Well I am back and apologies once more for lack of posts but have been somewhat incapacitated this week of which more of another time.
With the heat the way it is at the moment I have spent a lot of time in a horizontal position reading. Too hot to do much else, not that I need an excuse and as I am getting a bit behind in my reviewing, here is a round up.
The Sleeper - Emily Barr. I have read several books by this author and have enjoyed them all. On the surface one could be tempted to view her work as a bit 'chick-litty'. Some of her covers have featured headless women wandering a beach etc and this can give an incorrect view of what the book is about. They start in a straightforward manner, wife/husband/divorce/argument/setting by the sea/setting in suburbia etc etc and then they morph into something slightly sinister with nasty creatures coming out the woodwork. The Sleeper is the same and I enjoyed it very much.
For a start it is set on a train. Very Christie. Put a group of characters on a train, all in an enclosed space and interacting with each other, sit back and see what happens. Well a murder is what happens. But in case you are thinking this is a sub Murder on the Orient Express you would be wrong. Prime suspect is Lara Finch, married to her devoted husband Sam and living in Cornwall. She is bored to tears and realises that she does not love her husband so when she is offered a new job that involves commuting to London on the sleeper train she leaps at the chance. There is a community of regulars on the train and before long she meets the fascinating Guy.....
An affair follows, then a death and Lara vanishes. A friend, Iris, does not believe she is the murderer and she sets out to see if she can find Lara and discover the truth. Iris has her own problems to deal with but by taking on this search and embarking on an adventure which takes her out of herself and out of England, she too finds what she is searching for.
Great read, well written and a real page turner. Recommended.
The Feast of Artemis - Anne Zouroudi. The next in the series featuring the Fat Man, Hermes Diaktoros, the mystery bringer of justice who comes with 'a higher authority' and set in Greece. Oh I love these books. The story is always intricate and fascinating and I love the settings, in villages on the Greek islands which are imbued with heat and hardship and azure skies and glittering seas. And the descriptions of the food!! Oh my goodness, drool, drool......
"Stavroula lifted the covers off the dishes revealing chicken in a walnut and coriander sauce, a salad of lentils dressed with red onion and yoghurt, and a spinach pilatf............for dessert a plum cake. The plums from the tree are sweet and she adds a little cinammon. A little honey drizzled over the top and some yoghurt on the side"
See what I mean?
Wherever Hermes visits he is there to mete out his own particular brand of justice and, in this case, he arrives in Dendra for a celebratory festival and finds a bitter feud between two families which runs deep through the people of the town and causes hatred and misery.
As always, he is able to bring a solution and peace to the local people and, as always, I loved every word.
And now for something completely different:
The Promise of Endless Summer. A collection of cricketing articles from the Daily Telegraph over the years and simply fascinating. Well, for cricket lovers anyway. Some of those written about I know, others I do not, but one and all they are full of interest and humour.
People who play cricket seem to have a wit and style all of their own which seems somewhat lacking in today's current England team with their all purpose response to journalists, their drilling in what they say in public etc. The days of carousing the night before a match and then turning up the next day and scoring a century are long gone and so have the great characters. But a lovely read.
I was always rather fond of one of our Prime Ministers (and I don't say that very often), John Major, and I think it was mainly because he loved cricket and also had a wife who loved opera. Not a combination one comes across in our Esteemed Leaders - Major was despised by everyone including his own party and I have always felt that he was secretly rather relieved when he lost his final election and could leave No 10.
In the morning he left Downing Street and in the afternoon was spotted at Lords with a pint of beer in his hand, watching the Test Match.
There is a man who has his priorities right I thought.
We will forget about his involvement with the ghastly Edwina Currie however.......................