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review 2018-10-13 10:20
Arthur Conan Doyle: Gothic Tales
Gothic Tales (Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection) - Arthur Conan Doyle,Darryl Jones

While ACD is, of course, best known for the Sherlock Holmes stories, he also left an abundance of other stories to us, many of them quite Gothic and featuring ghosts and mummies and other evil characters. 


This edition of Gothic Tales contains 34 short stories of horror and suspense that are not related to the Holmes canon.


As with any collection of short stories, some are better than others. 


Btw, all of the stories are available online for free, some are even available as audio narrations on Youtube. 


The 34 Stories:


The American's Tale - 3.5* - fun, in a cryptozoological way

The Captain of the "Polestar" - 4.5* - Wow. So much atmosphere.

The Winning Shot - 3.5* - Necromancy?

J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement - 2.5* - Interesting but too dragged out, also very dated.

John Barrington Cowles - 4.5* - So good. So dark.

Uncle Jeremy's Household - 1* - Thriving on Indian mysticism and some stereotyping.

The Ring of Thoth - 4* - spooky

The Surgeon of Gaster Fell - 2* - Boring.

A Pastoral Horror - 3.5* - Haha. Gory, but with a fun twist.

"De Profundis" - 4* - Grim, in a plague way.

Lot No. 249 - 4.5* - Classic, fun mummy horror.

The Los Amigos Fiasco - 4* - Truly grim. A story about electrocution.

The Case of Lady Sannox - 3* stomach turning tale. Also, ironic that the stereotyping backfires. 

The Lord of Chateau Noir - 2* - Meh.

The Third Generation - 2* Meh. Medical superstition.

The Striped Chest - 3* - Good, fun, maritime superstition.

The Fiend of the Cooperage - 1* - VERY colonial creature feature.

The Beetle-Hunter - 4* - Atmospheric. This could be at home in the Holmes canon. Also: Brooke Street!

The Sealed Room - 2* - Ghostly.

The Brazilian Cat - 4* - Another one that reads Holmesian in nature. Also: Pernambuco! :D 

The New Catacomb - 3* - another one where archaeology features

The Retirement of Signor Lambert - 2.5* - Operatic ripper story.

The Brown Hand - 2* - Draaaagging on a bit.

Playing with Fire - 3.5* Paranormal fun.

The Leather Funnel - 4* - pure Gothic horror based on historical fact

The Pot of Caviare - 3* - "It was the salmon mousse."

The Terror of Blue John Gap - 2.5* - too drawn out. Fits with the Lost World.

Through the Veil - 3* - Supernatural Scotland.

How It Happened - 4.5* - Aww. Cute.

The Horror of the Heights - 2* - too much like Lovecraft for me

The Bully of Brocas Court - 3* - Regency bare-knuckle fighting.

The Nightmare Room - 4* - Ha. A very 1920s twist.

The Lift - 2* - Evangelical.

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review 2018-10-06 13:33
potted history of the Romans
Veni, Vidi, Vici: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Romans but were afraid to ask - Peter Jones

This is a great book to dip in and out of.  All about Rome and the Romans during the Classical period, Peter Jones follows things in a chronological fashion making me want to do more research about some of the things in the tale.  It's a perfect book to dip your toes into Classical History or refresh your mind.

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review 2018-10-05 23:50
Dirty Rich Cinderella Story: Ever After (Dirty Rich Book 5) by Lisa Renee Jones
Dirty Rich Cinderella Story: Ever After - Lisa Renee Jones



They made it through the rain, but can they survive the storm that looms ahead. Lori and Cole are in for a dangerous homecoming and their worlds may never be the same. The dashingly, suave prince, becomes the warrior hero in this action packed sequel to Dirty Rich Cinderella. Ever After is quite the adventure and Cole is determined to hold on to what's his. Jones amps up the suspense for a heart-stopping ride.She keeps it hot, even as she makes the blood run cold. This is not a stand alone, Dirty Rich Cinderella MUST be read to get the full impact of Lori and Cole.

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review 2018-10-05 20:34
The Night Cyclist - Stephen Graham Jones
The Night Cyclist - Stephen Graham Jones

 There must be no compulsion to hide the bodies. Otherwise I'd have never found them.


A middle-aged chef cycles home from work at night, every night. One early morning, he finds a couple of corpses. The next night, he meets a stranger, clad all in black, with a bike long out of date, and wicked fast - the night cyclist.


SGJ is one mad, bad-ass wizard. This short story is brilliantly executed, impeccably structured, and using the perfect voice.

Read it for yourself here.

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review 2018-10-05 10:39
Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung by Richard Jones
Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung - Richard Jones

TITLE:  Call of Nature:  The Secret Life of Dung


AUTHOR:  Richard Jones




FORMAT:  Hardcover


ISBN-13:  978-1-78427-105-3




"Journey through the digestive systems of humans, farm and wild animals, and meet some of nature's ultimate recyclers as they eat, breed in and compete for dung. The fall of bodily waste onto the ground is the start of a race against the clock as a multitude of dung-feeders and scavengers consume this rich food source. From the enigmatic dung-rolling beetles to bat guano and giant elephant droppings, dung creates a miniature ecosystem to be explored by the aspiring dung watcher.

The author completes the book with an identification guide to dung itself, so that you can identify the animal that left it behind. Pellets or pats? Scats, spraints, frass, guano, spoor learn your way around different species droppings. There's also a dung-feeder s identification guide that includes the species you re most likely to encounter on an exploration of the dung heap."



Call of Nature is an informative, interesting, thought-provoking, well-researched and nicely illustrated book full of interesting facts by an author who is passionate about his subject.  The author's British sense of humour  and personal, relevant (but not long-winded ) anecdotes was entertaining and lightened up a book that revolves around dung and dung beetles.  Such topics as the ecological value of dung, the animal communities that make use of dung, a fond focus on dung beetles, and what happens if dung just lay around and didn't degrade (as happened in Australia), are covered in this book.  A useful identification guide to various types of animal dung and a guide to some critters that inhabit dung is also provided.  Not to mention the rather amusing scatalogical dictionary at the end. 

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