Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Golden Collar

I haven't read this book yet. I just picked it up at the library last night. The cover was so beautiful. Published in 1984 by Severn House in London. I'd never heard of Edith Cadell and could not find much about her by googling ... bibliographies, but no biographies

I wonder now if the book will be as wonderful as the cover. This is what I discovered by opening the pages at random

He turned and looked at the garden spread below him, glowing in the late May sunshine. There had been a little rain that morning, and drops still glittered on leaves and petals and gave a sheen to the expanse of smooth lawn ...... beyond was a carpet of white narcissi threaded with purple violets.

hmmmm ... not bad

You know that old saying, "don't judge a book by its cover". How often do you choose a book by its cover?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag

Alan Bradley
Doubleday Canada 2010

Flavia's back ... with all the family and friends from Bishop's Lacey and Environ - Buckshaw, St. Tancred's, Culverhouse Farm, and Gibbet Wood. Aunt Felicity has joined the household as a guest, annoying each and every one in their turn. "Father said, 'she still has all her own teeth --- and she knows how to use 'em.'"

Flavia finds herself untangling two deaths. Rupert Porson, the beloved puppeteer, has had an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity.The death of a child some years before may not have been an accident.

Colorful characters are plentiful, and Flavia sets aside her chemistry experiments and schemes of vengeance against her insufferable big sisters and races about on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, in search of Bishops's Lacey's deadliest secrets. There's Mad Meg who lives in Gibbet Wood, the catatonic woman in the dovecoat, the German pilot obsessed with the Bronte sisters, and Porson's assistant, the charming but erratic Nialla.

Alan Bradley is a genius .. he juggles this mix of oddball characters like a magician. The plot twists and turns, and I truly couldn't guess the final outcome until the very end.

I so look forward now to his next book in the Flavia series  A Red Herring without Mustard that he's currently working on now in Malta, where he lives with Shirly and Amadeus and Cleo, his wife and two "calculating" cats.