A Nice Class Of Corpse - Simon Brett
Mrs., Presumed Dead - Simon Brett
Mrs. Pargeter's Package - Simon Brett
Mrs. Pargeter's Pound Of Flesh - Simon Brett
Mrs. Pargeter's Plot - Simon Brett
Mrs. Pargeter's Point Of Honour - Simon Brett
Oxford Menace - Veronica Stallwood
A Vintage Murder - Michele Scott
A Killer Stitch - Maggie Sefton
Paper Thin Alibi - Mary Ellen Hughes
The Private Patient - P.D. James
Yes Minister. The Diaries Of A Cabinet Minister by The Right Honourable James Hacker Vol I - edited by Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay
Yes Minister. The Diaries Of A Cabinet Minister by The Right Honourable James Hacker Vol II - edited by Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay
Yes Minister. The Diaries Of A Cabinet Minister by The Right Honourable James Hacker Vol III - edited by Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay
TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ THUS FAR IN 2008: 106
05 were first time reads
09 were re-reads
The Mrs. Pargeter series is one I have read several times and thoroughly enjoy each time. Mrs. Pargeter is a widow and at first we think she is just the normal very rich widow who loved and was deeply loved by her husband. Then we learn just from where hubby's money came: crime! He wasn't a violent man, he was just an excellent organiser and employer - he had his own band of men who were specialists in their field. Yes, he went away from time to time, sometimes to prison, other times to avoid capture but you got the impression he was actually a lovely, caring, 'honest' man. Mrs. Pargeter keeps stumbling into crime - not, I hasten to add, of her own doing, but crime she ends up solving (usually murder). And she has a whole team of experts (pretty much all who have gone straight now Mr. Pargeter is dead) to call upon. So together with these men, most of whom are now in highly respectable positions (owning a top class London hotel for example) she solves the crimes. And in the final book she does the ultimate: she sets out to return a whole lot of stolen paintings (masterpieces) so that the widow of the man who stole them can die in peace. The books are amusing and gentle and very easy reads, the characters strong and real and whatever the reason for Mrs. Pargeter's wealth, you cannot help but like her. And the loyalty her husband's ex-employees show to her and to his memory is wonderful. An excellent series.
Oxford Menace is the latest book in the Kate Ivory series. Kate is a writer and also keeps getting involved in and solving crime as an amateur. The series is set in Oxford and the author gives us a feel for the city, without going OTT on description. Kate is 'odd' as one moment I want to strangle her, the next I really like her - one way of another I do care about what happens, even if I'm getting frustrated by her. This story is about attacks on and murder of people who work in a laboratory in the city, that uses animals in its work. Overall I enjoyed the book, but one part had me livid - she had one of the characters feeding a chocolate digestive biscuit to her dog. Dogs cannot eat human chocolate, it is poison to them and can kill. I found it shocking and doubly so given the subject matter of the book. I have dropped an email to Ms. Stallwood, via her website, but given it hasn't been updated for a while I doubt I'll hear; so I plan to write to the publisher.
A Vintage Murder - is the latest book in the 'wine lovers mysteries'. This one takes us out of America where the vine yard is over to Australia where the main character and 'sleuth' ends up taking a part in a film after the leading lady has been found dead - she was murdered. Light, easy to read and fun. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the others, I don't really know why, but I still intend to continue with the series - it might just have been my mood at the time.
A Killer Stitch - is the latest in the series of 'knitting relating mysteries'. They set in a small town in America where Kelly had to visit once her only relative died leaving her her home and ranch and she feel in love with it and stayed. As always the book was a fun, light read with recurring characters and themes and new ones too. She lives near to a stunning yarn shop (but don't think small shop, think huge) where the array of wools is utterly amazing; every time I read one of this series, I want to start knitting again.
Paper Thin Alibi - is the latest book in the 'craft shop mysteries'. Again it's set in small town America where Jo, the 'sleuth' has moved to after the death of her beloved husband and she opens up a craft shop. Once again we have new and recurring characters and it's good to see how they develop throughout the series. This time someone from Jo's past turns up and throws a spanner in the works generally when she suggests the Jo's husband's death was suicide because he was having an affair and there was no other way to get away from Jo. There's no truth in that, the woman is just nasty, but when she dies - Jo is the main suspect. Another easy read, but with slightly more depth to it. Another really good series.
The Private Patient - the latest Dalgliesh mystery and I suspect the last. P.D. James is one of my favourite writers and I always look forward to a new Dalgliesh book (he's one of my favourite detectives). Her style has changed quite dramatically over the years (I guess all writers do to an extent) and in this book (as in the last couple) we got through over 100 pages before we saw Dalgliesh. We spent those pages on the detailed backgrounds of other characters, including the woman who is murdered whilst she is a very up-market and expensive clinic after the successful operation on an old scar. And as well as the case we have another look into Dalgliesh's new found relationship and his upcoming marriage, plus the lives of his team and also what is going to happen to the special team. I did enjoy it, as I always do, but not as much as some books. I found it rather over long and some of the intricate details were, IMO, unnecessary. We end with Dalgliesh marrying and Kate (who has always been in love with him) getting back together with a previous boyfriend, who had also been part of Dalgliesh's team in the past. It's sad to say but I actually hope this is the last Dalgliesh book.
The Yes Minister Diaries - Again books I have read many times and also watched the series on DVD many, many times. They tell the story of Jim Hacker a new Minister in the Department Of Administrative Affairs and his relationship and dealings with the Civil Service. At the beginning Sir Humphrey (the Civil Servant in charge of the department) always wins and the ways he does sometimes leaves you wondering just who does run our country. But as time goes on Hacker has his own victories too. I love the books, they are full of humour and are witty and extremely well written and a joy to read - but they are very much a particular type of humour. If word play and a kind of intellectual humour and very British humour doesn't appeal to you, then you won't enjoy these books. But if you do, then I really recommend them highly.