Sunday 30 September 2007

Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels

Purchased last year at our trip to Hay On Wye, this was purchased from the wonderful outside bookshop and has sat balanced on top of mount TBR. Being an ex library copy it has the distinctive yellow stickers on the spine of the book denoting the classification of Horror. Well, not sure I agree with horror, possibly mystery.

Rachel works for a wonderful store in the US that sells vintage quilts and clothes. The family are just about to head away for Christmas when they are almost burgled. Rachel moves into the home above the shop whilst the family are away for safety of both her and the quilts, that are somehow wrapped up in the story. There is a hint of quilt history, some use of genealogical records and a hint of white magic.

All in all, an enjoyable read and it does focus a lot more on the history of the quilts than on the "evil" side of things. I had not realised that this is part of a series, so I might try and read the others when I have chance.

Amish Country Crossroads by Beverly Lewis

26th September 2007 - The Postcard

I read a brief synopsis somewhere and was immediately interested in the storyline. I knew virtually nothing about the Amish religion & way of life, but a quick search of this web page gave some background information.

The Postcard is the story or Rachel. She is happily married with a son and daughter and is expecting her third child. They are all set to provide for their expanding family with talk of buying farm land, when on market day their horse is spooked and Rachel's husband and son are killed in an accident. Rachel suffers a miscarriage and the effects from seeing the accident, affects her so that she becomes blind.

A young reporter sent to the region to undertake a story on the lives & beliefs of the Amish people. He checks into a guest house owned by Rachel's parents and where Rachel and her daughter reside. In his room he enjoys the lovely old writing bureau, and on further investigation discovers a postcard.

The report, Philip sets about finding out about the postcard, who wrote it and who it was written to. The postcard writer, by coincidence is the Uncle of Rachel, with the help of someone within the community he locates the person for whom the postcard was intended.

A very gentile story of love and of the Amish way of life. There were biblical references, but the storyline was enjoyable and I particularly enjoyed the research theme.

27th September 2007 - The Crossroad

This continues the story of Rachel and her daughter Annie, living in the midst of an Amish community. Philip, the reporter who undertook an article in The Postcard has returned home and continues to think about Rachel and her blindness. He so much wants to help Rachel overcome her situation. Again another gentle story dealing with the Amish community, the beliefs of such a community.

28th September 2007 - The Sanctuary

Another story set in the Amish community, although not connected to the earlier two stories. This has more of a thriller style to it. Melissa is hiding for something. Happily married she has not shared her situation with her husband and suddenly she finds that she has to flea to safety. She arrives at a bed & breakfast in an Amish community and tries to overcome her situation and fears. She eventually makes contact with her link in the FBI and somehow finds that her beloved husband is caught up the world she is fleaing from.

Not as good a storyline as the earlier two, but nonetheless enjoyable.

Monday 24 September 2007

September on the telly!

I'm not a huge fan of the TV, but September is proving to be a great month! Firstly, Who do you think you are? is back for a fourth series. Whilst, there is some broadcasting stretches, and the genealogical world is critical, it does what it is intended to do - entertain and encourage others to research their ancestry. Unless you are obsessed with it like me, then it just feeds a very pleasant obsession!

....and Michael Palin is back for another "must watch" series - New Europe where he travels around the new Countries of Europe and visits some old ones!

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman

The storyline of a thriller, but very long winded & disjointed, views echoed by previous readers. Not the best book I have read, but something did compel me to finish reading it.

Friday 21 September 2007

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The gentle story about the Nolan family with particular focus on Francie. Set in the early part of the 20th century in Brooklyn N.Y. The story of family & problems of the time.

Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle

A slightly different tempo to the first book in the series,which I think made it a better and stronger book.

Clare joins an online dating website as a way of ensuring her daughter is safe, she then hosts at the coffeehouse, a series of what we in the UK would call speed dating events, but then three murders happen, all that are possibly made to look like suicide.....Clare then meets and falls in love with someone known to the three victims, is there a chance that Clare could be number four?.....

On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

The first in this coffee house series. Clare Cosi is a divorcee, with a daughter about to head off to train as a chef. Tempted by an offer to run with a share in the businss owned by her ex mother in law, Clare returns to New York. On her first morning, following her move Clare turns up to the coffee shop expecting to find it open, but discovers it closed. She then finds the body of her assistant manager in the basement, not dead, but certainly very badly hurt. Add to the mix an ex husband, an interesting detective and a curious Clare we have the makings off, not a strong latte, but of a coffeehouse murder......

Tuesday 18 September 2007

A Deadly Yarn by Maggie Sefton

Allison, a craft designer with a promising career ahead of her, is found dead in her apartment by Megan and Kellie. Something does not feel right, and all the evidence the police have points to Allison taking her own life, Kellie embarks on a journey to discover the truth. Meanwhile, life for Kellie is changing, she takes on the clients of another town person, and gives her notice into the firm in DC whom she has been working for, and the lawyer wading through the estates of both her aunt and cousin, finally completes his task, plus the relationship with Steve, is going to the next level, or is it......

Sunday 16 September 2007

Needled to death by Maggie Sefton

Kellie finds her friend, Vicki, murdered at her alpaca farm. As a way of helping Vicki's daughter daughter get the accounts ready for her lawyer,then while Kellie is away, the daughter is murdered, after discovering there are some inconsistancies with her mother's bank accounts. Meanwhile, the solicitor dealing with Kelly's aunt and cousin's estate, suggests that Kellie heads off to see the ranch and the cattle she has inherited. Will Kellie get it together with Steve?.......

Friday 14 September 2007

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

The first in the series, and what a great book - I'm glad I bought the other two in the series!

Kate has returned to the town when she spent some time growing up. She has inherited from her Aunt a lovely cottage, following her aunt's murder, add to that the appearance of a distant cousin, and a missing family quilt, then another death........

A Misty Mourning by Rett MacPherson

Torie and her grandmother embark on a trip to their ancestral roots, and have been invited to stay with the a family friend, Clarissa. Having spent one night in the house of Clarissa, run as a bed and breakfast, Torie finds Clarissa dead. Torie becomes chief suspect, as she found the body and was seen removing a pillow from the deceased face......Torie teams up with her cousin Elliot and grandmother to find the answers to some quiet old questions and to clear her name.

Another great story - looking forward to reading more in the series.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Anyone for a cuppa?

Several weeks ago, I walked pass a small antique shop in town when I spotted a delightful, what I believed to be a coffee set. I commented to Mum, that it matched a tea set she had inherited from my grandmother. I resisted buying it. Then last week Mum asked me if I had seen the coffee set again. I said I had, and wasn't sure whether to buy it or not. It would complement the set that Mum had. Mum then suggested that she ring and ask the shop to reserve it for me and If I picked it up she would buy me the coffee set as a belated anniversary present and give me the tea set that she had. I was overwhelmed. So, on Saturday, I wandered into town and bought the coffee set.

Markings on the bottom.

Then later over the weekend Mum gave me the bits that we had inherited.

But this time the markings on the bottom are different, but very clearly the same design.

I guess this dates to the mid 1930s.

Silenced by Syrah by Michele Scott

Derek, owner of the vineyard & resturant has co-written a cook book with a well known chef. All is going to plan until the chef is murdered. His assistant seems particularly upset, were they romatically involved? Nicki has to find out - she establishes that the assistant is in fact his long lost daughter and inherits the whole of the estate, then there is the publishing company, a solicitor and the chef's agent. Which one is responsible....... Nicki is continuing with the mixed emotions of who she wants a relationship with, Derek who wants her to go to Australia with him, or Andres who wants her to go to Spain with him.....decisions, decisions.........

Saturday 8 September 2007

Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

Continuing the story of inquisitive Nicki. Her friend, Isobel, is asked to cater for a wedding. Alas the groom is Isobel's ex boyfriend. If that wasn't enough, the bride is murdered and Isobel is arrested.....Nicki is beginning to battle with her growing affections for not only her boss Derek but also Isobel's brother the sexy Andres.

Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott

The first in the wine lovers series. Nicki a failed actress is waiting tables, she by chance meets the owner of a vineyard and accepts the offer of a job managing part of the business. If only it was that simple, having met one of the star employees and the accountant, they both wind up murdered and Nicki can not resist trying to solve it......

With a nice mix of recipes and wine pairings, I am looking forward to more in the series.

Monday 3 September 2007

Family Skeltons by Rett MacPherson

The first time I have read anything in the series and I am delighted there are several more set in the genealogical world of Torie o'Shea.

Torie is a historical guide and genealogist. She is asked to undertake some research for someone; to find out about Norah's father, of whom she has a few details from her mother and a photograph. As she starts to research instead of finding, as Norah believes that her father is deceased, he is well and living not too far from Norah. As Torie is about to make contact with Norah and inform her, Norah is murdered and Torie finds the body.......


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