...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Sins of the FatherThe Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This being the 2nd book in the Clifton Chronicles started out "amazing" and then petered out to being "I liked it" resulting in the 3 star rating. I was so looking forward to this after how much I enjoyed the 1st book Only Time Will Tell and have to say I was some what disappointed.

It wasn't so much how the story continued but how ridiculous the characters became. Does everyone have to be a heroine or hero Mr. Archer? 
 I mentioned in my review of Only Time Will Tell that the story was a bit cheesy, but The Sins of the Father was an extra order of cheese on top! It just became un-realistic on so many levels.

By far the most interesting character was the villain Hugo Barrington. The most un-realistic and ridiculous part of the story was the finale!

I will read the newly released 3rd book in the Clifton Chronicles The Best Kept Secret, but not right away, I will need to be in a real Archer mood for that.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 26, 2013

Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer Review...

Only Time Will TellOnly Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who is Harry's father anyway? That is the question. Is it Arthur Clifton the "docker" or Hugo Barrington the son of a shipping baron? Not even his mother really knows. Her one night stand with Barrington just weeks before her marriage to Arthur could of resulted in pregnancy since Harry was born eight months later. At the time no one even needed to know about her rendezvous with Hugo, little did she know that this one mistake would have such power to devastate so many lives twenty years later.

Harry who is so likable never had a clue until his wedding day that he may be or may not be Hugo Barrington's son whom he blames for the death of his assumed father Arthur Clifton. How will anyone ever know, I guess Only Time Will Tell. O the tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive!!!

I did really like this book, thus the four crown rating! I have been a fan of Jeffrey Archer for a long time, he tells a good story! To me he is a "gentleman author". He doesn't get caught up in hyperbole. He is tasteful and gets to the point without dragging on the plot. Some of his characters can be a little cheesy, but in today's world that can be refreshing.

It's a good fast read that left me wanting more, so I am glad that the Harry Clifton saga will continue for at least two more books, Sins of the Father and newly released The Best Kept Secret.

Mr. Archer does not disappoint. Well done!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Iron King beginning of The Accursed Kings Series...

In 1955 the french author Maurice Druon began writing a series of books called The Accursed Kings. The series in total is seven books and took twenty years to complete. I first noticed these books on a Goodreads advertisement of the 1st in the series The Iron King. I ordered it on Amazon prime and began reading it right away. I didn't put it down. A marvelous book. 

The story begins with The Iron King, Phillip IV(Phillipe the Fair) the year 1307. The country is broke from war and poor money management.  King Phillip is young and ruthless. He goes to the Knights Templar for a loan and is refused. That very night Friday October 13, 1307 he has the Templar's put under arrest, and seizes the gold anyway. Over the next seven years 15,000 Templar's have been arrested, tortured and executed by the King's order and sanctioned by the Pope. The last to be executed is the Grand Master  Jacques de Molay who upon his death puts a curse on Pope Clement and the King and their descendants for 13 generations...

King Phillip IV of France

Grand Master Knights Templar Jacque de Molay

The King has three sons, Louis, Charles and Phillipe and one daughter, Isabella the queen of England, married to Edward II mother of Edward III. All of the King's children are involved in the intrigue in one way or another which will result shortly in the 100 years war between France and England.

This is just the first book of seven. I understand that they will be re-publishing all seven on a monthly basis. The next one in the series is The Strangled Queen being released tomorrow, April 11, 2013. I look forward to it. 

How refreshing to be reading 14th century France instead of 14th century England for a change. Completely fascinating on the two countries are intertwined through-out history. But seriously who doesn't love France.

The seven books are:
I. Le Roi de fer (The Iron King), 1955
II. La Reine étranglée (The Strangled Queen), 1955
III. Les Poisons de la couronne (The Poisoned Crown), 1956
IV. La Loi des mâles (The Royal Succession), 1957
V. La Louve de France (The She-Wolf of France), 1959
VI. Le Lis et le Lion (The Lily and the Lion), 1960
VII. Quand un Roi perd la France (When a King Loses France), 1977

Maurice Druon (23 April 1918 – 14 April 2009) was a French novelist and a member of the Académie française.
He was also a French Resistance fighter in WWII and received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour for his service along with many other awards over his lifetime for academia contributions.
Maurice Druon

This book is well worth the read. It is surprisingly a fast read. Not only is it a great historical study but a good story, very intriguing. This book deservedly receives 5 crowns! 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: The Five Red Herrings, Dorothy Sayers

I belong to the Kindle English Mystery Book Club discussion Group on Goodreads. Dorothy Sayer's The Five Red Herrings was the book chosen for March. I really looked forward to this since I have watched several of the Lord Peter Wimsey episodes on BBC. Gladly I haven't seen 
The Five Red Herrings yet.

The book was first published in 1931 and very true to the time period, the servants  the large cars and post great war attitude. Ms. Sayers wrote this book while staying at the above Anworth Hotel in Kirkcudbright, on the west coast of Scotland County Galloway near the English border. The places in the story are all actual places that Ms. Sayers frequented while staying in Kirkcudbright. 
The story is very atmospheric you can imagine being right there in the pub or on the winding country roads. You can see the storms coming in from the sea and here the wild clap of thunder. 
It was just my cup of tea, literally speaking I made myself a pot of Bangel Spice tea and sat down in my cozy living room escaping to Kirkcudbright to solve a murder.

Auld Kirk Yard

You almost feel like you are reading in a foreign language, Ms. Sayers is that true to the Scottish dialect in the dialogue. There is no mistake between who is the British Gentlemen and who is the Scottish Constable. This in itself makes it fun to read. I love the Scottish dialect so I fancied my self  speaking it while reading it.
Ms. Sayers is not for the quick read, she pays very particular attention to details which can be daunting at times, but stick with it.
An artist is found in the burn (stream). Was it suicide or murder? Six suspects and five are red herrings. Who can be really sure? 
With the aid of Lord Peter Wimsey all will come clean in the end.
He's on the case with a host of fun characters.

County map of Galloway. Kircudbright is south central.

Beautiful open country near Kircudbright where suspects can disappear in or even fall down a mine shaft.

Typical Galloway country road where a suspect on a bicycle could
make a fast get away. 

4.5 royal crowns for The Five Red Herrings~Dorothy Sayers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Night Stakler Series: Military Romance...

Can you believe this? Military Romance? Who would have thunk? Well apparently M.L. Buchman did. I think I may have finally found a romance I can get into. I always have good intentions and after reading the 1st chapter or two I'm done with the bodice ripping highland lord.
The Night Stalker Series caught my eye this morning while on Jenny Loves to Read (one of my favorite blogs) I noticed her Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell side bar button. I checked it out and found this wonderful interview with M.L. Buchman about his new release to his Night Stalker Series, Wait until Dark.
It's such a fascinating interview that I have checked it out on Amazon and ordered the 1st int he series
(amazon link)
I love the idea it's written by a man. I am anxious to see how he pulls off the romance and heroine.
It sounds refreshing and intriguing. 
It looks good according the amazon reviews.
I will be posting later my own review.
Give yourself a treat and check out Jenny's blog, Mr. Buchman's interview and his website. All links above.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who Can Resist Gothic Suspense...

I just received this in the mail from Ebay. My first Phillipa Carr Gothic Novel written in 1979. Being a vintage novel I had to go to Ebay to obtain it, but luckily there is good availability of 
Phillipa Carr Daughter of England novels on Ebay.
You may wonder who is Philippa Carr? Have you heard of Jean Plaidy and Victoria Holt? Phillipa Carr is one and the same, another pseudonym for Eleanor Hibbert!!!
I have read many Vicotria Holt novels and Jean Plaidy Historical Novels. They are some of my favorites.
It was Marie at Burton's Review that got me wanting to read Philippa Carr.
I mean how can you resist when the book cover reads:

The miracle is the discovery, on a Christmas Day in the 16th century of a living child in the Christmas crib in St. Bruno's Abbey, a replacement for the wooden figure of the Christ child,. The child is named Bruno and is raised and educated by monks.
Colse by, Damsk Farland is born to a lawyer's family, some nine months later Henry VIII is on the throne of England and his problems in producing an heir are becoming apparent. As Damask grown-and this is her story-times change, ease and comfort give way to religious difficulties, betrayals and terror... Barbara Bannon Publishers Weekly

Does this sound yummy or what? I have never been disappointed by Victoria or Jean so I'm sure Philippa will deliver the goods as well! So far the 1st chapter has been very intriguing.

I will post a review when finished. Hopefully you other blogging friends will be curious as well.

Here is a list of Philippa Carr's Daughters of England Series:

As Philippa Carr

Daughters of England Series

  1. Miracle At St. Bruno's (1972)
  2. The Lion Triumphant (1973)
  3. Witch from the Sea (1975)
  4. Saraband for Two Sisters (1976)
  5. Lament for a Lost Lover (1977)
  6. The Love Child (1950) (first published under the name Eleanor Burford)
  7. The Song of the Siren (1980)
  8. The Drop of the Dice (1981)
  9. The Adulteress (1982)
  10. Zipporah's Daughter (1983)
  11. Voices in A Haunted Room (1984)
  12. The Return of the Gypsy (1985)
  13. Midsummer's Eve (1986)
  14. The Pool of Saint Branok (1987)
  15. The Changeling (1989)
  16. The Black Swan (1990)
  17. A Time for Silence (1991)
  18. The Gossamer Cord (1992)
  19. We'll Meet Again (1993)

Eleanor Hibbert
1906 - 1993


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the Garden of Beasts Book Review

This week I'm featuring a book I just finished by Erik Larson: In the Garden of Beasts. Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin.
 I received this book for a Mother's Day gift from my daughter Katie. It's a long standing joke in our home of my love/hate relationship with the Nazi's. I hate them, but I love to read about them. Go figure. It seems I'm not alone in this, there has been countless books written on the subject of WWII Germany, Hitler and Nazi's in general. I think the reason for the fascination is  because it's so hard to believe that a country of 65 million civilized people could descend into such evil. We WWII buffs are always searching for the answer, something clear and reasonable, but there isn't any justification it, was sheer evil it it's greatest form. 

Just when you think you have heard the worse or the more fantastic the Nazi's could be, you are always surprised, there is always new information. In the Garden of Beasts does not disappoint. I have always wondered about Germany in the early 30's when Hitler just became Chancellor, and the Nazi party was getting a foothold. How fascinating this case study is!!! 1933 a turning point in history. Hitler and his goons are manipulating through fear, terror and propaganda the German people and the world looks on in shock sure that this will pass and Germany will settle down. It's only been thirteen years since the Great War and the devastation of France. Europe is in economic disaster and the United States is advocating isolationism, they have their own problems with the Great Depression and Europe always seems to be in trouble. Let's let them figure this out with-out us. 

The world as a whole seems to be out of a job and starving yet the League of Nations ambassadors to various countries are spending lavish amounts of money trying to impress their host countries. It's all one big party for the politicians. American ambassadors were not chosen for their knowledge of current affairs or ability to represent their country's agenda, but for their ability to pay for lavish parties, homes and cars. That is why William H. Dodd being chosen by Roosevelt to go to Berlin as the American Ambassador in 1933 was so extraordinary. 

Dodd was neither rich or flamboyant. He drove an old Buick and taught history at the University of Chicago. He was a shy person and disliked the lime light. He and his wife were home bodies that hardly ever entertained. His greatest pleasure was going to his farm in Virginia and working on his manuscript The Old South. Why then was he chosen to go to the most pivotal European city, Berlin and represent the United States?  Can he make a difference in the United States attitude towards isolationism? Will he be able to convince the Pretty Boys Clubback home that Hitler is a maniac and lier? 

Oh the fun you will have reading this book. Buckle up and be ready for a fast, scary ride through history. There are parts where you will be screaming WHY, WHY, WHY didn't they listen. You will experience first hand what it was like to be a German citizen with an opinion opposite that of the REICH. 

Once you have read this you will want to read all of Best Selling Author Erik Larsen's books. Fanatistic.

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