Robertgreaves ROOTING again in 2023

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Robertgreaves ROOTING again in 2023

1Robertgreaves
Editado: Jan 15, 2023, 5:39 pm

2022 was here

After a record number of books and ROOTs read in 2022, my target for 2023 is 72 ROOTs to allow more chunksters and series to be read. All books acquired up until 15 January 2023 will count as ROOTs during 2023.

My ROOTs as of today (01 January 2023) consist of 25 treebooks and 81 ebooks, making a total of 106 ROOTs, down from 155 ROOTs last year.

(ETA: At the end of the Christmas/New Year splurge I have 35 treebooks and 79 ebooks.)

Since ebooks are always available and always tempting I am as usual going to limit myself:

1. 2 books as a reward for each kg I lose;
2. next in a series (if I am up to date on the 6 ROOTs per month needed to reach my goal);
3. bookclub/reading group books.

My 2023 ticker:

2Robertgreaves
Jan 1, 2023, 4:48 am

3Jackie_K
Jan 1, 2023, 6:21 am

Good to see you back again! I'm looking forward to your books and always insightful reviews.

4Robertgreaves
Jan 1, 2023, 8:47 am

Thanks for dropping by, Jackie. Happy New Year to you and yours

5Caramellunacy
Jan 1, 2023, 9:26 am

Looking forward to your thoughts on your reads again this year!

6majkia
Jan 1, 2023, 9:55 am

Happy New Year and Happy Reading

7mstrust
Jan 1, 2023, 11:05 am

Happy ROOTing!

8rabbitprincess
Jan 1, 2023, 11:12 am

Welcome back and have a great reading year!

9Robertgreaves
Jan 2, 2023, 3:23 am

Thanks for dropping by, Caramel, Jean, Jennifer, and RP.

My review of Secret at Skull House:

Ellery Page finds himself accused of murder again when an old flame of his who has recently moved to the village is found dead.

I still find them rather bland but I might continue with the series some other time as I see they are available on Scribd.

10Robertgreaves
Editado: Jan 2, 2023, 4:32 am

Starting my No. 1 for this year and my first ROOT for 2023, Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay, which fits the SeriesCAT as the first in a series (and indeed an author) new to me.

11KWharton
Jan 2, 2023, 5:11 am

Good luck with your "chunksters" (love the expression)!

12cyderry
Jan 2, 2023, 1:33 pm

Welcome back! Hope the chunksters don't hold you back.

13MissWatson
Jan 5, 2023, 5:54 am

So glad to see you're back, Robert. Happy reading!

14connie53
Jan 5, 2023, 10:37 am

Hi Robert, a bit late but a very Happy New Year to you and yours! Happy ROOTing.

>10 Robertgreaves: Books by Linwood Barclay are a must-buy to me.

15Robertgreaves
Jan 6, 2023, 3:41 am

Thanks for dropping by, Katherine, Chèli, Birgit, and Connie.

My review of Broken Promise:

Visiting his cousin Marla after she bore a stillborn baby, David Harwood finds her with a baby she says an angel brought her. The baby's mother was murdered, but did Marla kill her?

The murder is connected somehow with a cold case and certain mysterious goings on involving mannequins at an abandoned amusement park and ritual killings of animals but the explanation is in the next book or the one after that. The investigation of Marla's involvement (or not) was well done, but I felt cheated by the cliffhanger ending, so I will not be continuing.


16Caramellunacy
Jan 6, 2023, 5:29 am

>15 Robertgreaves: How frustrating! I get quite cranky when things are left unresolved like that as well.

17connie53
Jan 6, 2023, 9:55 am

If I remember it well the sequences are better. All the books got 3,5 stars or more for me.

https://www.librarything.nl/nseries/9122/Promise-Falls

18Robertgreaves
Jan 8, 2023, 3:10 am

My No. 2 for this year is The Flight from the Enchanter by Iris Murdoch. This ebook is my second ROOT for 2023 and fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Middlesex:

Recessive genes meet in a Greek family which emigrated to the US in the 1920s and produce an intersex child.

Interesting enough while I was actually reading it but I had very little urge to pick it up again after interruptions for food, sleep, family, etc. so it took a long time to get through.

19Robertgreaves
Jan 10, 2023, 10:05 am

Starting my No. 3, Wolfsong by TJ Klune. This book is not a ROOT but was lent to me by my sister to read before I go home on Saturday.

20Robertgreaves
Editado: Jan 15, 2023, 5:24 pm

Finished Wolfsong on the plane. My review:

Ox, a human, and Joe Bennett, a werewolf, become friends at a time when the pack is under threat from a sworn enemy of the Bennetts.

Despite feeling it was overlong at times, I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more about the Green Creek pack.


Also read on the plane, the first in Ashley Gardner ebook omnibus "Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume Three" (no touchstone). As there is no treebook omnibus, this omnibus counts as 3 books by my rules. A Death in Norfolk was therefore my No. 4 and third ROOT for 2023.

My review:
Denis asks Captain Lacey to deliver a letter to a neighbour of his ancestral estate. Denis’s henchmen appear on the scene – when one is murdered and another disappears Denis insists Lacey investigate.

Convincing Regency atmosphere despite one big historical boo-boo that I noticed, but I like the characters so I will continue with this series.


Currently reading my No. 5 A Disappearance in Drury Lane, my fourth ROOT for 2023.

21Robertgreaves
Jan 16, 2023, 9:41 am

My No. 6 is the third novel in the omnibus, Murder in Grosvenor Square and is my fifth ROOT for 2023.

My review of A Disappearance in Drury Lane:

Only two days before Captain Lacey's wedding day, Marianne asks him to look into the disappearance of an actress friend.

Marianne reveals a bit more of her back story and there are some interesting relationship developments as well as a pleasantly convoluted plot.

22Robertgreaves
Editado: Jan 17, 2023, 6:52 am

Having interrupted The Flight from the Enchanter to read Wolfsong, which I needed to return to my sister, I found although I was a third of the way through I didn't really remember who was who, so I've put it aside to read again some other time. So I am going to continue with Captain Lacey and moving on to Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume Four. The first novel in this omnibus is The Thames River Murders, which is my No. 7 and my sixth ROOT for 2023.

My review of Murder in Grosvenor Square:

The young son of Captain Lacey's friends the Derwents is found beaten unconscious next to the dead body of his more than close friend Gareth Travers in an alleyway in Seven Dials. Was it a mugging or anti-molly violence? Can Lacey avoid a scandal which would ruin the Derwents' reputation?

The previous book didn't exactly end on a cliffhanger but there were relationship problems which got resolved here and although being in a detective's social circle is dangerous in any era, hopefully the epilogue's hints of the beginning of a new relationship come true
.

23Robertgreaves
Jan 18, 2023, 5:27 am

Starting my No. 8, The Alexandria Affair. The second in the omnibus, this is my seventh ROOT for 2023.

My review of The Thames River Murders:

The Thames River Police ask Captain Lacey to look into a cold case, a skeleton found in the river five years previously.

As intriguing as ever with the usual characters. The victim's social background was interesting despite one vocabulary choice which sounded inauthentic to me and grated. One loose end was left dangling which I hope will be cleared up in the next story.

24Robertgreaves
Jan 19, 2023, 4:29 am

Starting my No. 9, A Mystery At Carlton House. The third in the omnibus, this is my eighth ROOT for 2023.

My review of The Alexandria Affair:

Glenville and Captain Lacey travel to Egypt with Matthias and Bartholomew in tow, and Brewster on guard. The rest of the gang only get walk-on parts which was a bit of disappointment however interesting this look at Ottoman Egypt and the beginnings of archaeology.

25Robertgreaves
Jan 20, 2023, 2:34 am

Ashley Gardner's Captain Lacey series is addictive. My No. 10, Murder in St. Giles is the first story in Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume Five. The books in this omnibus ebook do not count as ROOTs, being a recent purchase.

My review of A Mystery At Carlton House:

Somebody is stealing pieces from the Prince Regent's collection at Carlton House. Spendlove threatens to arrest Captain Lacey if he does not investigate, while Denis threatens violence against Lacey's family if he does.

Nice exploration of the world's of the Regency's highest and lowest denizens.

26rocketjk
Jan 20, 2023, 12:40 pm

Finally checking in on your 2023 thread. I always enjoy your reading choices and your pocket reviews. Cheers!

27Robertgreaves
Jan 21, 2023, 8:39 pm

>26 rocketjk: Thanks for dropping by, Jerry

Starting my No. 11, Death At Brighton Pavilion. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Murder in St. Giles:

When Brewster finds his brother-in-law dead shortly after a violent altercation with him, he turns to Captain Lacey for help to avoid a murder charge. On the domestic front Breckenridge's relatives challenge Donata for custody of Peter.

As usual, a great story with fascinating characters, but I do have my doubts about the author's research on one point.


28Robertgreaves
Editado: Jan 23, 2023, 1:28 am

Starting my No. 12, Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. This ebook is not a ROOT. I am reading it now for my book club.

My review of Death At Brighton Pavilion:

Captain Lacey finds himself with blood on his clothes, standing over a man who has been fatally wounded with a sword. And he has no idea of how he got there or what happened. He must investigate and find out who did it, even if it was he, himself.

Not as interesting as some of the earlier books in the series, despite finding out more about Lacey's war record.

29Robertgreaves
Jan 24, 2023, 2:04 am

Currently reading my No. 13, The Custom House Murders, the last in Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Volume Five. This ebook is not a ROOT.

30Robertgreaves
Jan 24, 2023, 8:45 am

Starting my No. 14, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction by Leslie Iversen. This is my ninth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR pile to 34. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Custom House Murders:

When Denis asks Captain Lacey to deliver a parcel near the Custom House, Lacey meets Major Eden an old army friend who has just returned from Antigua. The next day, Eden is accused of smuggling and murder, while Lacey has to thread his way through Denis's gang warfare with a rival.

The usual high standard of storytelling in this mystery plus one of the most exciting climaxes in this series so far.


31Robertgreaves
Jan 25, 2023, 6:30 pm

Also reading my No. 15 The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson. This ebook is my tenth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT and the SFFKIT

32Robertgreaves
Jan 26, 2023, 9:01 am

Starting my No. 16, The Long Call by Ann Cleeves. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the MysteryKIT as it has been televised and the SeriesCAT as a series new to me.

My review of The Shrinking Man:

Scott Carey is shrinking by 1/7 inch per day. As he is now only an inch tall he only has a week left before he disappears altogether. We follow his last week with flashbacks to earlier stages of his malady.

I was curious about what would happen when he lost the final 1/7 of an inch and that was really the only thing that kept me going till the end. I liked some of the later flashbacks but the continuous "woe is me" in the earlier ones got on my nerves and the main story of Carey's last week in the cellar and his battles with the spider and struggles to move about didn't hold my interest at all.


My review of Drugs: A Very Short Introduction:

The book covers both medicinal and recreational drugs. The second chapter on the biochemical mechanisms behind how drugs actually work was heavy going, but the book as a whole was interesting and informative, though I don't know how much I will remember.

33Robertgreaves
Jan 27, 2023, 7:07 am

Starting the second in the series, The Heron's Cry, as my No. 17. This is my eleventh ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR pile to 33.

My review of The Long Call:

Inspector Matthew Venn investigates a murder on the beach near his home which occurred at the time of his estranged father's funeral.

Not as gritty as the other books by this author I've read, but there are some interesting characters I'd like to see more of.

34Robertgreaves
Jan 29, 2023, 6:57 pm

Starting my No. 18, The Book of Mirrors by E. O. Chirovici. This ebook is my twelfth ROOT for 2023. It fits the GeoCAT.

My review of The Heron's Cry:

Eve Yeo comes downstairs to her glass-blowing studio to find her father dead, stabbed through the neck with a shard from one of her pieces. The night before he had met DS Jen Rafferty at a party and asked to consult her. Who wants to ensure his silence?

Good storytelling but not as much fallout for Jonathan and the Woodyard from the previous book as I would have expected.


35Robertgreaves
Jan 30, 2023, 5:02 am

My review of Tuesdays With Morrie:

Having seen on TV a professor of his from sixteen years ago who is now dying, a successful sports writer gets in touch to write a book about how much more important relationships are than money and thus make lots of money.

Perhaps an overly cynical summary, but I can recognise that the book has touched a cultural nerve and led to important conversations while myself finding it full of platitudes which skidded to a halt every time it came close to developing in an interesting direction.

36Robertgreaves
Jan 31, 2023, 2:09 am

Starting my No. 19, The Changing Mind by Daniel Levitin. This ebook is my thirteenth ROOT for 2023.

My review of The Book of Mirrors:

A literary agent receives the first few chapters of a book claiming to have the solution to a 27-year-old murder but the author dies before completing the manuscript. Peter Katz is asked to look into whether the author's claims are true. As various people are interviewed about the murder of Joseph Weider different stories are told but whose memories and stories are the truth?

Twisty enough to give one doubts as to whether the solution is correct or whether it is another case of a false memory of the events.

37Robertgreaves
Jan 31, 2023, 9:25 pm

Possible February reading:

38floremolla
Editado: Fev 1, 2023, 7:39 pm

Belatedly dropping in to your thread to wish you a good reading year, Robert, but you’re off to a rattling good start with quite a mix of genres.

Thanks for the Tuesdays With Morrie review, in particular, I won’t bother with it!

February looks interesting - I enjoyed Ivanhoe, look forward to seeing what you think of it, and the King James I/VI one.

39Jackie_K
Fev 1, 2023, 5:15 pm

>35 Robertgreaves: >38 floremolla: Yes, something has always stopped me trying Tuesdays with Morrie - probably that I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by the same author many years ago and had a similar reaction to you. I think "I can recognise that the book has touched a cultural nerve and led to important conversations while myself finding it full of platitudes" sums it up perfectly.

40rabbitprincess
Fev 1, 2023, 8:52 pm

Looks like a nice variety for February. I'm reading about James IV at the moment, so that's a neat coincidence.

41mstrust
Fev 2, 2023, 12:46 pm

I recall that the sitcom "The King of Queens" did a riff on Tuesdays with Morrie. Arthur Spooner, who had never been able to keep a job or a friend, kept ordering food delivery and trying to force the young men who brought it to be mentored by him.

42Robertgreaves
Fev 5, 2023, 5:09 am

Starting my No. 20, Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon. This ebook is my fourteenth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Changing Mind:

The author looks at what happens to us as we become older adults from the points of view of neurophysiology and psychology. There were times when I was thinking "Not ANOTHER bloody chemical" but the book has lots of insights, some scientifically based and some more anecdotal, about what we can expect and what genetic, cultural, and personal factors help make the experience of old age a positive one.

43Robertgreaves
Fev 7, 2023, 8:08 am

Starting my No. 21, the second in the series, Death in A Strange Country. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the RandomCAT.

My review of Death at La Fenice:

A world famous conductor dies at La Fenice opera house in the interval between the 2nd and 3rd acts after drinking some poisoned coffee. Commissario Brunetti investigates.

A good first installment with interesting characters and location. I did get part of the solution right even if I didn't get the full context. I had my doubts about one aspect but Google tells me it's true.

44Robertgreaves
Fev 9, 2023, 6:55 am

Starting my No. 22, The Sign of the Eagle by Jess Steven Hughes. This ebook is not a ROOT but does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of Death in A Strange Country:

A body found floating in a Venetian canal turns out to be an American military doctor. It looks like a mugging gone wrong but Commissario Brunetti is not convinced.

It's rather darker than the previous book, with a despairing ending, nothing having really changed despite four deaths.

45Robertgreaves
Editado: Fev 9, 2023, 6:33 pm

Also currently reading my No. 23, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. I started this last night in a bout of insomnia. As a re-read, it is my fifteenth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT and the ClassicsCAT.

46Robertgreaves
Fev 11, 2023, 2:00 am

My No. 24 is The Wolf of Britannia: Part I, the second in the series. This ebook is my fifteenth ROOT for 2023. It fits the RandomCAT and the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Sign of the Eagle:

When Macha Caratacus's husband, the tribune Titus, is accused of treason against the Emperor Vespasian, she has to find the evidence that will exonerate him but who can she trust?

The cover drawings make this book and its successor look as if they are YA, but they definitely aren't. More seriously, the prose is curiously flat and unemotional, distanced from the events. The second in the series has been lurking in my virtual TBR pile for a long time now so I will read it but otherwise I doubt I would have bothered.

47Robertgreaves
Fev 11, 2023, 9:11 am

Also reading my No. 25, Four Aunties and A Wedding by Jesse Q. Sutanto. This is my sixteenth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 32. It fits the RandomCAT and the AlphaKIT.

48Robertgreaves
Fev 12, 2023, 3:27 am

My review of Four Aunties and A Wedding:

Although Meddy and Nathan are getting married at long last it seems the mafia are going to use the wedding as a chance to commit murder. Meddy and her family can't go to the police because the mafia hit squad would then reveal all, so they will just have to make sure nobody gets killed at the wedding, such bad luck.

Even funnier than the previous book - just as well I was reading it at home.

49Robertgreaves
Fev 13, 2023, 1:28 am

My No. 25 is Somebody Killed His Editor by Josh Lanyon. This ebook is not a ROOT, but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Wolf of Britannia: Part I:

The story of Caratacus in the years before he became king.

Much better than the first book in the series in that there is more of a connection with the characters, but I still don't feel any need to continue.

50Robertgreaves
Fev 13, 2023, 5:57 pm

My No. 26 is the second in the series, All She Wrote. This ebook is not a ROOT but it fits the AlphaKIT and the RandomCAT.

My review of Somebody Killed His Editor:

The popularity of his cozy mystery series declining, Kit Holmes is persuaded by his agent to go to a writers' retreat/workshop to pitch a new series to his former editor. Arriving during a storm he finds a body in the grounds of the lodge. He investigates with an old flame in order to keep them both out of jail.

A quick, fun read, probably indistinguishable from her others after a couple of days.

51Robertgreaves
Fev 14, 2023, 8:39 pm

The narrator in the Josh Lanyon series writes cozies where the amateur detective's sidekick in the police is called Inspector Appleby. I'm not sure whether this is a tribute or just a coincidence but either way I'm going to read the real thing as my No. 27 with Appleby At Allington by Michael Innes. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of All She Wrote:

Kit Holmes's mentor when he first started writing was Anne Hitchcock, America's answer to Agatha Christie. Now she calls him for help, frightened somebody is trying to kill her.

Even the author seems to think that Kit's insecurity about J. X. being five years younger is ridiculous, so hopefully it will be laid to rest from now on. Apart from that a good, fun, read.

52Robertgreaves
Fev 15, 2023, 7:17 am

Starting my No. 28, A Family Affair, the next Appleby story. This ebook is not a ROOT, but it does fit the AlphaKIT and the MysteryCAT.

My review of Appleby at Allington:

Inviting Appleby to try out the son et lumière equipment at a stately home, his host finds a body in the control room. As more bodies are found over the next couple of days the theory that it was the accidental electrocution of a tramp looking for shelter for the night is no longer tenable.

As ever it's Appleby's urbanity and Innes's language that make it fun to read rather than the mystery itself.

53Robertgreaves
Fev 16, 2023, 4:16 am

Starting my No. 29, Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter. This ebook is my seventeenth ROOT for 2023 and fits the RandomCAT and MysteryCAT.

My review of A Family Affair:

The Applebys work together during Sir John's retirement to investigate what may be thefts of valuable art works or a series of practical jokes.

Hildebert Braunkopf's malapropisms and spelling accent have not worn well and the book ends rather abruptly, so not one of Innes's best.

54Robertgreaves
Fev 17, 2023, 8:51 am

Starting my No. 30, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. This is my eighteenth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 31. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Last Seen Wearing:

Valerie Taylor went missing 2 years ago. When what purports to be a letter from her arrives, Morse is assigned to re-open the cold case and if possible find her.

Lewis gets increasingly exasperated as Morse leaps from conclusion to conclusion based on little or no evidence. I knew how he felt. It does rather give the impression that Morse eventually stumbles across the truth by sheer chance rather than any powers of ratiocination.

55Robertgreaves
Fev 18, 2023, 4:16 am

Currently reading my No. 31, Planesrunner by Ian McDonald. This ebook is not a ROOT. I bought two books today (The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths and Heat Wave by TJ Klune) and so the treebook TBR shelf now has 33 books.

56Robertgreaves
Fev 19, 2023, 1:46 am

Starting my No. 32, the second in the trilogy, Be My Enemy. This ebook is not a ROOT but it fits the RandomCAT.

My review of Planesrunner:

Everett Singh sees his father kidnapped before his eyes and now the kidnappers are after him believing his father has given him the secret to travelling between parallel universes. Can he find the secret and rescue his father?

Rollicking YA adventure. After all who wouldn't want to join a Polari-speaking airship crew?

57connie53
Fev 19, 2023, 7:48 am

Hi Robert, just popping in to say Hi and have a look at the books you've read.

58Robertgreaves
Fev 20, 2023, 3:56 am

>57 connie53: Thanks for dropping by, Connie

Starting the last in the trilogy, Empress of the Sun as my No. 33. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Be My Enemy:

Charlotte Villiers recruits Everett's E4 alter to plant a tracker on the Everness, which has been hiding on E1, soon to learn just why E1 has been quarantined off.

A nice line in horror for this volume. Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

59Robertgreaves
Editado: Fev 21, 2023, 6:28 pm

Starting my No. 34, Time Was by Ian McDonald. This ebook is not a ROOT but it fits the RandomCAT and the SFFKIT.

My review of Empress of the Sun

Forced to make a random jump Everett and the crew of the Everness end up in a world where dinosaurs did not become extinct and who want to expand into other alternative worlds.

Very exciting. I thought it was a self-contained trilogy but several story threads are left hanging obviously expecting another in the series, which hasn't appeared 9 years later so probably isn't going to.

60Robertgreaves
Fev 22, 2023, 3:47 am

Starting my No. 35, The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the SeriesCAT and the MysteryKIT.

My review of Time Was:

A book dealer finds a love letter from WWII in a discarded book. Trying to track down the sender and the recipient he stumbles across a mystery: they seem to be appearing in photos over a period of 120-odd years but hardly aging.

Beautifully lyrical novella.

61Robertgreaves
Fev 23, 2023, 9:09 am

My review of The Honjin Murders:

When Kenzo and Katsuko are found dead on their wedding night, suspicion falls on a mysterious three-fingered man who had been seen asking for directions to and hanging around the house earlier that day. The bride's uncle calls in renowned private detective Kosuke Kindaichi to investigate.

3/4 of the way through I was thinking, "ingenious but maybe a bit too ingenious for its own good" but then the explanation for the ingenuity came along and made it into something quite excellent such that I can see why Seishi Yokomizo has such a great reputation.

62Robertgreaves
Fev 25, 2023, 6:40 pm

Starting my No. 36 King James Vi of Scotland I of England by Antonia Fraser. This is my nineteenth ROOT for 2023 and brings the TBR shelf to 32. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Giver of Stars:

DNF. I got about half way through and realised I just didn't care about any of these people and was spending evenings scrolling through YouTube to avoid picking up the book again.

63Robertgreaves
Editado: Fev 28, 2023, 1:41 am

Starting my No. 37 (ETA I miscounted, actually my No. 38), The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams. This ebook is my twentieth (ETA another miscount, actually my twenty-first) ROOT for 2023.

My review of King James VI of Scotland I of England:

Although sensibilities have obviously changed since 1974, particularly with regard to James's relationships with his "favourites", it was still an interesting read and particularly informative about his time in Scotland before inheriting the English throne.

64Robertgreaves
Fev 28, 2023, 6:16 pm

Some possible reading for March:


65Robertgreaves
Fev 28, 2023, 6:26 pm

Starting my No. 39, Neurotribes by Steve Silberman. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Liar's Dictionary:

Mallory (I don't think we ever learn her surname) is an intern working on the digitalisation of a famously incomplete dictionary. Peter Winceworth was one of the lexicographers working on the original dictionary.

My heart sank a bit reading the preface, wondering if I really wanted to read this book. I'm glad I persevered because the body of the book is actually quite funny.

66Robertgreaves
Mar 1, 2023, 5:20 am

Also reading my No. 40, Animal Vegetable Criminal by Mary Roach. This is my twenty-second ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 31. It fits the AlphaKIT.

67Robertgreaves
Mar 4, 2023, 9:31 pm

Starting my No. 41, Sea People by Christina Thompson. This is my twenty-third ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 30. I am reading it now for my book club. It also fits the RandomKIT and the GeoCAT.

My review of Neurotribes:

Basically a history of the concept of autism and psychologists'/psychiatrists'/physicians' perceptions and how they fitted in with general ideas on mental illness as they developed from autism being a very rare childhood disease to a broad spectrum of human variation.

Fascinating. I didn't know about the mass sterilisations of mentally ill people in the US. A stark account of the Nazis' treatment of those they considered "mentally defective".

68Robertgreaves
Mar 7, 2023, 8:42 am

Starting my No. 42, "Wraith" (no touchstone) by Robert Allen Johnson. This book is my twenty-fourth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT.

69Robertgreaves
Mar 8, 2023, 12:04 am

My review of "Wraith":

Two storylines, one about Tiro, a young resistance fighter against a vaguely Roman empire expanding into his homeland and one about Arach, a traveller returning home who is being followed by an uncanny creature, the wraith of the title.

At first I found myself rolling my eyes a bit at the writer's style, but I got used to it and I would like to see how the story continues. The afterword says 6 books are planned, but 8 years later none of them seem to have materialised.


70rocketjk
Mar 8, 2023, 2:20 am

>69 Robertgreaves: "The afterword says 6 books are planned, but 8 years later none of them seem to have materialised."

I recognize the phenomenon. I've got six books planned, too.

71Robertgreaves
Editado: Mar 9, 2023, 8:31 am

Starting my No. 43, Watching the Ghosts by Kate Ellis. This ebook is not a ROOT but it fits the MysteryKIT and the AlphaKIT.

My review of Animal Vegetable Criminal:

Anecdotes about the conflicts that arise when humans and animals or indeed plants go about their lives in more or less the same space.

Amusing in parts and hopeful that at least sometimes a way to coexist might be found, but still a lot more problems than answers.


72Robertgreaves
Editado: Mar 10, 2023, 6:10 pm

Starting my No. 44, Walking By Night, the next in the series. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of Watching the Ghosts:

A former hospital for the criminally insane has been converted into flats. In one of them Lydia has repeated nightmares. There are spooky goings-on in the basement. And somebody is reviving the MO of a deceased serial killer inmate. Does Lydia need the help of a policeman or an exorcist?

Exciting despite the use of a technique I think is cheating: sometimes giving the killer's thoughts and feelings without letting on that they are the killer rather than relying on outward observation of the characters by the sleuths.

73Robertgreaves
Mar 11, 2023, 8:35 pm

Starting my No. 45, Taken At The Flood by Agatha Christie. This ebook is not a ROOT but I am reading it for the AlphaKIT and the RandomCAT.

My review of Sea People:

From the blurb, I was expecting a lot more about the Polynesians' own ideas about their origins rather than the Europeans' changing ideas on the subject. Having said that, it was a fascinating account and, if nothing else, has fixed in my mind the difference between Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, although I could have done with larger maps.

My review of Walking By Night:

On her way home from the pub on a foggy night, somewhat the worse for wear, Debby Telerhaye is convinced someone is following her. Trying to hide from the stalker she finds a body but by the time she raises the alarm it has disappeared. Despite the police's general scepticism a body of an actress in a stage production of "The Devils" is found in the nearby abbey ruins the next day.

Not as spooky as other entries in the series, but still full of twists and turns. Rather sad that eight years on it is presumably the last in the series but without any sense of closure.

74Robertgreaves
Mar 12, 2023, 4:08 am

Starting my No. 46, Crooked House by Agatha Christie. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Taken At The Flood:

The relatives of a very wealthy man who was killed in the Blitz shortly after marrying a widow and before he had a chance to make a new will start to wonder if his wife's first husband really did die.

I did recognise a clue but not its significance, just thought I hadn't been paying enough attention earlier.

75Robertgreaves
Mar 13, 2023, 3:31 am

Starting my No. 47, Captivity by György Spiró. This ebook is my twenty-fifth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Crooked House:

Charles Hayward investigates the murder of his fiancee's grandfather as she refuses to marry him while she is still a possible suspect.

A stand-alone novel where my little grey cells failed me completely.


76Robertgreaves
Mar 18, 2023, 9:47 pm

Starting my No. 48, Treacle Walker by Alan Garner. This is my twenty-sixth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 29. It fits the AlphaKIT.

77Robertgreaves
Mar 19, 2023, 7:18 am

My review of Treacle Walker:

Joe Coppock has a lazy eye and has to wear an eye patch. When a rag and bone man comes calling, Joe finds each of his eyes sees a different reality.

I have only vague memories of the author's children's books but I am fairly certain they were nothing like this. Bizarre.

78Robertgreaves
Mar 20, 2023, 6:58 am

Starting my No. 49, The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune. This is my twenty-seventh ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 28. It fits the SeriesCAT.

My review of Captivity:

Short-sighted and weedy, Uri is chosen to accompany a delegation bringing an offering from Jews in Rome to the Temple in Jerusalem in the reign of Tiberius and we follow his life down to the reign of Vespasian.

Parts of Uri's story are interesting but it is mostly just an excuse for the author to tell us everything he knows about the life of Jews in 1st century Rome, Judea, and Alexandria.


79Robertgreaves
Mar 21, 2023, 11:02 pm

Starting the next in the series, Flash Fire, as my No. 50. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Extraordinaries:

Nick Bell, a 16-year-old with ADHD, has a big crush on and writes fanfic about the local superhero, Shadow Star.

There were some definite eye-rolling moments with what felt like didactic tick-box inclusion of identities rather than actual characters but also some very funny moments and everything can be forgiven because the reader ends up rooting for the adorable central character, Nick. The last quarter after the not totally unexpected big reveal is an exciting superhero/supervillain battle. I had already decided to continue with the series when the post-credit scene hooked me in even further.

80Robertgreaves
Mar 24, 2023, 10:10 am

Starting the last in the trilogy, Heat Wave, as my No. 50. This book is not a ROOT but brings the treebook shelf down to 27.

My review of Flash Fire:

A superhero's, not to mention a superhero's boyfriend's, work is never done. Secrets are revealed as Nick learns more about the world around him.

As in the first book some characters seem to be there to tick certain boxes and to express views rather than to do anything. These flaws are more obvious in this book while Nick's endearing traits are less in focus. However, the overall story is good with a post-credit twist that I can't wait to see explored in the last volume of the trilogy.

81Robertgreaves
Mar 25, 2023, 8:11 pm

Starting my No. 51, Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch. This is my twenty-eighth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf down to 26. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Heat Wave:

The Bell family is enjoying a period of domestic tranquility but there is something rather odd about it.

A thrilling story, although it did take me a while to get my bearings. However, it did have very stilted dialogue in places, stilted to the point where I wondered if it was parodying some newer tropes in fanfic that came into fashion after my slash days.


82Robertgreaves
Mar 26, 2023, 10:27 am

Starting my No. 52, Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos. The ebook is my twenty-ninth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT, though I cannot remember what led me to put it on the TBR shelf to re-read.

My review of Amongst Our Weapons:

After a flash of light that knocked out the CCTV cameras, a thief trying to hold up the London Silver Vault is found dead with a neat hole in his chest and no heart. Can Peter Grant and the denizens of the Folly discover what happened and prevent it from happening again?

Given the title and a pretty heavy hint in the blurb I think most people expect at least part of the answer. Of the two major events in the epilogue, one was expected, and one not.


83Robertgreaves
Mar 28, 2023, 6:23 pm

In a bout of insomnia last night I started my No. 53, Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James. This ebook is my thirtieth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT.

84Robertgreaves
Mar 29, 2023, 7:09 am

My review of Autumn in Carthage:

Nathan Price is about to go on sabbatical from the University of Chicago when he receives a parcel of 17th century documents among which, impossibly, is a letter in the handwriting of his best friend, Jamie McKinnon, who had disappeared six months before. Equally impossibly the letter mentions the town of Carthage, Wisconsin, which didn't exist in the 17th century. Nathan sets out for Carthage to investigate. It's a town with secrets, but then again Nathan has secrets of his own.

Good plot and characters, but rather flat descriptions. The technobabble for the time travel left me a bit 'meh', but as the plot progressed the excitement really picked up and carried me along.

85Robertgreaves
Editado: Mar 31, 2023, 10:27 am

Starting the next in the series, No Cats Allowed, as my No. 54 (ETA miscounted actually 55). This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of Arsenic and Old Books:

When the mayor donates the recently discovered American Civil War diaries of her husband's great x 3 grandmother to the archive, an academic and a journalist are both very keen to get their hands on them. A storm in a teacup until the diaries are stolen from Charlie's office and the academic is killed in a hit-and-run.

Another fun read which doesn't tax the brain. And the bonus short story is sweet.


86Robertgreaves
Mar 31, 2023, 6:03 pm

Possible April reading:

87Robertgreaves
Abr 1, 2023, 4:37 am

Starting the next in the series, Twelve Angry Librarians, as my No. 56. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of No Cats Allowed:

Reilly, the interim head of the Athena College Library, has upset most of the staff, and to top it all wants to ban Diesel from the library and sacrifice the rare books and archive department to budget cuts, thus putting Charlie out of a job. So nobody is terribly upset to hear that he has been murdered. But since initially Melba is a suspect, Charlie gets involved with the investigation.

Despite some twists and turns, the murderer was fairly obvious early on.


88Robertgreaves
Abr 1, 2023, 4:05 pm

Starting the next in the series, Claws for Concern, and my No. 56. Again, not a ROOT but does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of Twelve Angry Librarians:

An unpleasant keynote speaker at a conference at Charlie's library drops dead on stage, the water in his bottle having been poisoned.

Although the mystery was interesting, the various decisions Charlie and his family and friends needed to make in their professional lives and the possible consequences for this series kept me interested more. I must admit I wasn't keeping track closely enough to see whether there actually 12 librarians involved.

89JesseKotai
Abr 1, 2023, 4:07 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

90Robertgreaves
Abr 3, 2023, 1:36 am

Currently reading my No. 57 Extraordinary People by Peter May. This is my thirty-first ROOT for 2023. It fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of Claws for Concern:

A library patron researching his family turns out to be a step-cousin Charlie didn't know he had. He was also the chief suspect in a murder case 20 years ago - the police were convinced he was guilty but couldn't prove it.

A good story but where is Kanesha? She only appears in the last 20 pages or so.

91Robertgreaves
Abr 6, 2023, 12:33 pm

Starting my No. 58, Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of Extraordinary People:

Enzo McLeod investigates the cold case of a senior civil servant who disappeared 10 years ago. He finds his skull in a box of objects which are clues to the location of the rest of his body.

DNF. The puzzles leading to the locations of the dismembered body were fun but 2/3 of the way through I realised I had no interest in the events and characters.

92Robertgreaves
Abr 8, 2023, 5:00 am

Starting the next in the series, White Nights, as my No. 59. This ebook is not a ROOT, but fits the MysteryKIT and AlphaKIT.

My review of Raven Black:

A young woman's body is found in a field in Shetland near where a young girl went missing 8 years ago. Jimmy Perez is the local lead detective.

I realised early on who it wasn't but really didn't see the ending coming and who the real culprit was.


93Robertgreaves
Abr 9, 2023, 8:55 am

Next in the series is Red Bones, as my No. 60. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of White Nights:

At the opening of an art exhibition a man bursts into tears in front of one of the pictures, then says he has no memory of anything before seeing the picture. Nobody knows who he is but the next morning he is found hanged.

Intriguing mystery, interesting setting and characters.

94Robertgreaves
Abr 10, 2023, 3:19 pm

My No. 60 is the last in the initial Shetland quartet,Blue Lightning. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of Red Bones:

After an archaeological dig on Sandy Wilson's grandmother's land unearths a skull and other bone fragments, the old lady is found dead. A tragic accident when a neighbour was out hunting rabbits or something more sinister?

A good mystery and it was interesting to see a bit of Sandy's backstory and for him to get some character development, but I could have done with a family tree.

95Robertgreaves
Abr 11, 2023, 3:50 pm

Starting my No. 62, The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak, which I am reading for my book club.

My review of Blue Lightning:

While Jimmy is visiting his parents on Fair Isle to introduce Fran, one of the ornithologists at the bird observatory in a converted lighthouse is found dead, stabbed in the back.

Intriguing mystery with a great and unexpected ending to the first Shetland quartet.

96Robertgreaves
Abr 14, 2023, 11:31 am

Starting my No. 63, Love Will Tear Us Apart by C. K. McDonnell.

My review of The Island of Missing Trees:

One island, two couples (one couple doomed to die, one couple separated and re-united after 25 years), and a tree acting as chorus.

The story was OK, but the snippets of information about trees were actually far more interesting.

97Robertgreaves
Abr 16, 2023, 1:30 pm

Starting my No. 64, The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Love Will Tear Us Apart:

A new assistant editor is starting at The Stranger Times while Hannah takes up a therapy retreat in an attempt to reconcile with her ex-husband. A conspiracy theorist wrongly identified as a columnist for the paper is kidnapped.

Very funny as usual, but unfortunately I didn't remember enough of what had happened in the previous books to always follow what was going on.


98Robertgreaves
Abr 18, 2023, 9:53 am

Starting my No. 65, No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy by Mark Hodkinson. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Blood Card:

In 1953 a former intelligence officer is found dead, stabbed, with an Ace of Hearts pinned to his chest. Is there an anarchist plot to bomb the new Queen's coronation?

Enjoyably twisty and amusing enough characters to bring a smile to the reader's lips. And what a different world it was at the time of the last coronation. I hadn't realised the very thinly-disguised "The Good Old Days" went that far back.

99Robertgreaves
Abr 19, 2023, 2:03 am

Also reading my No. 66, Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi. This is my thirty-third ROOT and fits the AlphaKIT.

100Robertgreaves
Abr 20, 2023, 11:47 am

My review of Eight Detectives:

A mathematician devised a formula to cover all the possible permutations of a detective story and wrote 7 stories to illustrate the formula. 20 years later an editor comes to his home on a Mediterranean island to discuss publishing a book containing the formula and the stories.

Each of the illustrative stories is intriguing in its own right and I'll certainly be looking at detective fiction I read from now on to see how each story is included in the formula. A terrific read for all fans of mystery/crime/detective fiction.

101Robertgreaves
Abr 24, 2023, 2:41 am

Currently reading my No. 67, The Astronomer and the Witch by Ulinka Rublack. This ebook is my thirty-fourth ROOT for 2023 and fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy:

Mark Hodkinson's memoir of growing up bookish in a community where reading for the sake of it is not common.

The early parts, describing his childhood and teenage years were, for me, more relatable and so interesting, but it did sag rather in the middle when he talks about his time as a journalist covering punk rock and sport (mainly football). The book then picked up when the author talked about his time as a publisher and his bookish life now.

102Robertgreaves
Abr 26, 2023, 10:23 am

Starting my No. 68, Death in the Dales by Frances Brody. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Astronomer and the Witch:

The time when Kepler's mother was put on trial as a witch.

Although the core story sounded interesting and it was put into context well, I found the book a bit of a chore to get through. It was never so bad that I wanted to abandon it, but I was never really looking forward to picking it back up again either.

103Robertgreaves
Editado: Abr 27, 2023, 4:08 pm

Starting the next in the series, Death at the Seaside as my No. 69. This also fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of A Death in the Dales:

As the General Strike gets underway, Kate takes up a case from 10 years before in which Lucian's deceased aunt was sure the wrong man was convicted and hanged.

There were lots of references to one of Kate's previous cases which I didn't remember that well as the backstory for one of the characters. They didn't get in the way of the mystery but were annoying.

104Robertgreaves
Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 12:46 pm

My No. 70 (ETA should be 72) is the next in the series, Death in the Stars. Again, it fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Death at the Seaside:

While on holiday in Whitby, Kate goes into a jeweller's to buy a gift for a friend only to find the jeweller dead on the floor. In the meantime, Kate's god-daughter has disappeared, possibly to find her father, who is separated from her mother, or possibly to elope. Fortunately Mr Sykes and Mrs Sugden are also holidaying not too far away.

The usual good fun.


105Robertgreaves
Abr 30, 2023, 3:53 am

Today is my 17th Thingaversary. Books bought to celebrate:

106Jackie_K
Abr 30, 2023, 8:31 am

Happy Thingaversary, Robert. 17 years is impressive - you must have been one of the early ones!

107Robertgreaves
Abr 30, 2023, 8:56 am

>106 Jackie_K: Yes, it had only been going about 9 months when I joined.

108Jackie_K
Abr 30, 2023, 9:43 am

I initially started noting down books read on an app called (I think) weRead, which was on facebook. After a few years though it was discontinued, I looked into GoodReads but just found it too busy (I still think that), and then had a couple of online friends who mentioned LT. The very basic format suited me much better! For the first year or so I just recorded books in the catalogue; it was a facebook post at the end of 2013 (when I was on mat leave with my newborn) that alerted me to the ROOTs group, and the rest is history!

109clue
Editado: Abr 30, 2023, 9:45 am

Congratulations, I think I joined around the same time due to the encouragement of a librarian friend. It took me quite a while to get my library entered and to become active. I'll have to take a look at Stolen Focus, I think I become more easily distracted every day.

110rabbitprincess
Abr 30, 2023, 9:57 am

Happy Thingaversary, Robert!

111MissWatson
Abr 30, 2023, 10:55 am

Happy Thingaversary, Robert!

112Robertgreaves
Abr 30, 2023, 12:50 pm

Thank you, all

113Robertgreaves
Maio 1, 2023, 4:00 am

Possible reading for May:

114Robertgreaves
Editado: Maio 1, 2023, 8:47 am

Starting my No. 73, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This is my thirty-fifth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT, RandomKIT, and ClassicsCAT.

My review of Death in the Stars:

Kate is hired to accompany a singer and her friend to observe the 1927 solar eclipse. The friend is found in a coma and later dies. Was it murder or an accidental overdose?

Issues of self-medication for PTSD combine with a distinct Phantom of the Opera vibe to make this an enjoyable detective story.


115Robertgreaves
Maio 2, 2023, 1:45 am

Starting my No. 74, The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon.

My review of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

Last read it about 10 years ago. Difficult to read without visualising the Disney version to myself.

116Robertgreaves
Maio 2, 2023, 12:49 pm

Also reading Chimerascope by Douglas Smith. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

117Robertgreaves
Maio 7, 2023, 3:27 am

Starting my No. 76, An Unsafe Pair of Hands by Chris Dolley. This is my thirty-sixth ROOT for 2023 and also fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Scottish Prisoner:

Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey work together to prevent a Jacobite uprising in Ireland.

Interesting characters and story but a few historical inaccuracies.

118Robertgreaves
Maio 8, 2023, 2:10 am

My review of An Unsafe Pair of Hands:

A carefully posed dead body is found in a stone circle. Underneath the body is the local bank manager's wife who has been buried alive. Can DCI Peter Shand solve his first case?

I did actually laugh out loud at some points but all in all it was a fairly run of the mill detective story, with potential for a series, which didn't happen.

119Robertgreaves
Maio 11, 2023, 3:34 am

Currently reading my No. 77, An Act of Detection by Charlie Cochrane. This ebook is my thirty-seventh ROOT of 2023.

My review of Chimerascope:

A collection of short SFF stories, some verging on horror. They were variable, some I definitely wanted to spend more time in their world, most were OK, and only one I was tempted to abandon, and that was just because I didn't find it very interesting.

120Robertgreaves
Maio 12, 2023, 7:30 am

Starting the next in the series, The Case of the Grey Assassin, as my No. 78. This ebook is not a ROOT, but again it fits the AlphaKIT and the RandomKIT.

My review of An Act of Detection:

Two novellas set in 1950 in which two actors, Toby Bowe and Alasdair Hamilton, who play Holmes and Watson on screen, take up sleuthing off screen.

Good fun even if not particularly intriguing as mysteries. I did wonder at times whether Jeeves & Wooster or Lord Emsworth might put in an appearance.

121Robertgreaves
Maio 14, 2023, 3:59 am

Starting my No. 79 The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. This ebook is not a ROOT. I am reading it now for my bookclub. It also fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Case of the Grey Assassin:

Alasdair and Toby are asked to investigate some threatening letters a friend has received. Are they connected to a serial killer targetting grey-haired men?

Another fun romp, though I did sometimes forget who was who.

122Robertgreaves
Maio 16, 2023, 12:32 pm

Starting my No. 80, Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, which is my thirty-eighth ROOT for 2023.

123Robertgreaves
Editado: Maio 18, 2023, 5:28 am

Starting my No. 81, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Three Men in A Boat:

Classic 19th century yarn of three men and a dog going on a boating holiday rowing up the Thames from London to Oxford.

It had some very funny scenes and some descriptive passages where I wasn't sure whether they were meant to be serious or to be funny parodies of nature writing of the time.

Some of the historical digressions and the story of the woman who committed suicide were a bit odd to find in a humorous book, but perhaps they also made more sense when it was first written as parodies.

124Jackie_K
Maio 19, 2023, 9:09 am

>123 Robertgreaves: I didn't enjoy Three Men in a Boat and wondered what all the fuss was about (apart from the bit about the stuffed fish above the bar at the pub, which did at least make me smile), but the section with the suicide was profoundly moving - I certainly hadn't expected to get jolted out of my whingeing about the book by something like that!

125Robertgreaves
Maio 19, 2023, 9:39 am

>124 Jackie_K: I think this was the third or fourth time I've read it (I last read it about 15 years ago) and each time I find it funnier.

126Robertgreaves
Maio 20, 2023, 4:21 pm

Starting my No. 82, Death on Delos by Gary Corby. This is my thirty-ninth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT and the GeoCAT.

My review of To Say Nothing of the Dog:

A time traveller suffering from time lag is sent to the 19th century to recuperate but the bishop's bird stump and the incongruities around the rescue of Princess Arjumand get in the way.

Not as funny as its reputation led me to believe but still a very enjoyable time travel romp.

127Robertgreaves
Maio 21, 2023, 12:19 am

My review of The Beekeeper of Aleppo:

The story of a Syrian couple's journey to the UK as refugees.

The author obviously wanted to bring attention to the plight of refugees and it is an important story but I felt publicising the issue got in the way of the story so that it wasn't as engaging as it should have been.

128Robertgreaves
Maio 21, 2023, 12:59 pm

Starting my No. 83, Traveling in Space by Steven Paul Leiva. This ebook is my fortieth ROOT for 2023.

My review of Death on Delos:

Pericles and an Athenian delegation come to Delos to remove the Delian League's treasure to Athens for safekeeping. When the priest heading the Delian's resistance to the move is found dead, a heavily-pregnant Diotima is appointed to head the investigation as priestess of Artemis.

A worthy wrap-up to the series.

129Robertgreaves
Maio 22, 2023, 1:00 am

Also reading my No. 84, The Guncle by Steven Rowley. This is my forty-first ROOT for 2023.

130Robertgreaves
Maio 23, 2023, 1:04 am

My review of The Guncle:

Patrick takes in his niece and nephew for the summer after their mother dies and their father goes into rehab.

I suspect this book would like to be this generation's "Auntie Mame" but it can't make up its mind whether it's a screwball comedy or a "grouch redeemed by kids" story. I nearly abandoned it a couple of times when it teetered on the edge of the super-saccharine. It did have its amusing moments but its not as funny as its reputation led me to believe.

131Robertgreaves
Editado: Maio 26, 2023, 7:14 am

Starting my No. 85, Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.

My review of Traveling In Space:

Aliens who thought they were the only sentient life in the universe arrive on Earth.

The narrator is one of the aliens and the author does an excellent job of conveying an alien point of view, although it does mean the reader sometimes has to work hard to "translate" it. However, the only culture the aliens look at to understand such Earth concepts as politics, marriage, and religion is American.

132Robertgreaves
Editado: Maio 27, 2023, 1:53 pm

Starting my No. 86, Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes.

My review of Auntie Mame:

An orphaned Patrick Dennis goes to live with his Auntie Mame in the 1920s.

Not as funny as I remember from when I read it 50-odd years ago but it still does have its moments.

133Robertgreaves
Maio 29, 2023, 7:49 am

Starting my No. 87, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. This ebook is my forty-second ROOT for 2023.

My review of Stone Blind:

The story of Medusa very well retold from the points of view of a variety of characters.

134Robertgreaves
Jun 1, 2023, 1:10 am

Possible reading for June:

135Jackie_K
Jun 1, 2023, 3:37 am

You've got some good books in that selection! I've read Caesar's Last Breath and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and enjoyed them both.

136Robertgreaves
Jun 1, 2023, 5:49 am

>135 Jackie_K: I think I read Dirk Gently when it first came out but don't really remember that much about it. I watched the Netflix version and found it incomprehensible so I thought I'd better read the book again.

137Robertgreaves
Jun 1, 2023, 1:27 pm

Starting my No. 88, Dog Knows by Neil S. Plakcy. This is my forty-third ROOT for 2023 and fits the SeriesCAT.

My review of Project Hail Mary:

Ryland Grace wakes up out of a coma with amnesia to find himself approaching Tau Ceti. As his memory comes back in bits and pieces he remembers that he is on a mission to save the human race.

I really enjoyed this story, following Grace as he works out the nature of the problem, and seeks a solution. The author does a great job of showing how he arrives at a solution rather than just presenting the answer. All the stars.

138Robertgreaves
Jun 2, 2023, 5:38 pm

Starting my No. 89, Dog's Green Earth, the next in the series. It is found in Golden Retriever Mysteries 10 - 12. As this is a box set which is only in ebook form, each book counts separately. These ebooks are not ROOTs.

My review of Dog Knows:

Steve Levitan is asked to help an old schoolfriend who is accused of murdering her husband.

A good cozy that doesn't strain the brain. Just the thing for reading on a long flight without much sleep.

139Robertgreaves
Jun 3, 2023, 8:20 am

Starting my No. 90, A Litter of Golden Mysteries, the next in the series.

My review of Dog's Green Earth:

The morning after a rancorous committee meeting of Steve Levitan's HOA board, the site manager's body is found in the park.

Par for the course in this mystery series, though a trifle platitudinous as Steve dishes out relationship advice.

140Robertgreaves
Jun 4, 2023, 9:55 am

Starting my No. 91, Dog Willing, the 3rd in the box set.

My review of A Litter of Golden Mysteries:

Some short stories giving us a glimpse of Steve Levitan and Rochester's life in between murders.

Inevitably there is quite a lot of repetition of Steve and Rochester's back story as most of the stories had been published separately. Perhaps the stories best serve those who don't the series at all or who are completists.

141Robertgreaves
Jun 4, 2023, 6:31 pm

Also reading my No. 92, Caligula by Douglas Jackson, which I am reading for my online reading group. This ebook is my forty-fourth ROOT for 2023.

142Robertgreaves
Editado: Jun 8, 2023, 5:17 pm

Starting my No. 93, Dog's Waiting Room. This ebook is my forty-fifth ROOT for 2023.

My review of Dog Willing:

An unpleasant bookshop owner pursuing a vendetta against food trucks she claims are taking over the car park in the mall where her shop is located is found dead, poisoned after eating the food given to her by the food truck owners as a peace offering. The owner of one of Rochester's doggy friends is the main suspect so Steve investigates.

The mystery itself was OK but unfortunately Steve Levitan, the narrator, is getting involved in campus committees and his prose becomes as leaden and platitudinous as a press release.

143Robertgreaves
Jun 9, 2023, 6:05 am

Currently reading The Innocent Anthropologist by Nigel Barley. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of Dog's Waiting Room:

A few days after Steve and Rochester find an old man with Alzheimer's wandering lost by the river, his drowned body is found. Did he fall or given his unsavoury history as a slumlord, was he pushed?

The author is back on form in this one, with an interesting mystery contrasted with developments in Steve and Lili's relationship.

144Robertgreaves
Jun 11, 2023, 3:57 am

Starting my No. 95, Dirk Gently's Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. This ebook is not a ROOT but does fit the SFFKIT.

My review of The Innocent Anthropologist:

A memoir of the author's year doing anthropological field work amongst the Domayo people of Cameroon. Although it had its moments, it wasn't as funny or interesting as his book about his time in Tanah Toraja.

145Jackie_K
Jun 11, 2023, 7:48 am

The Innocent Anthropologist is the only book of his I've read, I enjoyed it. I have A Plague of Caterpillars on the shelf though.

146Robertgreaves
Jun 11, 2023, 8:29 am

>145 Jackie_K: I haven't read A Plague of Caterpillars, which I gather tells us more about the Domoyo. As I said, I enjoyed Not a Hazardous Sport more, perhaps because I have more familiarity with the peoples he encounters.

147Robertgreaves
Jun 13, 2023, 7:36 pm

Starting my No. 96, Caesar's Last Breath by Sam Kean. This is my forty-sixth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

Great fun but impossible to summarise without spoilers.Although it is unrelated to H2G2, they are noticeably akin.

148Robertgreaves
Jun 16, 2023, 3:42 am

Starting my No. 97, They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie. This ebook is not a ROOT but does fit the AlphaKIT and MysteryKIT.

My review of Caesar's Last Breath:

Interesting book about the chemistry of gases, particularly those in the air we breathe. Lots of interesting tidbits and anecdotes, as well as the scientific information, most of which I have the illusion I understood. I will certainly keep an eye out for the author's other books.

149Robertgreaves
Jun 16, 2023, 8:58 am

Also reading my No. 98, Cerita-cerita Bahagia, Hampir Seluruhnya by Norman Erikson Pasaribu. This is my forty-seventh ROOT for 2023 and brings the contents of the treebook TBR shelves to 36. It fits the AlphaKIT and GeoCAT.

150Robertgreaves
Jun 17, 2023, 4:50 am

Starting my No. 99, Mrs McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie. This book fits the MysteryKIT and the SeriesCAT.

My review of They Came to Baghdad:

Victoria Jones decides to go to Baghdad in pursuit of a young man but finds herself caught up amongst intelligence agents trying to foil a shadowy organisation that wants to stoke tensions between the US and the USSR.

I enjoyed this more than most of the author's forays into spy fiction.

151Robertgreaves
Jun 18, 2023, 9:44 am

Starting my no. 100, The Five by Hallie Rubenhold. This is actually a re-read from last year but my book club wants to discuss it this month.

My review of Mrs McGinty's Dead:

Despite a guilty verdict and a death sentence, the police officer in charge of the investigation into the murder of Mrs McGinty is not convinced they've got the real culprit and asks Poirot to check before the execution.

I caught at least some of the little discrepancies which served as clues but still couldn't put them together.

152Robertgreaves
Jun 20, 2023, 2:41 am

Also reading my No. 101, Alien Emergencies by James White. This ebook is not a ROOT.

153Robertgreaves
Jun 22, 2023, 9:10 am

Starting my No. 102, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. This is my forty-eighth ROOT for 2023 and brings the contents of the treebook TBR shelf to 35. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Alien Emergencies:

A multi-species team of doctors working in a space hospital.

I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of the stories and individually the stories were good but they did tend to get a bit repetitive in the omnibus format, especially as some of the novels were obviously short stories with linking passages.

154Robertgreaves
Editado: Jun 24, 2023, 10:31 am

Currently reading my No. 103, William Blake: Selected Poems. This is my forty-ninth ROOT for 2023 and brings the contents of the treebook TBR shelf to 34. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Lessons in Chemistry:

Elizabeth Zott cannot work as a chemist due to male prejudice in the 1950s and early 1960s but becomes a TV star using a cooking show to teach chemistry.

The first half wasn't particularly interesting and while the second half had some nice moments it never really stayed at that level. I loved Six-Thirty but he wasn't enough to keep the book going. It wasn't a terrible book, just rather meh. A couple of nits: I doubt people in 1960 described others as "closet Nazis" and that someone who habitually refers to table salt as sodium chloride is going to dismiss packet soups on the grounds that they are "full of chemicals".

155Robertgreaves
Editado: Jun 27, 2023, 12:34 am

My review of Cerita-cerita Bahagia, Hampir Seluruhnya:

A collection of stories by an Indonesian writer. I was pleased that I managed to get through them without too many vocabulary problems, but I'm not sure I really understood the point of most of them.

156Robertgreaves
Jun 27, 2023, 2:35 am

Starting my No. 104, Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu. This ebook is not a ROOT. It does fit the AlphaKIT.

157Robertgreaves
Jun 29, 2023, 3:34 am

Starting my No. 105, Pigs Have Wings by P. G. Wodehouse. This ebook is my fiftieth ROOT for 2023. I am reading it now for the ClassicsCAT.

My review of Ball Lightning:

Chen (we are not told his other name) sees his parents killed by ball lightning while celebrating his 14th birthday. He dedicates his life to studying this phenomenon only to find that there are plans to weaponise it.

This is actually part of The Three-Body Problem universe, mainly taking place while the Trisolarians are watching Earth. If I'd known that I would have read it much earlier. As it is, I did find it dragged in places.

158Robertgreaves
Jun 30, 2023, 10:04 pm

Possible reading for July:

159Robertgreaves
Jun 30, 2023, 10:10 pm

Starting my No. 106 A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the AlphaKIT.

My review of Pigs Have Wings:

Imposters and pignappers. Where could we be but Blandings?

160Robertgreaves
Jul 1, 2023, 8:47 pm

Starting my No. 107, The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman. This is my fifty-first ROOT for 2023 while the treebook TBR shelf remains 34, since I bought a book yesterday. It also fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of A Parcel of Patterns:

A young woman's account of the plague in Eyam, written in an attempt to exorcise her trauma, not that she put it like that, obviously, as the book's style and narrative voice did feel as if it could be authentically from the 17th century. The author captured the social and religious nuances well as the people were caught by the plague in the midst of a transition from strict Puritanism to the more easy-going ways of the Restoration.

The book is quite short at 135 pages, which is just as well as there are no chapter breaks.

161Robertgreaves
Editado: Jul 2, 2023, 8:28 am

Starting my No. 108, Translation: A Very Short Introduction by Matthew Reynolds. The TBR shelf remains at 34 as I succumbed to temptation again. This book also fits the SeriesCAT.

My review of The Man Who Died Twice:

Elizabeth's ex-husband seeks her help when he comes under suspicion of stealing diamonds worth £20,000,000.

An excellent combination of thrills in the story and laughs in the characters' interactions. A bout of insomnia made this a very quick read.


162Robertgreaves
Jul 3, 2023, 11:12 pm

Starting my No. 109, So This Is Ever After by F. T. Lukens. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Translation: A Very Short Introduction:

The author tries to define translation as a wider activity than what most people think of but most of the examples he gives are still focussed on the translation of one national literature into another despite occasional nods in the direction of translations of other types of document such as the output of international bodies and manga. By the end of the book his predilection for coining new terms such as translationality and transadaption just gets irritating. A disappointment.

163rabbitprincess
Jul 4, 2023, 5:28 pm

>162 Robertgreaves: Thanks for taking the hit on that one, although I’m sorry it didn’t work out!

164Robertgreaves
Jul 5, 2023, 12:37 am

Starting my No. 110, The Wolf at the End of the World by Douglas Smith. This ebook is not a ROOT but it does fit the SFFKIT.

My review of So This Is Ever After:

The questing hero has slain the Vile One and freed the land. Now what?

It took me a while to readjust my ideas and get into this book because the blurb describes it as "Carry On meets Arthurian legend". Much as I'd love to see Carry On Round the Table, the blurb writer has obviously never seen a Carry On film nor do they have any knowledge of Arthurian legend. On its own terms, it is a pleasant enough mindless piece of fluff.

165Robertgreaves
Jul 6, 2023, 11:15 pm

Starting my Nos. 111 and 112, "A Bird in the Hand" (no touchstone) and Dream Flight, two short stories in the The Heroka Stories series. These ebooks are not ROOTs.

My review of The Wolf at the End of the World:

Rogue elements in the CSIS are trying to eradicate the Heroka (were-creatures from Ojibwe legend). But something FAR worse is waiting.

The preaching about the ills of modern-day society is a bit heavy-handed in parts but overall an enjoyable story based on legends I knew little or nothing about.

166Robertgreaves
Jul 7, 2023, 12:14 am

Starting my No. 113, Missing Persons by Sean Campbell. This ebook is my fifty-second ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT and the MysteryKIT.

167Robertgreaves
Jul 7, 2023, 9:45 am

Starting my No. 114, The Noblest Vengeance by Neil S. Plakcy. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Missing Persons:

Shortly after Faye Atkins gets out of jail her boyfriend's body is found in the Regent's Canal. Who killed him? Faye, the woman he was unfaithful with, or her boyfriend?

An enjoyable mystery but with an unsatisfactory solution.

168Robertgreaves
Jul 8, 2023, 6:31 am

Starting the next in the series, Finding Freddie Venus, as my No. 115.

My review of The Noblest Vengeance:

Aidan and Liam are asked by Aidan's cousin to protect her cousins on the other side, who are Turkish Jews living in Istanbul and have been receiving death threats over a development project.

Even Aidan had to draw a family tree to keep everybody straight in his mind, so it would have been nice to provide one for the reader. But still an entertaining thriller.


169Robertgreaves
Jul 8, 2023, 8:21 pm

My review of Finding Freddie Venus:

Aidan and Liam's latest client is a former porn star who has a stalker.

Each volume in this series seems to have more sex more explicitly described. But unicorn porn? Really?

170Robertgreaves
Jul 9, 2023, 11:57 pm

Starting my No. 116, The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the AlphaKIT.

171Robertgreaves
Jul 10, 2023, 10:29 pm

Starting my No. 117, The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. This is my fifty-third ROOT for 2023 and fits the AlphaKIT. It brings the treebook TBR shelf to 33.

My review of the The Bullet That Missed:

The gang are investigating the cold case of a journalist who apparently drove off a cliff into the sea while working on uncovering a VAT scam. CCTV captured an image of someone in the car with her on the way to the cliff but who?

My heart did sink a bit when one of the baddies from the previous book put in an appearance in this book because I don't like recurring villains but actually it was very well done. Can't wait for the next one.

172Robertgreaves
Jul 17, 2023, 7:25 pm

Starting my No. 118, Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Coles. This is my fifty-fourth ROOT for 2023 and fits the SeriesCAT. The treebook TBR shelf remains at 33 because I decided to put They Do It With Mirrors there to remind me to re-read it as part of my intermittent effort to read my way through Agatha Christie's oeuvre.

My review of The People in the Trees:

At the request of a colleague and friend, Norton Perina, a medical researcher who won the Nobel prize for medicine for his work on a Micronesian island which offers the chance of physical immortality, is writing his memoirs in prison where he is serving a sentence for sexual assault.

Perina is an unpleasant character, full of whining self-justification. The book is very slow with occasional bursts of movement to shift the plot forward. It does give the reader much to ponder but it was a struggle to get through.

173Robertgreaves
Jul 19, 2023, 3:05 am

Starting my No. 119, Watchmen of Rome by Alex Gough. This ebook is my fifty-fifth ROOT for 2023 and it fits the GeoCAT.

My review of Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction:

Despite the author's engaging style, I suspect the glimmers of understanding may have just been an illusion. A glossary would have helped.

174Robertgreaves
Jul 20, 2023, 6:54 pm

Starting my No. 120, Carbo and the Thief and Other Tales. As a re-read, this ebook is my fifty-sixth ROOT for 2023. It fits the AlphaKIT and GeoCAT.

My review of Watchmen of Rome:

Carbo, a retired legionary, returns to Rome and becomes the owner of a bar. A childhood friend turns to him for help when she realises her daughter has been singled out to become a human sacrifice.

The author's style keeps the reader's attention and makes this an easy read. I've read enough of the genre to recognise certain tropes/cliches in the plot but not enough to be annoyed or bored by them. Many of the characters are stereotypes (evil foreign cult leader, treacherous eunuch) but if you are tolerant of formulaic storytelling without anything new or fresh, it does its job competently enough.

175Robertgreaves
Jul 21, 2023, 2:13 am

Starting my No. 121, the next in the series, Bandits of Rome. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Carbo and the Thief and Other Tales:

A small collection of short stories giving the back stories to some of the characters from the author's "Watchmen of Rome" plus some oddments.

Competently done, but not sparkling. The two Carbo stories were the most interesting, with a nice twist in the first one. The Elissa story was just a rehash of what I gathered from "Watchmen", while the Vespillo story was actually a direct quote from "Watchmen". The three other slice-of-life stories weren't bad but didn't really spark any emotional reaction.

176Robertgreaves
Jul 22, 2023, 7:34 pm

Starting my No. 122, Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Bandits of Rome:

Carbo and friends head down to Nola to have a look at the farm which was part of his discharge bounty. A group of bandits is preying on travellers on the roads round about.

It was obvious who the chief bandit was long before the big reveal which was supposed to give it away. I was fooled by the misdirection about his partner. The book was too violent and depressing for my taste, though it may well be closer to real life at the time for those outside the elite. The blurb for the next one sounds even worse, so I'll leave the series here.

177Robertgreaves
Jul 24, 2023, 5:44 am

Starting my No. 123, Caribou Island by David Vann. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold:

A history of the disposal of the dead in London through two millennia.

Lots of interesting detail. The main focus is on the Victorians but Roman, medieval and 20th century London all get a look in. The book ends with the funerals of Diana and of Ronnie Kray. There are definitely sections which are not for the squeamish.

178Robertgreaves
Jul 24, 2023, 7:55 pm

The beginning of Caribou Island was quite confusing but a review I looked at said it's closely tied to the same author's Legend of a Suicide, which I have read but have no memory of. So I am going to re-read it as my No. 124. As a re-read it counts as my fifty-seventh ROOT of 2023.

179Robertgreaves
Jul 26, 2023, 2:44 am

Starting my No. 125, Beowulf: A New Translation, translated by Maria Dahvana Headley. This ebook is not a ROOT, but I am reading it now because one of the characters in "Caribou Island" was much given to quoting from Beowulf.

My review of Caribou Island:

Gary decides to move himself and his wife Irene from their home on the shore of Skilak Lake in Alaska to an island in the lake where he wants to build a cabin. His practical skills and planning leave something to be desired and Irene has her own ghosts to deal with.

David Vann's writes some more about Alaska, dentists cheating on their partners, men wanting to live a wilderness life without the necessary practical skills, parental suicide. I like his style but I will look at some later books to see if he's got these themes out of his system yet.

180Robertgreaves
Editado: Jul 27, 2023, 9:59 am

Starting my No. 126, The Far Arena by Richard Ben Sapir. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Beowulf: A New Translation:

This translation made the news as the first one done by a woman. TBH I don't think I would have been able to tell if I'd been presented with it without the translator being accredited.

From time to time I found the translator's choices aggressively modern to the point they jerked me out of the story so that I wished I had my Seamus Heaney translation with me to see how he had translated that part. But I still enjoyed reading it enough to want to listen to an audio version to see how that stands up. The ebook version I read was badly formatted so that the introduction to the translation was difficult to read and so I gave up and just read the poem.


181connie53
Jul 29, 2023, 5:45 am

Hi Robert, it's been a while since my last visit, so I'm skipping all you posts and start fresh from here.

I hope you are doing fine . The reading is going great I see. Number 126 is awesome!

182Robertgreaves
Jul 29, 2023, 8:51 am

Thanks for dropping by, Connie.

183Robertgreaves
Jul 29, 2023, 9:56 am

Starting my No. 127, House of Names by Colm Tóibín. This ebook is not a ROOT.

184Robertgreaves
Jul 30, 2023, 7:43 pm

My review of The Far Arena:

A Roman gladiator found frozen in the Arctic ice is successfully defrosted alive.

The first 2/3 of the book is mainly taken up with Eugenianus's memories of his life from his childhood to how he came to be in the far North, while the rest of the book shows how he reacts to the 1970s. The book has a variety of narrators:Eugenianus himself, a Russian doctor, an American geologist, and a Norwegian nun. It was very well done, showing how different his thought processes and motivations were from a modern person's.

185Robertgreaves
Jul 31, 2023, 7:24 pm

Possible reading for August:

186Robertgreaves
Ago 1, 2023, 8:11 pm

Starting my No. 128, The Gardens of Light, by Amin Maalouf. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the GeoCAT and the AlphaKIT.

My review of House of Names:

Colm Tóibín's re-telling of the events from the first two plays of The Oresteia.

The story is stripped down to its essentials of characters and events. If you didn't know the story in advance, there is nothing really to suggest that we are in Bronze Age Greece rather than any other society before the invention of firearms. This made it curiously uninvolving emotionally for the most part and yet completely compelling.

187Robertgreaves
Editado: Ago 4, 2023, 5:13 am

Starting my No. 129, They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie. This is my fifty-eighth ROOT for 2023 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 32. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of The Gardens of Light:

The story of Mani, the founder of Manichaeism.

An interesting picture of 3rd century Mesopotamia (now Iraq/Iran) as Mani tries to unite all of the religions of his time in a simple pacifistic belief system with support from the Emperor Shapur of the Sassanid dynasty but open hostility from the entrenched priesthood.

188Robertgreaves
Ago 4, 2023, 6:09 am

Starting my No. 130, After the Funeral, Agatha Christie's next book. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of They Do It With Mirrors:

Miss Marple visits an old friend, Carrie Louise, convinced that she is in danger. Then an attempt is made on Carrie Louise's husband's life and her stepson is murdered. Worse still, somebody may be poisoning Carrie Louise herself.

I read this about 10 years ago and noted then that I found the family relationships too complicated to remember. This time I made a family tree as I went along and found it much easier to see who is who. Even having read it before, I was completely wrong about the murderer's identity.

189Robertgreaves
Ago 5, 2023, 5:49 am

Starting my No. 131, Democracy: A Very Short Introduction as my fifty-ninth ROOT. I bought a book so my treebook TBR shelf remains at 32.

190Robertgreaves
Ago 6, 2023, 12:09 am

My review of Democracy: A Very Short Introduction:

The book first takes a historical approach looking at principles and institutions we might wish to call democratic from the Greeks and Romans, then skipping down to the 17th century and through the American and French Revolutions. In the 19th and 20th century he looks at the differences between popularist and liberal democracy. Since it was published in 2002, the book doesn't have much to say about the 21st century.

The book was interesting overall, but there were definitely places where the author's syntax got so convoluted that I had to read sentences several times to follow what he was saying.

191Robertgreaves
Ago 6, 2023, 1:55 am

Starting my No. 132, Bodies Politic by David Wishart. This ebook is my sixtieth ROOT for 2023. It fits SeriesCAT and MysteryKIT.

My review of After the Funeral:

When Richard Abernathie's will is read out, his sister Cora asks if he was really murdered. When Cora is found a couple of days later with her head bashed in the family's solicitor Mr Entwhistle cannot believe it was just coincidence. His investigations don't get very far and eventually he is forced to call in his friend Hercule Poirot.

I couldn't work out who it was, even though Poirot actually tells us well in advance of the big reveal.

192Robertgreaves
Ago 8, 2023, 3:49 am

Starting the next in the series, No Cause for Concern, as my No. 133. This ebook is not a ROOT but also fits the SeriesCAT and MysteryKIT.

My review of Bodies Politic:

Dion, Macro's former secretary, delivers a posthumous letter from Macro to Marcus Corvinus asking him to clear Macro's name. As soon becomes apparent, Macro never had a secretary called Dion and the letter is a forgery. What is going on?

It's been a long time since I read the previous volume in this series, so I didn't always follow references to previous events, but I still love Marcus Corvinus's narrative voice. I really mustn't leave such a long gap next time.

193Robertgreaves
Ago 8, 2023, 7:41 am

Next in the series is Solid Citizens, my No. 134.

My review of No Cause for Concern:

An organised crime boss's wife asks Marcus Corvinus to help her trace her missing son from a previous marriage.

A quick read novella which functions as just an excuse to see Marcus Corvinus again.

194Robertgreaves
Ago 9, 2023, 8:30 am

Starting my No. 135, The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This ebook is not a ROOT but it fits the MysteryKIT.

My review of Solid Citizens:

On a visit to his adoptive daughter and her husband for the Winter Festival, Marcus Corvinus is asked to investigate the death of a local worthy found with his head bashed in outside the back door to a brothel.

Less convoluted than the high politics stories. Closely tied to a previous instalment in the series which I have only the vaguest memory of.

195Robertgreaves
Editado: Ago 10, 2023, 7:07 am

Starting the next in the series, Extremes as my No. 136. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Disappeared:

Miles Flint has finally been promoted to detective on the Armstrong Lunar Base police force only to find that his first cases involve human fugitives from alien justice.

A great opening to this series. Although the focus is on the humans we do get to understand the aliens' reasoning. I wonder if later in the series we will see aliens fleeing what they see as an unfair human punitive system.


Also starting A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. As a re-read this is my sixty-first ROOT for 2023. I am reading it for the Chapter A Day challenge on Litsy.

196rabbitprincess
Ago 11, 2023, 10:25 am

>195 Robertgreaves: Hmmm an interesting concept! Have to keep an eye out for it.

197Robertgreaves
Ago 11, 2023, 7:18 pm

Starting my No. 138, the next Retrieval Artist book, Consequences. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Extremes:

Regrettably, although the number of accidental deaths of participants in the Moon Marathon is declining, they still do occur. However, this death is murder. Meanwhile, Miles Flint is unsure whether to accept his first case as a fully-fledged Retrieval Agent, although the potential client, a lawyer from a firm Paloma frequently worked with, is very persistent.

The different threads came together nicely in this exciting case which kept me up way past my bedtime. In the shadow of Covid, the story of a genetically enhanced lethal cold virus does of course have more resonances than it did in 2004.

198Robertgreaves
Ago 14, 2023, 12:28 am

Starting my No. 139, a novella in the Retrieval Artist series, The Retrieval Artist. I am not sure where it fits in the timeline for the series. LT lists it as a prequel. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Consequences:

After Miles Flint accepts a case and reunites parents with their Disappeared daughter who has been pardoned for her crimes, the whole family is murdered. DeRicci finds evidence linking the family with Flint and they end up on opposite sides of the investigation.

Just as gripping as the previous books in the series but I can't help wonder now that Armstrong City has narrowly escaped an epidemic and suffered an explosion which breached its Dome, whether they will continue to allow Flint to operate in this closed, vulnerable environment.


199Robertgreaves
Ago 15, 2023, 12:02 am

Starting my No. 140, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This is my sixty-first ROOT and brings the treebook shelf to 30. It fits the AlphaKIT and is also my book club's choice for August.

My review of The Retrieval Artist:

A young woman asks Miles Flint to find her Disappeared mother and "sister".

This novella was less gripping than the full-length novels and I also found the world-building less engrossing.

200Robertgreaves
Ago 16, 2023, 5:30 am

Starting my No. 141, Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf. This ebook is not a ROOT but I am reading it now for the AlphaKIT.
Este tópico foi continuado por Robertgreaves ROOTING again in 2023 continued.