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review 2018-02-07 11:52
The Doctor's Wife is Dead: A Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and a Murder Trial in Nineteenth-Century Ireland - Andrew Tierney

1849 and Mrs Langley, the doctor’s wife, is dead. But why had she been made to live in the attic of her home and why had she previously been sent to live in a poor part of town? The Doctor’s Wife is Dead follows the trial of Dr Langley and the reactions of family and friends to the treatment of Mrs Langley.


At first I wasn’t totally engaged with the book. There are many people to feature in the lives of Dr and Mrs Langley, and it was difficult to differentiate between family members, legal advisors and inquest jury members. In fact I started to read the book then put it to one side for a while. But I picked it up again and found that this time I wrapped up in the melancholy tale of a wife seemingly cast out by her younger husband.


There is a lot to find interesting in the book. The social morals and ideals of the 19th Century are more immediate when told by way of an actual family. The book manages to veer away from the salacious and whilst the author endeavours to remain impartial, the reader inevitably draws their own conclusions.


The story is just as much a treatise on domestic violence as it is an examination of the place in society women held in the 19th Century. Whilst there are many differences between then and now the tale of Dr and Mrs Langley is still as relevant today, sadly.

Dr Langley appears from the testimony of witnesses and from his own letters, to be a controlling, narcissistic man, who married his older wife for her money. He is conniving and deliberate in his treatment towards her. Whilst domestic abuse was prevalent in the 19th Century, laws were only just coming into being to protect women, and the burden of proof and social stigma attached to any such allegations was still high. Even by today’s standards the Langley case is shocking and sad, for contemporaries it would have been scandalous, the details of it even reaching Westminster.


This is an interesting look at a case that is both of it’s time and of the moment.

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review 2018-01-30 22:12
A Peculiar Courtship
A Peculiar Courtship (The Beckett Files, Book 2) - Laura Beers

Johnathan Beckett is on a mission as an agent of the Crown.  The mission is to save Lady Hannah who has been missing since an attempted abduction.  Lady Hannah's father holds sensitive information about a traitor to the Crown and her life is now in danger because of it.  Lady Hannah finds refuge on a country farm where Johnathan finally finds her; but Hannah's abductors are not far behind. While on the run, Johnathan and Hannah act as husband and wife so Hannah may stay under his protection. When Johnathan  and Hannah reach safety at his sister, Eliza's estate, Johnathan and Hannah's feelings for one another grow; however, Johnathan's attitude toward Hannah changes.  Johnathan would now like Hannah to act as a lady and Hannah would like to learn to defend herself as Eliza does.  Unfortunately, before Johnathan and Hannah can sort things out, trouble catches up to them and a conspiracy unravels.  

A Peculiar Courtship continues with Johnathan Beckett's story as it left off in Saving Shadow.  However, you do not have to read Saving Shadow first in order to enjoy A Peculiar Courtship. I enjoyed getting to know Hannah and loved that there was yet another strong female character in the story.  I liked that Hannah was a quick thinker, able to outrun her attackers for at least a little while, she was grateful and gracious to the family that saved her, even if it meant working on a farm and she was able to mold herself to be useful in a variety of situations.  I also got to learn more about Johnathan in this installment.  He is, as I expected, an excellent agent of the Crown, but surprised me with his treatment of Hannah.  Johnathan's overprotective nature almost ruins Hannah's perception of him.  As in Saving Shadow, the characters are all very well developed and I am happy to see Eliza and Benedict as a couple.  At first, the action and suspense all seemed to be concentrated at the beginning of the book, although, underneath the surface a bigger conspiracy is brewing that could affect Parliament and will need several agents of the Crown, including Shadow, in order to bring down French traitors.  With many well crafted spy elements, a sweet love story and plenty of fierce female characters, A Peculiar Courtship is a wonderful addition the The Beckett Files and I can't wait to see what's next.

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review 2017-10-18 21:38
Great Tales of the Peculiar
Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

I swear if Riggs had included more stories like this in his trilogy I would have ended up liking the series a lot better. We get to read about tales that are put together by one of the characters we read about in Miss Peregrine's series. "Tales of the Peculiar" is supposedly written by a former Miss Peregrine ward, Millard Nullings. I don't know if you all know about him. But he was the character that was invisible. I would suggest reading the series before this book since there is not that great of an introduction before you plunge into these tales. 


The Splendid Cannibals (5 stars)-Definitely a cautionary tale about greed in this one. I did like the story of a village of peculiars selling their body parts (they grow back) to cannibals who tire of eating rotting body parts. I did laugh though at the villagers trying to one up each other with how stylish their homes were getting. 


The Fork Tongued Princess (5 stars)-I would love to read a follow-up story about this character. A gorgeous princess with a forked tongue and scales being treated like a monster by her father and her fiancee. When she is revealed to be a monster, she eventually has to run away to seek a better life. She at one point says that she is through with princes, and when you see what she is put through, you can see why. It though is ultimately a tale of forgiveness. 


The First Ymbryne (5 stars)-We find out about these birds that could become humans and how they changed life better for the peculiars. I loved reading about how loops were discovered. This could have been a really cool pre-cool book for the series. But I actually like it better as a short story. 


The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts (4 stars)-An okay story, it was fairly short I thought. I loved the idea of a young woman who could see and speak to ghosts. She gets a pretty happy ending too. 


Cocobolo (5 stars)-I don't want to give anything away. But I loved this one! So original and I was worried about how it would end, but it ended happily. I think. 


The Pigeons of St. Paul's (3.5 stars)-Another short one compared to other stories. I think this was originally in one of the books. I don't feel like looking it up. Okay story, but compared to the other stories, not as great. 


The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares (5 stars)-This one made me shiver. Plus we got an alternate ending which was straight up horror when you read it. Loved it. 


The Locust (4 stars)-This is a tale about loving your peculiar children or bad things can happen. I liked the ending though I was surprised Riggs didn't give us another alternative horror one after the last story. 

The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea (4 stars)-I thought this was a pretty cool story. A boy who could control the sea and all of the problems it brings him. 


The Tale of Cuthbert (3.5 stars)-Only because I read this before I think in book #2 of the series and I already knew how it ended. 


I found the illustrations to be beautiful in this e-book. I would love to see the gold lettering and illustrations in a hardcover. 


Loved this little trip back to Miss Peregrine and her children. 



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text 2017-10-18 19:52
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

This was a great collection of short stories!

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text 2017-10-18 16:03
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
Tales of the Peculiar - Ransom Riggs

I am reading this for "Free Space/Creepy Raven" square. So far so good. I like this a lot more than books #2 and #3. This includes some really cool illustrations too. At least Riggs resisted the urge to put in creepy photos that it tries to make the story fit around.


"The Splendid Cannibals" (5 stars)-A tale of warning to those who decided that selling their body parts (they grow back) to a group of hungry cannibals can end up with you living as just a type of vegetable that they water now and again.


"The Fork-Tongued Princess" (5 stars)-I really wanted this princess to kick the crap out of the worthless princes she came across. I would love a longer story about her. The ending was so fun. 


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