Friday, June 24, 2022

The Storm Murders


Why I picked this book to read? Well my son was to go to Montreal  Canada. And no doubt the detective, or should I say retired detective is from Montreal.

Emile Cinq-Mars a retired cop got called to help and give counsel about a murder that happen in the snow storm. FBI was involved as well as his old partner. Emile's wife Sandra wanted to be kept in the loop. Since  she was always wondering, as Emile was always on a job.

I thought the story was a bit wordy. It took great lengths not to give in and say "I don't want to read anymore". But I got through it. A good story. The way the author put it together, page turner.

As most mysteries go there were murders of instant people as well as police. Motive was what Emile was working on. Lead Emile down to New Orleans. His wife went to. No time for sight seeing. Emile had a job to do.
With the excitement of investigating again. Cinq-Mars had for the first time the saddest feeling of missing his badge and duties with his gun. 

 The story and ending were murky for me. Very long to describe a plan of some sought or other.

All in all the story was good. I would like at some point and read the rest of trilogy

I would give The Storm Murders a 4 <____________

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ordeal by Innocence


I really liked this story. There were different characters. And as always only Agatha Christie does, there were many suspects. But these people had an interest  in each other. Because they thought each other had murdered their mother.

I found myself not liking Calgary. For some reason he had to make sure he solved this case. Even though he was no detective. But knowing that he thought he had good news to give the Argyle family. But the news wasn't taken as such. "Jack Argyle was innocent". For whatever reason Calgary had to put the pieces together. He must do what had to be done and forget after that. I found myself saying "stay out of it".

Who killed Mrs. Argyle? Her kids that she adopted from bad situations they were in? Playing the good person for better. Or was it her husband? Or maybe the housekeeper? And then you have Philip Durrant. Husband of Mary. Another amateur detective. In this case he was found the same way as Mrs. Argyle.

Different brothers and sisters that found comfort in one another. At least two anyway.
It all comes down to Arthur Calgary figures out the pieces and with the permission and help from Superintendent Huish.

Not the guilty who matter, it's the innocent. At times people forget the innocent can be forgotten. And they are of need of help. It's tougher on them.

The ending surprised me. Between Hester and Arthur Calgary. Hester so unsure of herself, so wild. Calgary really never liked her. Or thought she was too off center. And Calgary a matured man. Find themselves in an understanding. I thought they would never see eye to eye.

I give Ordeal by Innocence 5 
On to the next great novel!

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Oona Out of Order


I don't really go in for time traveling stories. But this story was a bit interesting. Although it took half the book to start to pick up and grab my interest. I thought there was a meaning for this time travel. 

I believe it was used as a metaphor for Oona's life. How she looked at her life out of order and pieced it together. How she looked at her love life, her mother, her son. She figured things out one period at a time. Grabbing pieces here and there to move Oona's life along. And in doing so she leaves letters to help her through the process. Fate vs free will- I think the time travel is Oona's fate. But what she can make out of her life is her free will. Even changing her future.

What I really don't understand if she was really time traveling, why? Why her? Anyone else in the family does it? Is it hereditary? It is called a condition in the book. Questions do not get answered. Ever! I think it answers one question though. What if time was a disease? Just doing what Oona did piece together her life. Make the best of it and as long as she had to make it maybe easier.
Oona says her "condition" is the closest to immortality. I guess so since she bounces from one year to the next. And back again.
Oona and her mother Madeleine's relationship change over the years. Because Oona learns more about her mother. Oona travels through life and goes through what her mother went through. Sees it through Madeleine's eyes.
Oona has challenges in her life as she "leaps" but she seems to always want to go back to when she's younger. Of course she does when your younger it's easier than trying to"navigate an "adult Oona."

Bittersweet Oona's life is. Why/not? Because maybe to some it's fun to time travel. She gets to see her mother and son all over again. Even her true love Dale. She gets to change and live what she can, a"normal life." But it's not sweet. Oona never stays for more than a year. She has to wait to the year to see and know her son, even Dale. Oona's life "the good, the bad."
Music is universal. And to use music in the story to keep that connection with Dale and her son is sort of a way to shape Oona's life. And Kenzie's, her son.
Kenzie wants to time travel too just like his mom. Again the adventure, the fun. But reality not so much fun.
When beginning to read this book I never thought what the next few years for Oona's might be. But now I imagine it will be chaos at times. She'll find years that she loves. And years that I think she may even  give herself a break and leave more details in her letters. Oona tries to build a future with her son- her constant!  I would like to see her life complete though

I give Oona Out of Order 4 

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Guest List

I was told that I should check out this book. It is compared to Agatha Christie novels. Ok so I gave it a try. Not bad. Yes it does have similarities to Christie's novels.
We have a destination wedding to Ireland. Which becomes the never ending wedding. And the guest list is everyone that you can think of. Loud and obnoxious friends of the groom. A bridesmaid that is sad and carries so much hurt. The MC that is a friend of the bride, and his wife. Also the bride Jules, and groom Will (or is it Steve?) And last but not least you have Aoife and Freddy who run and cater the venue and event.
Will, or Steve is exactly what Olivia (bridesmaid and step sister) had written to Jules. Don't marry him, he is not what you think. Everyone has issues with him including Charlie (brides friend and MC) his wife Hannah. He felt privileged nothing he did was right for his father. So Will used that to dominate his weak friends, and women.  Everyone is capable of doing whatever. The guests have baggage along with skeletons and secrets. And all this gets hashed out at the wedding.

I never decided to solve the crime earlier in the story. But since the story was long, even with short chapters (a lot of chapters) toward the end is where it starts to pick up. Must of been 6-7 chapters in a row it goes fast. Clues started to pop up and then I try to put the pieces together.

What I was thinking at first leaning toward the folklore of Ireland. I grew up on stories of the bog people. My father was a good storyteller. I guess that's where I get my love of books. It's always on a deserted island where the ground is soft, black and wet. That someone/s is held close. It can be hungry for a long time.
We find out how each one is connected to the person who is murdered. Shocking it is. And like Christie one by one the guest list gets ticked off. Until we find the person/s that hate so much and maybe raised hell around a graveyard and the spirits.

I give The Guest List 4_____> 
Only because all of the book except several chapters were slow.

I'm hoping another of the author books are just as good or better. Some highlights I give on Goodreads.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Mammy

The Mammy is a re-read for me. Several years ago I watched the movie Agnes Browne. I wanted to find out about the kids. What happened to them. I discovered that there was more to the story of Agnes Browne who is " The Mammy"
And what I found interesting and different to begin with Agnes Browne and Marion Monks have a friendship that people would love to have. "We're here for a good time, not a long time. And having a friend like you is as good as it gets".
Agnes with seven kids and a widow. Marion and her husband Tommo Monks help out. She is by Agnes side all the time. Mark her eldest, looks at his mammy in a different way now that she would have no more children.

Marion has health problems and Agnes is there for Marion with her at doctors.

Meanwhile Cathy gets her bangs cut by a nun. And Agnes has enough with the nun. Throws a cucumber at her then goes to jail. At trail the question, why? I couldn't put it better myself. Agnes laughed. "Ha! What policeman would arrest a nun on my word as quick as I was arrested on hers"?

Thought it interesting when Cathy had her Confirmation that they would go to relative to friend's house and was given money.

Agnes meets the Frenchman by accident. Looking in his store at a carpet. Cathy was with her. He tried talking to her. But they didn't understand a word each other said. But Cathy and she laughed and said he was handsome anyway.

There was an outing for all the kids. But they went separately. The funniest was Mark who didn't have a tent and Agnes bought him one. Unfortunately it was a teepee.

Agnes grieves for 3 days @ Foley's and was surprised Monica knew about Marion's daily visit to church. "Hello God, it's me Marion".

Agnes felt better stepping into the church for Marion's funeral. She heard a warm voice say "Hello Marion, it's me God!"

Well having a date with Pierre was a mistake. After a night of drinking Agnes comes out of bar and throws up. Not just that, she throws up her false teeth. Puts them in her pocket and when Pierre asks her out on date she throws her teeth in with tissue stuck to it. Sounds like Arf! Arf! The night turned out pretty good. Except for the kiss.

Mark found a trade. By 1st helping an older man start his fireplace on weekend where he could not since he was Jewish and it was Sabbath. It's good for him to be nice and genuine. 

With Agnes and Mark working when Christmas rolls around each could give. Mark buys a tv for the family. And Agnes gives for the kids. Especially Mark he will get tools for his  trade. Agnes pays for  a newspaper everyday to see what's on the telly.

To get the rest of money for Mark's tools Agnes tells the boys to go and get the union check that is the Christmas benefit that Redser would of gotten. With Trevor and Dermot's mouth gets them in trouble. They run in a stranger's room. This stranger hears all about Marion, their dad, Mark's job.

Surprise! Surprise! Who shows up at the house is Cliff Richards! The famous singer with tickets sold out.

"Sometimes this turbulent, tragic, sad, and busy world turns on it's head and comes to a sudden halt. Just to accommodate someone's dream... Dream on Agnes Browne for everyone's sake. Dream on!"

Always! 5___>