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review 2018-06-09 15:03
Hijinks
Surrender to the Marquess (The Herriard Family) - Louise Allen

Lady Sarah Herriand's husband died in a duel and she has retired to a seaside village to run an art and tea shop and to try to decide where to go next with her life.  Into this life comes Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock who is going incognito in the villiage to try to get his sister to recover from a disastrous love affair where she has descended into depression.

 

I liked the interactions between the characters and their attitude to each other, though talking a bit more could have sorted some of their problems.  Still Lucian is a good foil for Sarah and the two of them sound like they will be a good couple long-term.

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review 2018-05-30 16:04
A Fatal Grace / Louise Penny
A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.
No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.
When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?

 

My second Armand Gamache book, and I’m still very impressed with Penny’s abilities. I really like Gamache as a character—he’s easy to identify with. As a reader, I was happy to see him succeed in his investigation.

Just like Agatha Christie, Penny has chosen a small community as her setting. A place where people know each other well enough to make a plot line like this one work. Solving this crime in a big city would be a much different proposition, much more difficult. Part of the charm in these books is the way that the townspeople interact among themselves and their acceptance of Gamache.

I had a few frustrations that had nothing to do with the writing! Pages were missing from the library copy that I borrowed, 2 pages from the middle of the book, and the last 3 pages were gone. By that point, the killer and their motive were already revealed, so I just missed the denouement, but it was most annoying. Being a series, there are ongoing concerns that I can only imagine were addressed in the dying paragraphs of the book. I am assured, however, that Penny makes everything clear in each volume, so I have no doubt I’ll be able to pick up book 3 and still be able to appreciate what’s going on.

So, adieu for now, Armand Gamache. I’ll see you later.

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text 2018-05-24 15:06
Reading progress update: I've read 234 out of 416 pages.
A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny

OMG, it was difficult to set this book down last night!

 

I spent a couple of hours in the evening with a friend and her big lovable oaf of a dog.  She works for a Guide Dog charity and they are collecting clothing, suitcases, bedding, towels, etc. for an enormous garage sale to raise money for the organization.  I packed an huge, heavy suitcase with clothing.  Then I emptied out the bottom of my coat closet--a garbage bag of shoes!  Looking around, I saw my mom's cedar chest--with a thick coating of dust on it.  Hmmm....I can't be using whatever's in there!  Three more garbage bags of sheets, towels, blankets.  The cedar chest is empty now and I feel like I've had a weight lifted off me.

 

I highly recommend a good purge to make life look a little brighter!

 

But when I got home from my delivery mission, I had to have another visit with Inspector Gamache, and it ran a little late.  *Yawn*

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review 2018-05-21 01:53
GLASS HOUSES by LOUISE PENNY
Glass Houses - Louise Penny

Audiobook

While I still love this series, I feel the hiding crucial information from your superiors for the better good is a repeat of a different book in this series. And I feel this idyllic village has turned into the highest murder per residents village in all of the world. There are so many murders that happen here. Yes, I know that I'm reading a murder mystery, but maybe the author could take us on another road trip without the residents for once so that they wouldn't eventually feel that Armand Gamache is a curse and not a blessing in their lives. Just a thought.

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text 2018-05-19 17:16
"How To Be Brave" by Louise Beech - DNF - abandoned at 15% - buying error on my part
How To Be Brave - Louise Beech

I only listened to ninety minutes of an eleven-hour book so I'm not giving a star rating but I'm certain this book is not for me.

 

I liked the story idea - nine-year-old-girl dramatically passes out and is diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes, her mother has to cope with the consequences alone except for the perhaps ghostly intervention from a dead but still inspirational great-grandfather.

 

I feel bad about not liking this book beause is semi-autobiographical and I can feel the authenticity of the experience but that's not enough. I found the pace slow, it's a little over-written while still managing to be slightly dull. Where I'd hoped for passion, I found sentiment that verges on Hallmark.

 

I think I may not be nice enough for this book. I reacted badly to its wholesomeness.

 

Others may value this book for its uplifting message and the sincerity of the author and the love that obviously went into it, but I'm moving on.

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