Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll
stevie_carroll

Books Read and Listened To Part Two

Second half of the current batch...

Midnight Train
by Sally Quilford
Published by DC Thomson
Print book (My Weekly pocket novel)
No. 1819

http://quillersplace.wordpress.com/tag/midnight-train/

Blurb:
Mature acctress Angela boarded the Midnight Train to escape the dramas that threatened to defeat her, little knowing it would be a rollercoaster of an adventure... and would the handsome Mike -- ex-bomb squad officer turned vicar -- become the love of her life?

Movie-style action-adventure in pocket novel land: whatever next? A cast of characters improbably booked on the same tourist train: a sort of budget Orient Express but with a coronation in a former Soviet Bloc country to look forward to at their destination, and a bomb plot as well. A most fun romp, especially as two of Mike's parishioners have followed him on his attempt to escape, just to make sure he's okay. One to reread at intervals, though possibly not on trains.


Park Lane
by Frances Osborne
Published by Virago Press Ltd
Print book
ISBN 9781844084791

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Park-Lane-Frances-Osborne/9781844084791

Blurb:
'Bea treads carefully on the thick carpet, quite deliberately like a servant. Her elder sister, Clemmie, tells her that it is "not done" to worry about being heard but Bea enjoys this oh-so-silent rebellion against convention. She teases back, "This is the twentieth century, Clem, things are about to change."' London, 1914. Two young women dream of breaking free from tradition and obligation; they know that suffragettes are on the march and that war looms, but at 35 Park Lane, Lady Masters, head of a dying industrial dynasty, insists that life is about service and duty. Below stairs, housemaid Grace Campbell is struggling. Her family in Carlisle believes she is a high earning secretary, but she has barely managed to get work in service - something she keeps even from her adored brother. Asked to send home more money than she earns, Grace is in trouble. As third housemaid she waits on Miss Beatrice, the youngest daughter of the house, who, fatigued with the social season, is increasingly drawn into Mrs Pankhurst's captivating underground world of militant suffragettes. Soon Bea is playing a dangerous game that will throw her in the path of a man her mother wouldn't let through the front door. Then war comes and it is not just their secrets - now on a collision course - that will change their lives for good. Brilliantly capturing a deeply fascinating period of British life in which the normal boundaries of behaviour were overturned and the social hierarchy could no longer be taken for granted, Park Lane is as gripping and intense as Frances Osborne's number one bestselling The Bolter.

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/589037981

This seems to be a book people either love or hate. I definitely fall into the former camp, although I found the narrative style took a couple of chapters to get used to. The two protagonists are linked not only by their address, but also by their separate meetings with Michael Campbell: a series of coincidences I'm prepared to accept in this instance. Incredibly well researched on both sides of the class divide (well, it would be, given that it's written by a biographer), this book isn't afraid to show the darker side of the social upheavals going on before and after the First World War. I want to recommend this to so many of my friends, and look forward to arguing about it with them.


Mistletoe And Murder
by Carola Dunn
Published by Robinson Publishing
Print book
ISBN 9781849017060

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Mistletoe-Murder-Carola-Cornish-Mysteries-Dunn/9781849017060

Blurb:
In December 1923, Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher yields to the demands of her mother and the needs of her writing career and brings her family to an old Cornish estate for Christmas. The estate, occupied by the poor relations of the ancestral lord, has a rich history of lore, ghost stories, and festering resentments some or all of which leaves them all trapped in a house with the corpse of a despotic chaplin and a murderer. Daisy's husband Inspector Alec is forced to give up his Christmas break to help Daisy solve the mystery.

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/594451281

Cornwall, a crumbling stately home, and a festive murder. What more could I want? Well, there's also a huge family secret on the part of Daisy's hosts in that the mother of the poor relatives living in the house can't actually prove she was married to the man whose death brought her there from India. Not that Daisy and her unconventional little family (sans mother-in-law but with the addition of her nephew and the Dowager Lady Dalrymple) are remotely bothered about such things so long as there are interesting people to chat to (even the Dowager Lady D unwinds a little). Some suitably obnoxious secondary characters/suspects bulk out the cast almost to the point of confusion, but it's all suitably Cosy in the end.


The Railway Detective
by Edward Marston
Published by ALLISON & BUSBY
Print book
ISBN 9780749006334

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Railway-Detective-Edward-Marston/9780749006334

Blurb:
London, 1851. The London to Birmingham mail train is robbed and derailed, injuring the driver and others aboard. With the opening of the Great Expedition at hand, interest is mounting in the engineering triumphs of the railways, but not everyone feels like celebrating. Planned with military precision, this crime challenges the new Police Force to its limits and leads Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck to discover a tangled web of murder, blackmail and destruction. As the momentum gains pace, Colbeck closes in on the criminal masterminds. But just as the police begin to think the villains are within their grasp, events take an unexpected turn -- Madeleine Andrews, the beautiful daughter of the injured train driver, becomes an unwilling pawn in the criminals' game. In a final race against time, good and evil, new and old, are pitted against each other. But will the long arm of the law be quick enough?

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/596021067

Rich in historical and technical details (maybe too rich), this book gripped me early on, although I was disappointed that we got a big reveal about the perpetrators and their motives long before the protagonists could find out. So I'm slightly torn over whether to continue with the series at present.


Mistletoe Mystery
by Sally Quilford
Published by DC Thomson
Print book (My Weekly pocket novel)
No. 1787

http://quillersplace.wordpress.com/category/mistletoe-mystery/

Blurb:
Philly wanted to keep Bedlington Hall at all costs, just as she'd promised her godmother. But would the mystery that took place there all those years ago threaten her plans.

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/600212652

Back in pocket novel land, and a return to Midchester itself: a sort of extra-cosy Midsomer but without the annoying official investigator-style protagonists. Philly and her friends are trying to pay for the upkeep of the Hall by running murder mystery weekends. After the first one is a flop, they search in the attic for new inspiration and find a painting: inside a trunk which belonged to a former inhabitant who disappeared mysteriously. So now they have a theme for the next mystery weekend, and in the course of trying to get the painting valued, Philly finds herself an admirer with a whole bunch of mysteries of his own. Another fun little read.
Tags: goodreads, pocket novels, print books, reviews
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