Throwback Thursday: The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart

Today I’m linking up with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for Throwback Thursday. It takes place on the Thursday before the first Saturday of every month (i.e., the Thursday before the monthly #6Degrees post). The idea is to highlight one of your previously published book reviews and then link back to Davida’s blog.

The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart is the third book of the Arthurian Saga, a book of myth and legend and about the conflict between good and evil. I first reviewed it on April 5, 2014.

My review begins:

I love books that take me away to another time and place – The Last Enchantment (1979) by Mary Stewart is just such a book, magically whisking me back to the time of King Arthur and Merlin. This is not a book to read quickly, but a book to savour both for the story and for Mary Stewart’s descriptive writing.

Click here to read my full review

The next ThrowbackThursday post is scheduled for January 4, 2023.

Throwback Thursday: They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie

Today I’m linking up with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for Throwback Thursday. It takes place on the Thursday before the first Saturday of every month (i.e., the Thursday before the monthly #6Degrees post). The idea is to highlight one of your previously published book reviews and then link back to Davida’s blog.

They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie is a standalone spy thriller. I first reviewed it on November 4, 2011.

My review begins:

I made copious notes as I read Agatha Christie’s They Came to Baghdad because it’s such a complex plot and there seemed to be so many significant events and people that I wanted to clarify what was happening. This is not one of Agatha Christie’s detective novels – no Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot,-  just Victoria Jones, a short-hand typist, a courageous girl with a ‘natural leaning towards adventure’ and a tendency to tell lies. Set in 1950 this is a story about international espionage and conspiracy. The heads of the ‘great powers‘ are secretly meeting in Baghdad, where if it all goes wrong ‘the balloon will go up with a vengeance.’ And an underground criminal organisation is out to make sure it does go wrong, aiming at ‘total war – total destruction. And then – the new Heaven and the new Earth.’

Click here to read my full review

The next ThrowbackThursday post is scheduled for December 1, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh

Today I’m looking back at my post on The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh, a dark, psychological thriller, full of atmosphere and claustrophobic tension. I first reviewed it on August 29, 2012.

My review begins:

The Girl on the Stairs is Louise Welsh’s latest book. It’s a book that once I started reading it I just had to finish it. It’s full of suspense and increasing tension as Jane moves to an apartment in Berlin to join her partner, Petra. Everything is new to her, she only speaks a little German, she doesn’t know the area and has no friends there. And she’s pregnant.

Click here to read my full review

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Throwback Thursday: The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter

Today I’m looking back at my post on The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter, the last Inspector Morse book. I first reviewed it on August 2, 2015.

My review begins:

Chief Inspector Morse is one of my favourite fictional detectives (maybe even the favourite). I first ‘met’ him years ago in the ITV series Inspector Morse and so, just as Joan Hickson is forever in my mind as Miss Marple and David Suchet is Poirot, John Thaw is Morse. The series was first broadcast in 1987, but I don’t intend to write about the books versus the TV adaptations – I’ve enjoyed both. This post is just about the last book in the series – The Remorseful Day.

Click here to read my full review

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The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for September 29, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop

Today I’m looking back at my post on Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop. I first reviewed it on June 15, 2019.

My review begins:

Those Who Are Loved by Victoria Hislop is one of the most moving novels I’ve read for a long time. But it begins slowly and it was only at about the halfway stage that it really took off for me. And now I’ve come to write about it I’m finding it difficult to put into words just how exceptional I think it is. Whatever I write will not do it justice – it really is ‘an epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live an extraordinary life‘.

It is historical fiction ‘set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars.’

Click here to read my full review

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The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for August 4, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas

Today I’m looking back at my post on An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas. I first reviewed it on June 10, 2017.

My review begins:

I loved An Uncertain Place, a clever and also a confusing book. It’s the sixth in Fred Vargas’ Commissaire Adamsberg series in which he investigates a macabre murder. I say confusing because I got a bit lost in the middle of the book, and looking back I think it’s because Adamsberg is not your normal detective – he works by intuition and I simply hadn’t followed his train of thought. With a bit of concentration I was back on track and caught up with him.

Click here to read my full review

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Fred Vargas was born in Paris in 1957. As well as being a best-selling author in France, she is an historian and archaeologist.

She worked at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which she joined in 1988. She later joined the Institut Pasteur, as a eukaryotic archaeologist.

She mostly writes police thrillers (policiers). They take place in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team. Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period. Seeking Whom He May Devour was shortlisted by the British Crime Writers’ Association for the last Gold Dagger award for best crime novel of the year, and the following year The Three Evangelists won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie International Dagger. She also won the award for the second year-running with Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand.

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The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for June 30, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: Painting as a Pastime by Winston S. Churchill

Today I’m looking back at my post on Painting as a Pastime by Winston S. Churchill. I first reviewed it on March 15, 2018.

My review begins:

I was delighted on Sunday when my son gave me Painting as a Pastime by Winston Churchill as a Mother’s Day present. I read it straight away and loved it. The cover shows Churchill’s painting of his home, Chartwell. Churchill was forty when he first started to paint at ‘a most trying time‘ in his life and art became his passion and an ‘astonishing and enriching experience‘.

Click here to read my full review

The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for June 2, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Today I’m looking back at my post on The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey, historical fiction, a medieval murder mystery. I first reviewed it on March 7, 2018.

My review begins:

The Western Wind really is an extraordinary book. I was drawn into the story right from the start. Samantha Harvey’s writing brings to life the sights, smells and sounds of the daily life of the ordinary people living in Oakham, a small village in Somerset  in 1491. So often in historical fiction it’s about the notable historical figures of the period that are the main characters – here there none (although there is a reference to their bishop who is in prison for trying to put a pretender on the throne (Perkin Warbeck had first claimed the English throne in 1490).

Click here to read my full review

The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for May 5, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

Today I’m looking back at my post on Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve, historical fiction, retelling the life of the legendary King Arthur. I first reviewed it on February 5, 2008.

My review begins:

This was one of the best books I read in 2007. Philip Reeve is a new author to me. Here Lies Arthur is an adventure story, set in Britain in AD 500. I have always been fascinated by the legend of King Arthur and this book tells his story, casting a new and original slant on the ‘facts’. Very little historical evidence has survived to give concrete information about life in Britain from the fifth to the sixth centuries. The picture Reeve paints is of a turbulent and harsh world, with Arthur as a war-leader in a land where opposing war-bands fight for supremacy. Arthur is not the romantic hero of legend but a dangerous, quick-tempered man, ‘solid, big-boned with a thick neck and a fleshy face. ‘A bear of a man.’

Click here to read my full review

The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for March 31, 2022.

Throwback Thursday: Curtain by Agatha Christie

Today I’m looking back at my post on Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie, one of my favourite Agatha Christie books. I first reviewed it on December 2, 2010.

My review begins:

Curtain was first published in 1975, but it was written in the 1940s during the Second World War. Agatha Christie had written it with the intention that it be published after her death, but in 1975 her publishers persuaded her to release it so that it could appear in time for the Christmas season – a ‘Christie for Christmas’.

In this book Poirot and Hastings have come full circle, returning to Styles, the scene of their first case. Poirot is now an old man (just how old is not revealed  – I think if you go by the chronology of the novels he must have been about 120, but there is no need to be too precise), and close to death.  Hastings is the narrator of this mystery. He is saddened by the devastation age has had on Poirot

Click here to read my full review

The next Throwback Thursday post is scheduled for February 3, 2022.