Rural England

Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Catherine Aird: The Religious Body

  Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE   Festive Tasks, Door 11, Family Traditions: Read a family saga, a book about an especially dysfunctional family, or an entry into a series that focuses on one specific community. Huge shout-out to Moonlight Reader for recommending this series — this hit exactly the right spot for me. […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Seven Dials Mystery

The Seven Dials Mystery marks our second (and in Bundle’s case, alas, final) meeting with Lady Eileen “Bundle” Brent and Scotland Yard Superintendent Battle, both of whom we first encountered in The Secret of Chimneys.  While they both were (key) supporting characters there, here Bundle gets star billing, and that’s a very good thing, because […]

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Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness

June being Dorothy L. Sayers’s birthday, a revisit of her books was in the cards anyway — and speaking of which, the topic of this year’s summer reading project pretty quickly also determined which books I would be picking: Clouds of Witness, where card sharping is a key plot element, and The Five Red Herrings, […]

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Literature Reviews

Harriet Rutland: Blue Murder

Harriet Rutland (real name: Olive Shimwell née Seers) only published three novels: I had (largely) enjoyed, even without being overly impressed with them, her first two ventures into detective fiction, Knock, Murderer, Knock and Bleeding Hooks, both of which feature a sort of “extracurricular” Scotland Yard detective named Winkley, but I had decided to leave […]

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Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

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Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: Murder Included

Joanna Cannan was chiefly known, until her death in 1961, for three types of books: her novels examining British interwar society, the mysteries she published from the early 1930s onwards, and her pony books for young readers.  A keen horsewoman herself, Cannan passed her love of all things equine on to her daughters Josephine, Diana […]

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Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: They Rang Up the Police

They Rang Up the Police was Joanna Cannan’s first-ever mystery.  It is one of only two books featuring Inspector Guy Northeast, an investigator forming, as indicated in my review of Murder Included, the polar opposite of that book’s D.I. Price: Of humble rural origin, Northeast is the perpetual, quintessential outsider in Scotland Yard; he is […]

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Literature Reviews

Martha Grimes: The Man With a Load of Mischief

Until not so very long ago, Martha Grimes’s Richard Jury series used to be one of my standard “go to” mystery series; it had everything that I’m looking for: well-constructed puzzles, great characters and settings, snappy dialogue, and plenty of sardonic humor.  (Also, if you thought that Elizabeth George was the first American novelist to […]

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Literature Reviews

Martha Grimes: The Old Fox Deceiv’d

The Old Fox Deceiv’d was the first-ever book by Martha Grimes that I read, and whatever other details of its contents I subsequently forgot, it opens with an image that instantly grabbed me and stayed in my mind as vividly as when I first read it decades ago, and it’s in fact the one pictured […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

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Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

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Literature Reviews

Ellis Peters: Fallen into the Pit

The “Appointment with Agatha” group actually selected Dorothy L. Sayers’s The Nine Tailors as its official March 2021 side read, but as that is one of my favorite novels by Dorothy L. Sayers and one of my annual Christmas reads, I opted for the runner-up, Ellis Peters’s first “Felse investigation” instead.  And I am so […]

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BookLikes Imports Linked Items Literature

“Midsomer County”: A bit of English “Litscape” (Part 1)

… for Jennifer(‘s Books), Moonlight Reader, Portable Magic, and every other fan of the Midsomer Murders series … or of the English “litscape” at large. In their comments on Mike Finn’s review of Ngaio Marsh’s Scales of Justice, MR and PM said that England, to them, is more litscape than landscape, and Mike responded that […]

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BookLikes Imports Linked Items Literature

“Midsomer County”: A bit of English “Litscape” (Part 2)

***** ALL PHOTOS MINE ***** Hambleden (Bucks.) Also featured in several Midsomer Murders episodes, most notably Blod Will Out (the church, post office and stores, and Stag and Huntsman pub); the pub also in Who Killed Cock Robin?, Down Among the Dean Men, and The Glitch.   Hurley (Berks.) The cloisters and refectory next to […]

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BookLikes Imports Linked Items Literature

“Midsomer County”: A bit of English “Litscape” (Part 3)

***** ALL PHOTOS MINE ***** The Haseleys (Little & Great) (Oxfordshire) The owner of this large private residence in Little Haseley, which became Melvyn Stockard’s house in Who Killed Cock Robin? and Noah Farrow’s home in Midsomer Rhapsody, sometimes makes their grounds accessible to the public.  I was in luck — the gate was wide […]

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BookLikes Imports Fun and Games Linked Items Literature

Book Rescue, Book-Related Places of Pilgrimage … and My Personal Literary Canon, Part 1

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – Mawlid, Task 2: The Five Pillars of Islam almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka.  Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed?  Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you? If I donate books, I […]

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Blog BookLikes Imports Cooking - Food - Drink Lifestyle Linked Items Literature

England (the Southern / Central Part), from East to West and Back: Bookish Souvenirs

The Trip: * Chiltern Hills and Thames Valley (to mystery lovers, aka “Midsomer County” — though given that this is an area chock-full of quintessential(ly) English villages, it’s no surprise that it also routinely provides locations for other series, such as Inspector Morse, The Vicar of Dibley, and of course, adaptations of Agatha Christie’s mysteries […]

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