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Greaders please review October - Nov books

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnninGlos Report 13 Nov 2016 16:22

The Windermere Witness
and second
The Secret

and then any others you have read in the time.


AnninGlos Report 13 Nov 2016 16:34

The Windemere witness by Rebecca Tope

I have not read anything by this author before.

A good holiday read, a bit like a modern day Agatha Christie. Or Miss Marple meets Agatha Raisin. A who dunnit without the gore and grit of the more usual ones.

I loved her characters and the story line was intriguing enough to keep me reading. Although I did guess the guilty party. Best of all though, I read it while in the lake district and, having visited here since 1986 regularly I knew all the areas well so could picture the scene.

So I did enjoy it and would probably buy more of hers for holiday reading.

Review The Secret by Kathryn Hughes

The main scenario of the story, around which the whole story revolves is very believable. The mine accident and the devastation of Mary at not having Thomas’s child to remember him by is well written. And the way Beth became Mary’s daughter is also believable.
I did feel that sometimes the writing was a bit simplistic but that is me being a bit picky, it was not written to be a great novel.
Maybe there could have been repercussions about the minibus accident mentioned but obviously there was nobody to take the blame
Overall I enjoyed it, it was easy to read, the characters were well rounded and the storylines, for there were more than one, were well written and well linked
We actually read her first book (The Letter) in 2014 for greaders and I enjoyed that one too so I would definitely read more of her books should she write any..

review A Simple Life by Rosie Thomas. This was an unsuccessful suggestion for reading a month or so ago. I wish somebody else had read it so that we could compare reviews. I thought it was a beautifully written story. RT writes with so much insight into the sadness and problems of having a downs syndrome baby, the wanting to mother and the fear of the father of acceptance and the decision to have the baby adopted. Then the guilt and the need to see the child again. The characters were all well rounded, Dinah and Matthew and sons Jack and Merlin. Sarah came to life as she was described by RT, a character, a person, well rounded, complete. Millie was a quirky character, different and needy herself adopted with a need to find her mother, she uses Dinah as the mother she doesn't know.

I always enjoy books by this author as the content is pretty well guaranteed to make you think. This was no exception


AnninGlos Report 14 Nov 2016 08:28

From Perse
I think I ought to review Gillia Slovo's "Ten Days"

I originally saw it in the library in amongst the just returns and as I recognised the author's name from her involvement in South Africa and Apartheid (both her parents were activists in the anti-apartheid struggle).

This novel is close to the bone, so much so it is real, the drama, the bloody stupidity of a police killing of a young lad who had mental stability problems. There was no need for the police brutality and as a result of the injustice of it all and the fact that the lad's parents get ignored by the police. What follows is a riot, where people in the end probably didn't even know why they were rioting, the whole thing snowballed and in the back ground at another level is the politics of it all between the prime minister, one of the ministers and his wife's crazy relationship and their children and the head of police. There is very much a them and us though some of the working class level charcters came across as being rather well educated. I did think that with Slovo having been in amongst it all in South Africa she would relate more to the have nots.... and whilst the story unfolds it is also whilst London is suffering a momentous heat wave... (was there one in 2011?) Interesting, but also a book that you had to put down and think about and go and do something else before returning to it.

Jumping to Conclusions by Sarah Challis

I really like Sarah Challis's books and this one didn't disappoint but was possibly not up there with a couple of her others. As said in the blurb we have a jockey "Jess" who has never identified who the father of her daughter Izzy is. Her mother Belinda believes that Izzy is the result of what she thinks had been a fling with a good looking young chap Johnny and so do the rest of the village in Dorset. The story starts when Izzy is six years old and the person who they all believe to be the father has returned from the States with his wife and children. We actually never come across Johnny in the book, he is a high flier in the business world but his American wife is present. One day whilst out Jess comes across the American woman and her son Mikey who is the spitting image of her Jess. Belinda says to Jess. why won't you admit it Johnny is Izzy's father but Jess still says he is not. Quite a neat little turn around and at the same time you have the snakey comments from some of the horsey set and others in the horsey set who are supportive of Jess including a chap who fancies Jess. Everything turns out okay in the end. Love the passages about Dorset as I did with Blackthorn Winter.


The Windermere Witness by Rebecca Tope
I found the conversations between people a little strange. I did not warm to Melanie, nor the way she spoke to her employer Persimmon. Then there was Evelyn and her little girl Lucy and how she let Lucy go off with someone she hardly knew. Somehow the characters did not gel, Bridget and Peter were newly weds but even though they had known each other forever they behaved like they hardly knew each other at all. Glenn was a piece of work and Pablo did not seem to know what part he was playing in the story. I guess there are detectives like Moxon who work in that manner so he passed the test as did Wilf's (a worker at the hotel where the newly weds were married) , younger brother Ben who witnessed (sort of) the second killing.
And while the whole whodunit was solved we still did not know whether Simmy's mother was going to be okay with her B & B after Lucy apparently knocked over a precious child who was staying at the B & B and he was traumatised and his parents were absolutely shattered and their baby was also upset. Did they do this OTT drama for a living, sue people over the least transgression that came near them? Did Evelyn pay them off, were they successful or were they told to forget it as children will be children and these things happen when they are playing together? I was far more interested in the outcome of this than the murders, I already had them figured out. I was pretty certain that Glenn had told Mr Baxter that Peter would be at the meeting with Simmy, but kept it from Peter. We never did find out why Peter did not know of the meeting and Baxter was dead so there was going to be nothing forthcoming from him.
BTW Simmy was the florist for Peter and Bridget's wedding and "by chance" spoke to the first victim a half brother of Bridget's before he was killed. That's how it started and then we went from chance meetings (which are being in the right place at the right time) to sideline stories like what happens at the B & B. I believe there are at least two more books about Persimmon Brown in this series. Probably would be better on Television.


Mersey Report 14 Nov 2016 18:47

This is the story of Beth who has never known who her father was
and after her mothers death she starts to find many secrets that shakes up her and her whole family.

Beths son is very ill and in need of a transplant and here and her
husband feel helpless she needs to find out the back medical history of
her family.....

The story then goes back to in the 70's when a group of people
are involved in a fatal road crash , which brings the modern day
and past together with shocking revelations and secrets.

Brilliantly written and cannot wait for more of her books.

I had read The Letter before this one and have to say I enjoyed both but
this one is my favourite upto now.

Windermere Witness - Rebecca Tope

This is the story of Simmy and her new like n the Lake District.
Her flower arranging takes off and she becomes busier than
she would ever think she could be...
She takes on a job of the flower arranging for a huge impressive
wedding extravaganza which strangely becomes the story
of an who dunnit murder........

Abit predictable and dull in places , the ending was abit to quick
but that suited the book as was nearly giving up reading it near the end.

Just not for me


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 14 Nov 2016 23:47

My reviews.

The Windermere Witness Rebecca Tope.

I think that I may have read one of Rebecca Tope's books before, possibly from her "Cotswold Mystery" series, but can"t remember if it was a Greaders book.

As I wasn't voting this time I didn't read the descriptions on the suggestions thread, so came to this book totally unaware of the people, places or plot.etc.

When reading I enjoyed the descriptions on the Southern Lake District - (have now added it to an ever increasing list of places to visit or revisit).
I felt that this story was a mixture of the t.v. series. "Rosemary and Thyme". and. " Midsomer Murders", R&T. because of the armature sleuthing and horticulture, and MM because of Murder in the beautiful English Countryside.

As there were quite a few teenagers featured in the story I wonder if it is a ploy to attract "young readers" - although I'm far from being a young reader myself I still enjoyed it.

I take it to be the first of The Lake District Mysteries. It was an introduction to new characters - who will soon become familiar figures in subsequent stories.

Despite the violence of two murders, it was quite a gentle easy to read story. Helped by the flowers and the interesting teenagers in the story.

I wonder how many of the people in the Windermere Witness will feature in the next book? I'm looking forward to meeting them again.

So, this isn't a thought provoking or challenging book, just a good read which left me wanting more.

I couldn't get The Secret. by Kathryn Hughes from the library (they did have " The Secret". by someone else ). The Darkest Hour. by Barbara Erskine, which recieved one vote, was almost immediately available, so I read that instead.

The Darkest Hour. by Barbara Erskine.

A long novel, set both in the time of The Battle of Britain and the (almost) present day
Marvellous descriptions of the war fought in the sir, over the English Countryside, by "the few" - those very young men who risked and often gave their lives. It also tells a bit about life on a farm during war time and the life of a very young war-artist caught up in the saga of love, jealousy, abuse and artistic talent.

(Sorry battery is very low, back tomorrow when it has been recharged)



TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 15 Nov 2016 08:18

Battery recharged.
Review of The Darkest Hour, continued.,,..

At times I felt myself being intolerant of the 'immature' behaviour of Tony and Evie especially, but also some of the other characters. Had to remind myself that although in such a precarious position, T & E were barely out of childhood.

Ghosts, apparitions and hauntings, all walk the pages of the story - so be prepared to keep an open mind if and when you read. The Darkest Hour. Evil also shows its face, with a sprinkling of hope and kindness, and some amusing and interesting people.

I don't want to give any of the plot away, as I hope that many of you will read The Darkest Hour and discover it for yourselves.

Very pleased to have read this book.


AnotherAnneinGlos Report 15 Nov 2016 22:22

I should write the review before I send the book back to library as by time it comes round I have forgotton.
Again I had to read other reviews to jolt my memory as who was who.

I only read The secret as my library didnt have the other one.It was good having the two stories running together then being linked by Beth finding the letter while sorting her mothers belongings out. Although I didnt realised that her husband (forget his name) was the child in the bus crash, until later on when Beth found the letter.
Also I thought Beths dad had died in the bus crash and was surprised that he was in america or australia.

I see that her other book the letter isnt in paper form or I would be reading that one as well.

As you can see my memory is hopeless but I read books to enjoy at the time and not to worry about writing up about them afterwards.



AnninGlos Report 15 Nov 2016 22:46

Don't worry Anne. Maybe you could just make a few notes before you take the book back then you would have something to work on. Another tip. If you go into Amazon and search for the book it will give you a synopsis which will act as a reminder.