Ameise1 Europe Endless Challenge

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Ameise1 Europe Endless Challenge

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Editado: Set 9, 2015, 12:21 pm

Hello everybody!

I'm observing this group for two months now. This challenge seems to me very interesting and while I'm reading books all around the globe, I hope that I'll be able to put many books into this challenge.

create your personalized map of europe

Editado: Set 9, 2015, 12:18 pm

#30 The Siege by Ismail Kadare

#49 Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel
Bosnia Herzogovina

Czech Republic
#39 Take Me to the Castle by F C Malby

#40 Hornet Flight by Ken Follett
#45 Only One Life by Sara Blædel
#11 The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
#12 Have Mercy On Us All by Fred Vargas
#17 Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle
#24 This Night's Foul Work by Fred Vargas
#27 Chocolat by Joanne Harris

#26 Yoram by Ulrike Kolb
#41 Travels in Elysium by William Azuski


#13 Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
# 7 The Likeness by Tana French
# 9 The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
# 19 Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
# 42 Die Feuer von Murano by Giuseppe Furno






#44 House of Meetings by Martin Amis

San Marino
Serbia and Montenegro
#50 Waterblue Eyes by Domingo Villar
#16 Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell
#47 Spiel mit dem Tod by Anne Gold

#14 Sanctus by Simon Toyne
#20 Pretty Dead Things by Barbara Nadel

UK Channel Islands
UK England
# 3 Portobello by Ruth Rendell
#10 Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
#22 Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
#25 The Beacon by Susan Hill
#27 A Kind Man by Susan Hill
#29 The Clothes On Their Backs by Linda Grant
#38 Blood From Stone by Frances Fyfield
UK Northern Ireland
#46 Dark Dawn by Matt McGuire
UK Scotland
#21 Doors open by Ian Rankin
#23 When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

UK Shetland Islands
UK Wales
#43 Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson

Vatican City

Editado: Mar 21, 2012, 12:14 pm

UK England

An absolutely outstanding novel. Three different plots with four main characters. All of them have an addictive personality, some strong ones other mild ones. During the reading I got a great sympathy for each of them. All plots are linked to each other.
Rendell's gorgeous language made me feel being a sneaking observer right into Portobello Road.

(4 1/2 stars)

Fev 14, 2012, 6:05 pm

I've read some of Rendell's books, but not all of them. I don't think I've read that one, but I just read And Justice There Is None by Deborah Crombie in which Portobello figured prominently. I may have to add that one to my TBR list.

Fev 15, 2012, 4:15 am

Welcome to the challenge :)

Editado: Fev 15, 2012, 9:39 am

I guess you'll like Portobello. Let me know your impressions when you've read it. So fare it was my second Rendell but definitely not the last one. Are there any you could recommend? Thanks :-)

Fev 18, 2012, 3:39 am


It’s a gorgeous mystery crime from Ireland. When a murdered girl was found everybody from the Undercover Department was startled because she looks like Detective Cassie Maddox who was standing at the scene alive.

I knew her from somewhere, I’d seen that face a million times before. Then the whole world went silent, frozen, darkness roaring in from the edges and only the girl’s face blazing white at the centre; because it was me, blue-lipped and still, with shadows like dark bruises under my eyes.

Detective Cassie Maddox starts working undercover again. She lives among a group in an old mansion ‘Whitehorn House’ as the murdered girl.
As the reader I slipped always in Cassie’s role and had the feeling of working undercover too. There were so many twisted angels in this story that it was still up to the end impossible to tell who the real murderer was.

A very fast-paced plot, gripping and interesting. I can strongly recommend it.

(4 ½ stars)

Fev 23, 2012, 8:12 am

I've only read one book by French, but I'm planning on more. Good to know they get better and better.

Editado: Mar 21, 2012, 12:14 pm


A wonderful Irish story telling two different lives which are related to each other. There are also little history parts of the Irish life during WWI, the civil war and the dispute between Catholics and Prebyterians.

(4 stars)

Editado: Mar 21, 2012, 12:15 pm

UK England

A lovely book switching between the time 1968-1970 and nowadays. On the search for a descentant the tracer has to deal with his and his mates past. He detects how the life of his friends has altered and how the life of everyones parents still is trying to keep hold of a past aristrocratic lifestyle which isn't working always well.

(3 1/2 stars)

Mar 24, 2012, 9:43 am


It's the first book of The Commissaire Adamsberg Mystery. Adamsberg is a cranky personality. He intends to solve the crime by listening, thinking and waiting and he never seems to be in a hurry. He seems always absentminded and isn't able to catch track on his thoughts. For his subordinates it isn't easy to work with him but everyone is adoring him and is fascinated by his unorthodox investigation. The plot was so enthralling that I wasn't able to find out, until the very end, who the culprit was. It was my first Vargas but definitely not my last one, anonther one is already on my TBR pile.

(4 stars)

Abr 5, 2012, 12:09 pm

France Paris

It was another fantastic Vargas. Within the topic of bubonic plague it is obvious that Vargas' main profession is a historian and archaeologist specializing in the Middle Ages. The twists and turns she is setting out for human primal fear is amazingly. Commissaire Adamsberg's unorthodox method of evaluations are tight tested. Sometimes his gorgeous gut instinct got lost and he had to step back to retrieve the thread. Nevertheless it is a gripping fast-paced reading. As always all characters are set out from the beginning and and it kept me guessing up until the very last page.

(4 1/2 stars)

Editado: Abr 14, 2012, 4:54 pm


This is a marvellous story which is taking place in Iceland. Detective Erlendur does his research in his special own way. He can't leave small incidences alone. He is following track to all gossips also they are looking of no importance. His investigations are looking like jigsaws which finally come out as whole pictures. Next to a current case he is also solving a 30 years old case and is following his own past up.
I enjoyed this story very much. It was enthralling from first until the very last page. I can strongly recommend it.

(4 stars)

Abr 21, 2012, 3:23 pm


The plot is very similar to the Dan Brown's books. It is fast-paced and gripping and is also set into religious fiction thriller. It's a pity that the characters don't have rough edges, but rather are fictional personalities. I prefer more those characters, which one could meet in the flesh with tics and a own life next to the story, just someone I could identify with.

(3 1/2 stars)

Abr 22, 2012, 1:45 am

Hi and welcome to the challenge. We both started around the same time so I'm looking forward to comparing notes.

Abr 22, 2012, 2:26 pm


What a wonderful story about an elderly man, who in the beginning was living by himself on a little island. By and by four different women are dropping into his unspectacular routinely everyday life. Some were aroused from his earlier life others he just met recently. His life is taking a completely new turn with lots of troubles but also with lots of emotional moments.

(4 1/2 stars)

Abr 25, 2012, 4:14 pm

France Bordeaux, Marseille

What a charming mystery! It's written in a humorous style with a lot of wink and French attitudes. It's starting in Hollywood with a theft of good wine, but the most part of the story is taking place in France. The trio, who is solving the case in unorthodox way, couldn't be more different, but they complement one another perfectly. One should have eaten before starting to read the book because there are such a lot of lovely meals described that one's mouth waters.

(3 1/2 stars)

Abr 26, 2012, 12:50 pm

Sounds like a fun book. I like Peter Mayle's books so I've put this one on my list to pick up.

Abr 29, 2012, 11:55 am

Italy Rome

What a breathtaking gripping historical fiction! I couldn't stop reading. Diving into Ancient Rome was a very easy task. Following all the network of intrigues was a great pleasure. Sometimes I got the feeling that I am an observer experiencing all the smells, music and gatherings by myself. All the characters are inimitable and so profoundly described that I've got the feeling I must know them since a long time.
I can strongly recommend it for all friends of the Ancient Rome period.

(3 1/2 stars)

Maio 10, 2012, 6:46 am

Turkey Istanbul

It was a humorously enjoyable reading. It was easy dipping into Istanbul's magical life between Occident and Orient. It shows how people struggle with the changing of 'modern' life. Firstly it looks like some habitants had aquired an occidental habit on the other hand old traditions are deep-rooted. The conflict of those different point of view is the foundation of the plot. One is suffering with each character, which are perfectly described and it was a lightness to be familiar with each of them.

(4 stars)

Editado: Jul 11, 2012, 11:34 am

UK Scotland Edinburgh

It is a wonderful humorous story. The first half is affected by the planning and organizing of the art heist. The head of the planning is a professor and he is looking for some wealthy naive gentlemen chiseller and a forger who has been found in a young student artist who is addicted to drugs. As a matter of course an other main player is a real ganster who is looking for an easy deal to solve his outstanding debts.
The focus of the second part is how each taker is handling the situation and how they are stumbling deeper into their misfortune after the heist. The police stands on the verge of the events. With his cleverly asked questions DI Ransom is confusing everybody so that the solution was at least obvious.

(4 stars)

Editado: Jul 11, 2012, 11:34 am

England London

It is a thrilling and breathtaking fast-paced story. The language is absolutely brilliant. It shows how the life of a young man was turned upside down. Getting back a worth living life he has to solve a murder. He isn't helping the police which are hunting him, quit the contray he is playing a pharmaceutic group off against a bounty hunter. In the end he is getting a new life back. Probably a better one?

(4 stars)

Jul 11, 2012, 11:34 am

UK Scotland Edinburgh

It's a gorgeous crime mystery about three strong women. Each of them is her keepers background and won't specify her past to the other women. Nevertheless those three are related in one way or another, helping each other to leave back their disastrous past without knowing what fantastic help they are among themselves. Only one man is a really helping hand. He was related to a lot of different women, one of the main characters is one of them.

(4 stars)

Jul 16, 2012, 8:56 am


This Vargas wasn't so gripping as the other two I've read earlier (Have Mercy on Us All and The Chalk Circle Man). I really missed Adamsberg's scattiness. He was more present and acting than in the earlier books. Nonetheless I've got to know more about his contributors than ever before and it was interesting to become more acquainted with them. Nevertheless I wasn't able to detect the murderer there were such a lot of twists and angles that only in the very end I could see the solution.

(3 1/2 stars)

Jul 23, 2012, 12:34 pm

UK England

It is a very interesting family story. It’s starting with the death of their mother. One of the daughters is living with her at the old family place where a lot of ancestors had lived. The family’s secrets and their lives are told as jumping throughout all the times but always coming back to the present. During this travel I became familiar with all the characters. As in every family there is also in this one a ‘black sheep’ and when the other siblings tried to avoid him mother’s last will is keeping them together and on the other hand separating them for ever.
I can strongly recommend this book.

(4 stars)

Ago 1, 2012, 3:11 pm


This is an absolutely wonderful with a lot of love written book. Two world which join their lifetime in postwar period as couple. She is German and he is Israeli both are involved in the student revolt (the end of the 60s), both won't be gentrified and both can't leave their family's past which forms their present really deeply. She is looking for a better and profoundly knowledge about Jewish life during the WWII and is detecting her father's past that doesn't looks like he tried to show her. He is struggling with his mother's past from the WWII. They have a daughter which is leading the familie's past shadow into a better future.
I can strongly recommend this book.

(5 stars)

Set 1, 2012, 1:35 pm

UK England

This was a fast-paced one. Like the 'Beacon' the story is set out somewhere in the UK's landscape. A family story whereas one sister (Eve) is soft and calm wheras the other (Miriam) is unhappy and feels begrudging. Their two husbands can't be more different. Miriam's husband is a real lazybones whereas Eve's Tommy is a very kind and helpful person. Tommy got seriously ill and with 'paranormal' luck got healthy. With this health he is able to heal other people, but he would never do it for money. He sense that with taking money for his preternatural he will lose this power.

(4 stars)

Editado: Set 16, 2012, 2:26 pm


It is a fantastic fairy tale for adults. It supports 'the good and the evil', 'the strong and the weak', the happy and the misfortune, the beloved and the detested. Like with all fairy stories it keeps one's on the edge always looking out for the next surprise, suffering with the good ones, wishing all evil the bad ones and always waiting for the ultimative happy ending.
It is fast-paced, well written and enjoyable to read. I can strongly recommend it.

(4 stars)

Nov 7, 2012, 2:36 pm

UK England

It was a lovely story how Vivien learned about her origin and her ancestors. Her parents were early refugees from Hungary whereas her uncle her father's brother was coming to London much later. Her parents were always worried about being sent back to Hungary. So they decided to cut off their past and to keep by themselves so there would never be a reason for sending them back to Hungary. Therefore they changed their family name and never told a word about their earlier life to Vivien. Vivien's uncle was the contrary of her parents. He was open minded and with his dark busyness he was walking mostly on the other side of the law. From him she learned all about her ancestry.

(3 1/2 stars)

Dez 24, 2012, 9:25 am


It is an excellent story about a siege taking place in Albania in the 15s century. It's a war between Christians who were living in the castle and Muslims who tried to capture the castle. The most part of the story is from the view of the aggressors. In each chapter the focus was laid-out on a special group of them. The main characters are crossing their paths in each chapter, whereas other figures have got only an individually appearance. The view of the attacked ones is kept very short and always in front of a new chapter.
The outcome of this war was surprisingly and is mainly based on natural forces.

(4 1/2 stars)

Dez 27, 2012, 8:46 am

30> Is that a fiction book? Because if it is indeed historical fiction, it sounds right up my alley.

Dez 27, 2012, 11:00 am

It's not based on a real event but there were sieges like this one in the Middle Ages and in this area. So yes, you can definitely call it a historical fiction and I can strongly recommend it.
Happy reading :-)

Dez 27, 2012, 11:41 am


Dez 27, 2012, 11:44 am

Several of the books you've read for this challenge have caught my eye. I'm looking forward to following your continued travels through the continent!

Dez 27, 2012, 11:47 am

Thanks a lot cbl_tn. Happy reading to you too :-)

Dez 27, 2012, 12:50 pm

Darn... I thought I could risk coming and not be hit, but the BBs from Fred Vargas got me!

Dez 27, 2012, 2:58 pm

I love Fred Vargas' books. There are still a couple of them waiting at my local library to be read.
So I hope you'll enjoy Vargas as I do :-)

Jan 2, 2013, 5:43 am

UK England

This reading was a good start into the new year. It could be called a crime mystery set out in our days in London, but there are also many passes into earlier eras especially with the love to noble clothes. Victims as searcher are in equal measure addicted to those precious garment. The story tells also the daily human weakness between being satanically and angelically and shows how the characters were falling into the one or the other category. Furthermore it shows the weakness and the power of human beings.
It was a pleasant reading and enthralling until the very end.

Fev 20, 2013, 4:10 am

Czech Republic Prague

History and politic are hidden within this love story. It's a great inside what people were and are thinking during the turmoil of the political changes in Europe in the 70s and 80s. As an European I was always impressed how people from the eastern part were crusading against their regimes with silent marches also hazarding the consequences to be arrested for their desire to be free.

Jana the main character of the story is struggling with the past and the future. She made a predication which is already overhauled by the present:
How could human nature be so vile? Would this happen again, further on in history, to different people groups and nations? Was this the beginning of further brutality? Where had it begun? Jana was feaful that an end to the communist regime might give rise to too much freedom and leave people open the perils of some other individual or regime - one that would sweep in and change the world around them with new and dangerous ideologies.

Abr 13, 2013, 11:28 am


It's an enthralling fiction which is set in the beginning of WWll in Denmark. A young fellow was stumbling across a German military secret. During the plot he is trying to bring this secret to England. Until he could reach his target he, his family and his friends had to suffer mistrust and death. With the help of his love and his knowledge how to mend machines, he was able to reach his goal. The story is very fast-paced and in some parts I was holding my breath because I couldn't bear the twists and turns.

Jun 16, 2013, 10:37 am

Greece Santorini

Frankly speaking the reading was a real struggle and there were many times that I was very close to put it unfinished aside. But because I've won this book for an early review I finished it to be able to write my review.

The positive aspect of this story is the language which is very rich, detailed and vivid. Everything is described so precisely that I've got the feeling taking part as an observant in the middle of it.


I wasn't able to find the thread. It took me half away through (300 pages) until I got the feeling about what and where the plot could lead. Unfortunately, also those small glimmers of a so called threads were mostly ending in the nowhere. I was more confused than satisfied and this is a factor I really don't like.

The very end was a big surprise and I was asking myself at which reading junction I've taken the wrong path that I haven't got a clue about the outcome. But to tell the truth there couldn't have been a right path. All of them would have been leading in another direction.

Jan 5, 2014, 3:03 am

Italy: Venice

This is a wonderful story which is set up in the 16th century in Venice. It's a historical mystery wherein the inquisition with all its implication is manipulating the plot. The story starts with the blast in the arsenal. With this fulminant beginning all main characters are introduced, although one doesn't know it immediately. Andrea Loredan, an advocat for the poor and son of the Doge, is the centre of all characters. He keeps a tight rein on everything. On the one hand he tries to solve foul plays and therefore he has to help the good ones as well as the evil ones, on the other hand he has to unravel the puzzle his late mother has set. She was a member of a guild which were keeper of banned books. The inquisitors are to him on the heels. He is captured and has to serve his sentence on a galley which is involved in a naval battle with the Turkish armada. Back to Venice he is able to solve all the mysteries.
It is very gripping.

Mar 29, 2015, 12:03 pm

UK Wales Portmeirion

This was a very gripping mystery. It takes place at Portmeirion which was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village. The location was just the right place for the Hitchcocks to have a meet-up with their staff but also for a group to celebrate a birthday party. Whereas Mr Hitchcock thought to make this weekend unforgettable due to some special events and playing with the psyche of the attendees, members of his staff had only revenge in their minds. Nobody knew that they were related to each other and were the previous owners of this location.
There were such a lot of twists and turns that it let me guess a very long time how all incidents were coming together and how they were realated to each other.

Maio 9, 2015, 3:14 pm

Russia House of Meetings Read in German


This is a strong story about The Gulag. Even though it’s a fiction, it’s based on real incidents about the camps, the inmates and the Russian politic. The protagonist is writing his family story for his daughter. He is writing pitiless about what he had done but also about the system. He also tells the reader about his love to his brother which was an inmate of a camp, too. How he tried to protect him and how he admired but also hated his pacifism.
He shows us how such a camp was organised that there were classes between the inmates like in real life only much more brutal.

For me this story is a must-read. Isn't it so that there are still types of Gulag on our planet but we close our eyes to not see and notice how barbarous people are treated? Isn't it still so that there are people who point to political injustice and who get muzzled by the establishment?

I remember well when I was in my teens and I proclaimed my thoughts loud that there were people who told me: Shut up otherwise we send you to Siberia. Luckily, I grew up in a country where there were no such consequences but I know that there are still a lot of countries where people aren't allowed to say what they are thinking.

Maio 9, 2015, 3:15 pm

Denmark Read in German Only One Life

Author-BB from Linda (Whispers1)

This was a gripping and fast-paced reading which takes place in Denmark. A young girl was found dead in the sea. Because she was from Jordanian ancestry everybody was thinking that this case had something to do with honour killing. Even though a Danish girl was found murdered a short time later the police didn't start to make another link between those two homicides. It was only in the very end when these cases were solved and the outcome was a real surprise.

Jun 22, 2015, 3:35 pm

UK Northern Ireland

This was very gripping but also a bit jumpy reading. It's the first book of the DS O'Neill series. The second one was reliesed last year. It takes place in Belfast.
This is DS O'Neill's first case at the CID. He doesn't have much friends there only his mentor DI Jack Ward who is helping him. CI Charles Wilson on the other hand is making O'Neill's life very hard and is looking forward to finding a reason to kick him out.
When they find the victim there was no clue who this young boy is and who could be the killer. O'Neill is fishing in murky waters and therefore arouses suspicion within Belfast's underworld like drug dealers, corrupt builders and former detainee. To solve the puzzle he needs not only luck and patience but also the distrust within the gangs.

Editado: Jun 27, 2015, 3:04 pm

Switzerland Read in German

This is the second of the Kommissär Ferrari series and I liked it very much. After a partying night and a thick head Kommissär Ferrari is introduced to a woman who fears that her husband will commit suicide. Not quite believing her, he talks to her husband and gets the feeling that this man couldn't be suicidal.
The very next morning he is called to a death scene where he learns that the man he met the day before sprang from a roof. A media group is already there and had filmed the jump. Ferrari is suspicious and therefore he starts investigating the death and the victim's surrounding. He looks into this case from every angle and comes to the conclusion that this must be a murder but to proof it, is a very difficult task and needs exceptional investigation.
It was a very gripping reading and took me until the very end to see the outcome.

Jul 4, 2015, 9:24 am

Spain Vigo Read in German Waterblue Eyes

This is the first of the Detective Inspector Leo Caldas' series which is placed in Vigo/ Galicia (Spain). It shows some similarities with the Montalbano series because food and wine are very important but also a special colleague which is joining him. Leo Caldas is regulary guest at a radio station and therefore he is well known to a lot of people and this helps very much to get informations.
In this story a famous saxophone player was found brutally murdered in his apartment. Soon it leads to the gay scene but also to a privat hospital and its wealthy owner. It was a fast-paced and gripping reading. I'll definitely will read the second of this series, too.

Set 9, 2015, 12:17 pm

BelgiumGrey Souls by Philippe Claudel

What a wonderful sad story. It is told from the view of a police officer who has a lot of sympathy for all the inhabitants of a little Belgian village. He suffers all incidents with them which they have to face to. He describes everything with a great care and love for all protagonists be they rich or poor, a celebrity or a 'nobody'. In the end it's clear that he is one of them, facing the same problems as they do and perhaps his sympathy for everyone else is at the same moment his therapy for surviving.
Philippe Claudel's language is rich and subtly nuanced. It's a great pleasure to follow his story and his thoughts.