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  • Books & fiber 2010

    Reading challenges 2011

    December 28th, 2010


    We couldn’t pass up on this Jane Austen mysteries challenge, we’ll both be reading the books, hoping to finish all of them.

    So there you have it, Marion’s 3 challenges of the year are Whats in a name 4 and these two. Dan_e will also try the 100+ again.

    Murder at Mansfield park; The Sunday Salon August 1, 2010

    August 1st, 2010

    I cannot find or remember where I saw this book for the first time, but when I saw it I knew I wanted it. Dan_e thought so too, so he ordered it from the bookdepository and made them sent it to me. It’s here now and as soon as I finish my Immortals book The calling, I will start reading. I can’t wait. :)

    Framed in lace by Monica Ferris The Sunday Salon June 6, 2010

    June 6th, 2010

    Framed in Lace is the second of three novels in “Patterns of murder” by Monica Ferris.

    From the back:
    The historic Hopkins ferry  is raised from the bottom of a lake and everyone is stunned when a skeleton is found on board. But the evidence is a bit soggy: the boat sank in 1949, the victim was a woman, and an unidentifiable lacelike fabric was found nearby. Still with a little help from her needlecraft shop patrons, Betsy intends to sew up this mystery…

    In small towns are big secrets being kept. In the world of authors, its a well-known fact. Miss Marple lives in St Mary Mead, knows everything about anybody and if the murder happens outside her village she finds a character parallel with one of its residents. Jessica Fletcher is a famous writer who writes and solves crime in Cabot Cove. Betsy Devonshire solves a second murder in Excelior, Minnesota. Somehow, for some weird reason it is accepted that once the main character stumbles upon and solves the murder in its little town village, more murders happen, and off course our main character solves them. Sometimes it’s more trustworthythen other times, but the murders solved by Betsy in Excelsior are as realistic as can be.

    Especially because this time the murder happened a long time ago. One of those town secrets come float to the surface, literally. Betsy digs deep to seek the truth when one of her Monday Bunch patrons turns out to be the number one suspect. Needless to say Betsy finds the real culprit and saves the day.

    Like I said in my review post about Crewel world: “So when I read the book, I feel a warm welcome in the world Monica created.” So without any delay I’m going to read on in the third one: A stitch in time

    Changeless (Sunday Salon May 30, 2010)

    May 30th, 2010

    Finally time for another Sunday Salon blog post.

    At the same time this wil also be my entry for the awesome Big Fat Contest Gail Carriger has going on on her blog. So here we go:

    From the back:
    Alexia Maccon, the lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs.  Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

    But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigastions take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only a soulles can.

    She might even find time to track down her wayward husband – if she feels like it.

    Just like Soulless, this book grabbed me by my throat, pulled me in and did not let me stop reading until I finished the last sentence. Changeless is more about the steampunk and less about the romance, although we do hear some disturbing news from Miss Hesselpenny, feel sorry for Mr. Tunstell and want to smack Alexia’s sister Felicity on the back of her head for her disturbing behaviour.

    In the book we meet some new characters but we also find the trusty voices of Lord Akeldama, Professor Randoph Lyall, Tunstell and off course Miss Ivy Hisselpenny. One of the new voices is that of Madame Lefoux. I liked her from the beginning. She was so “my kinda girl.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Alexia, but she is still a lady, with her dresses, manners and decorum. Genevieve Lefoux does not wear dresses, or not very often, she is an inventor and she has a hat shop. I love hats. A few years ago when I was under the influence of the miniature-bug I made lots and lots of 1:12 scaled hats. And Madame Lefoux does what Madame Lefoux likes, and does not give much about the decorum. I like that.

    My favourite scene from this book was however when Alexia met Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings. It was hilarious, tears from laughter kept going down my cheeks. That man! Dan_e and me have made a sobriquet out of Laurell K. Hamilton’s character Richard in the Anita Blake series. Because we don’t like Richard very much. So every whining, complaining but also pathetic and/or prejudiced man, we call a “Richard.” Angel is a Richard until he got his own series, Riley is a Richard and yes, Channing Channing is also a Richard. Again I say: That man! In this scene I so loved Alexia. Way to go girl!

    I’ve read several reviews for Changeless and the one thing they all have in common is being flabbergasted by the end. The cliff hanger that made them all feel in awe. I was not. I am one of those people who read the last pages of the book after I finished a few in the beginning. Have you seen the film Alex and Emma with Luke Wilson and Kate Hudson? I’m like that Emma. If I don’t read the end globally I tend to read too fast and I skip sentences just to know how it ends. If I know the end, I can read more slowly, enjoy the book and the path the author has taken to get me there. In this case, Gail Carriger put me on a roller-coaster en made me read on and on, until I finished it.  Kudo’s for Gail, because its the way I like to read my books.

    Crewel World by Monica Ferris The Sunday Salon April 11, 2010

    April 11th, 2010

    Crewel world is the first of three novels in “Patterns of murder” by Monica Ferris.

    From the back:
    When Betsy arrives in Excelsior, Minnesota, she winds up setting in – and taking a new job at her sister Margot’s needlework shop. It seems things are finally going her way – until Margot is murdered. In a town this friendly, no one seems like they could have done something so horrible. But Betsy isn’t going to rest until she finds her sister’s killer…

    This is one of those books you start to read and keep reading until you finished it. Totally different from the steampunk/werewolf/vampire books I’ve been reading lately. Also a third time re-read, so I already know “who did it” and why. So why read it again? Well for starters, its nice and cosy and about yarn, cross stitch and needlework, all things I like and make me happy. I want to work in Crewel World, Margot’s (and later Betsy’s) shop, heck I want to OWN it, even though I know nothing about being a shop owner.  But then again, neither did Betsy when Margot was dead and she inherited the shop, and it’s colourful staff. But lets not forget the Monday Bunch either. A sort of Stitch and Bitch without calling it SnB :) So when I read the book, I feel a warm welcome in the world Monica created.

    The second reason is because its a Mystery with a clever plot and an acceptable motive for the killer. Don’t get me wrong: there is not one motive that justifies murder, but in my books I want a believable, acceptable motive. Monica Ferris gave that to me.

    Last, but not least, since I have read the whole series (or at least the ten books that are on my shelves) I like to start over again, and grow with Betsy in her role as needle shop owner and amateur sleuth. In books that’s possible, relive the life of your heroine again. That’s part of why I like reading so much.

    I’m halfway the second novel in this volume: Framed in Lace. I expect it to have a review here soon, maybe at the next Sunday Salon