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review 2017-08-28 21:32
The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey
The Singing Sands - Josephine Tey

This is both the last of the Inspector Grant novels, and the last book published by Josephine Tey. It was published posthumously after her death of liver cancer - it was found in her papers as a completed novel.

 

It probably wasn't the best idea to start with the last book written by Ms. Tey. I have no idea if she knew that she was terminally ill at the time that she was writing it, but the ending is decidedly odd - abrupt and seemingly out of character for Inspector Grant.

 

The mystery itself was interesting, based around a slip of paper picked up by Inspector Grant after he comes upon a train conductor who has just found the body of a young man alone in a train compartment. On the scrap of paper there is a fragment of doggerel:

 

_The beasts that talk,

The streams that stand,

The stones that walk,

The singing sand,_ . . . .

 

_That guard the way To Paradise._

 

Which Grant finds that he is unable to wrest from his mind. Grant has gone on vacation to Scotland because he has developed panic attacks and claustrophobic and the doctor sent him away. He is at odds with himself - he wants to rest, but finds himself unable to get the young man "with the reckless eyebrows" out of his mind and decides to try to find the answer to the scrap of poetry. This leads him to the Hebrides, to a meeting with a different young man, and ultimately to the identification of the deceased and a return to London.

 

We spend most of the book trying to decide if this is even a murder, as Inspector Grants grapples with his claustrophobia and dithers over whether he even wants to remain part of Scotland Yard. I can't help but wonder if this grappling is related to Tey's own grappling with her own shortened life expectancy.

 

Anyway, long story short, I don't feel like I'm really able to form an opinion of Tey based only on this book. There are too few data points from which to draw conclusions. I am leaning toward reading Brat Farrar as part of Halloween bingo, as that seems to be widely acknowledged as some of her best work and I can get it for a relatively reasonable price. I just can't bear the thought of spending $11.99 for Daughter of Time.

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text 2017-08-26 00:26
Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 229 pages.
The Singing Sands - Josephine Tey

This is my first Josephine Tey mystery - I decided to go with $1.99 title (6th in the Inspector Alan Grant series) rather than #5, The Daughter of Time, which is $11.99 (in fairness, that one gets all kinds of love).

 

The Singing Sands was Tey's last book, published posthumously after her early death from cancer. 

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review 2017-07-21 03:52
The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid
The Mermaids Singing - Val McDermid

Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #1

 

So this was weird. Definitely weird. I was interested enough to keep reading and I did like part of the ending, but there was definite weirdness going on. I mean, the phone calls...?

 

And the people warning me about the gruesomeness really weren't kidding. Overall I'm not really sure what to make of it since it was also quite dry and clinical in parts, so I'm going with a completely middle of the road rating unless I change my mind. I know I could put off writing a review, but I'd rather just put something down now so that it's done.

 

I'm thinking about checking out the next one in the series because I didn't mind Carol and I thought Tony might be better in future books. I also quite like police procedurals.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly Mystery 35 "Read a book tagged police procedural or detective on GR, or has a MC who is a police detective". This one is tagged police procedural and one of the MC's (Jordan) is a police detective, so I'm pretty sure it counts. Other people confirmed the genre too. At 416 pages, this adds another $10 to my bank, leaving me with a whopping $247!

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text 2017-07-20 12:52
Reading progress update: I've read 23%.
The Mermaids Singing - Val McDermid

He opened the boxes and took out the stacks of document wallets they contained. Carol had labelled them all neatly. Fluent capitals, Tony noted. A woman comfortable with the written word.

Wtf??

 

Also, what is a "fluent" capital? A neat capital letter? As opposed to indecipherable scrawl?? This is for case evidence documentation back in the 90s. Of course it would be legible.

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text 2017-03-27 21:06
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin,James Dean

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes tells the story of Pete, a blue cat, who is starting his first day of school. Eric Litwin, the author, highlights many different places in the school that Pete has never been before such as the library, the lunchroom, and the playground. All of these locations could be places that students could find intimidating on their first day of school, but Pete is one cool cat who does not worry! Litwin incorporates a song into his book that is catchy for young readers to listen to. Believe me, it will be stuck in your head all day long! This book would be great to read on the first day of school to a kindergarten class, or preschoolers getting ready to begin kindergarten. You could even lend a copy to a new student in your class who may be feeling anxious about their first day and being in a new school setting. The book's reading level is for kindergarten and its lexile level is AD600L. Pete is the perfect example of how all students should feel on their first day at school: excited to learn and full of confidence! 

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