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Showing posts from August, 2016

Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

Lost Among the Living is the fifth novel by Simone St. James.  I reviewed her four preceding novels on this blog: The Haunting of Maddy Clare, An Inquiry into Love and Death, Silence For the Dead, and The Other Side of Midnight.  Click the titles to read those reviews.  St. James' next novel, The Lost Girls, is set to be released next year.  I really enjoy the mix of suspense, supernatural, and mystery in St. James' novels.  Set in post-World War I England, they're a perfect blend of historical novel, mystery, and horror.  Lost Among the Living is creepy and atmospheric, and St. James is expert at spinning a good, old fashioned ghost story.

Jo Manders, a grieving widow, accepts a position with her husband's aunt, a difficult mistress, as the woman's paid companion.  However, from the moment Jo arrives at Wych Elm House, it is clear that things are not right either in the house or in the family.  Phantom footsteps follow Jo around the house, phantom leaves and peopl…

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies

By now you know I love all things Jane Austen.  And I also enjoy a good horror movie.   So it's really no surprise that I wanted to see this horror mash up, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies, an adaptation of the book of the same title by Seth Grahame-Smith.  I have not read the book, but I borrowed it from the library and have it at home.  However, having seen the movie, I'm not sure that I will read the book.  I spent the first hour or so of the movie debating whether or not I really wanted to watch the whole movie, and then I got to the end of the movie was thisclose to declaring it bullshit because, well, I'll get to that issue in a moment.

The simplest way to summarize this movie's plot is to say that it is Pride and Prejudice with a zombie apocalypse happening in the middle of Regency England.  And the humans appear to be losing the war thanks to the arrival of the zombie Anti-Christ (?) [or something; I didn't really understand that part].  I don't know, you …

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin

I have read every Anna McPartlin novel.  Or at least I think I have except for the most recent one released after The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes.  When I was perusing the blog for those reviews to link to, I couldn't find a review for As Sure As The Sun, and I don't remember the plot.  So I will have to investigate that one to make sure that I've read it.  I know I have read four other McPartlin novels: Pack Up the Moon, Apart from the Crowd, The Space Between Us, and  Alexandra, Gone because there are reviews for those on the blog.  Click on the book title to read the review.  And then go read the books if you haven't already.  Or read them again if you already have because they're that good.  I love McPartlin's novels and after I read Somewhere Inside of Happy, I will be all caught up with her novels.  I read on the author's Facebook page that there will be a follow up novel featuring the Hayes family either next year or the year after.   Can't wait t…

The Name Therapist by Duana Taha

In addition to British period drama, I also enjoy following celebrity and entertainment gossip.  Years ago I discovered the celebrity gossip blog, laineygossip.com, and I've been reading it ever since.    Duana Taha, in addition to screenwriting for TV, also writes a column for laineygossip.com in which she offers advice for prospective new parents in naming their children.  Taha has been writing this column for a very long time, and I've been reading it for (probably) as long as she's been writing it.

Like Taha, I too am a name nerd.  When I was in middle school I received a book of baby names from one of my aunts for Christmas one year because she knew I liked names.  I read that book cover to cover (and I still have it).  When this same aunt was pregnant with her first child I may have given her lists of names for girls and boys, and when her second child was a boy, I think his middle name came from one of the lists I gave her during her first pregnancy.  While I stil…

Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil by James Runcie

Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil is the third installment in the Grantchester Mysteries series.  I reviewed the first two books of the series on the blog here and here.  This installment brings some major life changes as Sidney and his new wife Hildegard enjoy their first year of marriage.

In the first mystery Sidney contemplates the problem of evil in the form of a serial killer targeting clergy.  Each killing is preceded by an avian warning, and the ever irritating, intrepid reporter Helen Randall returns and, troublingly, entices Inspector Keating.  In another mystery Sidney is a material witness to the theft of a painting from a Cambridge gallery in which a nude woman singing a French tune creates a diversion.

In a later mystery Sidney is reluctantly roped in to portraying a priest in a local film production when he witnesses an accidental drowning.  However, something about the whole incident does not sit right with Sidney (of course) and after some inquiries, he discove…