Books, life the universe

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Latest reading

The Psychic Tourist by William Little - the author buys his sister and her daughter astrological chart analyses for Christmas. Unfortunately they both say that his sister and niece need to be careful about being near water. This stops his sister travelling by boat or even being anywhere near water. Feeling responsible for restricting her life, William Little sets out to discover whether the future really can be predicted. He consults psychic, mediums, astrologers, gypsies, palm reader, Tarot readers and physicists. The verdict? Perhaps it is possible to predict the future but no one really knows. Fortunately he is able to eradicate his sister's fear of drowning and takes her out in a rowing boat to show her she is quite safe. This is an interesting read with some thought provoking findings especially in the field of science.

Mansfield Revisited by Joan Aiken - it is a credit to this book that I have been carrying it around in my bag for months and only reading it when I'm waiting for things to happen such as in doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms and yet I still managed to retain my interest in the story. I actually took it out of my bag and read the last 30 pages because I wanted to find out the ending. The books starts a few years after the end of Mansfield Park. Sir Thomas Bertram is dead. Fanny and Edmund have two children and are about to leave on a trip to the West Indies to oversee family business interests there. Susan - Fanny's sister - has grown into a sensible young woman with more sparkle than her older sister. Mary Crawford - a much subdued Mary Crawford - returns with mixed results. There is a marvellous failed trip out to discover Roman ruins which is worthy of Jane Austen herself. This is worth reading in its own right as well as a continuation of Mansfield Park.

The Plague Maiden and A Cursed Inheritance by Kate Ellis - Further episodes in the Wesley Peterson series which mixes modern crime with archaeological discovers with conspicuous success. I found both of these compulsive reading. There is little on the page violence or bad language and they are dark stories with many ramifications between past and present. Human nature is both good and bad. Tensions are growing between Wesley and his wife Pam and the constant conflict between work and home life is well done.

When Last I Died by Gladys Mitchell - the inimitable Mrs Bradley is drawn into a cold case when she rents a house which formerly belonged to a lady who may or may not have been murdered. There is a marvellous haunted house featured in this absorbing and psychologically well crafted story. I read nearly all of it one evening and found it totally absorbing.


NAM said...

Sorry for the belated comments - K & I are still recovering from the AP Soc Conference - but of course, that's two of my favourite authors you have there. I recently re-read the Gladys Mitchells I have (I've read many of her output but don't feel the need to own them all) and particularly enjoyed 'The Rising of the Moon' - and found 'The Devil in Saxon Wall' far creepier than I remembered. I remember we commented about the Joan Aiken at the time you were starting it - how on earth have you made it last all that time? No, well, that's up to you - and gald you enjoyed it. I particularly remember the Mary Crawford scenes - that sort of thing is so hard to do with any credibility, and yet she does it!

Jilly said...

Gladys Mitchell's books seem so hard to come by these days so I'm really pleased they are being reprinted in paper format as well as e-books. I've only read 5 so far. My mother used to read Gladys Mitchell so I'm surprised I haven't read them before.

It was because I was carrying 'Mansfield Revisisted' around in my bag and just read a few pages at a time that it lasted that long! Not the best way to read a book but if it passes the test it must be a good one!

I'm glad the AP conference went well - I had wanted to leave a comment about it on Keith's blog but being sent round in circles by Blogger finally made me decide to 'move'.