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review 2018-09-18 14:12
Rose Cottage
Rose Cottage - Mary Stewart

by Mary Stewart

 

This one starts out without as much description as previous Mary Stewart books I've read, but by the end of the first chapter exactly what Rose Cottage is has been explained. Much of the first half of the book feels like ordinary things going on, but a mystery presents itself when a hidden cupboard in Rose Cottage is discovered to have been uncovered.

 

The time period is after the war in the UK when rationing was still in force. A lot of Stewart's use of language fits into the era and creates that dreamy sort of old movie atmosphere.

 

Mary Stewart has an engaging style and despite waiting for a long time for anything really significant to happen, the story kept my attention. It isn't what you would call high action and it skirts the Women's Fiction category, but a mystery gets solved in the end and there is that touch of romance that Stewart's Mysteries always have.

 

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text 2018-09-18 08:37
Reading progress update: I've read 129 out of 372 pages.
This Rough Magic - Mary Stewart

I laughed at her. ‘You should be like me, and get your jewellery you-know-where. Then you could lose the lot down on the beach, and not worry about Leo’s beating you.’

‘If that was all I thought would happen,’ said Phyllida, with a spice of her usual self, ‘I’d probably enjoy it. But it’s his mother.’

This. This is the sort of throw-away comment that pops up through-out the book that makes me cringe. It's not just dated, it's not even funny. 

 

And the description of women in this book is just down-right insulting:

 

Phyllida was described earlier as the stereotypical hysterical female. She forgot her valuable diamond ring in a plastic bag at the beach, then blamed her male friend who retrieved her things from the beach for not noticing the bag. This was right after they discovered the body. He tried to help comfort her and not make her go back to the place where they found the body. He had no reason to know that the plastic bag was hers.

How in the world is it his fault she lost the bloody ring?!

 

Our main character - Lucy - is little better. She over-dramatises everything and is so naive, I'm not even sure how she even manages any social interaction. She's not TSTL exactly but she's really, really childlike. 

 

And then we have the dolphin. Stewart - through Lucy's eyes - tries to make the dolphin out to be some sort of magical sea monster. 

Don't get me wrong, I also hold dolphins to be magical in numerous ways, but our poor excuse for a heroine needs to get over it and accept that it is a dolphin, not the Kraken.

The bundle stirred. As my breath whistled sharply in, I saw, in the torchlight, the gleam of a living eye. But then in the split half-second that prevented me from screaming, I saw what – not who – this was. It was the dolphin.

Apollo’s child. Amphitryte’s darling. The sea-magician. High and dry.

The eye moved, watching me. The tail stirred again, as if trying to beat movement out of the hard earth as it would from water. It struck the edge of the crisping ripples with a splash that seemed to echo right up the rocks.

I tiptoed closer, under the blackness of the pines. ‘Darling?’ I said softly. ‘What’s the matter? Are you hurt?’

The creature lay still, unblinking, the eye liquid and watchful. It was silly to look, as I did, for recognition, but at least I could see no fear of me. I shone the torch carefully over the big body. There seemed to be no wound, or mark of any kind. I examined the sand round about. There was no blood, only a wide, dragged wake where the animal had been hauled or thrown out of the water.

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text 2018-09-17 23:55
Just to get it out of my system...
This Rough Magic - Mary Stewart

...and, more importantly, off of my shelves:

 

I started This Rough Magic on Sunday morning but could only handle so much of the book before I wanted to slap several of the characters. 

 

The problem is, I really want to read the book until the end because Stewart's atmospheric writing is just that good and I really like the idea of tying this story into the story of The Tempest (Shakespeare). 

 

So, I think I will finish this book this week - independent from Halloween Bingo - in the hope that this will cure me of any desire to read more of Stewart's work.

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review 2018-09-17 22:28
Killer Librarian / Mary Lou Kirwin
Killer Librarian (Thorndike Press Large Print Mystery Series) - Mary Lou Kirwin

Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London, a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours. But she's clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff, until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm! She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway . . . and entertain schemes for Dave's untimely demise while crossing the pond.
After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins. Soon she's spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger. That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation permanently. And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin's target. With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery in which library science meets the art of murder.

 

I read this book for the Cozy Mystery square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I’m not usually a tremendous fan of the cozy mystery genre—I tend to like things a bit darker and more threatening--but I was charmed by this librarian-reluctantly-turned-sleuth tale that also incorporated a gentle romance.

Karen Nash is a successful librarian who has always dreamed of visiting England, the land of all of her favourite authors. She has carefully planned her upcoming vacation, trying to indulge her passion for literature while not boring her plumber boyfriend Dave. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Dave dumps Karen just days before they are to embark on this adventure. What’s a girl to do? Karen buys her own plane ticket and goes anyway, finding at the airport that Dave has replaced her with a younger woman. Understandably angry, Karen conceals herself as best she can on the flight, then follows the couple upon landing in London.

Who hasn’t been dumped and fantasized about taking revenge on the former object of our affection? Karen books into her B&B and is pleased to find that the owner loves books as much as she does. When she goes looking for some juice in the middle of her first night, she stumbles over the body of a fellow customer, complicating her situation.

The remainder of the book deals with meeting the other denizens of the B&B, being touristy in London, causing trouble for the disloyal Dave, pursuing the new man in her life, plus solving the murder mystery. A very full schedule. Karen is a woman after my own heart, a planner, a reader, and a very competent woman.

Perfect if you want a warm, fuzzy reading experience with a very gentle mystery attached to it. Truly, the story is much more about Karen and how she sorts out her life after it’s been shaken up. Very enjoyable.

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text 2018-09-17 18:25
Reading progress update: I've read 296 out of 455 pages.
Nine Coaches Waiting - Mary Stewart

Linda finally learned the truth about the murder plot against little Phillip and oh boy, the mystery and Linda´s (supposedly) assigned role in it is so dumb, I think I need some booze as well for the rest of the book.

 

[Source]

 

I have to start another book tonight, because I can´t handle anymore of this for the rest of the day.

 

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