54. Black Ship by Carola Dunn. 252 pages.
Another inconvenient corpse for Daisy - this one practically on her doorstep and her new neighbours heading the suspect list….
55. Kim by Rudyard Kipling. 246 pages.
Classic tale of the son of an Irish soldier growing up in India and eventually joining the British secret service. Some will likely find it objectionable because of the imperialism and jingoistic attitudes, but the writing is very good, and Kipling’s attitude toward the different races and religions of India seems quite enlightened for the period.
56. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 221 pages.
This was one of those books that took me a while to get into and then, just as I was getting into the swing of it, it stopped. I was not the least bit surprised to discover that there’s a sequel in the works.
57. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. 89 pages.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever sat down and watched any of the films which have been made of this book, but I’ve certainly seen bits of more than one - none of which bears much resemblance to the original written version beyond the name of the protagonist….
It was interesting to read it though and to see how linear the story was, considering it’s one of the archetypal spy stories.
58. Sheer Folly by Carola Dunn. 266 pages.
Another entry in the Daisy Dalrymple series. Pleasant enough, but not as good as most of the others for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.
59. Roman Blood by Steven Saylor. 265 pages.
First in the Roma Sub Rosa series. I think I was unable to appreciate this one fully as I’m a big fan of Lindsey Davis’ Falco series and I was constantly comparing the two in my head as I was reading.
Saylor’s book is set in an earlier (and more bloody) period of Roman history and one with which I’m less familiar. I think I’ll need to read a few more in this series to give it a fair chance.
60. Anthem for Doomed Youth by Carola Dunn. 262 pages.
Alec is called in to a serial killer case. Daisy, meanwhile is off to a school sport’s day. So she can’t possibly get mixed up in the case. Yeah, right.
61. Clementine by Cherie Priest. 146 pages.
Second in the Clockwork Century series.
Captain Croggon Hainey is determined to get his airship back - after all, he stole it, fair and square!
Belle Boyd, the Pinkerton Agency’s newest recruit is determined to bring Hainey in - until she finds out what’s being carried in the ship he’s chasing….
This second book in the series seemed somehow sketchy, as if the plot had been curtailed by a rapidly approaching deadline, but was still entertaining.
62. Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo. 139 pages.
Will has just lost his soldier father in Iraq, so his grandparents send him and his mother on holiday to Indonesia. with incredibly bad timing they’re caught up in the Boxing Day tsunami. will is on an elephant ride at the time, and this saves his life - the elephant senses the approaching disaster and flees into the jungle with Will still aboard.
I can read murder mysteries, knowing that at least one person will meet a sticky end and unless it’s particularly graphic and nasty, it won’t bother me hugely. But there’s a scene in this book where hunters arrive and shoot a family of orang-utans that made me have to put the book down and go and do something else for a while until the sorrow and rage died down enough to let me read on. Probably it’s at least in part because I wasn’t expecting it, but I should probably give credit to the author for effective writing too.