'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mail Call

Look what came in the mail today!

'It's a marvellously atmospheric tale, and, I thought, caught exactly the mood and feeling of a small Scottish country town in the Victorian era. it seemed to be full of hills and mist and whispers and carryings-on behind the facade of so called respectable small town life.'   
             ~Diane Pearson (author of CSARDAS)

'Mary Tullis, the umbrella-maker's daughter,...has a touch of the 'Jane Eyres' about her...She (Janet Caird) has also woven a dark tale of country superstition and prejudice...into a satisfying story...well and thoroughly done...We need books like these.'

~Jean Stubbs (author of By Our Beginnings

I loved the two Caird books I read and want to read them all. I was so tickled to find a copy of this book online! Now do I read it as soon as I finish 'The Lewis Man' or do I hold off and savor the thought of reading it for awhile?!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

St. Martins Press
ISBN  9781250056450
286 pages

Author's website


A witty, entertaining mystery featuring a hilarious, sharp as a tack new amateur sleuth from the critically acclaimed author of The Invention of Murder. It’s just another day at the office for book editor Samantha Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will deliciously dish the dirt on the fashion industry. But little does she know how much trouble Kit’s book is about to cause. Before it even goes to print. When police inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about an undelivered package that was addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. The messenger sent to deliver the package was murdered, and then Kit goes missing. Suddenly, Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down and she is propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's scandalous manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it.

With her deliciously fun, cleverly written debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-smart-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well as a colorful cast of characters including Sam's witty assistant, effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome inspector Field. A whip-smart, impeccably crafted mystery, this tremendously entertaining novel will have readers flying through the pages.

Good solid mystery. Set in the world of publishing, a new setting for me. I enjoyed the humor throughout and the relationships between the characters. I'm not really sure what the name of the book means or how it ties in unless I missed it somehow! My favorite line in the book: When real life gets too difficult, go find something to read.  Great advice!

Purchase the book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
The Book Depository
Powell's City of Books
Barnes & Noble

Friday, February 20, 2015

Future Reads

Not much going here this last week. Just trying to stay warm and helping the new neighbor move in. Believe it or not it was -13F/-25C on our thermometer on the back porch when we got up this morning! Very unusual for our neck of the woods. Plus there was a huge windchill factor. Suppose to get warmer temps tomorrow but 5-9 inches of snow.

I finished a book, it's for Netgalley though and I can't post the review until March 31st. It was good! Set in the Scottish Highlands during WWII. But you'll have to wait to find out what it's about :=)

I have come across a few books that I put on my 'want to read' list though and thought I'd share them with you.

The Devil's Footprints: A Novel by John Burnside  This one will count for Read Scotland. Set in Scotland and by a Scot. Thanks to Jim over at the Goodreads group for turning me onto this author!

The Children's Blizzard  About a prairie snowstorm in 1888 that left 500 dead in one day, mostly children trying to get home from school. I found this book on this website that Nan over at Letters From a Hill Farm posted on her blog. Thanks, Nan!

The Umbrella Maker's Daughter by Janet Caird  Set in Scotland and by a Scot will count for the Read Scotland challenge! I read 2 Caird books last year and really enjoy her writing. I've actually ordered this book from AbeBooks.

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley  Coming out April 7th. I love her writing.

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor

Parly Road by Ian Todd

The Girl That Nobody Knows by Mark McShane  and The Deeds of Dr. Deadcert by Joan Fleming found these over @ Pretty Sinister Books

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore  Ali @ Heavenali did a nice review on this one.

A couple more Scottish books...
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne  set in Scotland. Thanks Jo for the heads up on this one!

Electric Brae by Andrew Greig Found this book over @ Jack Deighton's site. He does great reviews!

Tangling of the Web by Millie Gray

Something here for everyone! Have you read any of these?

Did you hear that ITV is doing a new Maigret series this year? Two 2 hour films. You will never guess who is playing Maigret!!!

Hope you had a good week and stayed warm. Enough winter already!

Peggy Ann

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Thundersnow Freak out!

My favorite weather man freaks out over his favorite weather condition, Thundersnow! Check out the ice in his beard!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Neck of the Woods

This is what it's doing in my neck of the woods today...

view out of my front window

I live in the red circle area in PA.
Winter storm Neptune. I'm glad we don't live on the coast of New England though, they are really getting it bad! And we thought about moving to Maine! The little town of Spencer, Massachusetts has gotten 93 inches of snow this winter! Unbelievable! Roofs are collapsing left and right from the weight of the snow. And the wind that goes with the massive snowfall just adds insult to injury! Houses on the coast are covered in thick ice from the ocean and the wind and cold! And lets not forget all the wicked multi, multi car pile ups on the roads from weather these last 2 months! Check out this one in Michigan involving 193 Vehicles one of which was a semi carrying fireworks! And this newscast about it.

We have a windchill advisory here this weekend. Tonight our expected low will be -3 and that's the air temp not the windchill! Brrr! The temps have been so low everyone is having trouble with car doors not latching shut as the mechanisms are frozen. Hubby had to drive home from work a couple times holding his driver door shut as it wouldn't latch. I just stay in! I'm ready for summer!

Here are some great shots of winter around the country.

What's it like in your neck of the woods?

Peggy Ann

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Red Right Hand by Joel Townsley Rogers

First published in 1945.
Many editions followed with wonderful covers. The most recent was published in 2014 with an introduction by Martin Edward. I have this cover, a second Pyramid Books edition from 1970.

I first heard about this creepy book over at Past Offences. Jump over and read what Rich has to say about it! I was so lucky to find a copy on Paperbackswap immediately after reading Rich's review.

from the back cover:
Murder on the swamp road

There is one thing that is most important in all the dark mystery of tonight, and that is how Corkscrew-that ugly little red-eyed man with his toen ear and his sharp, dog-pointed teeth, with his twisted legs, and all the other extraordinary details about him-could have vanished so completely after killing Inis St. Erme.

Can such a conspicuous creature disappear into thin air?

The New York Times said 'One of the most chilling, sinister mysteries ever written - a strange and terrifying story'

And it is a wonderfully chilling, creepy tale. Considered Rogers masterpiece. No conventional format, all normal mystery rules are thrown out the window on this one! I'll let you jump over to Rich's for more detail on the story.

It really kept me off balance and never quite sure of anything! How could there be so many 'coincidences'? I was so sure I had it figured out and then POW! You will never in a million years figure this one out! I double dog dare you to get this book and try! Let me know if you do!

Here is a nice article on Joel Townsley Rogers. There is a link in the article to his son's website full of family stories.

One of the many covers I found stated that it was soon to be a motion picture but I couldn't find it anywhere. Here are the covers over the years for your viewing pleasure!

and even one from another country...

Here is the most recent reprint...

Peggy Ann