Saturday, 8 November 2008

Babs Horton: A Jarful of Angels

An interesting mystery story told from the children's and the detective's perspectives. However, towards the end the story got rather bizarre, although it was a nice aspect that the disappearance was not related to a crime...
Thirty years ago, in a remote Welsh village, Iffy, Bessie, Fatty and Billy formed a remarkable friendship and enjoyed an impoverished yet magical childhood. That winter they found a skull with its front teeth missing, that summer they experienced a plague of frogs, crept into a garden full of strange statutes, and discovered just what mad Carty Annie had been collecting so secretly in those jars of hers. But at the end of that long, hot summer of 1963, one of them disappeared... Over thirty years later, retired detective Will Sloane, is compelled to return to that strange Welsh town of secrets and lunatics to try to solve the case of the missing child. But before he can finally discover the truth about what happened, he finds himself involved in a number of interlocking mysteries.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Kate Morton: The Forgotten Garden

I had read The House at Riverton and was waiting eagerly for Kate Morton's next novel.... ....and I have not been disappointed.I felt it was a bit slow at the beginning, but once the mystery started to unfold I could not put the book down! I agree that the ending was somehow predictable, but I found that Kate Morton has paid great attention to detail to construct her solution to the mystery and therefore did not mind that there was no twist or turn...

1913: On the eve of the First World War a little girl is found abandoned after a gruelling ocean voyage from England to Australia. All she can remember of the journey is that a mysterious woman she calls the Authoress had promised to look after her. Authoress has vanished without trace. 1975: Now an old lady, Nell travels to England to discover the truth about her parentage. Her quest leads her to Cornwall, and to a beautiful estate called Blackhurst Manor, which had been owned by the Mountrachet family. What has prompted Nell's journey after all these years?
2005: On Nell's deth her granddaughter, Cassandra, comes into a surprise inheritance. Cliff Cottage, in the grounds of Blackhurst Manor, is notorious amongst the locals for the secrets it holds - secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family. But it is at Cliff Cottage, abandoned for years, and in its forgotten garden, that Cassandra will uncover the truth about the family and why the young Nell was abandoned all those decades before.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Bad Beginning

What a fantastic read. It is indeed a really nice book with a rather sad story. But what I found particularly sweet was the way that Lemony Snicket explains difficult words or concepts to the readers. This is of great value for any young reader....

The Baudelaire siblings receive one sad day the news that their parents have died through the family's barrister, Mr Poe. Poe would put them up for some days, but then he sends them off to their nearest-living relative, a cruel theatre actor who devices a plan to get their hands onto the Baudelaire's inheritance.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Elizabeth Kostova: The Historian

A compelling and spooky story about the quest for Dracula! Sometimes a bit too fantacist, but overall a fantastic read. It is not always entirely clear, what is fact and what is fiction, which makes the book just the more interesting, but which also means that I will have to dig out more information on Vlad Tepes, the historical "Drakulya"....

In her father's library a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor". Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.