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Showing posts from 2012

The Alchemy of Murder Carol McCleary

A murder/thriller set in Paris in 1889 with a female investigative reporter who meets Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur en route had potential to be a real page turner yet somehow I found that this and this book just annoyed me.

It turned out that I wasn't the only one as a few of the group actually gave up with the story quite early on. I did finish it but found myself reading it just to get it finished rather than to find out who the murderer was. Everyone of us thought the book was too long. Despite this however I found there were still gaps in the story - how did she get out of the mental asylum??? Why was her encounter with Jack the Ripper condensed to something like 2 pages???

All of this was covered in the first few chapters and because of this we did find the beginning quite disjointed. After reading about Nellies struggles to become an investigative reporter in America we were suddenly whisked to the murky sewers of Paris researching sewer gases with Pasteur.


Before I Go To Sleep S J Watson

So I missed the actual meeting as I had actually given birth earlier in the day (rubbish excuse I know) however I was kept updated with what score it was awarded and I have remembered so my New Years resolution has not failed yet.
The book is very new and 'of the moment' being a TV Book Club book and (correct me if I'm wrong) a Richard and Judy book something that we had generally steered clear of before, purely because of their mass popularity and I had created the book club to try to enlarge my sphere of usual reading. It was recommended to me by a work colleague who hadn't actually read it yet so was a bit of a risk all round.
The book is about a woman who wakes up everyday not knowing who she is due to an 'accident' a number of years ago. Everytime she falls asleep her memory is once again reset to her teenage/early adult years. Concept wise you immediately think of the film, 50 First Dates starring Drew Barrimore. The film is very far from the books take o…

Dissolution by C J Sansom

At last a book where I have noted the score! New Years resolution? check! And a good job I did as it was a high one.
I confess that I had already read this book and not being able to lay my hands on my copy decided not to re buy it and therefore not reread it.
I remembered I wasn't too fussed at the time about it. It took me a while to work out which brother was which and I felt at times the book dragged on with the author being overly keen to describe the weather, the marshes, the monastery etc.
What I, and a number of the group really liked was the fact that it was set in the Tudor Court where Henry 8th was King however it wasn't about Henry or his wives. Don't get me wrong I love those type of books (Phillipa Gregory anyone?) and have read several but to read about the dissolution without having to regurgitate the usual Anne Boleyn saga was refreshing.
The characters at times were quite stereotypical - a brother who was interested in boys now theres a surprise. However th…

Time Flies

So I'm way behind with my blog and the book clubs most faithful follower (my mum) has threatened to stop following it unless I write something so here goes.
Looking back I was surprised to see how quickly the books had stacked up. Surely 4 months hadn't gone by already?
The first book I haven't blogged about was The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. I have to be honest I really didn't fancy reading this book to start off with. It was on 3 for 2 at Waterstones and just didn't sound like my cup of tea. In a nutshell, Edie finds a letter addressed to her mum during the war which opens up a can of worms as she retraces her mums past.
In many ways this book was similar in format to our last book The Poison Tree. Modern day stops to deliver a story from a number of years ago that involves a murder and is still affecting todays characters in some way that we will have discovered by the end of the book.
I commented in my last blog on how many books now seem to have to present …

The Poison Tree - Erin Kelly

It's been a while since I read this book so apologies for the late blog.
Maybe this is a test for the book - how well do I remember it 2 months later? Well I had to refresh my memory when it came to the names of the characters as I couldn't remember them. Not a good start but then it started to come back to me.
We commented on how everyone in the book leaves Biba and Rex, the sister and brother main characters. Many people were drawn to the house where they lived but never stayed. In many ways Biba was the poison tree, turning those she loved against her by her demanding, selfish attitude that Rex, too afraid of her reaction if he stood up to her, encouraged.
We talked about why then, given above, did Karen stay. We understood why she was attracted to Bibas lifestyle, the total opposite to her boring straight laced in may ways pre mapped out life. Karen had come to a natural break in her life - university ended, flat mates moving on without her and tennis club boyfriend dumping …