logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Paul-Doherty
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-13 04:39
Science Buddy Read Book Club coming soon!
Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind - Richard Fortey
Atoms Under the Floorboards: The Surprising Science Hidden in Your Home - Chris Woodford
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World - Mark Miodownik
The Science of Everyday Life - Marty Jopson
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History - Cynthia Barnett
The Inheritor's Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science - Sandra Hempel
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks
What Really Happens If You're Swallowed by a Whale, Get Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara...and Then You're Dead - Cody Cassidy,Paul Doherty
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher
My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs - Brian Switek

Our current buddy read of The Invention of Nature is going well enough that when it's finished, we're going to convert the book club into a general science buddy read club.

 

We definitely need a snappier name for it.

 

In the meantime, the current members are going through their shelves and coming up with possible titles for future reads; we'll likely read one book every two months, as non-fiction is generally a more time consuming read and we don't want to burn anyone out with too much of a good thing.  

 

I've gone through my Planning to Read shelf and shelved all the science books onto the science shelf (something I generally don't do until I've read the book - more out of laziness than anything else) and I've included a few here to see if any of them look interesting to anyone else, or are maybe already on their shelves.  

 

I have 16 all up; if anyone has any interest in seeing them all, I have confirmed that if you go to my shelves (or anyone else's for that matter) and click on Planning to Read, and then click on my Science shelf, you'll only see the Science books I have that I haven't yet read.  BookLikes has a bit of boolean searching power it's been keeping under its hat.

 

I've stuck with hard sciences (left out philosophy for example), but as a member of the group I'm open to interpretations.  

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-03 21:33
The Devil's Hunt
The Devil's Hunt - Paul Doherty

A Medieval Mystery featuring Hugh Corbett

 

England, 1303

 

Ascham opened his eyes. the library was dark. He tried again to scream but the sound died on his lips. The candle, flickering under its metal cap on the table, shed a small pool of light and Ascham glimpsed the piece of parchment the assassin had tossed onto the table. Ascham realised what had brought about his death: he'd recognised the truth but he'd been stupid ebough to allow his searches to be known. If only he had a pen! His hand grasped the wound bubbling in his chest. He wept and crawled painfully across the floor towards the table. He seized the parchment and, with his dying strength, carefully hauled himself up to etch out the letters – but the pool of light seemed to be dimming. He'd lost the feeling in his legs, which were stiffening, like bars of iron.
'Enough,' he whispered. 'Ah, Jesus ...'
Ascham closed his eyes, coughed and died as the blood bubbled on his lips.

 

When the book opens, Hugh Corbett is at home in Leighton, in Essex, enjoying his peaceful life as Lord of the Manor, even if that does involve the odd hanging (as on the first page of Chapter 1) which he certainly does not enjoy, though everyone else seems to. But this country idyll is rudely shattered when the King, Edward I, arrives at the manor house demanding that Hugh return to his service immediately.

 

A demand from a king, though phrased as a request, is in reality an order, and in the case of this king, to cross him when he is in this mood would be to invite disaster. So Sir Hugh, along with his henchman Ranulf-atte-Newgate and their friend-servant-squire Maltote, are despatched to Oxford, where Sparrow Hall is in a state of turmoil. Two murders have already been committed there. Left near the second corpse was a parchment announcing "The Bellman fears neither King nor clerk [...] The Bellman will ring the truth and all shall hear it."

 

Meanwhile, outside the college, in the city, this Bellman has been posting proclamations attacking the King and claiming that Simon de Montfort was in the right of it when he took up arms against the King. And these proclamations purport to be emanating from Sparrow Hall, which the masters there all fervently deny. Well, they would.

 

Also outside the Hall, another seemingly separate series of murders has been taking place. In each case, an old beggar from the city, by definition helpless and defenceless, has been taken out into the forest and decapitated and his head has been hung from the branches of a tree. Sir Hugh finds reason to believe they were not actually killed in the forest but taken there – from Sparrow Hall, which would link them in some strange way with the Bellman and the murder of the two masters.

 

Another perfect medieval whodunnit from Paul Doherty. Not a word is wasted, and the excitement never flags for a moment. Nor can one possibly guess (without cheating!) who the Bellman really is.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-31 20:57
Corpse Candle
Corpse Candle - Paul Doherty

England, early 14th century

 

'It was murder, wasn't it?' Ranulf asked sitting down on a stool.

'Murder, and a cunning one,' Corbett agreed. 'But proving it and discovering the assassin will be difficult. We are going to have to poke with a long, sharp stick. In many ways Abbot Stephen was a strange man. Oh, he was holy enough and learned but self-contained and mysterious; a knight-banneret who decided to become a priest. A soldier who decided to hunt demons.'

'Demons!' Ranulf exclaimed.

Corbett smiled thinly. 'Yes, Ranulf, our late Abbot was an officially appointed exorcist. Abbot Stephen would be called to assist with people who claimed to be possessed, and houses that were reputedly haunted.'

'Sprites and goblins!' Ranulf scoffed. 'A legion of devils wander Whitefriars and Southwark, but they are all flesh and blood. The wickedness they perpetrate would shame any self-respecting demon. You don't believe in that nonsense, do you?'

Corbett pursed his lips. Ranulf stared in disbelief. Chanson, delighted, stood rooted to the spot. He loved nothing better, as he'd often whispered to Ranulf, than sombre tales about witches, warlocks and sorcerers.

'Surely, Sir Hugh, it's arrant nonsense!'

'Yes and no,' Corbett replied slowly.

 

Another murder in a monastery – this time within a sealed chamber in the Fenland Abbey of St Martin's-in-the-Marsh.

 

The Abbot, a friend of the King's (he used to be a warrior and once saved the King's life), has been stabbed in his own chamber with his own dagger, yet there seems to be no way anyone could have obtained access to him.

 

The monks are about to organise a cover-up, insisting that some outsider, some outlaw, must have broken in and killed the Abbot, but the King (Edward I) is having none of it. He promptly sends Sir Hugh with his henchman Ranulf to make enquiries.

 

They soon discover that the aristocratic widow who owns all the adjoining lands was on very bad terms with Abbot Stephen, refusing to communicate with him directly and arguing fiercely – through the Prior – about a disputed boundary. But is there more to it than this? It turns out that they knew each other – well – when they were young.

 

Meanwhile, inside the monastery, two more suspects lurk: Taverner, a "cunning man" (a confidence trickster, living on his wits) who claimed to be possessed and whom the Abbot had been planning to exorcise; and an arch-deacon from London, an "old friend" of the Abbot's, who had ostensibly come to witness the exorcism.

 

Then another monk is murdered …

 

I like Hugh Corbett. And I especially like Ranulf, his side-kick, the "Clerk of the Green Wax" – listen to his prayer as he rides into mortal danger: "Oh Lord, look after Ranulf-atte-Newgate, as Ranulf-atte-Newgate would look after you, if he was God and you were Ranulf-atte-Newgate."

 

There is, it must be said, some careless editing, which is very unusual in Headline books (and especially in Paul Docherty's books!).  For example, on p20, Ranulf asks, 'Did you ever meet Abbot Stephen?' 'On a few occasions,' Corbett replies; on p129, we are informed that "he [Corbett] had never met Abbot Stephen".

 

But these are details.

 

What matters to me, always, is that the story grips. It is not a book to read in bed before you sleep. As with all Paul Docherty's medieval novels, you won't. You won't even yawn. In fact, three hours later you'll be getting up, book in hand to make a cup of tea.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-05-28 00:00
A Feast of Poisons
A Feast of Poisons - C.L. Grace,Paul Doherty No more Kathryn. No more Irishman. What am I to do with my life? Read some Chaucer maybe?
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-05-04 20:00
The Waxman Murders
The Waxman Murders - Paul Doherty

In 1272, King Henry III had died. His son Edward was on Crusade in Outremer (the Holy Land) at the time, and, in the absence of a king, law and order broke down. Rifflers pillaged isolated homes and farms. Among those attacked was the Blackstock's manor house outside Canterbury.

 

The Blackstocks had two sons. The older boy, Hubert, was at school in Canterbury, but the younger son, Adam, watched his own mother being raped and murdered, then saw his father killed and his home burnt down.

 

By the year 1300, Adam had become a North Sea pirate with his own ship, the Waxman, and Hugh, who had pursued his studies and become a monk, had abandoned the cloister and disappeared from sight – though all men feared him as much as they did his brother.

 

A map purporting to show where a great treasure was buried in Suffolk had fallen into Adam's hands. He was sailing to the Orwell estuary to deliver it to his brother when he was intercepted by two ships and killed in the ensuing battle. The map disappeared.

 

Now, three years later, a series of murders have been committed in Canterbury.

 

Sir Hugh Corbett, sent by king Edward (whose main interest is the map and the treasure) to investigate, finds that the beautiful lady Adelicia has been accused of one of the murders – the victim was her detested and miserly husband – but  he has reason to believe that they are all in fact connected, and may be the work of Hugh, Adam Blackstead's mysterious elder brother.

 

Then Hugh himself receives a threatening note – from someone who seems to be able to kill with impunity, anywhere, any time.

 

Paul Doherty is the maestro when it comes to Medieval Mysteries and this is another one not to be missed.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?