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Friday, October 31, 2008

Still As Death

Taylor, Sarah Stewart. Still as Death.

This is the 4th mystery in the series following Sweeney St. George, the art historian who specializes in funerary art. I read the first not long ago, and the library didn't have the second and third books, so I skipped on to the fourth.

Sweeney has been working toward an exhibition of funerary art for quite some time and the exhibit is about to open. However, when an Egyptian funerary collar that she would like to include is missing, Sweeney begins to become curious about the last person who had studied it, a 1979 robbery of the museum, and the suicide of the young woman interested in the collar.

There is a romantic element as well when Ian tries to persuade Sweeney to return to England and Detective Tim Quinn turns up to head the investigation into current robbery and murder.

Not a bad little mystery, but after the two very dense and thoughtful mysteries by Tanya French (Into the Woods and The Likeness), I should have waited to read a mystery-light.

Fiction. Mystery. 2006. 304 pages.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Snow Blind

Tracy, P.J. Snow Blind.

Snow Blind is the 4th in the Monkeewrench series. When a snowman-building contest features two frozen bodies packed in snow, Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth find themselves in a new investigation. Then a third "snowman" turns up in Dundas County on Iris Rikker's first day on the job as sheriff.

Leo and Gino must work with the Dundas County team to find the murderer, but even in the midst of the case, there are some strange doings involving an abused wife and the Bitterroot Complex.

I liked the introduction of Iris Rikker and her deputy, and don't mind the computer geniuses at Monkeewrench taking a less active role in this novel. The concluding chapters raise some issues about justice that I personally take to heart as a result of an incident several years ago concerning the abusive husband of a friend's daughter. It was a real tragedy that broke many hearts. moral sense and my sense of justice are called into consideration -- what I think and what I feel are in conflict. The characters in the novel face the same dilemma.

Fiction. Mystery. 2006. 320 pages.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Drove down to Baton Rouge yesterday because Erin was having a tonsillectomy this morning. We were at the surgery center by 6:30 for all of the paper work and pre-op stuff. They took her in around 8:00, and things went well. Home by about noon. This is not an easy surgery for an adult, but Erin is hanging in there -- thanks to hydracodone.

I brought several books for me and for Erin (+ embroidery stuff to play with). Right now I'm reading P.J. Tracy's Snow Blind and How We Choose to Be Happy by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks.

Maybe some of you read about the happiest places to live and saw this list of the 15 happiest countries and an explanation of why Denmark tops the list. I had a friend who lived in Copenhagen several years ago, and she was fascinated by the Danes and commented that they didn't seem melancholy at all. Take that Hamlet! Evidently she was right since Denmark has the highest rating of life satisfaction in the study.

Maybe because I minored in sociology and psychology years ago, human behavior and its causes always fascinates me, and I love reading about some of the factors that contribute to a person's sense of well-being.

Foster and Hicks have been studying the components of happiness for a number of years and are involved in research with the Mayo Clinic and Wake Forest University Medical Center (and others). While there is definitely a genetic/inherited predisposition toward optimism, Foster and Hicks have developed a "cognitive roadmap" of nine behaviors that give people a way to control their reactions to circumstances.

I'm almost half-way through and enjoying it. The language is geared for the layman and reads quickly, yet the content provides much food for thought, especially when considering one's own behavior patterns, both genetic and learned.

Poor Erin...maybe she will feel like reading tomorrow. I hope so because one of the books I brought her is In the Woods by Tana French. That will make her happy!
Tracy, P.J. Dead Run.

I reviewed Live Bait a couple of weeks ago; now onto the third in the Monkeewrench adventures. (and I have Snow Blind in my stack! :p)

Annie, Grace, and Sharon Mueller are on their way from Minneapolis to Green Bay and make a slight detour. Unfortunately, their car breaks down on a little used road in the middle of miles of forest.

After a long, hot tramp through the woods, they walk into the tiny town of Four Corners, and immediately, Grace is ill at ease. Something is wrong. Very, very wrong.

The three women must use all of their wits to survive while the rest of the Monkeewrench gang (Harley, Roadrunner) and Sheriff Mike Halloran and Detective Leo Magozzi and his partner Gino are losing their wits in their efforts to locate the three women.

Fast and furious, full of suspense and odd moments of humor. The mother-daughter team that writes as P.J. Tracy have added another entertaining book to the series.

Fiction. Mystery/Thriller. 2005. 324 pages.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Poet of Lochness

Corrigan, Brian Jay. The Poet of Lochness.

Another debut novel, this is the story of Perdita Miggs, who is able to return to Scotland after a 17 year absence when her husband gets a grant to study Loch Ness.

The writing is lovely and the story begins in a way that makes you feel you know the destination, but want to make the journey anyway. Then there is a hiccup. Hmmmm. What is going on here? And another...

The narrative is more about what lurks in our hearts and minds than about Nessie, about relationships and insight rather than about high adventure...but there is mystery and definitely suspense.

I look forward to future works by Corrigan.

Fiction. 2005. 302 pages.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Likeness

French, Tana. The Likeness.

I was so delighted to realize that Cassie from In the Woods was the protagonist in The Likeness. Rob gets a few mentions, but doesn't figure into the story, although Sam does.

This one was even better! Cassie is still trying to recover from all of the fallout from Operation Vestal in the previous book. Six months later, a woman identified as Lexie Madison is found dead. Lexie Madison was Cassie's identity when she worked undercover. Weird enough, since the identity was created out of whole cloth by Cassie and Frank, her boss at the time, but stranger still is the fact that the woman appears to have been Cassie's physical double.

Once again, Cassie slips back into the identity of Lexie Madison, but this Lexie has a different personality. Lexie's housemates are told that she survived the attack, and Cassie begins studying to assume Lexie's role before she moves in and attempts to discover who is responsible. This undercover situation, however, is one that Cassie begins to enjoy. She likes her housemates, she loves the house, she really enjoys the relaxed and intellectual lifestyle that these five individuals are living.

Once again, French manages to separate the reader from any questions about the believability of the plot by creating characters that seem fully-fleshed and achingly alive. Her evocative language, her poetic descriptions of the individuals, the setting, and the events enmesh the reader completely.

The book is long, not entirely plausible (nor was In the Woods), and entirely entertaining.

And there will be another one. French is working on a book that features Frank, the undercover fella'.

Other reviews: To the Lighthouse , Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin'?, Bookgirl's Nightstand -- I know that Ann of About this Blog has read The Likeness, but I couldn't find the review.

And, by the way, Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin'? is offering a give-away copy.

This is an interview with Tana French about In the Woods.

Fiction. Mystery. 2008. 466 pages.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Commenting Difficulties

For some reason, I can't post my replies to comments on the previous post about In the Woods by Tana French. So I'm posting them here:

Kay - I just finished The Likeness a few minutes ago. Excellent! Hope you and your book club will tackle one or both of French's novels.

Callista - Oh, yes! And move it up toward the top of the list!

SuziQ - French is extremely talented and much more complex than most authors!

rache - I was disappointed that some things were not resolved, but it didn't spoil my feelings for the book. I checked out both of her books at the same time, and The Likeness is just as fascinating!

Ann - I can't get my comments to post and in the meantime, you've commented! I was not sure French could get any better, but she does! Such evocative writing. Have you read Half-Broken Things by Morag Joss? The atmosphere is very similar.

Also here is a link to a great give-away: Shooting Stars Mag is giving away The Dracula Dossier. Even if I don't win, I'll be looking for this one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the Woods

French, Tana. In the Woods.

Oh, Tana French is good. Very, very good. Hard to believe this is a debut novel.

In the Woods is a compelling piece of writing; I really could not put it down -- beautifully written, vivid descriptions, suspenseful, complex characters.

The story is about Adam Robert Ryan, now a detective with the Dublin Murder Squad, but formerly one of three children who went into the woods in Knocknaree in 1984, and the only one who came out again. Jamie and Peter were never found, but Rob was discovered in shock, his socks and shoes bloody, and without any memory of what happened.

Nearly 20 years later, Rob and his partner Cassie Maddox find themselves on the case of a murdered child at an archaeological site next to the same wood in Knocknaree. Is there a connection to the earlier case?

The relationship, the friendship, the interaction between Rob and Cassie is a large part of the attraction of the book.

I really want to tell more, but don't want to give anything away. There are several subplots and some surprises.

So...just a couple of quotes from the prologue:

"Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s. This is none of Ireland's subtle seasons mixed for a connoisseur's palate, watercolor nuances within a pinch-sized range of cloud and soft rain; this is summer full-throated and extravagant in a hot pure silkscreen blue."

"The wood is all flicker and murmur and illusion. Its silence is a pointillist conspiracy of a million tiny noises..."

Iliana recommended this one. Thanks!

Fiction. Mystery/Psychological. 2007. 429 pages.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Society of S

Hubbard, Susan. The Society of S.

Another RIP Challenge read and another good vampire yarn. I really enjoyed the mystery of this vampire story and the bildungsroman aspect of Arielle's "apprenticeship."

Twelve-year-old Arielle Montero spends most of her life secluded from society and home schooled by her overprotective scientist father.

Ari's father has been protective for a reason, however, as she is the product of a "mixed" marriage: her father is a vampire, her mother was human before she disappeared when Ari was born. Her father has made every attempt to keep her safe and "normal" until she is old enough to learn some hard truths.

Eventually, Ari does begin learning about her parents, details that have been kept from her, but she also has a great deal to learn about herself as well. Her journey to adulthood is more complicated than most.

This is not a blood and gore or a sensual vampire story, but a story of a young woman who must learn to understand the past, her own particular heritage, more than one culture, and who must make some difficult decisions.

Gothic,mysterious, and intriguing.

Other reviews: Bookgirl's Nightstand, Bookshelves of Doom

Fiction. Supernatural/Vampire. 2007. 304 pages.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mansfield Park Revisited

Aiken, Joan. Mansfield Park Revisited.

I really should have re-read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park before reading this sequel by Joan Aiken, but I did not and enjoyed it thoroughly anyway. Or maybe I enjoyed it because I didn't re-read the original -- because there are elements that seem slightly out of kilter concerning the Crawfords that would have probably bothered me a great deal had it not been so long since I read Austen's work.

What I liked best: the novel focused on Susan Price. She is a likable, spirited, and compassionate character.

It is a light-hearted look at what might have happened to the participants in Austen's book, except that Fannie and Edmund play no real role other than that of taking a trip to Antiqua which removes them from the story.

Aiken manages Austen's style quite nicely and evidently had fun doing so.

Thanks to Danielle of Sourcebooks for this one.

Fiction. 1985/2008. 201 pages.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Mindful Woman

Thoelle, Sue Patton. The Mindful Woman: Gentle Practices for Restoring Calm, Finding Balance , & Opening Your Heart.

I've enjoyed this book for the past 6 months. Mindfulness is a particularly difficult concept for me to incorporate, but Sue Patton Thoelle makes it easier by giving simple practices to guide the reader to a relaxed, purposeful, and creative approach, choosing mindfulness over "automatic living."

Even with these simple practices that focus on breathing and intention, Thoelle is aware of the elusiveness of mindfulness: " incredibly easy it is for me to be seduced away from simplicity and focused awareness into multi-multitasking and rampant mind-mucking."

Part One discuss the basics, the elements of mindfulness, the differences between mindfulness and automatic living, and the benefits of mindfulness. Part Two contains the practices, and Part Three is about enjoying the benefits.

Originally, I intended to read a practice a day, but obviously, I didn't keep up with that too well, and the book would be buried for weeks at a time before I would find it again. My intention now is to go through it again, reading and considering each practice again, and not expect it to happen each day.

The book reminds me of the Upper Room Devotionals--a time to rest and remove oneself briefly from the mundane and focus on the spiritual.

Nonfiction. Instructional/Spiritual. 2008. 219 pages.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Lady of Cleves

Barnes, Margaret Campbell. My Lady of Cleves.

The story of Henry VIII's brief marriage to Anne of Cleves has always been a curious episode in England's history. Well, Henry's reign and his six wives is a long-running curious episode...

Yet Anne of Cleves, whose six-month marriage to Henry ended in annulment (and her new title as his sister ) is one of those historical characters about whom too little is known. I've always loved historical fiction and realize that each novel about historical personages must involve a lot of embroidery.

An author has a lot of discretion in developing characters, even with individuals about whom much has been recorded, both in their own words and in primary sources of the time period. With Anne of Cleves, Margaret Campbell Barnes has only the skeletal outline and within that firm chronology of important events, she creates a charming Lady of Cleves, who is rejected by the king, yet seems to grow in stature as she endures the difficulties and humiliations inflicted by the king and court.

I've always wondered why Holbein would have risked provoking Henry, a dangerous patron at best, by painting a portrait that flattered beyond reason the subject. Barnes has presented a possibility I never would have considered, and while it is part of the embroidery of the author, it helps make an interesting story. Of course, there is also the suggestion by some historians that Anne deliberately made herself unattractive to Henry, who was no great prize as a man.

The novel presents Henry in a more flattering light than I would have expected, but Brandon and Suffolk have a nicer characterization as well. However, regardless of his comment about "the Flanders Mare," Henry and Anne did develop a congenial relationship.

I looked on line for Anne's will, which the author mentioned in the Author's Note and in the novel itself, but was unable to find a copy, although several other sources mentioned the charming aspect of the will as well.

The novel was an enjoyable excursion in the "might have happeneds" of history, and now I definitely want a good biography of Anne of Cleves. Also, need to reread Antonia Fraser's The Wives of Henry VIII and to look for Alison Weir's The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which has received excellent reviews.

I may be back on a Reading Itinerary that I've been on before. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives looks good, as do a number of other fiction and nonfiction books about Tudor England.

Thanks again to Danielle of Sourcebooks for sharing this one with me!

Fiction. Historical fiction. 1946/2008. 328 pages.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New Earth

Tolle, Eckhart. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. For some reason this book didn't appeal to me as much as I thought it would; although I do like much of what Tolle has to say, it doesn't seem to me that the "new earth" is as close to coming to fruition as the author hopes.

The book contains many psychological/spiritual truths assimilated from world religions, and I enjoyed some of the parables and aphorisms that make me think. It doesn't really give anything new, but presents material in a new format, reminding the reader of the things that are really important and the flaws in our thinking, processing, and behavior that impede our spiritual growth.

I do believe many of us are looking for a more spiritual side to our busy lives, and Tolle examines the pitfalls we face in our struggles to find a more meaningful existence.

This video seems to incorporate most of what is important (in my mind) for developing a new earth:

Nonfiction. Spiritual/Inspirational. 2005. 309.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Am Legend

Matheson, Richard. I Am Legend. A novella, I guess, rather than a novel, but a very powerful vampire story, first published in 1954.

I didn't see the movie, but I found myself completely enthralled with the book. Richard Neville has survived the plague that either killed or turned every other human being into vampires. He manages to survive the loss of his wife and child and his solitary existence, but frequently wonders if it is worth it. Each night his house is attacked by vampires; each day he leaves (if it is sunny) to kill sleeping vampires and get supplies. Not much to look forward to, eh?

This is an excellent vampire story, a modern re-creation and re-telling of vampire legends, and a moving story of a man isolated and often despairing.

Fiction. Supernatural/Vampire. 1954/1995. 170 pages.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Live Bait

Tracy, P.J. Live Bait. The Monkeewrench gang are at it again. I read the first in this series when it first came out. Now I have several novels to catch up on.

Someone is killing the elderly. Who, coincidentally, are all Jews who have survived the camps. Detectives Magozzi and Rolseth are on the case, but frequently disagree. Grace Macbride and Magozzi are making some romantic progress (continued from previous novel) and Grace and the Monkeewrench eccentrics are useful in solving the murders.

A good read and a series that I do want to catch up on because I like the characters. Not just Malgozzi and Rolseth, but the other detectives and the chief!

Fiction. Mystery. 2004. 340 pages.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Crystal Skull

Scott, Manda. The Crystal Skull. A mystery that involves history, myth, and prophecy. When newly-weds Stella and Kit discover the crystal skull, history and prophecy collide. Kit is severely injured in a fall and the blue heart-stone begins to form a connection with Stella, giving warnings when danger threatens.

The story alternates between modern day Cambridge, Kit and Stella -- and the 16th century and Cedric Owens, whose connections with John Dee and Nostradamus help him discover more about himself and the heart-stone, the crystal skull.

Much of the premise of the book is based on the Mayan Calendar, the date 2012, and predictions of the end of the world. Google 2012 and you will discover quite a few links discussing and refuting the importance of the date.

The movie 2012 with John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Danny Glover is also based on the "end of the world" scenario. I haven't seen it, just found it when Googling the date. Evidently Apocalypto (didn't see this either) is also concerned with the Mayan Calendar. This USA Today article also addresses the subject. And another book on the subject -- The Crystal Skulls by Chris Morton.

Silly me. I had no idea the world was going to end in 2012 (better get busy) and was totally unaware of all the hoopla connected to the date. I am so out-of-it! There is even an online game!

Fiction. Mystery. 2008. 365 pages.

Donating Books with First Book

I'm getting caught up on reviews--only have 4 to go!

Here is what I'm doing for BAFB week--

I've donated $25 to First Book, a nonprofit program that donates books to children from low-income families. Made my donation in memory of my mother, Jo Eleanor McDowell, who was responsible for my love of reading. You can read more about this program here.

Yesterday was a great mail day. Received the following from Danielle of Sourcebooks:

My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken
The Ladies of Longbourn (The Pemberly Chronicles - another one based on Jane Austen's characters.

Thanks, Danielle!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dark Celebration

Feehan, Christine. Dark Celebration. Feehan has written a number of Carpathian novels about different Carpathian families, but I have not read any others. Carpathians are evidently a form of vampire, but the good kind. You know, lots of powers and sensuality, but not that nasty, evil-vampire-type.

This book is a reunion of sorts and thus unites many families that have books to themselves. As a result, for a new reader, it involves Prince Mikhail visiting all of the other families to provide an introduction. Gets monotonous, even when you like the characters.

All of the Carpathians introduced have charming aspects, all couples are deeply in love, all have powers such as mind reading, shape-shifting, etc. Oh, and are highly sexually active, but only with their lifemates. Definitely not promiscuous because they are all deeply in love. Fortunate, but still too much of that kind of thing. As usual, I prefer the action to the romance/sex.

The evil characters are the real vampires and one or two mages. All kinds of other complications are also in play.

This is definitely not the book to begin this series--too many families are there for the reunion. I believe Dark Prince is the first one.

Fiction. Supernatural/Vampire. 2006. 301 pages + addendum information and some delicious recipes.


Lynds, Gayle. Mesmerized. A fast-paced espionage thriller with the kicker of a bad ticker. Hot-shot attorney Beth Convey has a heart transplant and finds herself craving strange foods, having weird dreams in Russian, and developing an unusual awareness of her surroundings.

Jeff Hammond, former FBI agent, current journalist with a Washington newspaper is on the trail of three Russian defectors he helped debrief.

A defector with a plan for terrorism, a mole in the FBI, murder and mayhem, cellular memory.

O.K. Not Ludlum.

Fiction. Spy Thriller. 2001. 451 pages.

O' Artful Death

Taylor, Sarah Stewart. O' Artful Death. This is a debut novel introducing art historian Sweeney St. George, whose specialty includes funeral art and all of the symbolism that accompanies various time periods in history.

Sweeney is a college professor who finds photographs of an unusual and beautiful gravestone on her desk (left by her best friend Tony to entice her to spend Christmas vacation with him at his aunt and uncle's home). The monument is a sculpture of a beautiful young girl who died in the late 1800's, but it does not fit the norm for the time and place, and Sweeney recognizes Pre-Raphealite influences.

Unable to resist investigating, Sweeney does join Tony, and they go to Byzantium (New England) for the holidays. The mystery deepens as Sweeney discovers the rumor that the girl was murdered, the sculptor unidentified, a descendant is murdered, and strange burglaries are occurring in the small town of Byzantium.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and liked Sweeney. Will be looking for more in the series--there are at least 3 more.

Fiction. Mystery. 2003. 277 pages.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

To Use, To Review, To Read

I'm using the hand made journal I received from Iliana to keep track of my yoga, meditation, and other goals. Just the right size! It took a while before I could bring myself to write in it, but now it feels like second nature.

Books to review:
Mesmerized by Gale Lynds
O' Artful Death by Sarah Stewart Taylor (for Carl's RIP challenge)
Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan ( RIP challenge)
The Crystal Skull by Manda Scott (RIP challenge)
Live Bait by P.J. Tracy
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoelle

Need to bring my stats up to date but think I've read 106 books this year. Right now I'm not sewing, so I've been reading more. I usually do one or the other with abandon. This summer, I got lots of quilting and sewing done (and less reading), but have not made anything since the end of August.

Looking forward to:

The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam
Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (another one for the RIP challenge)

Have been adding new titles to my list as I visit other blogs. Just in case...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wild Life

Gloss, Molly. Wild Life. I had never herd of Molly Gloss until I received a copy of Wild Life from a dear friend with the highest recommendation. She had read and loved Gloss' previous novels, but considers this one the best.

Within a few pages, I had fallen in love with the voice of Charlotte Bridger Drummond through her diary entries beginning in 1905 - crisp, wry, arrogant, funny. A single mother of five boys who makes her living by writing "women's adventure stories," Charlotte lets us know her commitment to writing, even as she admits to writing "lowbrow" fiction. She lives in an Oregon backwater, but has also had the benefit of having lived with her feminist aunt in New York in her teens. Charlotte is a product of a number of disparate influences.

When the daughter of her housekeeper disappears, Charlotte determines to help in the search. Here is the first of many strange twists that make this novel seem like more than one book. Both content and style begin to change as this serious note is introduced, and Charlotte resolves to head into the wilderness and toward the remote logging camps in search of the little girl.

Gloss addresses many themes in this novel, all set against the huge frontier backdrop of the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900's. She covers social, cultural, anthropological, environmental, and historical topics from the microcosmic point of view; the novel twists and turns and re-makes itself throughout, as Charlotte's experiences twist and turn and she finds herself re-made, altered.

It is a strange, highly original novel. An odd, difficult to categorize novel - historical fiction? speculative fiction? psychological? Charlotte's favorite authors included Jules Verne, Poe, and Mary Shelley...

Molly Gloss takes the reader on an adventure and presents a number of ideas to consider, but leaves the explanations open.

Fiction. 2000. 255 pages.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Blackstone Key

Melikan, Rose. The Blackstone Key. A "cozy" Gothic novel--most of the Gothic elements are present, but somehow without the usual Gothic ambiance. Gothic-light.

The hero is somewhat isolated; the heroine innocent and curious; the villain, while not entirely evil, has suffered a fall from grace; there is the traditional mansion in disrepair; an underground passage; lots of shadows, and plenty of secrets.

Yet the traditional feeling of horror, the sense of evil, gloom, and dread are much modified to a more traditional romantic feel.

It was a fun, quick read, and while I wouldn't call it a parody of the Gothic novel, it fits more into the idea of historical mystery with Gothic inclinations.

Fiction. Historical mystery. 2008. 435 pages

Exit Lines

Hill, Reginald. Exit Lines. This is the 8th of the Dalziel & Pascoe mysteries and continues to develop Hill's characters and his style. I still need to pick up numbers 3-7, but by this book, the close if sometimes testy, relationship between Dalziel and Pascoe is well established.

Three old men die on a cold November night. One was hit by a car in which Andy Dalziel was a passenger. Or was Andy driving? He had certainly been drinking. Peter Pascoe is involved in the case of the elderly man who was murdered in his bath tub, but his concerns and his doubts about the case involving Dalziel keep him in turmoil.

One element of this novel is the treatment of the elderly, and Hill examines it in all three of the murder cases, as well as in the situation involving Ellie Pascoe's father who is showing signs of dementia.

Hill has left the flaws of A Clubbable Woman far behind by this 8th novel in the series. In fact, he had left solved some of the major problems by the second novel in the series.

Fiction. Mystery. 1984. (recently republished with much better cover than the one I have) 255 pages.