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cherrypie

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About cherrypie

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    Permanent Resident
  • Birthday 14/11/1961

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  • Interests
    Reading!!! Spectator sport (esp. tennis and cricket), gardening, travelling when possible, getting together with friends & family
  • Current Book
    The Sound and The Fury - William Faulkner

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  1. Bury Your Dead

    Three Pines sounds beautiful, especially in the snow. I am not sure that I would want to visit for too long though as I hate the cold and damp!! I think that I would also find it a little disappointing without all of the characters from the books being there. Louise Penny has a wonderful talent for creating very real and human characters. So much so that I the reader can almost feel as if I know them. That is one of the joys of following a series of books in this way for me. I think that it says a lot about the author of a book if they can make the reader really care about the outcome for their characters.
  2. what is everyone doing?

    I put the telly on early and watch a bit of the tennis each morning Momac but I must admit it is not quite the same for RG and I now that Andy is not playing. I am trying to watch some of the younger players and gain an interest in one or two of them. At least so far Kyle Edmunds is doing well. I feel that although he may have the game he will never have the mentality to go really far in one of the big tournaments.
  3. Well I thought that the last in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Brutal Telling, was good but I think that this book may be even better! I was gripped until the very end. It actually tells three stories regarding three different crimes. One is the continuation of the story told in the previous book and is investigated by Gamache's second in command Inspector Beauvoir who narrates this part of the book. The second concerns a crime that has happened in the recent past and the main part of the story is told by Gamache replaying a conversation over in his mind. The third is a current crime and takes place in Quebec city. A man has been brutally murdered in a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. The death opens a door to the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for years. I found the way in which Louise Penny managed to weave the three stories around one another really well done. I had to concentrate a bit but it was in no way a difficult read. Many of the characters from the previous books appear in this one even though the main part of the action does not take place in Three Pines. I was held by all three stories until the very end and cannot say that I guessed the climax of any of the three stories. When the climax of the three stories came I just could not put the book down. By the end of the book I was practically out of breath! I found the ending of all three stories quite heartbreaking as well as surprising. This is far more than a crime novel. It tells a lot about a part of Quebec history and taught me much apart the place that I did not know. All three crimes were cleverly told without being gory or using bad language but the best part of the book are the human stories. As I read each book I find myself caring more and more for many of the characters. I would certainly recommend this series to other readers. The first few books I found to be quite comfortable reads but as I go along I am finding that the books are getting better and better. Brilliant!
  4. This is the fifth book in The Inspector Gamache series and in my opinion by far and away the best. Unlike previous novels in this series the crime itself was very believable and far darker than I have come to expect. This novel takes the reader back to Three Pines following a different setting in the previous book and the usual group of villagers reappear. Both the members of Gamache's team and many of the villagers are becoming like old friends and story lines loosely run from book to book which I really like. When a dead body is discovered in the village bistro the villagers are all shocked. When no weapon, motive, suspect or even identity of the victim can be easily discovered Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are faced with the task of uncovering clues of the victim's past. Once again the book is very character driven and as much is learnt by watching and listening to members of the village as by any other means. As I have said in comparison with other books in this series this story is quite dark. It is also remarkably clever and very detailed. The reader has to concentrate all the time for fear of missing the odd little clue here or the odd little clue there. Unlike other books in the series I really did have no idea who the murderer was until the very end when all was explained. Even then I was not completely convinced that there was not going to be one last twist. My attention was held until the very last page! I found this book very hard to put down and would not hesitate to recommend it to other readers. When describing other books in the series I have suggested that regular readers of crime novels may find the crimes a little far fetched and the pace a little slower. Not so with this book. The author has managed to create a crime novel in which the crime and the solving of it holds the reader's attention as much as the characters and the views offered of human nature and behaviour. A very sophisticated crime novel in fact and a great read.
  5. This is the fourth in the Inspector Gamache series and is the first of the series in which the greatest part of the action takes place away from Three Pines. The wealthy Finney family get together each year at The Manoir Bellchasse, an exclusive hotel set in The Canadian Wilderness, to pay tribute to their late father. During their stay each year old secrets and bitter rivalries have a habit of resurfacing and this year's get together is to prove no different from previous year's! When a massive thunder storm hits the hotel following a heat wave this year proves to be a little different. After the storm a body is found in the grounds by one of the gardeners. Chief inspector Gamache of the Surete du Qu├ębec and his wife happen to be staying at the hotel along with the Finney family and when the hotel is locked down he calls his usual team to help him solve the murder. Three Pines is not left out completely however as two members of the Finney family are residents of the village and have played parts in all three of the previous stories. Gamache knows that as nobody is allowed to leave the murderer is cornered and could strike again so solving the crime quickly is required. Once again the joy of this book for me are the characters and their relationships with one another along with the pictures the reader is able to build up of human nature itself. As usual Gamache is a brilliant leading man and somebody who, if he actually existed, I would love to be able to sit down with over a quiet drink and chat to. Once again the crime itself is not the most important part of this book and although all is explained clearly leaving the reader in no doubt as to what has happened the explanation is a little far fetched to say the least. For me this is a little unimportant but I do realise that readers of more common crime novels may find the Gamache series a little slow moving for their tastes. Although this series is one that I would freely recommend to other readers I would have point out the relatively slow pace of the novels.
  6. what is everyone doing?

    Sorry that your concert was not as enjoyable as last year Meg. It does sound as if you still had a lovely time though. I don't blame you for not wanting to try your hand at the skating I must admit. RG will tell you that I have no rhythm or balance whatsoever so would never manage to stay on my feet! Our soup lunch on Wednesday went off very well. Although there were probably less people there this month than last many people are coming back each month. If nothing else it gives some of the more isolated members of our community a chance to get together and have a good natter. On Thursday a group of us from our church visited a residential home for the elderly in our town to sing carols to the residents. We sang for about an hour managing to fit in most of the really traditional carols. Many of the residents sang along even without the song sheets. It seems that no matter what age we reach many of the things we learn in childhood stay with us. Apart from the soup lunch and the singing I have spent the last two days writing cards and wrapping presents. The only presents not wrapped now are those from myself to RG. He had a good finish at work today and so arrived home early just as I got to the stage of wrapping his presents! He is now off for the next eleven days using up owed leave so his presents may not be wrapped until the last minute. As I think it unlikely that he has even bought me a present so far I still not think that I am doing too badly!!
  7. what is everyone doing?

    RG and I have been making soup today for the soup lunch at our church tomorrow. I had made the stock in advance by boiling the carcasses of two chickens so that at least was in the freezer. I had also frozen veg left over from previous meals, still finding cooking for only two a bit difficult!! All I needed to do was add more veg and boil in two very large pans for a couple of hours. Sounds easy but by the time it had all been put through the blender, cream added, put into containers, taken round to the church kitchen and the clearing up done a large chunk of the day had gone. I had intended doing a few jobs afterwards but my back ached a fair bit after all the standing so I watched La La Land instead! More fun then housework and I felt that I deserved it!
  8. This is the third in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and once again it is mainly set in the small Quebec village of Three Pines. Many of the usual characters appear and are becoming more and more familiar. The reader is made aware of the thoughts and feelings of many of the characters. Once again the foibles of human nature play as much a part in the content of the book as the details of the crime. In this book however issues beyond the crime itself play a part and details of the Inspector's earlier career emerge. The crime itself happens at a seance in an old house on the edges of the village. Once again the crime takes place in a room full of people but no witnesses are available and there are few clues. Anybody present at the seance could have committed the crime apart from the victim of course! Once again the book is very character driven and the details of the crime are clever rather than totally believable. Being set at a seance in an old abandoned house the book is quite creepy in places but far from terrifying. As I continue with this series I find myself liking many of the characters more and more. They really are a bit of an oddly assorted bunch but then I guess that such groups of people often are. Once again I would be happy to recommend this book but would point out that as crime novels go it really is on the gentle clever side rather than the brutal or gory! I think that I for one am becoming addicted!
  9. This is the second book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and once again is set in the Quebec village of Three Pines. Many of the characters who appeared in the first book also appear in this one, both amongst the villagers and the Inspector's team. Once again the book is as much about the characters involved and human nature in general as it is about any crime. Gamache himself is really beginning to grow on me as are many of the other characters and they are beginning to feel a little like old friends. A series like this is just great for me as I love character driven books and this series promises to be a favourite. The crime itself is set in deep winter and concerns an electrocuted body. It seems to be the perfect crime as although it happened in a crowd of people there appears to be no witnesses or clues. When the inspector starts to untangle the victims past however he discovers a history filled with enemies and shadows. The crime itself is a little bit far fetched but quite clever. The writer drops little clues as she goes along. This is an enjoyable series but if you are looking for hard hitting crime writing I doubt this is for you. It really is much gentler than that. In many ways I think of Louise penny as a modern day Agatha Christie. I would certainly recommend this book and the series.
  10. what is everyone doing?

    Have had a lovely weekend so far. Yesterday RG and I attended an Advent study day at our church entitled Backwards from Christmas. There were about a dozen of us. We started with morning prayer then got stuck into the study session. We covered a fair amount of ground in three hours then came home and studied some more! We are lucky to have each other to discuss our study with. As well as being informative these sessions are always good fun too! Today was our Christingle service and our daughter, son-in-law and our new granddaughter joined us at church. Ellie's first time at church. Seeing her being taken up to be blessed bought tears to our eyes. It does not seem five minutes ago that we used to take our daughter up with her toy dog. The dog was always blessed too! At coffee after the service Ellie was introduced to everyone with her proud grandparents looking on. We still can't stop smiling!
  11. what is everyone doing?

    Hi everyone, sorry for my long absence but we have had rather a lot going on recently. The last five weeks of our daughter's pregnancy proved to be a little bit of a worrying time and so we were needed to help with hospital appointments. However little Elinor Anne arrived safely on 10th of November following a pretty straightforward labour. She was three days early and weighed a healthy 7 pound 5! She is beautiful and as you can imagine both RG and I are totally besotted. We have spent a fair amount of time at our daughter's over the last two weeks helping out with washing, ironing, meals, shopping etc. etc.. our son in law goes back to work this week so I guess we will be needed a bit in the week to come too. At least it gives us plenty of time for cuddles. I hope to try to catch up on BGO news a bit over the next week. I will also try to post a few pictures on the group FB page! Neither RG or I have had much chance for reading recently so we hope to catch up a bit on that over the next few weeks. Hope all is good with everyone else.
  12. what is everyone doing?

    RG does all his mum's banking, bill paying and shopping for her online. She has never even used a debit card unfortunately. We just thank heavens for the internet as she lives 25 miles away from us.
  13. what is everyone doing?

    That is exactly the problem we have with RG's mum. She has been on her own for a couple of years now and is completely reliant on RG and I. When she was first on her own she could not even turn the telly on! We had so many phone calls about the telly and as it is her only outlet it was a big worry. In the end RG ordered her a new telly with a built in freeview box. At least now she can watch Drama and ITV 3 to her hearts content. We have given up trying to get her out now. She has not been out since our daughter's wedding last year. She refused to come to the baby shower. When we suggested a day centre or something similar she flatly refused!
  14. what is everyone doing?

    It is such a shame that gentlemen hold back from coming to these things. They miss out. RG and I took invitations out to certain people such as those who have been bereaved this year. Two gentlemen came one of which is not a church goer. RG already visits him every so often so he knew someone to start with and we all made sure that he was never on his own. He seemed to really enjoy it and said that he intended coming next month. Hopefully as word gets around the lunch will grow.
  15. The Shroud

    I have read a few other novels by this author in the last few months and had great hopes for this book. The novel is about an elderly academic named Axel Vander who is living in retirement on the west coast of America when he receives a letter from a young women named Cas Cleave. The letter suggests that the young women who is unknown to Axel has knowledge of secrets that Axel has been hiding for fifty years or more. The two arrange to meet in Turin. Cas is a very troubled young women who is finding her life a burden and is looking for a reason to remain. The meeting throws Axel into emotional turmoil and one would think that it can only end in disaster. Like the other novels that I have read by this author this book is beautifully written. The language used would alone encourage me to read more books by this author. However, unlike the others that I have read, I found this one a little difficult to follow at times. So much so that by yesterday evening when I finally finished it I wondered just how much of the in-depth meaning of the book I had actually understood. RG and I have been very busy over the last few weeks so this book has been read in fits and starts which probably did not help me. I suspect that it is a book which needs to be read when the reader can devote time and attention to it. Having said that it is still a book that I have enjoyed and would be happy to encourage others to read. Like his other books there is an atmosphere of deep pathos surrounding the characters. The author introduces subjects that others may shy away from and is not afraid to deal with the deepest of emotions. I always feel that such subjects and emotions are in safe hands when dealt with by Banville. He has no heavy handed style which could make such subjects difficult to read about and although I would not say that his books are easy reading, far from it in fact, they tend not to be heavy going either. Certainly an author that I would recommend.
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