Showing posts with the label Britain

Reading journal: The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Genre: Mystery Published: 2017 Series: Hawthorne Date read: October 2018 A woman arranges her funeral, then, that very night, is murdered. Horowitz, in his own person, is dragged unwillingly into the investigation, under the pretext of writing up the case as it’s investigated by Daniel Hawthorne, a man he hardly knows and doesn’t like. I love the circularity of the story, the idiocy of Horowitz out of his depth in a real investigation, and the wonderful array of red herrings. I would never have guessed or even imagined the identity of the killer. Great story from a master of the art.

Reading journal: Spectred Isle by KJ Charles

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery Published: 2017 Series: Green Men Read: January 2018 Set in Britain after the first World War, which had been fought in the occult world as well as the muddy and lethal real one. Saul Lazenby, a disgraced archeologist, takes a job working for an obsessive amateur researcher, the kind of man “liable to end up with ancient masonry falling on his head”. The investigations put Saul in danger’s way too often to be coincidental. Saul meets Randolph Glyde, a man responsible for keeping the mystical world on an even keel. The action shifts to the fens, where Saul and Randolph are trapped out of time and attacked by horrible fen-grendels rising up from the marshes. They survive through courage and “kissing for dear life in a dead land”. A great story, excellent pace, scary scenes, suspense, interesting ideas, sarcastic humour and a happy ending, everything I’ve come to expect from KJ Charles. Highly recommended.

Reading journal: Midwinter by John Buchan

Genre: Action adventure Published: 1923 Read: January 2018 I didn’t enjoy this as much as I remembered from my last read a couple of decades ago. It jumbles together too many strands—the 1745 Jacobite rebellion in Britain, spies, treachery, a love affair, Samuel Johnson the dictionary writer, and secret bands of men who are part of an older,   better England. The protagonist, Captain Alastair MacLean, is engaged in spy work for Bonnie Prince Charlie. He is rescued from difficulties and ethical errors by Midwinter, the leader of hidden men who live close to nature and form the mystical backbone of old England. In many places the pace drops off and the story becomes dreary and dull. The disappearance and reappearance of Samuel Johnson is confusing and adds little to the tale. There isn't enough suspense. The only really scary part is when MacLean is in danger of being thrown into a pothole, a deep pit with grinding rocks at the bottom. Nasty. I think they could ha