to someone who said it was a new one to them. It was taken to Covent Garden where it didn't have a name so it was traced back to my mum and it was decided to call it after her."

So, the Betty Bowring was actually named in the 20th Century and by a strange coincidence, there is a further, somewhat interesting link to the surname of IRONSIDE which also appears in my family history.

I never ceased to be astounded at the power of the internet - it is truly wonderful!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

More Than a Year in Time by Jane Lassen

6th Nov 2009

I have received a letter today from the author asking me to remove, what was a non offensive book review. I have removed it out of courtesy for the aurthor, but am somewhat bemused at the request as the original post was loaded to Blogger more than 12 months ago. The author has located my postal address, does not want to engage in any further communications as did not provide me with any contact details.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Those Baby Blues by Helen Conrad (Hometown Reunion) - Book 5

Paul Chambers is a doctor, who has returned to his home town in search of a wife and a new beginning. Planning to turn the home he has inherited into a new clinic with living quarters he encounters resistance from one of his tenants.......

Book 5 of 12 in this romance series, but can be a stand alone read. Set in the fictional town of Tyler.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Sweetwater by Dorothy Garlock

A very gentle 19th century love story. Set in Sweetwater, Wyoming Territory in the mid 1860s. Jenny is a teacher, fleeing with her young sisters from Pennsylvania, where the young sisters had had a very hard life at the hands of the husband of their elder sister. Fleeing to another county where, if she can handle the hardships for 5 years, Jenny will be able to buy some land. Teaching in the Indian territory is not going to be easy, however, the difficulties of life are not easy caused by not the Indians,but by the local reservation agent who is purely at the beck and call of his father in law. Both are nasty men, who will stop at nothing to get what they want. A local man Trell will help them cope with the hardships of their new home. He stumbles across a young girl whose family has been torn apart by the agent's men, and she and her grandmother flea to Jenny for not only safety but also that they can help Jenny. A firm friendship is formed by all of them, then Trell's brother enters the scene....

A very gentle novel, I really enjoyed the upbeat behavior of Jenny, who was possibly a woman before her time

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels

Purchased last year at our trip to Hay On Wye, this was purchased from the wonderful outside bookshop and has sat balanced on top of mount TBR. Being an ex library copy it has the distinctive yellow stickers on the spine of the book denoting the classification of Horror. Well, not sure I agree with horror, possibly mystery.

Rachel works for a wonderful store in the US that sells vintage quilts and clothes. The family are just about to head away for Christmas when they are almost burgled. Rachel moves into the home above the shop whilst the family are away for safety of both her and the quilts, that are somehow wrapped up in the story. There is a hint of quilt history, some use of genealogical records and a hint of white magic.

All in all, an enjoyable read and it does focus a lot more on the history of the quilts than on the "evil" side of things. I had not realised that this is part of a series, so I might try and read the others when I have chance.

Amish Country Crossroads by Beverly Lewis

26th September 2007 - The Postcard

I read a brief synopsis somewhere and was immediately interested in the storyline. I knew virtually nothing about the Amish religion & way of life, but a quick search of this web page gave some background information.

The Postcard is the story or Rachel. She is happily married with a son and daughter and is expecting her third child. They are all set to provide for their expanding family with talk of buying farm land, when on market day their horse is spooked and Rachel's husband and son are killed in an accident. Rachel suffers a miscarriage and the effects from seeing the accident, affects her so that she becomes blind.

A young reporter sent to the region to undertake a story on the lives & beliefs of the Amish people. He checks into a guest house owned by Rachel's parents and where Rachel and her daughter reside. In his room he enjoys the lovely old writing bureau, and on further investigation discovers a postcard.

The report, Philip sets about finding out about the postcard, who wrote it and who it was written to. The postcard writer, by coincidence is the Uncle of Rachel, with the help of someone within the community he locates the person for whom the postcard was intended.

A very gentile story of love and of the Amish way of life. There were biblical references, but the storyline was enjoyable and I particularly enjoyed the research theme.

27th September 2007 - The Crossroad

This continues the story of Rachel and her daughter Annie, living in the midst of an Amish community. Philip, the reporter who undertook an article in The Postcard has returned home and continues to think about Rachel and her blindness. He so much wants to help Rachel overcome her situation. Again another gentle story dealing with the Amish community, the beliefs of such a community.

28th September 2007 - The Sanctuary

Another story set in the Amish community, although not connected to the earlier two stories. This has more of a thriller style to it. Melissa is hiding for something. Happily married she has not shared her situation with her husband and suddenly she finds that she has to flea to safety. She arrives at a bed & breakfast in an Amish community and tries to overcome her situation and fears. She eventually makes contact with her link in the FBI and somehow finds that her beloved husband is caught up the world she is fleaing from.

Not as good a storyline as the earlier two, but nonetheless enjoyable.

Monday, 24 September 2007

September on the telly!

I'm not a huge fan of the TV, but September is proving to be a great month! Firstly, Who do you think you are? is back for a fourth series. Whilst, there is some broadcasting stretches, and the genealogical world is critical, it does what it is intended to do - entertain and encourage others to research their ancestry. Unless you are obsessed with it like me, then it just feeds a very pleasant obsession!

....and Michael Palin is back for another "must watch" series - New Europe where he travels around the new Countries of Europe and visits some old ones!

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman

The storyline of a thriller, but very long winded & disjointed, views echoed by previous readers. Not the best book I have read, but something did compel me to finish reading it.

Friday, 21 September 2007

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The gentle story about the Nolan family with particular focus on Francie. Set in the early part of the 20th century in Brooklyn N.Y. The story of family & problems of the time.

Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle

A slightly different tempo to the first book in the series,which I think made it a better and stronger book.

Clare joins an online dating website as a way of ensuring her daughter is safe, she then hosts at the coffeehouse, a series of what we in the UK would call speed dating events, but then three murders happen, all that are possibly made to look like suicide.....Clare then meets and falls in love with someone known to the three victims, is there a chance that Clare could be number four?.....

On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

The first in this coffee house series. Clare Cosi is a divorcee, with a daughter about to head off to train as a chef. Tempted by an offer to run with a share in the businss owned by her ex mother in law, Clare returns to New York. On her first morning, following her move Clare turns up to the coffee shop expecting to find it open, but discovers it closed. She then finds the body of her assistant manager in the basement, not dead, but certainly very badly hurt. Add to the mix an ex husband, an interesting detective and a curious Clare we have the makings off, not a strong latte, but of a coffeehouse murder......

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton

Allison, a craft designer with a promising career ahead of her, is found dead in her apartment by Megan and Kellie. Something does not feel right, and all the evidence the police have points to Allison taking her own life, Kellie embarks on a journey to discover the truth. Meanwhile, life for Kellie is changing, she takes on the clients of another town person, and gives her notice into the firm in DC whom she has been working for, and the lawyer wading through the estates of both her aunt and cousin, finally completes his task, plus the relationship with Steve, is going to the next level, or is it......

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Needled to death by Maggie Sefton

Kellie finds her friend, Vicki, murdered at her alpaca farm. As a way of helping Vicki's daughter daughter get the accounts ready for her lawyer,then while Kellie is away, the daughter is murdered, after discovering there are some inconsistancies with her mother's bank accounts. Meanwhile, the solicitor dealing with Kelly's aunt and cousin's estate, suggests that Kellie heads off to see the ranch and the cattle she has inherited. Will Kellie get it together with Steve?.......

Friday, 14 September 2007

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

The first in the series, and what a great book - I'm glad I bought the other two in the series!

Kate has returned to the town when she spent some time growing up. She has inherited from her Aunt a lovely cottage, following her aunt's murder, add to that the appearance of a distant cousin, and a missing family quilt, then another death........

A Misty Mourning by Rett MacPherson

Torie and her grandmother embark on a trip to their ancestral roots, and have been invited to stay with the a family friend, Clarissa. Having spent one night in the house of Clarissa, run as a bed and breakfast, Torie finds Clarissa dead. Torie becomes chief suspect, as she found the body and was seen removing a pillow from the deceased face......Torie teams up with her cousin Elliot and grandmother to find the answers to some quiet old questions and to clear her name.

Another great story - looking forward to reading more in the series.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Anyone for a cuppa?

Several weeks ago, I walked pass a small antique shop in town when I spotted a delightful, what I believed to be a coffee set. I commented to Mum, that it matched a tea set she had inherited from my grandmother. I resisted buying it. Then last week Mum asked me if I had seen the coffee set again. I said I had, and wasn't sure whether to buy it or not. It would complement the set that Mum had. Mum then suggested that she ring and ask the shop to reserve it for me and If I picked it up she would buy me the coffee set as a belated anniversary present and give me the tea set that she had. I was overwhelmed. So, on Saturday, I wandered into town and bought the coffee set.

Markings on the bottom.

Then later over the weekend Mum gave me the bits that we had inherited.

But this time the markings on the bottom are different, but very clearly the same design.

I guess this dates to the mid 1930s.

Silenced by Syrah by Michele Scott

Derek, owner of the vineyard & resturant has co-written a cook book with a well known chef. All is going to plan until the chef is murdered. His assistant seems particularly upset, were they romatically involved? Nicki has to find out - she establishes that the assistant is in fact his long lost daughter and inherits the whole of the estate, then there is the publishing company, a solicitor and the chef's agent. Which one is responsible....... Nicki is continuing with the mixed emotions of who she wants a relationship with, Derek who wants her to go to Australia with him, or Andres who wants her to go to Spain with him.....decisions, decisions.........

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

Continuing the story of inquisitive Nicki. Her friend, Isobel, is asked to cater for a wedding. Alas the groom is Isobel's ex boyfriend. If that wasn't enough, the bride is murdered and Isobel is arrested.....Nicki is beginning to battle with her growing affections for not only her boss Derek but also Isobel's brother the sexy Andres.

Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott

The first in the wine lovers series. Nicki a failed actress is waiting tables, she by chance meets the owner of a vineyard and accepts the offer of a job managing part of the business. If only it was that simple, having met one of the star employees and the accountant, they both wind up murdered and Nicki can not resist trying to solve it......

With a nice mix of recipes and wine pairings, I am looking forward to more in the series.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Family Skeltons by Rett MacPherson

The first time I have read anything in the series and I am delighted there are several more set in the genealogical world of Torie o'Shea.

Torie is a historical guide and genealogist. She is asked to undertake some research for someone; to find out about Norah's father, of whom she has a few details from her mother and a photograph. As she starts to research instead of finding, as Norah believes that her father is deceased, he is well and living not too far from Norah. As Torie is about to make contact with Norah and inform her, Norah is murdered and Torie finds the body.......

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Susannah's Garden by Debbie Macomber

We first see a glimpse of Susannah in Back on Blossom Street. This is the story of Susannah, life before the flower shop, with her husband Joe, daughter Chrissie, her recently widowed mother Vivian, not to mention a whole pile of ghosts from the past.

Susannah is confronted with her mother, who is gradually becoming frail, she starts to talk of meeting her husband, well he comes to her in not a dream, but I guess as a spirit. Susannah believes that she needs to get her mother placed in an assisted care facility, where she can be looked after. Susannah, comes to terms with the death of her father, she reflects on her relationship with him and with her brother who died 30 years previously and her school boyfriend who wrote to her one summer then stopped. Susannah rebuilds the relationship with her old school friends, and feels that she needs to lay some ghosts to rest, except that all is not as it appears to be......

Another delightful read from Debbie Macomber, who has a real skill of being able to identify with genuine emotions & fears.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Puppet Maker by P M Mason

I had seen a review of this book in a copy of the Pharmaceutical Journal several years ago. I recently purchased this one and devoured in about 2 days!

Arnis is a widower, with two grown up sons who lives with his mother in London. He has a small GPs practice. Arnis never knew his father, who was deported to Siberia in 1941 before he was born. He meets the relative of a friend who knew his father and shows Arnis an old photo. Inspired by the photo to find out exactly what happened to his father, Arnis starts to make gentle enquiries. Latvia is now free from Soviet power and gradually the KGB files are being opened and are now to some degree accessible. Arnis and his mother return to Latvia to live, Arnis builds up a small medical practice whilst gently making further enquiries about his father, keeping the details from his mohter, who is always very careful about what she discloses. They visit the village where his mother and father lived, and having been requested to pack a shovel in the boot of the car, start digging in the garden area of their former home. There under the ground is a sack which is removed to the safety of the car. Having explored the contents of the sack they discover a tea set hidden by his mother and a note from his father who had returned to Latvia in 1947 only to find his wife and son have gone. Is the note genuine? As research reveals the note is genuine, and there are further clues to Arnis' genealogy in an old puppet carved by his father. As in all cases of researching this kind of history with each answer several more questions and mysteries appear, but does Arnis solve his genealogical puzzle in the end?

This is a gentle story of identity and roots.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede

This was an incredibly inspiring and thought provoking book. The kindness displayed by the population of Gander to so many people who were passengers on the planes that could not enter US air space is overwhelming. I was touched by many of the stories - Orthodox Jewish people, and the the story of the Jewish chap who had lived in Newfoundland since the War years and not told his wife he was Jewish, the lady who left complete strangers in her home to shower inviting them to rest and relax and to simply close the door when they left. The trust of the Newfoundlanders during a time filled with mistrust was amazing. Not to mention the story of the young couple bringing back to the US their adopted daughter and of course the couple whose son was a firefighter in New York.

There are days in history and our lifetimes that we can always remember exactly what we were doing at the very moment the news broke, at about 3pm UK time. The day of 9/11, I spent in a series of meetings, the last one at a Doctors practice, as one of the company's branches has a close relationship with the practice. As I was leaving the news was announced over the radio, and all the staff rushed to the staffing area to put the TV on. We all stood in complete disbelief watching the images, asking why?

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

1940s Day at Ramsey

We visited some friends over the weekend in rural Cambridgeshire and were invited along to a 1940s day at Ramsey. Some people dress in 1940s clothes, either civilian or military and others, including myself simply wore modern attire but soaked up the enthusiasm of others. There were a selection of military vehicles, mainly representing the US & UK Military, 1940s music and various stalls to look at and enjoy. The highlight of the 1940s day was the Lancaster Bomber that flew over the event, believed to be the last one in the country.

It was a very good day and could only have been really improved with some sunshine!

Here are some more details

The photos are on Flickr

In Search of Henry by Arnold Powell

This book was a page turner. Written on almost two levels, Firstly set in Baltimore 1916 is the story of Henry, a young man of Jewish faith, who migrates with his widowed mother from England to the US to be near his married sister, leaving several siblings in England. Henry meets Claire, a young woman, a talented pianist who follows the Roman Catholic faith. After a courtship of nearly two years the couple marry in secret and eventually tell both families. Henry's mother and sisters, although not overly happy, begin to accept Claire, whilst Claire's parents do the opposite and disown her. They couple have two children and all is well until Henry contracts an illness which leaves him a resident in a Psychiatric hospital, a shadow of his former self. Claire, looks at her options and files for divorce although never stops loving Henry and remarries, out of fondness for an old school friend and necessity.

The second stage of the story is set in the late 1990s and early 2000s, around the research of a descendant of one of the siblings of Henry left in England. Alf starts to research his ancestry following the birth of his young son. He meets a fellow descendant and together they research the lives of Henry and his ancestors, who migrated to England from Poland. From research they learn of the divorce of Claire and of the death of Henry, but after they have started corresponding with one of Claire's grandchildren, and the divorce was never mentioned. The lesson to be learn't is that sometimes our ancestors did thing out of necessity and in some cases falsified the facts and events.

The quest was to search for Henry and this Alf did. An interesting book, written in fiction style, based upon true events, with details of the records themselves and where they were located.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

It was an interesting concept, and written in an interesting style, encouraging Iranian women to share and discover things about taboo subject matter. Although not the best book I had read recently, it was a book that I did manage to zip through and like a previous reader on the book ring, found the ending a little strange.

Ancestors by Paul Crooks

"A moving tale of a black British family that travels through the ages from slavery and beyond" was the review written by Bonnie Greer,of the Guardian.

I saw this reviewed a while ago in one of the genealogical magazines. I recently had a look at my Amazon wishlist and decided to make the purchase. I am so glad I did. What an incrediable journey the author has taken. Written in a fictionalised style, based upon research both in the UK and Jamaica, this follows the lives and without a doubt, hardships of the the author's ancestors. Transported as a young boy into slavery from Africa to Jamaica. In Jamaica he is given a new name "August" and set to work as a slave on the various plantations. He marries the daughter of the woman who looked after him on the ship, and they together build their lives bound to a "master" up until the time the slaves were set free.

The journey of the author is detailed in the Appendix and the highs and lows of his research and the emotions that he experienced are ones that many family historians can identify with. This is quite simply a fascinating book and a labour of love.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Death on the Family Tree: A Family Tree Mystery by Patricia Sprinkle

Katherine, living on her own during the week because her husband works away with two children who have flown the nest, spends her time with Aunt Lucy. When Aunt Lucy passes away Katherine inherits 10 boxes of her belongings, mainly collected from her lifetime of travels, and a lovely desk. As Katherine looks through the boxes selecting what she will pass onto other people, she comes across a necklace and a journal written in german.

Katherine decides to find out more about the journal, she goes to the local archives and is soon absorbed into the world of research. Along the way she meets up with an old boyfriend who is now a history professor who expresses a real interest in the necklace and diary, perhaps too interested.... Coupled with the murder of a young lad who has a suspect background and the murder of Dutch an old family friend, plus her house burgled not once but twice Katherine has to solve her genealogical mystery.

A great read, accurately researched by the author and I hope there will be more by this author in this genealogical theme.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Murder in the Museum by Simon Brett

"Fethering sleuths Carole and Jude return in a wonderful mystery of bitter rivalries and deep-rooted jealousies; Bracketts, an Elizabethan house near the town of Fethering, is about to be turned into a museum. Once the home of celebrated poet Esmund Chadleigh, it has now been decided that it should become a shrine to his life and poetry. But the transition from house to museum is running far from smoothly. For a sudden discovery is made: Buried in the kitchen garden is a human skeleton. And before too long, there is a second body, not yet cold. Murder is no longer just a dreadful possibility, but a certainty. It is a case that will test the sleuthing powers of Board member Carole Seddon and her friend Jude as never before... "

My first book by this author. Slow to start, but an enjoyable read. The author had done research on some of the facts about the records office, and accurate facts, even in fiction books make enjoyable reading.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The Island by Victoria Hislop

This was a fabulous read. Selected from Mount TBR for a trip away on Friday night. I started reading in the early hours of Friday morning and finished in Scotland on Saturday. I could barely put down and did so reluctantly.

Alexis is about to go on holiday with her boyfriend, to the country of her mother's birth Greece. She knows nothing about her heritage and suggests that she might visit the village her mother was born in. Armed with a letter to one of her mother's friends Alexis embarks on a journey that she will never forget.

Having reached Crete she leaves her boyfriend heads to the village. She embarks on a trip to the nearby deserted island of Spinalonga, which she establishes is a former leper colony. She spends a few hours there and heads back to the village to seek out her mother's friend. She meets up with Fortini who then shares with her the loves and lives of her mother and the generations that went before her and the connection the family has to Spinalonga.

A wonderfully written book and is recommended.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

I bought this book at one of the charity shops in Newton Abbot. I was in the midst of a book which I left at home, as my meeting was delayed I had chance to search for a book to fill the time with. I started this in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and finished it this morning.

It is the very gentle story of Oswald, who is advised to move South. He does and is soon involved within the local community - Patsy who is neglected and had a bad leg, Roy and his redbird, who had been injured and wasn't likely to pull through, but did. I loved the characters - gentle and genuine and at a rather delicate time in my life this book was a gentle one to read, and was quite comforting.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Bond of Blood by Benjamin Nicholls

Continuing the story from Trial by Fire Tom discovers that he can travel in time, and manages to "meet" his ancestors and relatives in earlier times. What genealogist wouldn't like to visit earlier times and speak to their ancestors? Tom begins to care deeply for his ancestors and shares his concerns and excitements with his friend Mary. He learns that even though he can talk to his ancestors he can not change the events of history, and has to deal with all the emotions he feels when he witnesses events that he would rather not see. References to genealogical tools, such as the IGI and GRO the author has clearly done some research.

Written in a young adult style, this book continues the story and was very enjoyable. I am delighted to see from the author's web site that there is to be another three books in the series.

Bond of Blood


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