20 Apr 2017

(WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB #11): 11TH HOUR.

11th HOUR by JAMES PATTERSON & MAXINE PAETRO.

BACK COVER BLURB: Is one of Detective Lindsay Boxer’s colleagues a vicious killer? 
She won't know until the 11th hour…

A notorious drug dealer is gunned down using a weapon taken from the evidence locker in Lindsay’s own department!

Lindsay must investigate her closest colleagues. But who can she trust? 

And is she placing herself, and her unborn baby, in a deadly situation?

FIRST SENTENCE {PROLOGUE: REVENGE. ONE}: A good-looking man in his forties sat in the back row of the auditorium at the exclusive Morton Academy of Music.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 119}: "Maggots, like all animals, are what they eat. If Jane here was poisoned or drugged, the tox screen on the milk shake would reveal that. So I put some squirmers into the blender and sent that out to the lab. Hoping for something, Linds, I was hoping for arsenic. Instead, we found benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine."

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

READ FOR: What's In A Name? challenge: 'A title with a number in numbers' category (2nd book of 6) and Mount TBR challenge (8th book of 24).

MY THOUGHTS: Though book 11 of a series that I believe currently stands at sixteen novels I can't say I felt I'd missed anything by not having read any of the previous books. Indeed I found Detective Lindsay Boxer so irritating that I didn't feel inclined to know anything more of her. 

With what seems like books churned out every few months, I don't know if its merely a case of quantity over quality, a case of it being co-written OR whether its just a not-so- good novel as happens to the best of authors and especially during a long running series. One thing I do know though is, with their short, snappy chapters I normally turn to James Patterson's book when I want a quick, easy to read thriller, but this one alas this failed to hit the mark.

OK, so it is fiction and as such I expect certain liberties to be taken. And yes, I'm British and therefore perhaps used to slightly different procedures but surely no pregnant police detective (let alone one pregnant with what I gather was a 'high risk' pregnancy) would still be on such active service as to be involved in high speed car chases etc? 

Then there were the cases. Both rather mediocre, the perpetrator revealed rather early in one of them, the other easily guessed at. I don't know if its typical of this particular series to feature two cases but I'm afraid I didn't think the writing strong enough to support them both.

Not yet totally finished with the novels of James Patterson (though I'm rapidly beginning to understand why so many copies grace the shelves of the various charity shops)  but I rather think this may well be the first and last Women's Murder Club novel that I read.


14 Apr 2017

SERVICE RESUMED.

Heartfelt thanks to my blogger buddies and FaceBook friends for your kind words, to those of you living close enough for your visits and, of course, it goes without saying, Mr T for, well, being Mr T. I cannot begin to express how much your thinking of me meant.


Though still not 100% and on some pretty hefty pain medication I'm glad to be back home after almost six weeks in hospital and am looking forward to resuming Pen and Paper in the next few days.



4 Mar 2017

SERVICE INTERRUPTION.

Sorry for the lack of postings. Her ladyship is rather unwell at the moment and in hospital. I will let you know as she progresses and hopefully won't be too long before she's back.

HD

27 Feb 2017

THREE SISTERS, THREE QUEENS.

THREE SISTERS, THREE QUEENS by PHILIPPA GREGORY.

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: There is only one bond that I trust: between a woman and her sisters. We never take our eyes off each other. In love and in rivalry, we always think of each other.

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure.  With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined – with Margaret’s younger sister Mary – to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband, James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others.

As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

FIRST SENTENCE {BAYNARD'S CASTLE, LONDON, ENGLAND, NOVEMBER 1501}: I am to wear white and green, as a Tudor princess.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 295}: The horse bucks, its trappings flapping, its reins trailing; the knight lies still, obviously winded, perhaps worse. Grooms in their blue damask catch the horse, squires in their blue satin run to the knight. They open his visor, his head lolls.

SOURCE: A gift from Mr T purchased from BookPeople.

READ FOR:  2017 Mount TBR Reading Challenge (8th of 24 books read).

MY THOUGHTS: Though published recently, this is in fact the continuation of the Tudor Court* novels which began with The Constant Princess (first published 2005).

The first Philippa Gregory in a long while that I have truly enjoyed from start to finish. In Three Queens, Three Sisters the author weaves a complex and yet totally compelling story of the political and social life during the Tudor era in a way that I haven't savoured in in quite a while. 

Of course its historical fiction (and therefore open to poetical licence) which along with the fact that not many biographies exist of Margaret, sister of Henry VIII and Dowager Queen of Scotland, (whose story it firstly and foremostly is) makes it very difficult to know just how accurate the portrayal is BUT seemingly well researched, Margaret comes across as a remarkably strong if not particularly likeable woman.

Though full of jealousies (many of them petty) towards the other queens of the title, her younger sister, Mary and her sister-in-law, Katherine of Aragon (or Katherine of arrogant as she refers to her), often petulant, capable of changing loyalties at the drop of a hat and yet here portrayed as something of an early feminist, Margaret essentially comes across as a woman doing the best she could.

The only thing to put me off slightly. Not a fan of the 'letter' format of writing a book to begin with, printed in italics I struggled to read the correspondence written between the three sisters. 


* See the series explained here along with a review of the fifth book in the series, The Taming Of The Queen.