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HerlockSholmes

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This is just a thread where anyone can recommend books of any type: fiction or non-fiction

Apart from Holmes stories I read very little fiction but I do have a few on my ‘to read’ or ‘to buy’ lists and the first book I’ve chosen is a fiction one which I’ve just finished.

The author George Mann is a guy that I sort of knew. Before he became an author he was the Assistant Manager in a bookshop in a town close to where I live. Since then he’s been busy. He wrote a sci fi novel called The Human Abstract which he was working on when I knew him. Since then he’s written a series of steampunk novels featuring his characters Newbury & Hobbes and 4 books in a series called The Ghost. He’s also wrote a Dr Who novel set in the David Tennant era. I have to admit that I haven’t read any of these except for The Human Abstract which was very good. What I have read though is George’s 2 excellent Sherlock Holmes novels The Will Of The Dead and The Spirit Box. He’s also edited 4 collections of Holmes short stories.

The book that I’ve just finished though, and the one that I’m recommending, is Wychwood. It’s set in Oxfordshire and follows a Journalist called Elspeth Reeves who returns to the village where she was s born, Wilsby-Under-Wychwood, after a failed relationship. While she’s living with her mom a series of strange murders occur which follow the folklore legend of the Carrion King. It goes without saying that she gets involved with the investigation.

This is a really good read with an intriguing plot. If you like your crime fiction with a touch of folklore and the supernatural thrown in then I’d certainly recommend this one. It’s 346 pages but I read it over two evenings as it flies along at a brisk pace. George has written a sequel called Halloween which is already on my list.

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1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

Whenever I start a new thread I usually suspect that there’s already a suitable thread which I haven’t seen.

There have been a very few attempts to start threads on this topic, but there hasn't been any activity on them for years.  So I'd say this one is fine.  Also, that sounds like an interesting book!

 

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I just wanted to add that this thread isn’t just intended for just recommendations by me. It would be good to hear recommendations from anyone on whatever subject.

I enjoyed the book Carol. It was nothing heavy or deep, just a good, well written whodunnit. I don’t want to put anyone off by my use of the word ‘supernatural’ though because there are no ghosts or monsters. Maybe a touch of the Midsomer Murders about it.

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48 minutes ago, HerlockSholmes said:

... this thread isn’t just intended for just recommendations by me. It would be good to hear recommendations from anyone on whatever subject.

I've taken the liberty of editing the beginning of your initial post to reflect that.  But if you prefer a different wording,please feel free to edit it again!

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've taken the liberty of editing the beginning of your initial post to reflect that.  But if you prefer a different wording,please feel free to edit it again!

 

That’s great Carol, thanks👍

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My brother gave me a book for Christmas called "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham. He said it was one of his all-time favorites. I haven't finished it, but based on what I've read so far, I'm inclined to think it will be one of my favorites.

It's autobiographical, about a female pilot who was flying free-lance in Africa during the '30's. Sounds unlikely, doesn't it? But it's wonderful; she starts off with descriptions of flying over herds of animals while looking for a missing pilot, of meeting an old friend unexpectedly in the middle of the savanna, of being attacked by a lion as a child. Which sounds even more unlikely! But she doesn't sensationalize it, it's more about describing what Africa was like. It's fascinating and beautifully written. I have no idea where she's going in the next chapter, but I expect to enjoy the ride.

I've also been reading the Inspector Gamache books. He in no way resembles Sherlock, :smile: but they make for a good light read. Or did at first; I have to admit I felt the last 2-3 I read were trying too hard to create drama, and she resorted to some rather obvious trickery to avoid revealing whodunnit too soon. If the next one continues in the same vein, I may stop reading them.

But I still recommend the first several books in the series. It's set in a small, somewhat mysterious village in Canada, and features a large, diverse and entertaining cast. Most of the characters are pretty humorous and the stories are brisk and entertaining. Of course, over time some of the darker sides of said characters begin to be revealed, and many of them go through rather significant changes. Some of the crimes are more engaging than others, but I read the books more for the characters than I do for the detective-ing. Very entertaining.

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Here are two of my all-time favorites:

Euell Gibbons' Beachcomber's Handbook:  Mr. Gibbons was well known a few decades ago for his foraging guides (beginning with Stalking the Wild Asparagus).  They're all good books, but his Beachcomber's Guide is special!  It consists of anecdotes (with recipes) of his laid-back style of "living off the land" (largely in residential areas!) on Oahu in the 1940's.  Especially recommended for nostalgia buffs who love Hawaii.  Out of print, but readily available as used copies and on Kindle.

Ismael, by Barbara Hambly:  This is a Star Trek / Here Come the Brides crossover novel, probably enjoyable by fans of either show but especially by Trek fans who wonder how things might have turned out after Brides was cancelled.  Time travel gone wrong takes Spock (who has developed amnesia) to early Seattle, where he's taken in by Aaron Stempel and threatened by Klingons.  A good Trek novel, a nicely done crossover, and  I loved how the author tied up a number of loose ends for Brides.  Also apparently out of print, but available used and on Kindle.

I haven't seen either of these books since we moved to this house in 2004, but am looking forward to finding them as we (finally!) get the attic sorted out!

 

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

My brother gave me a book for Christmas called "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham. He said it was one of his all-time favorites. I haven't finished it, but based on what I've read so far, I'm inclined to think it will be one of my favorites.

It's autobiographical, about a female pilot who was flying free-lance in Africa during the '30's. Sounds unlikely, doesn't it? But it's wonderful; she starts off with descriptions of flying over herds of animals while looking for a missing pilot, of meeting an old friend unexpectedly in the middle of the savanna, of being attacked by a lion as a child. Which sounds even more unlikely! But she doesn't sensationalize it, it's more about describing what Africa was like. It's fascinating and beautifully written. I have no idea where she's going in the next chapter, but I expect to enjoy the ride.

I've also been reading the Inspector Gamache books. He in no way resembles Sherlock, :smile: but they make for a good light read. Or did at first; I have to admit I felt the last 2-3 I read were trying too hard to create drama, and she resorted to some rather obvious trickery to avoid revealing whodunnit too soon. If the next one continues in the same vein, I may stop reading them.

But I still recommend the first several books in the series. It's set in a small, somewhat mysterious village in Canada, and features a large, diverse and entertaining cast. Most of the characters are pretty humorous and the stories are brisk and entertaining. Of course, over time some of the darker sides of said characters begin to be revealed, and many of them go through rather significant changes. Some of the crimes are more engaging than others, but I read the books more for the characters than I do for the detective-ing. Very entertaining.

I thought that her name sounded a bit familiar so I just checked her on Wiki. She certainly had an eventful life Arcadia. I also saw that her third husband claimed that he was in fact the author of West With The Night but the evidence appears to be overwhelming that she did indeed write it. There was even a biographical mini-series about her on CBS in 1988 starting Stephanie Powers.

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Has anyone read the "In Death" series by J. D. Robb? The books are slightly futuristic, but not overwhelmingly so, starting in the late 2050's up to the recent ones set in the 2060's. The main characters are a New York city homicide cop and her insanely rich husband, with a very colorful cast of supporting characters. The murders can be a bit gruesome but are unusual and creative. The main attraction for me is the character development with most of the characters evolving over time, with the early novels delving into the past and telling how they got to who they are now and the later ones touching on how some of the cases affect them and their pasts.

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Punctuation is important.
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On 4/28/2021 at 11:34 AM, kimber8ada said:

and the later ones touching on how some of the cases affect them and their pasts.

Is time travel involved? :smile:

I've actually heard of the series but never tried it. If I ever get up-to-date on the Gamache series I may give it a try. I wouldn't mind re-introducing some sci fi into my reading habits ... it all seemed to get so bleak that I stopped trying after a while.

Oddly, I seem to be enjoying non-fiction more than fiction these days, such as the above-mentioned West By Night. But I have so little time to read, it's really hard to say what I like. I haven't touched a book since I wrote my last post in this thread, e.g. 😞 

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No time travel.  Just dealing with childhood traumas and facing unpleasant occurrences. The futuristic aspect of it is very off handed, incorporated into daily life. Even though the books are classified as sci fi, to me they are really mysteries with some quirks.

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If anyone has an interest in true crime I’d recommend HH Holmes: The True History Of The White City Devil by Adam Selzer.

There have been numerous books on HH Holmes but there won’t be a better researched one than this. He strips away all the myths and presents the story of a man that killed many people but nowhere near the numbers that are often attributed to him. He also debunks all of the stories of torture chambers and the like. HH Holmes was a horrible man but he was a conman constant juggling scams and usually with more than one court case pending. You almost have to take your hat off to him for avoiding prison for so long. Holmes didn’t kill for pleasure though but for gain or convenience. I guess you’d have to call him a sociopath. Someone with no real feeling for others. If someone became an obstacle to his plans they simply ‘disappeared.’ Tragically this even involved children. This is a brilliantly researched and well told story and I’m guessing that it might now e considered the last word on the terrible Mr Holmes.

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