For Certain Values of Family
by Manna Francis
Published by Casperian Books
Every silver lining has a cloud. After the revolution, stability returns for most of the citizens of the European Administration. Revolution has delivered a little more freedom, if not as much as its architects hoped. Some, however, are finding that change also brings more complications and fresh dangers.For Para-investigator Val Toreth, the Investigation and Interrogation Division isn't quite the home it used to be. With a reduced investigation team, fractured relationships, and political uncertainly about the future, the last thing he needs is trouble from someone else's family, or unexpected news from his own.Keir Warrick has enough to deal with, too, as financial uncertainty threatens his virtual reality corporation. SimTech might turn out to be the least of his worries, though, as a family reconciliation turns into a fight for survival. Someone is tying up loose ends, and if Warrick digs too deep for the truth, could he become one of them? The personal becomes political and professional, as family history delivers present danger. And even a socioanalyst can learn something new about family values--for certain values of family. The seventh book in the Administration series contains the novel Family Values and two further short stories set in the near-future dystopia of New London.
'Family Values' has never been my favourite story in the Administration Series. It's solid, but I'm not in love with it in the way that I love, say 'First Against the Wall'. Of the two short stories, I prefer 'Prodigal', which gave some fascinating insights into Carnac and his family (by birth and by training). I'm still very hopeful that the series will continue. It has plenty of places it can go yet.
by S. J. Bolton
Published by Corgi Books
When a man dies from what appears to be a random snake bite in a quiet country village, the hospital seeks the expertise of wildlife vet Clara Benning. But the postmortem reveals this was no freak accident. Clara finds herself drawn into the hunt for a brutally inventive killer, putting herself in grave danger as she unravels links to a barbaric ancient ritual, an abandoned house and a 50-year-old, unspeakable tragedy. For someone the truth must remain buried in the past, even if they have to kill to keep it there.
I originally borrowed this from the library as an audio book, but had problems due to both a couple of damaged CDs and to a couple of similar sounding surnames of important characters. Both problems were solved by borrowing the print book, but a couple of loose ends were still left hanging. I liked the protagonist a lot, although I wasn't entirely convinced about her self-esteem issues. Definitely an author I want to keep following, but on audio if at all possible.
Castleton: A History, a Tour, People, Buildings and Industries
by Liam Clarke
Published by Owl Publishing
Castleton lies at the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District and this generously illustrated book will give the resident and the visitor a broad as well as an intimate picture of the village. It is filled with interesting, amusing, revealing and educational stories.
Featuring ten chapters, this publication gives a historical perspective of the development of Castleton over the ages, its church life, hospitals, poor houses and the leper house. It illustrates the history of its many ancient houses and the people who lived in them. Dr Clarke tells the story of puritan vicars, unpopular vicars, crazed schoolmasters, midwives, philanthropists, mill and alehouse house owners, militia men, industrialists, philanthropists, greedy landowners, thieves and beggars. The story of Castleton that emerges presents in microcosm many of the various industrial, social and cultural upheavals affecting England throughout the earlier centuries.
Dr Liam Clarke has lived in Castleton for over 20 years and has been a member of the Castleton Historical Society since moving to the village. Liam has published a number of academic text books but this is his first history publication. This book is the product of research, knowledge and an abiding interest in local heritage built up over many years.
Not found on Goodreads
This is a fascinating little book, sadly let down by poor copy-editing, mostly with respect to the use of apostrophes. I would also have preferred more comprehensive citations in an academic work, so that I could easily follow the author's research, I'm still interested to see other local history books that I gather are due out this year and later.
Rattle His Bones
by Carola Dunn
Published by Robinson Publishing
As a grey drizzle descends upon the damp errand boys and busy omnibuses of London, Daisy Dalrymple is feeling rather cheerful and excited to be showing her nephew and future stepdaughter the glories of Kensington's Natural History Museum. But as closing time draws near, Daisy and Co. hear a tremendous crash and are horrified to discover one of the curators dead - horribly murdered - atop of a pile of dinosaur bones. Together with her fiance, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, Daisy is soon investigating a baffling case of missing gems, dispossessed European gentry, fakery and fossils...and where professional grudges boil over into murder.
Possibly my favourite in the series so far, although there was one slight hint that the plot had been revised from the original outline and one small detail hadn't been fixed in the new version. Still a most fun caper, though with some adorable domestic details too.