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text 2017-06-21 11:26
21st June 2017
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

 

Mark Twain

 

June 21, 528: In Mark Twain's time-travel novel, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, the protagonist saves himself from death by threatening to plunge the world into darkness. Luckily for him, his execution was scheduled at the same time as the only eclipse in the 6th century.

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review 2015-11-05 00:00
Edwina: Bride of Connecticut
Edwina: Bride of Connecticut - Margaret ... Edwina: Bride of Connecticut - Margaret Tanner I had the pleasure of receiving this ARC for review. Thank you Susan Horsnell for introducing me to another fabulous Aussie author. I look forward to discovering more of her stories.
This story is part of a collaboration between 45 authors to write 50 stories in this Mail Order bride collection.
This potential bride raised in Tennessee (reminded me a bit of a Calamity Jane) and currently living in Boston is off to marry a man she's never met in Connecticut. In an era of railroad, horse and carriage and remote places where men outnumber women, is a time in history that may sound romantic but was hard work.
I loved the connection between the characters, the reluctance from the man who had previously been hurt both physically then emotionally. They overcame obstacles thrown in their way (no spoilers you can read it yourself to find out what) The story was seamless, I felt part of the story, almost smelled the surroundings and cheered them on for their HEA.
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review 2015-06-27 01:42
Dangerous and Unseemly: A Concordia Wells Mystery - K.B. Owen
I am required to say: This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com. So I’m really, really happy to be able to also say that the narration was far and away the best part of this book. The plot and story had a fair number of issues fighting with nice characterization and fun dialogue (and a setting of Hartford, Connecticut – my backyard), but the reading – by Becket Royce (and now I want to be named Rebecca so I can go by Becket) – was one of the best I’ve listened to in a while. Character accents were present without being overwhelming; humor was nicely accentuated; best of all were moments such as when the text mentions someone giving an unladylike snort… and Becket Royce complies. I have a new go-to narrator.
 
So, now, the book itself. I should be slamming it with three or even two stars. I saw just about everything coming light years away – what was wrong with Mary, and which of the two men courting our heroine Concordia Wells was a bad’un, and the secret behind the enameled dagger. This is not because I was being clever – I’m never clever at guessing who dunnit and whatnot – but because all of this was telegraphed with great clarity.
 
The plot also relied heavily on clichés. If you haven’t ever read a book or watched a television show before, this might be a spoiler: when someone told Concordia that there was something very important they had to tell her – but they didn’t want to tell her now, they would meet her tomorrow … well, really, how many books or tv shows have there ever been where that setup actually resulted in the person showing up at said meeting and imparting the very important message? (I should start a list.) (I’m very surprised not to be able to find this on tvtropes.com; it’s almost “Lost In Transmission”, but not quite...)
 
Something that was odd about that situation was: “The doctor was of the opinion that [Sophia] had not been outside [in the rain] for long.” But … she was an hour late for her meeting with Concordia, which is why the latter went looking for her (in the rain). If she wasn’t attacked on her way to meet C, then when? Was she dragged outside after being conked?
(spoiler show)
 
The writing - in terms of well-chosen words strung together to form pleasing sentences free of grammatical errors - wasn't perfect. There was at least one example of “lay” for “lie”. And the scary, scary note left pinned with a dagger - “Beware – next time a real stabbing could happen!” – really isn’t very scary. But aside from these quibbles and the larger problems mentioned above, I was happy listening to Dangerous and Unseemly – which is a great title, by the way. As mentioned, the dialogue was very nice in places, lively and life-like, and particularly fun to listen to. Blessings on author and reader for the fact that it was “mischievous”, not “mischievious”!
 
I can forgive a lot for that. I enjoy a good historical mystery. (Does this class as a cozy? I guess this is a cozy.) I enjoy books set in boarding schools and colleges – such enclosed, self-contained environments. And I enjoy books set around theatre productions, particularly Shakespeare of course, and D&U features a student production of Macbeth. (I know someone who would be quite irked at the pronunciation “McBeth”; I forgave it.) (One line regarding that play started a little plot bunny for me: “Lady Macbeth still had a tendency to giggle during her sleepwalking scene…” That could totally be worked in.) I can’t really say this was a great mystery - the disparate parts of the plot (what happened to Concordia's sister, the death(s) at the college) didn't necessarily play well together.
 
I couldn’t help wondering if the author is a fan of L.M. Montgomery. Our heroine Concordia is a ginger, and puts up the familiar lament that a red-haired lady can NOT wear pink. And at one point she admires dresses with “gigantic puffed sleeves” and elbow cuffs.

 

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review 2015-03-25 20:28
Humourous Small Town Mystery
The Icing on the Corpse - Liz Mugavero

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person. -Audrey Hepburn

 

Maybe your weird is my normal. Who's to say? -Nicki Minaj

 

I have one word to say about The Icing on the Corpse. Quirky. What else can it be but quirky and funny when it is set in Frog Ledge, Connecticut? Especially when the mystery occurs during the annual Groundhog Day Festival. A festival that the whole town truly gets into – in a ‘way-over-the-top-everyone-dresses-up-like-a-groundhog’ sort of way.

Kristan "Stan" Connor has the honour this year of being the ‘Goundhog Gift-Giver’ to the star of the festival, a groundhog named Lilypad. As the owner and chief baker of Pawsitively Organic, Stan is thrilled to gain the notoriety, and the possible new business for her canine and feline bakery. Only things don’t go as everyone planned, when much beloved Helga Oliver, the town historian, is found in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs in the museum basement. Who would want to hurt good natured Helga? Why? And is the cause a more modern one – like the guy who wants Helga’s job as the town historian? Or has something in the past come back to haunt the town?

 

Stan’s ‘I’m really too old to call a guy my “boyfriend” boyfriend, Jake, is devastated to lose the woman who has been like a grandmother to him all his life. The family response ranges from whacky to just plain mean, and the addition of a celebrity ghost hunter show to the mix makes this one wild ride.

 

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

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review 2015-02-05 15:37
Twain's A Connecticut Yankee
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

A bit of a disappointment.  The book is quite funny at times and consistently clever, and it is a satire.  The problem is it is a satire where the author is depending his own society as superior and satarizing something the target is not clear.  It could be medieval society, but while one can make fun off medieval society why satirize it?  Also it is very unfair to medieval society.  It also targets anti-scientific thought, which is fine.  But it hammers on the Catholic church in a way that was a couple of hundreds of years out of date at the time it was written and is very unfair.

Basically, the problem is that while it is funny and clever, it is also unfair and satirizes ideas and ways of life which were no longer in existence at the time it was written, so what is the point.  It's also quite smug and sort of reactionary in a weird way.  Neither Twain not satire at its best.

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