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Found 8 results

  1. If you could meet any character from any book, who would you get to know? I would love to chat with Hermione Granger from Harry Potter; I feel as though she would have interesting stories and that we could relate to each other easily.
  2. We all have baggage. Real friends help you carry it. It’s 1983 in Boscobel, Wisconsin, in the southwestern corner of the state, known as the Driftless Area. Ellis Sayre is different. He’s a twelve year old orphaned Native American. His adoptive parents lost a son a few years ago and welcomed him to deal with their grief. While stealing day-old bread for a friend in need, Ellis and his two best friends—George and Mason—witness a murder by a local kingpin. Authorities disagree with their story. They call it made up. The boys are trapped, worried for their lives, sending them on a flight to Grandad’s Bluff in La Crosse, WI, along the Mississippi River. Two peripheral stories about Ellis Abbot—a World War II veteran, and Two Right Feet—an orphaned Native American during early 1800’s, are entwined to unearth Ellis Sayre’s roots. They combine to tell the truth. - I really enjoyed this book, there was mystery, there was confusion, there were surprises and there was a heartwarming account of friendship and what it is to be there for someone. It's brilliant and especially cosy to read this time of year!
  3. Our murder mystery novel book entitled 'Body in the Freezer' by Naks-Cos is published in Amazon. Please read it and write review. Synopsis: After seven years in prison for the murder of his partner Gopika, Vishnu still struggles with demons of the past. He still doesn’t believe his memory of that fateful night . . . or maybe he does, and the world doesn’t! Dr Sujata has offered to help Vishnu peel away the layers of confusion and emptiness and reconcile with the truth. But what is the truth? Will they find it? And if so, will Vishnu be ready to face it?!
  4. I'm surprised that there aren't any existing posts on the books in Imogen Robertson's entertaining 18th century mystery series, maybe there were once and they got lost in the great crash. Theft of Life is the fifth book featuring Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther. In the first book Harriet is the lively, curious and bored wife of a navy captain who is at sea and Gabriel is an anti-social anatomist. They meet and become friends when Harriet finds a body. One of the things that I particularly enjoy about this series is that there isn't a budding romance, Harriet is devoted to her husband and children, and if Crowther admires here he keeps it very close, instead they are good friends who enjoy each other's company. Theft of Life starts off with the body of a prominent slaver found pegged out in the grounds of St Paul's and it's initially assumed that one of London's negro community has enacted a revenge killing. Crowther and Westerman get involved and things aren't what they appear. It's an excellent, fast paced and satsfying read with a superb sense of period, I think it's probably the best in the series. Highly recommended. If you haven't read any of these books do start with the first though. While all thebooks in the series can be read as stand alones, each one refers back to events in pervious novels and this one in particular will give away some of what happened in the first in the series. Incidentally, this book absolutely sums up the problem I posted about before with calling this section Historical and Romance. Theft of Life is defintely historical, it could have a place in Mystery, one thing it isn't is Romance.
  5. Are the use and distribution of illicit drugs a part of your school’s culture? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. At some level, drug abuse and the dealing of drugs are a part of all secondary schools. As a school principal I face and address many challenges and problems, but for any principal, safety is a priority. Drug abuse among students brings the problem of drug use and distribution directly into the school and affects the health, well-being and safety of all students. I wrote Snowballs and Sinners in the aftermath of addressing a school-wide drug infestation. Although the thriller, Snowballs and Sinners, is fiction, the story is based on actual events and on real people. The story chronicles activities at a typical, suburban school and provides a glimpse into the drug subculture present in our schools today. Available at Amazon
  6. The Luminaries is a tale of lies and deceit, fraud and vengeance, set amongst the goldfields of Western New Zealand in the 1860s. It was a time when men had dreams of getting rich very quickly based as much on luck as on hard work. But just as some are content to rely on the odds, others are willing to change the odds in their favour by nefarious means. So when Walter Moody, a recent Scottish émigré, accidentally gatecrashes a clandestine meeting of twelve local businessmen, he is drawn into their various shady dealings. There is gold lost and found; a missing man; a dead drunk; a suicidal prostitute and a very sinister, scar-faced sea captain. There are tensions between the white settlers and the Chinese camp. Oh, and there is a token Maori. The writing, for the most part, is really good. The setting is conveyed well and the reader feels fully transported through space and time into a complex and authentic world. But, and it's a big But, the involvement of so many players makes the novel far too complicated and grinds the pace down to a glacial speed. Every player has to have a relationship with each of the other players, resulting in many events being played out multiple times from multiple perspectives. Moreover, the use of reportage to create a non-linear time structure heightens the feeling of repetition. When it seems that the novel has finally moved on, it gets brought back again and again and again. The twelve main characters are supposed to represent different signs of the zodiac and perhaps those who like astrology would recognise their traits and interactions. But for the lay reader, the characters seem rather indistinguishable and, frankly, not much more than a personification of their job. The novel may be long (830ish pages) but is so full of plotting that there is little real space for characterisation. This can result in people forming alliances or breaking pacts for no obvious reason. We find out what people do, but have little insight into why they do them. OK, some of the main players (apparently the planetary and terra firma characters) have some slight backstory, but the others (the stellar ones) simply are as they are. The pace does pick up eventually - after about two thirds of the novel - but what is not apparent from the page count is that this is actually the denouement. The many subsequent sections seem to be some kind of zodiacal obligation telling the reader nothing new and presenting historical events that had already been inferred. Moreover, as the sections wend their way to an end, the brief introductions to the chapters (as one finds in Victorian novels) grow longer and start to carry information in their own right, leaving brief the body of the section to carry only snippets of mercurial dialogue. This really is not a satisfactory way to end a plot-driven novel of this length. I am sure there is a good story buried somewhere in The Luminaries. But just like the thin person struggling to emerge from every fat person, sometimes dieting in not enough and bariatric surgery is needed. ***00
  7. Forgive this preamble to announcing my book release and thanks for bearing with me. In 2004 the novelist Tony Saint lamented, in the Telegraph, that he was not even the fifth best novelist in Waverton after his first novel had failed to reach the shortlist of the annual Waverton Good Read Award. Never heard of the WGRA? You are not alone. A little history, then. A family doctor in the village of La Cadière d’Azure, France, decided it might give his patients something to think about beyond their ailments if he got them all reading and voting on the latest novels. So Le Prix De La Cadière d’Azure was born and, although the prize is now discontinued, it inspired enterprising people from the village of Waverton (pop. 2000) in Cheshire to do the same. Publishers are invited to send debut novels by British authors to be read by dozens of villagers who create a long list, then a short list and then – voila – the winner. It’s one of the few literary prizes run by readers and is now in its eleventh year. Previous winners have included Mark Haddon for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Maria Lewycka for A History of Tractors in Ukrainian, and Tom Rob Smith for Child 44. There are also one or two winning authors that you’ve never heard of like … ahem … myself. The Waverton win came (a cheque and a splendid dinner – thank-you, Waverton) and went but then calamity: my publisher ceased trading and my literary agent changed career. I just hope it wasn’t all my fault. Despite the below-the-national-radar win and the collapse of my marketing and publishing support, I was delighted that out there, beyond the baying of the city, the steady readers of rural England had liked my novel. They say that the British comedian Norman Wisdom was big in Albania when he was unknown elsewhere and I like to think that I was once big in Waverton. I had no time in any case to think about the lack of national interest because in the villages of my home patch it was all bouquets and elderflower champagne. Deep in rural Rutland, in mink-and-manure Manton, villagers filled the village hall for my author talk and in Kibworth in Leicestershire the effervescent owner of the Kibworth Bookshop corralled locals into the pub for a book group evening over gin and beer. In tiny Arnesby, where thatch is as rampant as roses, I fielded questions that good family folk really want to know from an author, such as what his mother thinks of the swearing in his novel. In book groups in Knighton, a village long ago swallowed up by Leicester, we drank glass after glass of wine until we’d all forgotten why we were sitting there with a novel on our laps. In Woodhouse Eves, retirement village for philosophers it seemed, I was probably out of my depth. Nevertheless, I was flattered and grateful for those evenings with readers. Which finally leads me to say that my second novel, Fortunate, set in a Midlands town and in Zimbabwe, is now out. I’m conscious of the fact that it is just one of well over 100,000 books to be published this year in the UK but I will be more than happy to be big in a village - any village – once again. Thanks for reading. www.andrewjhsharp.co.uk ‘Unputdownable. An outstanding novel of love, courage and dangerous intrigue.’ Margaret Kaine.
  8. An unsolved mystery, ghosts, Victorian melodrama, the collection of numerous source documents and narrative strands. It sounds like something Sarah Waters might have written. What’s not to like? Quite a lot, actually. Some of the story lines are well written. The opening scenes, the tragic story of the Early Dawn in 1859, are told with a compelling urgency. The storm is real, the sea spray fills our nostrils. And then bump – we’re back on dry land following the story of the Briggs family who lost their loved ones from the Early Dawn. From this moment on, it is like wading through treacle. The language is deliberately impenetrable; any reference points are swathed in extraneous verbiage just to make them harder to grasp; the pace becomes glacial. Worst of all, it is boring. Then, after a brief and tantalising reference to the Mary Celeste, we find ourselves following a young Arthur Conan-Doyle on a ship bound for Africa. This ensures that any momentum that might have built in the Briggs section (if only…) is lost. The African section flits backwards and forwards, drifts from reality to dreams and back again. And it seems irrelevant, creating a distance between the text and the reader. So it carries on, section after interminable section. Some are more readable than others and, for a brief moment in the middle of the book, the reader feels that it might al be starting to make sense. But then we drift off into more blind alleys, following Arthur Conan-Doyle on a tour of the US and his encounter with a medium. It all unravels again. Names and pseudonyms change on a whim and relationships seem to be left deliberately obscure. There’s something about a book, but by this point I had given up trying to make sense of it all. The end, when it eventually comes, is a mercy. However, it does little to resolve anything. Like the Mary Celeste herself, the narrative just drifts. At the end, it is difficult to describe just what Valerie Martin might have been trying to write. It looks like something that presses all the buttons to win awards, but the incoherence suggests that Martin was not in proper control of her material. The lack of engagement with the reader made it an ordeal to complete – and it was too easy to put down in favour of alternative diversion. One can forgive bold ambition that doesn’t quite come off, but boring the reader is unforgivable. The Mary Celeste mystery is enigmatic enough to have deserved something better than this. **000
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