"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot
"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!" ~ Julia Child
"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain." ~ Louisa May Alcott

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Secret of the Knot Garden

I so enjoy reading really good children's literature and The Secret of the Knot Garden by Diana Harker did not disappoint.

Joanna is sent away from London to the village of Barton to live with the Ware-Gillows as it would bring her closer to her father who is a naval officer in Liverpool during WWII. She feels very alone but soon meets Dip and Tony from the village. They become friends in a worn torn English village. Joanne finds the stories of a ghost of a nun in the hall where she lives intriguing. The ghost is believed to be that of Colonel Sayer's daughter Alice who disappeared into thin air towards the end of the English Civil War 300 years ago.

Dip feels suspicious about Mr. Finch who has come to stay while searching for good grazing land in the marshes for the Ministry. When he decides to look into things an amazing discovery is stumbled on and possibly a Nazi plot with spies living among the villagers. He starts to go exploring along with Joanna and Tony. Will they find out if Alice's ghost is really roaming the village and Hall?

If you think you are too old for children's literature, you might want to think again and give this story a try. If you have children or grandchildren, it is an exciting read for them.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bookmarked for Death

Bookmarked for Death in the second in the Booktown Mystery series by Lorna Barrett. And my conclusion of this book? Bravo Lorna Barrett! Once again I am giving her book 5 stars. She knows how to make her characters leap out from the pages and become real. In fact, I want to move to Stoneham, New Hampshire. I want Tricia Miles to be my friend and neighbor. I would be safe as can be with her in the vicinity. And...well...she is a cat lover who named her cat Miss Marple so that alone earns 5 stars in my book. *grins*

Tricia Miles own the bookshop Haven't Got A Clue in Stoneham's book village. It is a shop specializing in vintage mystery books. She arranges a book signing for local mystery author Zoe Carter. The signing is going well but Tricia finds the persona Zoe Carter puzzling. She is more nun than intriguing author. But when she finds Zoe strangled in her shop toilet and the sheriff  Wendy Adams delighting on wanting to find proof that Tricia is the killer, Tricia has to start investigating her second murder in booktown.

I do not want to go into too many details as I find the details in a cozy mystery make them fun to read. And Lorna Barrett is right up there as a favorite mystery writer for me. I am off now to put book 3 in my Amazon shopping basket for my next order.....

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Died on the Vine

Died On The Vine

Died on the Vine is a cozy mystery brought out for the ereader market by Joyce Harmon. It is available on both the Kindle and Nook.

Set in the Passatonnack Winery from Jack and Cissy Rayburn, a man shows up on Sunday afternoon claiming that Cissy first husband who was killed in Vietnam is not dead but missing in action. When this man shows up dead among the vines at the vineyard, Jack seems to be the one suspect with motive for killing as well as the owner of the murder weapon. Cissy has to do something to keep her husband from being arrested for the murder as she realizes that the police are not looking in many other directions. She teams up with her neighbor Julia to start investigating themselves. This leads them to freelance reporter and author Mary Nguyen who has a big secret about why she is looking into the murdered Col. Obie Winslow. A good first mystery as you cannot help but like Cissy and her Julia.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Up With The Larks...Starting Again in Cornwall

Up With the Larks: Starting Again in Cornwall

Just finished Up With The Larks...Starting Again in Cornwall, the memoirs of Tessa Hainsworth. A warm blanket of remembrances of Tessa's first year in Cornwall and becoming a postie. While she takes us through her trials and tribulations of getting grounded in her new country life, she allows us a look into her new found village life. We meet the others living there and almost become friends with them too. Tessa is dubbed Mrs. Posh Postie on her rounds but a year living in her cottage and participating in village life proves she is far removed from the posh London lifestyle she left behind.

I found myself laughing at situation or feeling so down her her in others. I think it is sharpened in the fact that we are also second homers. We have a tiny cottage in the north of Holland which is our home away from the city. I long to be able to do what Tessa did and move there to make it our home. I also understood her feeling of frustration as the emmets (tourists) clog up the roads and towns during the summer season. We have even faced a situation like hers of having to drive in reverse a long stretch of road due to a very rude male tourist who refused to let us pass once. I could really feel her emotions due to that shared common ground.

The only good thing about finishing this book is there are two more books to follow. I can revisit some of the wonderful people in Cornwall with Tessa at my side.

Happy reading!