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rwmg

rwmg

Joined May 2017

Mainly mysteries, SF, history (fact and fiction)
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review
rwmg
Pretty Boy Dead: A Novel | Joseph Hansen
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Panpan

The book opens with Steve Archer returning home in the morning having woken up in a strange bed, only to find the police at his apartment ready to arrest him for the murder of his boyfriend, Coy. The bulk of the book is a flashback telling how this all came about (which I did not realise for quite a while and was thus terribly confused), and the final 20-30 pages (out of 200) shows Steve looking for the real murderer to exonerate himself. ⬇

rwmg It's a 1960s attempt at gay noir but, quite apart from language and attitudes which would not pass muster nowadays, I found some characters so forgettable that I had no idea who they were when they re-appeared. I have good, albeit vague, memories from the early 1980s of the author's Dave Brandstetter series, which I might revisit some day but this stand-alone deserves its fate of languishing in obscurity despite several re-issues over the years. 13h
The_Book_Ninja Sounds as bad as that cover looks. 12h
19 likes2 comments
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rwmg
A Corruption of Blood | Ambrose Parry
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Pickpick

One of the richest men in Edinburgh is found dead in bed with traces of arsenic in his stomach. His son is accused of the murder but Raven's new fiancée believes him to be innocent and asks him to investigate.

Despite some well-worn tropes, the mystery all came together nicely enough but the social and medical background are still what attracts me to this series.

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rwmg
Pretty Boy Dead: A Novel | Joseph Hansen
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rwmg
Pretty Boy Dead: A Novel | Joseph Hansen
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HE WAS NAKED IN A STRANGE BED, one of those beds that stands in a closet all day, like a bad child.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
Way Station | Clifford D. Simak
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Pickpick

Unknown to the rest of Earth's inhabitants, Enoch Wallace is looking after a station in a inter-stellar transportation network but affairs on Earth and in the Galactic Council are coming to a crisis.

This was a pioneering work of pastoral science fiction which still exerts its quiet attraction with on one level weird and wonderful goings-on but on another an uneventful slice of life until the last 1/3 of the book.

#ClassicLSFBC
@RamsFan1963

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rwmg
Way Station | Clifford D. Simak
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rwmg
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Pickpick

Alternates sections on the author's list of favourite philosophers and on themes and questions. Mostly concerned with the European tradition with occasional glances at India. Does what it says on the tin, serves as an introduction.

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An unfortunate example for a book published in 2020

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rwmg
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Mehso-so

TV-writer Elliott's 6-year relationship with Gus implodes after he books a session with a sex worker but he learns to be more comfortable with himself and starts to overcome his addictions.

A book that is probably funnier if you are part of the milieu depicted but there were too many refs to TV shows I don't watch or singers I'm only marginally aware of, if that, not to mention places & brands I don't recognise for me to really enjoy it

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rwmg
A Corruption of Blood | Ambrose Parry
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👍👍👍

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rwmg
The Art of Dying | Ambrose Parry
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A nurse's patients are dying - but is she unwittingly spreading disease or is she a serial killer?

A good mystery set in a time when medical practitioners had noticed a better survival rate if they washed their hands between patients but didn't know why.

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rwmg
A Corruption of Blood | Ambrose Parry
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The Art of Dying | Ambrose Parry
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rwmg
The Art of Dying | Ambrose Parry
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There is not a woman in this realm who does not understand what it is to be afraid.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
The Way of All Flesh | Ambrose Parry
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In 1847 Edinburgh, Will Raven, apprentice to Professor of Midwifery James Young Simpson, and housemaid Sarah Fisher look into the death of a friend of Will's and a friend of Sarah's both written off as suicide.

The mystery was a bit predictable at times but the historical background was very well done. The professor was a real person, and his discovery of chloroform as an anaesthetic is one of the events in the book.

28 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
The Way of All Flesh | Ambrose Parry
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🪡 or 📚 ?

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rwmg
The Way of All Flesh | Ambrose Parry
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rwmg
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Mehso-so

Aidan and Liam are asked to guard an unwillingly-retired minor Russian oligarch in self-imposed exile in Monaco, who has had an attempt made on his life.

As they approach the big 40 the boys are wondering if they are aging out of the personal protection business and TBH I'm wondering the same about this series. This entry felt kind of meh. I also read the first chapter of the next one and am not feeling any urge to continue. Maybe another time.

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rwmg
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Pickpick

Interesting book about why some linguists think all languages have an underlying universal grammar. The title seems a bit ironic since most of the book is about the restrictions and constraints on what languages can do.

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A Leg to Stand On | Oliver Sacks
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The author's memoir of how he broke his leg mountain climbing and his recovery. Because of neurological damage he couldn't recognise the leg as part of his own body and had to re-integrate it into his mental body image. He was able to use that experience to help him treat patients with neuropsychological problems by emphasising the need to listen to patients' accounts of their experiences rather than simply fixing the physical problem. ⬇

rwmg The first edition used Kantian metaphysics as an explanatory tool (and I admit I struggled to understand this section) but he backtracked on this rather in later editions as scientific knowledge has progressed thanks to the availability of more modern equipment. 2w
31 likes1 comment
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rwmg
A Leg to Stand On | Oliver Sacks
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A Leg to Stand On | Oliver Sacks
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Saturday the 24th started overcast and sullen, but there was promise of fine weather later in the day.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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rwmg
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Pickpick

After the family's return home from Iran, Darius gets a boyfriend, his dream job as an intern in a tea shop, and a spot on the school's soccer team.

There were times I felt the intricacies of tea connoisseurship and sports were taking over the story, but I still want to know how various relationships were going to develop further at the end. There wasn't really a cliffhanger, it just left me wanting the story to continue.

Reggie Is this the one where he goes and advocates for his little sister against her teacher? 2w
rwmg @Reggie Yes 2w
24 likes2 comments
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Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore (which makes him what, 15 or 16?) and his family go on a trip to Yazd in Iran where he meets his mother's family for the first time.

I enjoyed this story of a teenage boy trying to navigate a culture unfamiliar to him when he doesn't really fit in at home either. ⬇

rwmg The author says in an afterword that he 'wanted to show how depression can affect a life without ruling it'. I don't think he did. Darius seemed a normal enough rather self-absorbed teenager coping with a bully at school and a hypercritical father. If it weren't for the references to him and his father taking their medication I wouldn't have known depression was an issue until a conversation about 30 pp before the end about the events 7 years b4. 3w
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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rwmg
A Leg to Stand On | Oliver Sacks
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rwmg
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#teaandabook

I recently found my stash of genmaicha, which had disappeared during my last move, so time to re-read this

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Roman history told through a focus on the wives of the emperors from Livia to Gallia Placida (and I will never tire of saying somebody needs to make a biopic or series about Gallia Placida). Interesting and enjoyable, but it's 14 years old and already some of the “contemporary“ resonances and parallels are starting to age and I have to think for a bit to remember what they are about.

Cuilin This looks interesting, I‘d like to visit this era again. We should definitely put this on our Roman Empire list. @dabbe 3w
dabbe @Cuilin Done! 🤩 3w
22 likes2 comments
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rwmg
Untitled | To Be Confirmed
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The son of Daniel's assistant minister in the neighbouring parish is killed in the chapel of a disused WWII airbase in what looks like a ritual murder.

As with the first book, I enjoyed the slice of life scenes before and after the murder far more than the mystery itself because again the solution seemed to come out of nowhere. I will wishlist the next one because it's not out yet, but I'm in no hurry.

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Audrey Clement did not flinch when half a bread roll, thrown with force from one side of Lord de Floures‘ dining table to the other, just missed her.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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Canon Daniel Clement finds a body in the church as he reads the evening prayers.

Apart from a vague feeling that his age didn't really match up with what we were told about his childhood, I didn't really catch on till quite far into the book that it was actually set in the late 1980s. I liked the setting, the characters, and the humour but the solution wasn't very satisfactory. I'll read the next one but I'm not sure if I'll continue after that.

Cheryl_Russell_BookNotes I wasn‘t enamored with this one. 4w
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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The Ring that Caesar Wore | Jennifer Ashley, Ashley Gardner
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Mehso-so

I find the author's books very readable with engaging characters and intriguing plots but her failure to do her homework, occasionally apparent in her Regency and Victorian books, becomes impossible to ignore here. At the very least she needs to understand what “patrician“, “plebeian“, and “equestrian“ actually meant in Rome.

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rwmg
The Ring that Caesar Wore | Jennifer Ashley, Ashley Gardner
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rwmg
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Mehso-so

A crossover of the author's two detective series, one set before and after WW1 and one set in the 1950s, as the two detective duos join forces to discuss the mystery of a corpse found in 1914 in a packing case last opened 60 years before.

I found the investigation hard to follow - too many people with similar names who may or may not be the same person - but I like the 'tecs enough to give the series a second chance at some point.

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rwmg
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"Good morning, Orlando. Lovely to see you."

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#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

CarolynM I love Orlando and Jonty❤️ 1mo
rwmg @CarolynM My first time with them but I have met Alisdair and Toby before 1mo
31 likes2 comments
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rwmg
Hemlock at Vespers | Peter Tremayne
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A collection of stories about Sister Fidelma. Inevitably there is a fair amount of repetition when introducing the character in different stories, but I still enjoyed them, especially the last one, “Our Lady of Death“, which was actually quite atmospheric and creepy as a possible ghost story.

26 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
Hemlock at Vespers | Peter Tremayne
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Sister Fidelma was late. The vesper-bell had already ceased proclaiming the arrival of the sixth canonical hour, the time set aside for prayers, long before she reached the dusk-shrouded gates of the grey stone abbey building.

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#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

25 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
Hemlock at Vespers | Peter Tremayne
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Cuilin I just looked these up. There are 34 in the series. Wow! Do you plan to read all of them? Do you like them? 1mo
rwmg @Cuilin Eventually. Although I'm something of a series junkie I can't read too many from one series at once because they tend to blur together and I find I have nothing to say when reviewing. 1mo
dabbe On our spreadsheet! 🤩 1mo
28 likes3 comments
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Mehso-so

Fidelma is called back from Spain to help Eadulf, accused of raping and murdering a young novice.

Although I was reading it out of order due to the previous novel's cliffhanger, it was a while before I really got into this book but once I did I found the mystery intriguing and the events exciting. BUT HOW ARE TWO 7TH CENTURY CHARACTERS ABLE TO QUOTE PETRARCH BY NAME? That totally threw me out of the story and was very disappointing and thus So-So

dabbe On the spreadsheet! 🤩 1mo
Cuilin Petrach! does Fidelma time travel by any chance? lol ☘️💚🇮🇪🎉 1mo
24 likes3 comments
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dabbe Looks fabulous! 🤩☘️🤩 1mo
21 likes2 comments
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rwmg
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Sr Fidelma is on a pilgrimage to Spain by sea. Another pilgrim, Sr Muirgel, vanishes during a storm and it is assumed that she was swept overboard. However, Fidelma finds a torn and bloodied robe in Muirgel's cabin.

Lots of interesting information about 7th c. travel. I am a bit sceptical about the “Roman church bad Celtic church good“ stance in some of the interactions between the passengers but it wasn't enough to spoil an enjoyable story.