logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: tom-ellen
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-04 08:44
The Division Bell Mystery - Ellen Wilkinson

A wealthy American financier is found shot dead, alone in a room. Initial thoughts are that he killed himself but parliamentary private secretary Robert West isn’t so sure, especially when the financier’s granddaughter insists that it was murder. Bob is soon caught up in trying to uncover the truth, without creating a national crisis in the process.

The setting of the Houses of Parliament lend an air of intrigue to the novel. There is something a little remote and otherworldly about this institution that everyone is aware of but where only a few know the inner workings. This book gives a little glimpse of what it would have been like 80 years ago to walk the halls and in particular give a brief insight into what it may have been like to be a woman MP.

 

There are moments that are dated but also still relevant somewhat to today. The way women are viewed, particularly in the traditionally patriarchical society of government, was more obvious now than it may have been when the book was first published. However I think that was the author’s intention. She was an MP and would have faced such treatment and thoughtless assumption that her ideals and position were secondary. West is enamoured of Miss Oissel, to the point were he is very nearly blind to everything else. He compares her to his friend Grace, barely noticing how he hurts her in the process.

 

West is a character that I both liked and disliked in equal measure. He is arrogant but almost unaware of it, which makes it somewhat more forgivable. He is dismissive of women but respects them and his stubborn nature almost means that the mystery remains unsolved.

 

The murder itself is engaging, the very definition of a locked room mystery. How can a man be murdered in a room when the only means of escape for a murderer is through a door that has three people standing outside? The denouement is given, not with a big reveal with many flourishes, but in a matter of fact manner and is somewhat tongue in cheek given it is not Bob West who finds the final clue to solving the puzzle.

 

Every book I read in the British Library crime classics has something to recommend it. There is something eminently entertaining about their novels, each one bringing with it a glimpse of the past. The Division Bell Mystery is no different. It is a worthy inclusion into the series.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-09-23 00:03
Does anyone else have any regrets?
The Wonder Down Under: A User’s Guide to the Vagina - Nina Brochmann,Ellen Stokken Dahl,Lucy Moffatt

Like that they spent years calling theirs a hoo-ha when they could have been using the wonder down under?

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-17 00:03
People Kill People
People Kill People - Ellen Hopkins
The first words in this book captured the essence of this novel, “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people.” Following this conception, which I agree with, Ellen draws us into the lives of six individuals whose lives were affected by violence.
 
Although this novel is not written in Ellen’s typical style, it’s not written in long narrative form either but a form that’s somewhere down the middle. As Ellen introduced the characters, I saw how each of their lives were different yet somehow guns and/or violence entered into their life. I had a feeling as the story progressed that things were going to get much worse before they got better as their situations were becoming tense and for some of them, it felt as if the characters were looking for this type of excitement.
 
It’s the reality of Ellen’s characters and the accuracy of their lives that make this novel hit home. It’s a tough subject, a topic that we all know too well yet it’s one we can’t shut our eyes to. We want to be informed but where will that lead us?
 
As I turn on the TV at night, this loss of life seems to be a nightly occurrence. I don’t want to watch it but I know it’s all around me and I can’t shut it out. Why some individuals take aim at others and at themselves, sometimes over trivial things, I just don’t understand. It doesn’t have to be a gun that causes the fatality. It could be a variety of other means that causes this life to end, guns are just sometimes easier to obtain. For a killing is a killing, a death is a death.
 
Ellen shows us life, without blinders. She shows us why.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-15 17:08
Mardi Gras Murder: Not Your Typical Murder Mystery
Mardi Gras Murder: A Cajun Country Mystery - Ellen Byron

I can’t really give much about this book (without spoiling it, that is) but what I can give you is this set of keywords on what you need to know and expect about the book: murders, traitors, secrets, lies, lineage, Mardi Gras, festivities, celebration, mystery, and issues. (because supposedly everyone has them.)

 

I haven’t read any book by Ellen Byron yet, or any installment from the Cajun Country mysteries series either so I’m really new with their writing and the setting of Cajun Country. Because I’m a clueless human, the book introduced me to new things such as Mardi Gras and the orphan train to name a few. Her writing is also simply amazing.

 

By reading the story, I got a small glimpse of the Pelican culture and some snippets on history. The story may be fictional but part of me felt that. :)))

 

One thing I really really really liked was the flow of the story. The transitioning of each chapter makes me smirk every time. It’s just begging me, inviting me to read the next chapter immediately, and I did.

 

Most chapters ended in a cliffhanger (spoiler!) which, for me, was frustratingly good (if that makes any sense). I started slow but quickly picked up my pace when the cliffhangers began, continuing one chapter to the next. I just had to.

 

Onto the characters… (yayyy!) I absolutely, genuinely adore the characters in Mardi Gras Murder. I felt that most of them had character development. You can see how each character is well-rounded and that each one has a different story to tell. You can’t really point out who is good or bad, innocent or guilty, at fault or not.

 

Here’s one thing I can tell you: We can’t really say who did what because we don’t really know know everyone. We all have our secrets but at some point, they’ll be revealed. Someday, one way or another.

 

It's a chill book that gives chills. So settle in and ready your little tiny heart for some murder action and mystery in a town where it seems fun and light on the outside but secretly hides quite a lot of darkness on the inside.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-09 22:05
A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales - Ellen Datlow,Terri Windling
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I love retellings, especially fairy tale retellings. I have a whole shelf on Goodreads dedicated to retellings and parodies. However, this one was kind of a let down. With big names like Neil Gaiman, Nancy Farmer, and Gregory Maguire, I thought I was in for an amazing trip into fairy tale retelling-dom. 

Unfortunately, most of the stories fell flat for me. Many of the authors took most of the magic out of the stories, creating a version of the story set in modern or quasi-modern times. This essentially took everything I love about fairy tales out of the actual fairy tale. I love reading about far off places in times long past with elements of strange magic. So these modern, realistic tales kind of took all the fun out of reading fairy tales. 

I did like a few of the pieces. Nancy Farmer's "Falada: The Goose Girl's Horse" was my favorite. I liked the changes she made to the original story. I also thought Michael Cadnum's "Mrs. Big" and Garth Nix's "Hansel's Eyes" had unique and interesting retellings. And Neil Gaiman's "Instructions" was a cute way of tying together a bunch of stories. 

But many of the stories just felt a little boring to me. Not enough fairies in said fairy tales. 

Not sure if it's because it was written 18 years ago or if the authors just tried simplifying their stories too much for their target audience, but I did not like this book as much as I thought I would. It was still decent with some interesting ideas in it so I still gave it 3 stars. Unique mash-up of sci-fi, fantasy, and realism.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?