I bought this for my cat-owning mother. She was both scandalized and delighted by the colorful truisms found within. Colorful as in filled with swearwI bought this for my cat-owning mother. She was both scandalized and delighted by the colorful truisms found within. Colorful as in filled with swearwords - the illustrations themselves are eloquently simple. Ah, Katie Cook. How I love thee.
Sidenote: One would think a woman with a cat named Lucifer wouldn't be easily scandalized......more
I understand from reviews that many readers are disappointed to find Hamish away from Lochdubh for most of this book. For me, it was rather exciting tI understand from reviews that many readers are disappointed to find Hamish away from Lochdubh for most of this book. For me, it was rather exciting to see Hamish completely out of his element.
Though we know he can charm and fib his way out of most anything on his own turf, this time we get to see Hamish rise to the challenge of a much more complicated investigation - one that costs a lot of money and manpower. He comes out of it with mixed results, the negative ones reinforcing that at heart he's always hoping for the best in people...and also that his Highland self is still rather old-fashioned.
For anyone fearing a lack of village intrigue, have no fear. We meet some new characters from Hamish's beat and see more of the area he loves so well. Particularly amusing is an old Irish recluse who bitterly aids Hamish. He's abrasive in a delightful way, and I hope we'll see him again. Though we admittedly don't get a lot of page time with the old favorites, Beaton ensures that every moment at home counts - culminating in another brilliant example of Lochdubh's fierce (yet hilarious) loyalty.
As others have felt, the only issue I had was Hamish coming off as a bit desperate for female attention. But it's a small quibble, and honestly: what lovelorn man or woman hasn't had their moments of oddity when faced with frustrating loneliness?...more
What started off as another round of interrogate the villagers suddenly became terribly exciting.
The murder of a local braggart brings everyone's badWhat started off as another round of interrogate the villagers suddenly became terribly exciting.
The murder of a local braggart brings everyone's bad behaviour to light - including Hamish's. For a quiet spot where everyone is as gossipy as can be, it turns out that there are still plenty of secrets kept in Lochdubh. Hamish is not as in-the-know as he likes to think.
Though he still has an odd reputation as the laziest copper ever, Hamish goes to great lengths in this volume to discover the truth. It culminates in a tense and frightening mad dash to apprehend the real killer - before he can take out one of our own.
The latter half of the book more than made up for a slow start, showcasing Hamish's intuition and courage as well as the determined loyalty of the batty villagers....more
It's amazing the lengths Hamish will go to in an effort to protect his quiet village. In some ways, it's just as well that he doesn't get a major promIt's amazing the lengths Hamish will go to in an effort to protect his quiet village. In some ways, it's just as well that he doesn't get a major promotion and a move. I don't think he'd be able to follow the rules at all.
He's forgiven (to some degree) because we understand where he's coming from. When a con artist comes to the village, Hamish sees trouble coming from miles away. The villagers themselves are not so quick on the uptake.
With some chancey moves mixed with actual sound policework, Hamish discovers all - as we've come to presume he always will. But can his good fortune really continue to hold out? ...more
When an ambitious museum curator comes to town, Maura gets swept up in a treasure hunt. The goal of confirming pr*2.75?*
That was deeply, deeply...meh.
When an ambitious museum curator comes to town, Maura gets swept up in a treasure hunt. The goal of confirming provenance for one painting while also locating another provided lots of reasons to chat with the locals.
But it did not provide much excitement.
The curator, Althea, is a bang-on-the-nose stereotypical New York character. She wears black clothes, she's impatient, she's rude, she takes advice from no one...and I wanted to murder her because, yo!, I'm from New York! The grand majority of us do not act like that. Sure, if you push us on the subway, we push back. But drop us in a foreign country and have us talking to locals? Most would do leagues better than this lady. Althea was over-the-top rude to people who were being amazingly helpful. Please stop giving us New Yorkers a bad name.
As Maura helps Althea on her quest, we become privy to lots of chats. These should be the highlight of the story: teasing out family mysteries, learning of a bygone age. Instead, every time Maura and her cohorts make another visit, we're subjected to their progress thus far. We've been with her every step of the way. Why do WE need a recap every ten pages? All too often this brought things to a yawn-worthy standstill.
There is a murder in this mystery, but solving it is secondary. The focus is on chasing the art, and after a while that just doesn't cut it.
I've downloaded one more installment of this series from the library, so I'll give it a whirl before deciding whether to abandon Maura to fend for herself. ...more
Back to Carsely again - and the story is all the better for it.
As I mentioned before, so much of the charm of these stories relies on the cast of chaBack to Carsely again - and the story is all the better for it.
As I mentioned before, so much of the charm of these stories relies on the cast of characters helping to bolster Agatha up and lending humor to the tale. When Agatha is surrounded by people she's forged true friendships with, it's much easier to find her sympathetic and relatable.
Though James is still lurking about with his nasty comments and rude behaviour, it seems Agatha is at least on the road to believing she deserves better treatment.
I wasn't completely convinced of the murderer's identity until the final act. Beaton divvies up the focus in so many directions that it kept me wondering when a solid clue would appear.
Scenes featuring Bill Wong's family or Roy the ambitious git were welcome and inspired chuckles. The final scenes unveiling whodunnit were tense...and a bit shocking!
Overall, an entertaining and pleasant read that made me glad I've returned to Agatha's escapades....more
A convention speech that praises sci-fi fandom for its overwhelming sanity.
A speech honoring Heinlein bBook reviews, both scathing and complimentary.
A convention speech that praises sci-fi fandom for its overwhelming sanity.
A speech honoring Heinlein by refuting the most common complaints hurled around by his detractors.
Lots of forewords and afterwords, explaining context or inspiration or just offering more things to be thinky about.
And stories. Some take place in Callahan's, but not all of them. That came as a surprise -- and a little bit of a disappointment. After all, I came here looking for Jake and Doc Webster and the big man himself.
But having finished, I'm glad for the opportunity to read more of Robinson's work. The stories set outside Callahan's possess the same sci-fi slant, the same wry yet hopeful view of human nature that makes Robinson so interesting to read. It makes me all the more eager to try his other offerings. As such, I deem the anthology a definite success....more
Oh, Finch. I didn't realise how much I'd missed you.
Though it's been quite a while since I read my last Aunt Dimity tale, it took no time at all to rOh, Finch. I didn't realise how much I'd missed you.
Though it's been quite a while since I read my last Aunt Dimity tale, it took no time at all to remember the quaint cast of characters residing in this ever-busy little village. Atherton doles out refreshers that aren't overly repetitive, and the individuality she grants each of Finch's inhabitants does the rest.
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well is a lovely, pleasant story. Much like the other installments, it goes perfectly with a comfy couch and a warm beverage (they aren't called cozy mysteries for nothing).
As with others of its ilk, the mystery is not particularly difficult to figure out, but there are a few surprises along the way. My brain connected the threads revealed through village gossip, but the real focus - as always - is on the inhabitants. Who is quarreling bitterly with whom! Will someone make a surprise return? Is love in the air! Is an engagement on the rocks? And most unsettling: will the graveyard at St. George's ever again benefit from the blades of a lawn mower? Read to find out! ...more