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review 2020-07-02 02:50
Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit (Kopp Sisters, #4)
Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit - Amy Stewart

I always enjoy these books; they're soothing reads in many ways, as Stewart doesn't try to over dramatise or create more suspense than history dictates.  (This series is based on the real events and life of Constance Kopp.)  This 4th instalment surrounds the election for Sheriff, a pivotal point for Constance, because the sitting sheriff - the one that was bold enough to hire a woman - has hit his term limit and can run.


It's a bittersweet story with an interesting ending.  I look forward to finding out how the Kopp sisters fare.

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review 2020-07-02 02:32
Airs Above the Ground
Airs Above the Ground - Mary Stewart

Not her best work, but a fun read nonetheless.  More a straight up mystery than romantic suspense, and while the plot villain was obvious, Stewart at least had some fun misleading the reader about the plot itself.


Aside:  I bought this years ago at a FOTL sale for a dollar; when I finished reading it, I saw that it was published and printed 3 blocks from where I live now.  On its site now sits a 'home improvement store' - Bunnings, the Aussie answer to Home Depot.  A place a spit and swear about every time I have to visit it.  Now, it seems, I have even more reason to dislike it - I'd rather the book publishers were still there.

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text 2020-06-07 17:31
BL-opoly, Pandemic Edition -- Sixth Roll
Shakespeare's Local - Pete Brown,Cameron Stewart



I've owned (and wanted to read) this for way too long -- time to finally get around to doing just that.



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review 2020-06-07 13:47
Thornyhold - Mary Stewart

by Mary Stewart


I can see why this is considered one of Mary Stewart's best among her Mystery books. In some ways it shows its age and screams 'pulp', yet it is written with the skill I've seen used in her Merlin series and once it gets going, holds attention and really made me want to know what was going on.


Geillis Ramsay is named after her mother's cousin, who has something of magic about her. It's a quality her mother had as well, until she married a clergyman. Much of Geillis' childhood is characterized by austerity, but when she inherits the house that belonged to her namesake, everything changes.


The house itself is a mystery. Between odd neighbors and strange locked doors, hidden secrets slowly unravel while Geillis discovers just what sort of witch her cousin was. Messages from the dead and animals who behave as if they know more than their new human mistress flavor a story with some interesting and very distinctive characters.


While older stories like this can feel dated, I enjoyed it enough to want to read a couple more of Stewart's better known Mysteries.

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review 2020-04-26 16:42
The Hollow Hills
The Hollow Hills - Mary Stewart

by Mary Stewart


This is the second book of the Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. It begins where the first book left off, taking us through the lead up to the birth of Arthur through to the moment he is recognised as rightful king.


Most of the story focuses on Merlin himself and his travels as he keeps track of what is going on in the kingdom, making a point of learning what factions are loyal to the king and which pose a threat or which petty kings become overly ambitious when the only son of the High King is not visible to the people.


Like the first book, there are accurate historical references couched within the fantasy element and the story is told in first person in a rich storyteller's tone. The discovery of the legendary sword Excaliber (aka Caliburn) is pure artistic licence, but believable as any of the less practical legends or more so and pulls the story together so that the accepted elements of the Arthurian legend remain mostly intact.


Stewart veers off the traditional track a little with her characters, changing the parentage of Morgan LeFay and splitting her into two characters to fill different purposes. In this her version is entirely her own. She quotes a legend at the end to support the character of Morgause, but gives no reference and I've never seen it anywhere else.


In the latter part of the book, we get to know Arthur as a young man a little. I did feel this part became rushed and the last couple of chapters seemed to skim past the well known elements of the legend far too quickly. Despite my misgivings about the changes she has made to those legends, Mary Stewart tells a deeply atmospheric story and I've enjoyed reading it very much.

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