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Books 77-82 for 2013

77. The Element of Fire by Martha Wells. 337 pages

This is Wells' first novel, set in Ile-Rien like several of her later novels, but much earlier in its history.

There's a distinct flavour of "the Three Musketeers" about it somehow, without any real reference to Dumas (not that this is a bad thing).

Evil sorcerers, treacherous fay and would-be usurpers combine to make a rollicking adventure plot. Very enjoyable, if a somewhat abrupt ending.



78. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers. 337 pages

This is probably my favourite Peter Wimsey book and the one I reread most often.

Peter has at last married his beloved Harriet Vane and they set off for their honeymoon in the country house he has bought for them. But when they arrive there's no one to let them in and no sign of the previous owner, who, they discover the following morning, is in fact the late owner….

79. Striding Folly by Dorothy L. Sayers. 90 pages

Short book of three short stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. Slight, but fun, although I disapprove of the treatment of grass snakes in the last one.

80. Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews. 235 pages.

Another outing for Meg Langslow and her wacky family.

Meg and boyfriend Michael set off for a relaxing weekend on an island off the coast of Maine, but instead of peace and quiet they find murder and mayhem.

Good-natured fun.


81. Betty Gordon at Bramble Farm by Alice B. Emerson. 101 pages

Children's book, written in 1920, about an orphan girl sent off to live on a farm for the summer by her well-meaning uncle. Unbeknown to him, the farmer is a terrible miser and although, as a paying guest, Betty is treated slightly better than the farmer's downtrodden wife and workers, her summer is hardly the relaxing time her uncle had intended for her….

The story is slight and not marvellously well-written, but it's interesting for the look at the customs and expectations of the time and since several more of Betty's adventures are available as free ebooks, I may well see what she gets up to next.


82. The House at World's End by Monica Dickens. 132 pages.

Rather unlikely Joyce Stranger-ish story about a family of four children whose father is sailing round the world and whose mother is in hospital with a broken back who go to live in a run-down old former inn. Fairly simple story and a firm message about the importance of kindness to animals, but still quite enjoyable.
Tags: animals, crime fiction, fantasy, kidlit
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