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Greaders please review August 13 books

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 17 Sep 2013 18:28

At last!
Review of Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry.

A murder mystery set in Buckingham Palace, what an intriguing idea. The main 'hero' is Inspector Thomas Pitt, ably assisted by his twenty-one year old, four foot eleven and a half inch all purpose maid, Gracie Phipps.

Visitors to the Place are four important couples with interesting names and convoluted relationships. They are there to discuss and get support for a new railway to be built in Africa.## A woman's body is found is a linen cupboard. Suspicions abound - who has murdered the woman and why?
Inspector Pitt and young Gracie (working undercover) investigate in Buckingham Palace, while Pitt's boss asks around in the halls of power and elsewhere.
We even get to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales during the investigation.

A great who-dun-it -
I was able to solve some of the mystery - but can you do better.

An enjoyable read, I would have loved to see the clothing described in the book, as well as the rooms of Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps not a book for the squeamish.

Sorry it's so late - I have had a lot on my plate recently.


AnninGlos Report 31 Aug 2013 16:00

No rush Tess


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 31 Aug 2013 11:46

Have now started reading Buckingham Palace Gardens! :-D :-D :-D

Yes, I know it is rather late.

Will be back with review soon - but have grandsons with me at the moment - so might have to wait till they go home.

Jill in France

Jill in France Report 25 Aug 2013 08:44

The Beach cafe by Lucy Diamond
A very easy going read and having spent a lot of time in Cornwall, married into a Cornish family from Falmouth and Helston, realy enjoyed reading a book set in Cornwall.
As said before, it was easy to feel part of it all and and for a nice relaxing type of book, will look for others by Lucy Diamond.
With puppy Beau in the family its like having a new baby so not much time to read much but have taken note of other reviews and will catch up on some other the other books soon

x Jill


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 24 Aug 2013 18:17

Second review.

The Beach Café by Lucy Diamond.

A story with a light touch set in Beautiful Cornwall. It is told by Evie, who inherits a Café from her beloved Aunt Jo.
All the trials and tribulations, plus her observations of people and events were marvellous word pictures, that I felt that I was there with her.

I was interested from first to last (not least because a good friend once owned and ran a small café in Cornwall) and really wanted things in both her love and work life, to go well.
Would also have liked to visit The Beach Café myself and met some of the people she spoke about.

I really enjoyed reading this delightful book. Will look out for more by the same author.

Now - when can I book a holiday to Cornwall to see my friend??


Pammy51 Report 23 Aug 2013 20:27

The Detectives Daughter
This book took quite a bit of concentration to follow the plot but it was well crafted. A bit scary in places and, although there were quite a few clues, I wasn't sure until the end. There's a chill about the book – Stella's character, the weather, not sure if I enjoyed it but I did have to read on to the end.finish it.


Pammy51 Report 23 Aug 2013 20:10

Mini crisis all sorted thanks, I hope!
Always You
I wasn't sure at first, the two lovers were in such a grubby place, how could this be a love story across the years but it developed really well. I liked the way Sarah and Cahals' stories were told partly in flash back so you didn't know staight away how they had split. The characters drew you in,and I really wanted them to get together although I too felt the ending was rather pat. A good holiday read


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 23 Aug 2013 15:43

The Detective's Daughter is not available in Birmingham Libraries (I would have liked to read it). So got Always You and The Beach Café.

First Review -
Always You by Erin Kaye

Maybe I wasn't in the right sort of mood when I read this book. So instead of loving it - I liked it
The setting in Northern Ireland, with its religious divide was interesting. I wished I was able to see some of the places where Sarah met her friends, especially the 'art installations' and reckon that they would have jogged the memory of anyone who had already seen them.
However, my slight quibble with the story is that the 'lost love' part of Sarah's story seem to completely take over. I know that it was a story about first love - lost love- and second chances - but I didn't feel that I got to know the whole woman and wanted to know more other parts of her life - what was 'essence of Sarah'?
All we got was a person grieving for a lost love.

A pleasant book with a happy ending - but could have been better.


Berona Report 23 Aug 2013 01:30

Always You
How different things might have been. This has happened many times in real life. I liked the story, although not my usual kind of entertainment - but I could see how interference from the family can not always be the wisest way to go.

The Detective's Daughter
Maybe I've been busy, but I don't seem to have been able to get into this properly. It seems to jump from one story to another. Although that happens with many books, I keep getting my time mixed, past with present. Still reading, so not really qualified to give a final opinion.


AnninGlos Report 22 Aug 2013 22:02

No problem Pammy, hope all will be well


Pammy51 Report 22 Aug 2013 21:26

Sorry, Ann, small family crisis today so will post tomorrow


AnninGlos Report 22 Aug 2013 20:33

You should go to Cornwall one day Mersey it is lovely


Mersey Report 22 Aug 2013 18:24

Some Day I'll Find you - Richard Madeley

I was pleasantly surprised to find I completely drawn to this book.

The story jumps back between past and present and tells us the story of Diana and James in 1940. James is hot down in his plane on their wedding night.Poor Diana finds herself pregnant and alone . The story then moves on 10 years later. Mystery , intrigue, love and deceit is how I would describe this book.

Richard Madeley surprised me in his writing and I really did not think I would enjoy it, I was totally wrong - highly recommended.

The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond

All the characters stood out on the page of this book. Evie is not that well liked in the family and finds herself part owner in a beach cafe her Aunt has left her when she dies.

I have never been to Cornwall and found myself transported there, beautiful desciptions and idyllic.

Easy reading book and again I would recommend....Looking forward to the authors other books

:-D :-)


AnninGlos Report 22 Aug 2013 17:25

I forgot I also read this one. Do read it if you have the chance

review The Sunflower Forest by Torey Hayden

I loved this book, it is so well written. The characters are well formed and believable and the descriptive passages are wonderful.
A 17 year old girl, Lesley, growing up in Kansas America with her 9 year old sister Megan and her parents. Her mother, Mara is Hungarian and, for some reason 'not normal'. Lesley often has to stay home from school to look after her mother who has 'spells'. Mara tells her stories of life in Hungary and Germany in the war, how she was part of the Lebensborn programme and ended up in Ravensbruck, how she and Lesley’s father went to Wales after the war and eventually to America. Lesley’s father is still desperately in love with Mara and will do anything to protect her, from herself and others. In Lesley’s eyes he should be getting her help but he chooses not to. Mara meets a little boy of about 4 who she is convinced is her long lost son, who was born about 40+ years before. Then there is a tragedy. Lesley goes to Wales to follow her mother's trail.
One very believable part is the relationship between Lesley and her much younger aggravating sister Megan. It is obvious that the war has had much more influence on this family, even at this distance, than is realised.


Persephone Report 22 Aug 2013 03:56

The Lonely Desert by Sarah Challis

It did not capture the same intrigue, adventure and the riding of camels that the first book did, however it is a good follow up. Opens up with Emily's wedding to Hugh (the anthropologist that she met in the previous book) and they are going back to Mali for their honeymoon and to meet up with Clemmie. They are taking with them Clemmie's brother Will and his partner Divinity. The story is told in a similar style to the first book, Emily does a chapter, then Divinity followed by Clemmie. Divinity has problems coming to terms with the poverty of the black people and the fact that she is black and at times not well received by other black women. There are lots of setbacks on the way before Clemmie and Emily finally meet up (practically the end of the book). They are the victims of a few scams one of them where a smart young man shows Emily and Divinity around and they think he is their assigned tour guide. Divinity want to see textiles and arranges to purchase several items. She agrees to pick them up later. They get back to Will and Hugh and they not only pay for this young man (Frank) to show them around but also end up paying the tour guide as well because he is miffed. They return for the fabrics and the place is no longer there and they have paid for them. They do eventually recover them but again not without upsets along the way. The book was a good story but i do prefer the first book... the second one had too many obstacles, misunderstandings and Divinity's slight animosity towards Emily and even more towards Clemmie. She was probably the one that had to overcome her own mental obstacles more so then all the other hurdles they had to manouevre. However, I am glad I read it.

Always You by Erin Kaye.

I wasn't too sure I would like this one, however I liked it very much. The basic premise of the story has been done before only this one had more to it than most. I felt rather sorry for Calhal, having the sins of his father passed on to him and yet on the other hand I could see where Aunt Vi and Sarah's father David were coming from... the like father like son was not going to go away. How were they to know that Calhal would be the one to break the mould/cycle and turn out okay. Becky did not own up to her interceding of Calhal's mail to Sarah until near the end of the book. When she did it she was an eleven year old child so you can see that with her mother dead she certainly did not want her sister to leave Bellyfergus for Melbourne. She also thought that once Sarah married Ian, life would be sweet and not have ended in divorce. Ian tended to imagine things and let them become real to his own disadvantage. His lovely mother Evelyn who was dying made him see the error of his ways. The only thing I felt was the wrapping up of the end of the story; it was a bit too happy families with Ian trundling off to Melbourne as well.

Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry

A Victorian whodunit. I was twitching as I read it cause I had it sussed from the beginning re the box of books that came in and the box that went out. No one asked how heavy it was coming in and going out. So I had sorta solved it and decided it was Dunkeld and I had decided that the prostitutes clothes had gone out in it. Of course the whole story was far more intricate than that, with the switching of bodies, the murder of Dunkeld's daughter which was easy enough to figure out but all these little side issues made for a good story. Liliane had to make a quick decision between her father and her husband, and I have decided that she probably wished she had not suggested his name to the Prince of Wales. HRH and Pitt did not end up with a meeting of the minds. The guests did tend to talk in riddles a bit and there was all this underlying current between both sexes. Sometimes it is simpler to be downstairs and know one's place.

I had wanted to read a book by Anne Perry. I had read about her when I was a teenager. Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme (Anne Perry) were in a book about the world's worst murderers.. now when you look back they were certainly not the worst but the fact was interesting because it had happened here in NZ. She is quite a good writer I thought it a bit stilted at first but once I got into it, that fact disappeared and was a very good read.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 21 Aug 2013 22:35

Ann, hope to be back with two reviews tomorrow.


Mersey Report 21 Aug 2013 21:52

Hi Ann you will have my reviews tomorrow am ......


AnninGlos Report 21 Aug 2013 17:58

review The Lonely Desert by Sarah Challis.
The follow up to Footsteps in the sand and a good one. I really enjoyed it. I did have a little bit of sympathy with Divinity as the ‘family’ are so very exclusive and single minded. However, they seemed to sort themselves out once she had helped out Clemmie.
Mali, not a place I would like to be, imagine all that sand! Death valley was bleak enough for me. It is a well written book which held my interest with enough suspense to be intriguing. I am wondering if there will be another follow up story. I would like to know if Clemmie got back to Chamba and safely. And how Emily and Hugh’s marriage works out, and if Will and Divinity get married.
I would recommend it to anyone to read, it would stand alone but is better if Footsteps in the Sand has been previously read.

review The Beach cafe by Lucy Diamond

I liked this, a gentle story similar to some of those written by Katie Fforde. (And also reminded me of one of the stories I wrote for the writing group 3 years ago.)
Eva’s Aunty Jo dies leaving her a beach cafe. Evie is known as the black sheep of the family and longs to make her mark with something.

I loved the story of how the cafe was built up, the new ideas and the involvement of the villagers. I love Cornwall and always fancied running a beach cafe myself. The character descriptions were great, I wanted to slap Ruth one of Evie’s sisters but then admired her for backing down.

A gentle story ideal for holiday reading. I don’t think I have read anything by L Diamond before but will look out for her when looking for holiday reading.

Review Some day I’ll find you by Richard Madely

“The other day upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there”
Who was the real James Blackwell? that was the question.
I was not that interested in this book to start with, I didn’t like RM’s style of writing. But I persevered as it had good write ups, and I am glad I did. It grew on me, and after about a ¼ of the way through I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. What started as a rather slow romance set just pre war and at the start of WW11, ended up being a tense thriller with murder, kidnap, the Mafia and a deserter ten years later.
A very well written book, James Blackwell was a charmer, wasn’t he? Diana and her family thought so. The characters were beautifully written, I sort of felt sorry for Douglas, but wanted to give him a good shake as well, Typically a dour Scot who did himself and Diana no favours. Yes I really enjoyed it, well done on a good first book.

Always you by Erin Kaye

A well written book. Boy from bad estate in Ireland and girl from posh area fall in love, things go wrong, boy goes to Australia, girl doesn't hear from him, marries. Ex boyfriend returns years later. Why didn't she reply to letters? What letters etc etc. A good story, romance, not complicated, an easy read and I enjoyed it. It didn't stretch my brain too much. Characters were well written and easy to empathise with, I found Ian irritating at first but warmed to him as the story went on. Nice little cameo of Evelyn his mother too.


AnninGlos Report 21 Aug 2013 17:47

I am out all day tomorrow off and on so thought I had better put this up today before I forget.

Please review the books that you have read this month.