Body in the Library by Agatha Christie is an entertaining murder mystery with a lot of twists and turns. Plus an ending I did not see coming, from the queen of misdirection. This Miss Marple classic was published in 1942.
Blackfish City, by Sam J. Miller, tells of a flooded future world, where a mysterious woman arrives in the floating Arctic city of Qaanaaq. Accompanied by an orca and a polar bear, she is one of the elusive and hunted few who have nano-bonded with animals. Her arrival shakes a city already struggling under the weight of corruption, organised crime, and a mysterious disease called the breaks…
In Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie, yet another of Poirot’s holidays is disrupted by murder, mystery, intrigue, jealousy and romance. This classic murder mystery detective story is set aboard a the Karnak steamer, exploring the darkness and beauty of the River Nile.
How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger charts the adventures of eccentric geologist Faith Wigglesworth, as she heads to London after an indiscretion, to find a werewolf husband.
The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.
At a cheap hotel in Mexico, defrocked priest Lawrence Shannon clashes with bawdy hotel owner Maxine Faulk, and meets a saintly seeming drifter and artist, Hannah Jelkes, travelling with her elderly grandfather. Fever, stormy weather and lust wrack this Southern Gothic play by Tennessee Williams.
Altered States by Anita Brookner is a excellent novel of the ‘repressed, English, and unreliable’ genre perfected by authors like Kazuo Ishiguro. It follows solicitor Alan Sherwood, his failed marriage, his blended family and the object of his obsession.
This is the first time I’m reviewing a book I’m uncertain whether to recommend. The Passport is a slim novella by Nobel Prize Winner Herta Müller. I bought it at an antiques place, aged paper sandwiched between blue and white ceramic plates and tarnished hand saws. (spoilers)
This review is of Make do and Mend (Keeping Family and Home Afloat on War Rations). It is a collection of delightfully reproduced WW2 leaflets, with a foreword by Jill Norman. It’s a beautiful snapshot of the past. It can be easy to romanticise the wartime era, and think that everyone knew how to sew, cook and fix their homes. In reality, the much lauded ‘Blitz Spirit’ was formed and reinforced with a lot of propaganda and hand holding. This included classes, radio shows and detailed leaflets. The leaflets covered home maintenance, fuel conservation, and tips on how to wash, store, and mend clothing.
They could even help you learn how to make do and mend today!
Money saving expert Martin Lewis begins Thrifty Ways for Modern Days by explaining that this is a crowd sourced book. He gives all credit to his resourceful forumites, on the Old Style Board.
He explains he himself is not an old-styler, as it is a lifestyle, not just an adjustment. He recommends it for people who *need* to do it, due to debt or unemployment, and for people who want to live a greener, thriftier lifestyle. The book is divided into cleaning, shopping, fashion, DIY, special occasions, presents, growing your own and recipes.
Sweet Bird of Youth is a 1959 play by Tennessee Williams. Most of the play takes place in the Royal Palms Hotel, an “old fashioned but still fashionable” hotel in St. Cloud, on the Gulf Coast.
Chance Wayne is first introduced wearing the classic Williams trope; white silk pyjamas. He starts the day with a cigarette and a ‘bromo’; an alka seltzer hangover remedy. The waiter has to mix it for him, due to his hands shaking, due to his alcohol consumption the night before.