Doing one of my catch ups with my reviews else I shall get miles behind. Here are the books I have managed to get through between bouts of coughing and hacking.
Katie Fforde - The Perfect Match and a perfect book for me to read one day when I was in bed and feeling rotten. Every Katie book has a different background be it antiques, catering, canal barges, stately homes (my favourite), gardening etc etc and in this one we meet Bella Castle an estate agent. An Estate Agent I hear you cry in a romantic novel?? Yes I know, thinking of the estate agents I have ever had dealings with the word romantic is not a description I would apply to any of them, but Bella is different. She really cares for her customers and really wants to find them a house that will suit and in which they will be happy. Hope she moves to my neighbourhood soon...
She is engaged to her boss, Nevil, who really is my idea of the archetypal estate agent, slick, slightly devious and out to make a quick buck and my apologies to all nice agents out there who may be reading this, but you are the exception to the rule. Bella knows deep down he is not for her and as he is clearly hiding a dodgy deal from her she worries more about their future. And then Dominic Thane the man who broke her heart earlier turns up. Oh dear. Well no prizes for guessing what happens and we all know it will but I do enjoy Katie's books and this was no exception.
The Burning - M R Hall. The latest in the series about Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper, all of which I have read with varying degrees of enjoyment and irritation. Enjoyment because they are well written and well plotted and very readable, but also irritation because she does go out of her way to make life hard for herself and all the usual cliches, broken marriage, estranged son, a bit of a maverick are all there. I have no knowledge of the extent of a coroner's powers but seems to me that she pushes it a bit. Found the last title a tad far fetched but this one much closer to home and not so outlandish and I found I liked it much more than the others. M R Hall is a male writer and certainly knows how to get into a woman's mindset in producing these books.
The Ruby Slippers - Keir Alexander. New York and bag lady Rose, stinky and smelly and avoided by all, is knocked down in a traffic accident and taken to hospital. Her nephew goes round to sort out her apartment and what does he find there? Beautifully wrapped up in a box are a pair of Ruby Slippers. THE ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. Now he knew his aunt worked in Hollywood but how did she come across these? and what is he to do with them? The story of these slippers touches many people and it is rather charming and delightful.
The Late Scholar - Jill Paton Walsh. The latest by this author in the continuing story of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I am a sucker for these. Peter is now the Duke of Denver and Harriet a Duchess, Bunter is still there and the trio are still together as they always will be one hopes. Called to Oxford to in his capacity as the Visitor to St Severin's to sort out an argument between the Fellows, he and Harriet find themselves back in their old haunts. Mysterious accidents, attempts at murder and murder follow and much though I adore these books I began to feel rather bogged down. Many of the murders follow the pattern as written in Harriet's crime novels and if you know these, well and good, if you don't then you are given rather an obvious explanation which gets a bit wearing after a while. The conversations were many, the ins and outs are myriad and I will admit to ending the book not really understanding who had down what and to whom and why. But anything to do with Peter and Harriet is wonderful. I was just a bit disappointed that is all.
I also read Tregarron's Daughter, the final title in the marvellous series by Madeleine Brent which is being republished by Souvenir Press, but more of that another day.
Off to London for a few days to see family, friends and celebrate my birthday and have fun.