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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Books Read During July

.Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear is an engaging character who works hard to join the middle class and becomes a detective. Her first case involves investigating the mysterious death of a badly injured soldier after World War One.

This was an enjoyable book with lots of interesting philosophy. I especially liked the line that 'coincidence is the messenger of truth'.

My main problem with the book is that I found the ending very unbelievable. Also much more time was devoted to history rather than the actual case. I am going to try the next book in the series soon, however.

Veuve Taylor by Henrietta Taylor

After her husband died Henrietta Taylor became a young widow with two little children. After a terrible time with grief, bouts of drinking, and a difficult court case, she decided to 'escape' to France with her children. She was a former teacher of French so she had no difficulties with the language.

She tells her story in a self-deprecating, charming way in this book. Her problems with drinking and men may shock some, but she's just so likeable that I'm sure that even the most straight-laced would enjoy her tale.

What struck me most was how much happier the children were in France than in Australia, even though they had to learn French. I got the impression that the French are much better at handling and educating children than we are here. I was surpised that they didn't have to do any homework at primary school, even though they had to work very hard at high-school. I agree that children should not have to do homework at primary school. It's very tiring for young children to spend hours at school and then be faced with even more study at home. Why can't they be taught whatever they need to learn during school hours? It obviously agreed with these two!

Gradually Henrietta and her children became healed by the helpful French people, the beauty of the countryside and the mild climate. She had to work pretty hard to achieve this, but the way that she did it is very interesting.

I've got the sequel out of the library and I can't wait to read it!

Diamonds in Disguise by Tessa Barclay

This is the third book in this series about the Royal detective, Gregory Crowne, and his girlfriend, Liz. They're all tightly-plotted, interesting and set in exotic locations.

Gregory Crowne comes from an exiled Royal family and works with musicians. He is also good at solving crimes. Helped by his girlfriend, Liz, he investigates the theft of a Russian icon in this novel set in Italy. This leads to a series of mysterious deaths. Greg and Liz are very engaging characters and it is easy to identify with them.

I will watch out for the next book in this excellent series!

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