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review 2019-02-02 22:39
The Case of the Dinosaur Footprint
The Iron Clew - Alice Tilton,Phoebe Atwood Taylor

This book was passed on to me by Tigus, along with a Frederic Brown mystery called Madball, which I read for Halloween Bingo.

 

This was a delightfully funny and convoluted mystery. The MC, Leonidas Witherall, runs a boys school, writes mysteries in secret, and looks so much like Shakespeare that his nickname is Bill. When a package wrapped in brown paper goes missing from his office while he is in the home, hijinks ensue as he attempts to recover it.

 

There is mayhem. There are shenanigans. There is a dead body and a kidnapped secretary and a random meeting with a long-forgotten friend.

 

Lots and lots of fun. Thanks for sending it to me, Tigus!

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review 2018-09-12 21:56
Where There's a Will
Where There's a Will - Rex Stout,Dean Koontz

Where there's a will, and also Nero Wolfe, odds are there is also a body or two.

 

It's 1938, and Nero Wolfe is short on money, so he takes a case he'd rather not: three sisters who want him to investigate the writing of a will.  Their late brother promised his sisters a million dollars each, a million to a university, and the residue to his widow.  Instead he left most of it to his mistress.  (The sisters each received a piece of fruit.)  The widow is planning to contest it.  To make everything more complicated, one sister is married to the Secretary of State.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't like this one as much as many others in the series, as so many of the characters (excluding the residents of the brownstone) are unlikable liars.

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review 2017-10-23 17:49
Happy Days of the Grump Everyone Knows a Grump by Tuomas Kyro

 

 
Happy Days of the Grump Everyone Knows a Grump by Tuomas Kyro is a book released this month by Bonnier Zaffre and it is, trust me, spectacularly beauty!
Funny, ironic,dense of considerations about death, life, existence as every book written by a Nordic - Finnish in this case - author is.

The book is written following the thoughts in first person of The Grump. An R-x of this society without too much compassion from the Grump born in the 1930s and unable to understand the abrupt changes of the society and its new rules and "guidelines."
The modern society read and seen through the eyes of The Grump.

I knew more than a grump. My dad was born in 1926 and he was a grump exactly like the protagonist of this book. The people of this generation more or less Kyro considers the ones born in 1930s are all part of one of the most enchanting generations to me.
They experienced Mondial War, they have been starved, they worked hard for re-building the country where they lived or live in, but although the hard life they suffered, misery, poverty, God I don't think I will meet anymore special people like these ones.
Generous, altruists, they donate themselves to the others genuinely, people in grade to share good feelings and sentiments with other ones. Real friendship, real connections, real character, without masks, they are people of peace because they experienced the sufferance of war and they knew what it meant to live in time of wars and in time of peace and appreciated and enjoyed peace so badly.
It's a contradiction in terms but although we were born in a best time, with more modernity, peace, with good houses where to staying we are different.
Our generations to me has lost the humanity of that people.
Well, not everyone.

Reading this book will mean also to understand the point of view of someone who had known a different system where the navigator was the mind, where Instagram meant a good walk enjoying the beauty of nature, where Facebook a real house with real friends and real chats.

Mr. Grump is 80 years, and he lives alone. Sure he has a wife. Unfortunately because of her mental illness she was brought in a home and everyday The Grump loves to visit her, cooking for her some good meals so that she can eat with good appetite. Dear old times where he also discussed with his wife, where not all the moments were plain but love existed and was strong enough for arriving 'till here.
The Grump feels that he is like a fish out of the water when he is in company of his son, because the new generations changed this world completely.

And he complains. Please read this extract about the youth  and how frenetic is lived the perception of life from The Grump. It's because of the use of these devices. There is more velocity than not in the past in every sense.

His son tries to let him understand that after all this society is not so bad. The Grump wants to build two coffins for himself and his wife, in his spare time. There is a dissertation at this point about the burial traditions in the world.

The son of the Grump tried to let him appreciate during a trip the navigator, but the Grump doesn't understand why it's necessary a navigator. According to him this society creates lazy people because most of the intellectual work is done by PCS and other devices. Another guy will ask him to take a picture for posting it on Instagram.

Yes, another dimension for someone who enjoyed long walks, real talks with friends, good company.

I admit that some of the written words in this book are also the ones said by our priest every Sunday. Who became God for people with the time?

Please, read this passage of the book as well, and if you can please buy Happy Days of the Grump.
Maybe you have some grumpy relatives close to you, and so it will be a pleasure to discover the similarities that there are in these minds.

The experience of this Grump Old Man, will portray a picture of our society without too many compliments saying what there is to be said frankly.  It's better to understand where we are going.

I thank surely Bonnier Zaffre for the physical copy of this wonderful book. It reminded me every page at my dad! Another grump man I will always miss a lot.

Anna Maria Polidori
Source: alfemminile.blogspot.it
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review 2017-04-03 17:13
In This Grave Hour
In This Grave Hour: A Maisie Dobbs Novel - Jacqueline Winspear

In This Grave Hour is the most recent "Maisie Dobbs" historical mystery, and about the dozenth or so in the series.  This series began when it was 1929, and Miss Dobbs was first opening her detective agency in a quiet London square.  It is now September 1939, Britain is at war with Germany, and Maisie has a new case - is someone murdering men who were refugees from Belgium when they were boys, 25 years ago?

 

Matters are complicated by her father having 3 child evacuees living with him down in the country - two boys whom he can handle, and a five-year-old girl who won't talk.  An additional problem is that no one seems to know her name, who her parents are, or where she's from.

 

Maisie will investigate both cases, and come to suspect that her client is either lying to her, or not telling the entire truth.

 

This was a distinct improvement from the last one, Journey to Munich, which featured spies and Americans ex machina.

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review 2017-03-28 21:19
Racing the Devil
Racing the Devil - Charles Todd

Racing the Devil is the most recent (I think) Charles Todd "Ian Rutledge" mystery.  And it's a good novel, despite being #19 in a series.  (I always get a bit dubious as a series goes very long.  I'm looking at you, "... in Death.")

 

In 1916, on the eve of the Somme offensive, 7 British officers meet at an ad hoc cantina in a barn, and while getting drunk, find that they are all from the southeast of England, and are all auto racing fans.  They agree that if any of them survive the war, a year after the war ends they will meet in Paris and race their cars down to Nice.

 

Five of them survive to make the race, held in November 1919.  But one of them ends his race in a terrible accident, and they go home not in triumph but a bit saddened.

 

Now, it is the autumn of 1920, and the police down in Surrey are concerned, because they have had an auto accident that makes no sense to them.  The local rector died in a crash, but it wasn't his car; it was the local squire's.  Also, there are traces of green paint on the rear of the car.  Was the rector forced off the road?  Why was he driving the car, in the first place?  Was the "accident" not so accidental?

 

So they call in Scotland Yard, and the Yard sends down Inspector Rutledge.  He must unravel a truly twisty tale, full of murder, attempted murder, blackmail, and kidnapping.

 

Partway through, I figured three or 3 1/2 stars for this one, but Todd managed to pull all the strings together very nicely and made a very solid finish.  At least one evening I stayed up until "gulp" o'clock reading it.  

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