My Friday Post: Fire in the Thatch by E C R Lorac

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The book I’m featuring this week is Fire in the Thatch by E C R Lorac, which is the book I’m planning to read next. It’s set as the Second world War is drawing to a close, but it was not published until 1946.

 

It begins:

Colonel St Cyres stepped out of the French window on to the terrace and drew in a deep breath of frosty air, conscious of the exhilaration of a glorious December morning. He always felt better out of doors. In the open air the worries and irritations of life seemed less immediate, and he felt that he lost a burden when he closed the window behind him.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

56%:

Well, the plain fact is this: gossip around Mallory Fitzjohn is saying that Gressingham was out in his car on the night of the fire, and that he’s denied the fact.

Description (Amazon)

The Second World War is drawing to a close. Nicholas Vaughan, released from the army after an accident, takes refuge in Devon – renting a thatched cottage in the beautiful countryside at Mallory Fitzjohn. Vaughan sets to work farming the land, rearing geese and renovating the cottage. Hard work and rural peace seem to make this a happy bachelor life.

On a nearby farm lives the bored, flirtatious June St Cyres, an exile from London while her husband is a Japanese POW. June’s presence attracts fashionable visitors of dubious character, and threatens to spoil Vaughan’s prized seclusion.

When Little Thatch is destroyed in a blaze, all Vaughan’s work goes up in smoke – and Inspector Macdonald is drafted in to uncover a motive for murder.

~~~

I enjoyed Bats in the Belfry by E C R Lorac, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this one too, another case for Chief Inspector Macdonald of Scotland Yard.

What about you? Does it tempt you or would you stop reading? 

My Friday Post: The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Yesterday I realised that I should be reading The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat in time for the next book club meeting, so I started reading it.

The Kappillan of Malta

It begins:

The man in the bar of the Phoenicia Hotel, by the main gate of Valletta, gave me more mis-information, in the space of two hours, than even six gins and tonics could really justify. He was a fattish, pinkish man in bulging blue shorts; a man on a long lazy holiday, but discontented none the less.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

Father Salvatore had returned to his breviary, but the voices, with their burden of fear and despair  – a burden which, it must be said, often seemed wholly selfish, with a certain pleasurable interest in the blood of others added to it – came between him and the holy words, and he found himself listening instead of reading. What could be done with a crew like this?

Description (Amazon)

A classic novel set in the siege of Malta 1940-1942 from the bestselling author of The Cruel Sea

Father Salvatore was a simple, lumbering priest, a Kappillan serving the poor Valetta, when war came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust.

Now amid the catacombs discovered by a chance bomb, he cared for the flood of homeless, starving, frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky.

His story, and the story of Malta, is told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the Kappillan a message of inspiration to keep them going – the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta’s history which shone through the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.

~~~

So far, I’m rather taken by this book with Monsarrat’s description of Malta – a place I’ve never visited.

What about you? Does it tempt you or would you stop reading? 

My Friday Post: Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

I know I shouldn’t start another book just yet as I’m in the middle of three but this morning I couldn’t resist dipping into Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer. It looks so good.

Rubbernecker

It begins:

Dying is not as easy as it looks in the movies.

In the movies, a car skids on ice. It slews across the road, it teeters on the edge of the cliff.

It drops; it tumbles; the doors come off; it crumples and arcs, crumples and arcs – and finally stops at a tree, wheels up like a smoking turtle.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

I snap out of the cloud and get a bit frantic, which is difficult to do when you can’t move or make a sound. I try to open my eyes. No lying doggo now! But they won’t open.

Description (Goodreads):

Life is strange for Patrick Fort; being a medical student with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t come without its challenges–and that’s before he is faced with solving a possible murder. Because the body Patrick is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him all kinds of things. And now he must stay out of danger long enough to unravel the mystery–while he dissects his own evidence.

~~~

I don’t see how I can stop reading this!

What about you? Would you stop? Have you read it – or are you planning to read it?

My Friday Post: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This morning I have just started to read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.

It begins:

Major Pettigrew was still upset about the phone call from his brother’s wife and so he answered the doorbell without thinking.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

‘We may have to be a bit more bound by the rule book these days, but you can be sure that Tewkesbury and Teale will always try to do the best for you.’ The Major thought that perhaps after all this was settled he would do as he should have done in the first place and find himself another solicitor.

Description (Amazon):

Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the 
sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the 
locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major 
finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs 
Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, 
they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping 
villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major 
must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or 
love? 

Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.

~~~

A change for me from crime fiction and historical fiction, I’m hoping this will be a good choice.

What do you think? Have you read it – or are you planning to read it?

 

My Friday Post: A Dying Note by Ann Parker

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week’s book is A Dying Note by Ann Parker, her latest book in the Silver Rush Mysteries, which was published on 3 April 2018. I’ve just finished it, so my review will up soon.

 

It begins:

Not my hands!

Throat crushed, blood gurgled, words choked so they screamed only in the mind.

A dramatic opening to this novel set in 1881.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

56%:

Inez allowed herself to consider what life might have been like if she, her then-husband Mark Stannert, and their business partner, Abe Jackson, had come all the way to San Francisco as originally planned. Perhaps they would have built a drinking and gaming establishment to capture some of the fortune from gambling fever that clutched the golden city.

But that was not what happened. Seduced by the possibilities in the silver mining boom town of Leadville they had lingered in the city in the clouds, then settled in.

Description (Goodreads):

It’s autumn of 1881, and Inez Stannert, still the co-owner of Leadville, Colorado’s Silver Queen saloon, is settled in San Francisco with her young ward, Antonia Gizzi. Inez has turned her business talents to managing a music store, hoping to eventually become an equal partner in the enterprise with the store’s owner, a celebrated local violinist.

Inez’s carefully constructed life for herself and Antonia threatens to tumble about her ears when the badly beaten body of a young musician washes up on the filthy banks of San Francisco’s Mission Creek canal.

~~~

This is a fascinating historical mystery – I loved it.

What do you think? Have you read it – or are you planning to read it?

My Friday Post: Saint Thomas’s Eve by Jean Plaidy

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week’s book is St Thomas’s Eve by Jean Plaidy, one of my TBRs that I’ve only just started to read. It’s the sixth in her Tudor Saga, telling the story of Sir Thomas More and his ambitious daughters.

Saint Thomas's Eve: (Tudor Saga) by [Plaidy, Jean]

It begins:

‘And who is this man who dares oppose us?’ demanded the King. ‘Who is this Thomas More? Eh? Answer me that.’

I like this opening, setting the scene with an angry King (Henry VII) as he questions the identity of Thomas More who had refused to grant him the money he wanted.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

The King was dead. And fear had died with him.

A new King had come to the throne – a boy not yet eighteen. He was quite different from his father; there was nothing parsimonious about him, and the people looked forward to a great and glorious reign. The household of Thomas More need not now consider uprooting itself.

Blurb (Amazon):

Henry VII once warned his son, the future King of England, not to trust Thomas More; years later that same son made More his confidante and advisor. But the allegiance is dangerously one-sided. A family man, lawyer and writer, More’s ambitions are humble, whilst Henry’s are endless.

As More’s career at court rises so too does his religious fervour, much to the concern of his eldest daughter, Margaret More. Meg, as she is fondly called, is torn between her heretic husband and the secrets her father has confided in her, and already fears that one day her father will make the ultimate sacrifice for his faith.

~~~

Jean Plaidy is the pen name of the prolific English author Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Victoria Holt. I read many of Jean Plaidy’s books years ago, but I’m sure I haven’t read all of them. I just read all I could find in my local library. So, I may have read this years ago but I don’t remember it now. Although I know quite a lot about Thomas More from other books and films, when I saw this book in a secondhand book sale I just had to buy it, if only to see if I still love Jean Plaidy’s books as much now as I did years ago.

Will it live up to my expectations, I wonder? If you’ve read this or any of Jean Plaidy’s books what do you think?

Book Beginning: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week’s book is Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs, one of my TBRs.

Déjà Dead (Temperance Brennan, #1)

 

It begins:

I wasn’t thinking about the man who’d blown himself up. Earlier I had. Now I was putting him together.

30879-friday2b56Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

‘These murders have me pretty much uptight.’ I regretted saying it immediately.

‘What murders?’ Her voice was becoming thick, the words rounded and soft on the edges.

‘A pretty nasty one came in last Thursday.’ I didn’t go on, Gabby has never wanted to hear about my work.

 

Blurb (Goodreads):

The meticulously dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.

Enter Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, who has been researching recent disappearances in the city.

Despite the cynicism of Detective Claudel who heads the investigation, Brennan is convinced that a serial killer is at work. Her forensic expertise finally convinces Claudel, but only after the body count has risen…

Tempe takes matters into her own hands, but her determined probing places those closest to her in mortal danger. Can Tempe make her crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?

~~~

Kathy Reichs is one of those authors that I keep seeing around, but I’ve never read any of her books. I wondered if I’d like them, so when I saw this book  in Barter Books a few years ago I brought it home with me – it’s been sitting on my shelves ever since. It’s the first in her Temperance Brennan series – and her debut novel.

Thisé quotation from The Times on the back cover makes the book sound irresistible:

Déjà Dead is terrific and terrifying in its own right, easily rising above Cornewellian similarities … Excellent plotting, appealingly headstrong heroine and superb mastery of tension.

Will it live up to such high praise, I wonder? If you’ve read it what did you think?