Archives for the month of: October, 2018

Image result for doctor vault 13

Published by BBC Books/Penguin/Puffin

I haven’t finished this one yet – and its a bit of a bother. I have masses of rather dull jobs to do and keep being distracted.

I am a fan of Doctor Who. Always have been. I was of the generation that hid behind the settee. I am that sort of age…My Doctor, was an early Doctor. I won’t tell you which.  None-the-less I do enjoy the new incarnations – though Matt Smith, I’m afraid wasn’t one of my favourites. Just looked too young.

This book is about the most recent Doctor.  Once again the galaxy is in danger. Once again the Doctor has been summonsed.

I am thoroughly enjoying this horticultural space odyssey and adventure. There are as always little gems that make me smile in good books, and there are more than enough in this…it is a book to revel in. I would suggest reading it in the garden. It’s too cold, however, so do as I did yesterday, last night and this morning…curl up inside with a mug of tea and the Doctor…

One negative. There is a disadvantage about reading stories of Doctor Who. You don’t get the sound effect of the T.A.R.D.I.S. – which is such a comforting sound.

The Doctor may be from Gallifrey, but I feel that we in the UK, have perhaps more of an affinity with him. We only need one Doctor.

I forgot – David Solomons is coming to Waterstones Finchley Road on Sunday 25th November to sign copies of this and My Arch Enemy is a Brain in a Jar.

I don’t believe the Doctor will be in too – but you never know. She just might, perhaps turn up – wouldn’t it be marvellous if she did!


Image result for war is over almond

Published by Hodder Children’s Books

This slim hardback was published in commemoration

of the end of the First World War, in 1918.

The story of John, whose father is away in the trenches,

whose mother works in the munitions factory.

A simple tale of the confusion of war. Of decisions half understood,

of intolerable situations, of the confusion of man.

Its the story of a boy who thinks. A child who wonders,

thinks about other boys like him,

who happen to live in Germany.

Its a book to make you wonder. I don’t know what I would have done.Image result for litchfield war is over

I have been lucky. I have never had to make those choices.

Its a small volume about war.

What we ask of ourselves and what we ask of our children.

Its a remarkable tale.

Illustrated by David Litchfield – this is a very powerful slight volume.

A book of rose hips, a book of hope.


Image result for The secret lives of colour st clair

Published by John Murray

Another book with colour as a central theme. This one, more so than the others I have recently been writing about. This a non-fiction exploration…

This is a wonderful wedge of a book. A lexicon, if you will, of colour. There are chapters on Colour Vision, Light, Artists & Pigments, Colour Mapping, Politics of Colour and the use of language and that’s just the start.

The book is split into colour segments and within that the different shades that make up each colour – White for example has essays about White, Lead White, Silver, Whitewash, Isabelline, Chalk and Beige… That for yellow…includes Orpiment, a highly poisonous substance…

‘A delightfully named German merchant called Georg Everhard Rumphius recalled seeing a woman who had taken too much in Batavia (now Jakarta), in 1660, in his book The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet.  She had become mad, ‘and climbed up the walls like a cat.’

Each essay is a delight, a mix of history, science, and art –  this is positively a cornucopia of a book.

Image result for The secret lives of colour st clairI should I suppose have read the introduction chapters first, however, I was tempted into the substance of it, enticed by the colours that run down the edge of each page…and so will have to read it, I suppose in reverse…

This is a book not to be missed.


Image result for The mystery of the colour thief

Published by Zephyr

‘Of course. I told you, didn’t I? All he needed was a bit of help.’

Sometimes that’s all we need. Just a bit of help. We all need some sometimes, but often things can seem too big, too complicated and just too dark, even to mention.

What we see is only part of the picture. Things can easily begin to lose their colour, their vibrancy and life.

This is the story of Izzy. She only sees one view of a tragedy and it is taking everything from her life…but things begin to change when she finds support in strange and rather wonderful places and realises that sometimes, a little help is all that’s required.

It’s lovely and full of hope.

Interestingly there I reviewed a picture book with a similar title The Colour Thief (Andrew Fusek Peters) which reflects some of this story too.


Image result for the truth about martians

Published by Chicken House.

Is there anyone out there? Since the universe is ever increasing (so Dad tells me), I can’t really see any reason why there shouldn’t be. Whether anyone intelligent would want to make contact with us is another matter. After all, I’m not sure how much intelligence there is here on Earth, and I feel that there is even less common sense.

I do understand, though,  if they want to come and study the wildlife. After all how can you not be fascinated by chameleons?

This story centres on a specific alien visit that was reported to have occurred in America in 1947 – there are numerous reports of UFO’s and entities over the years. Many questions haven’t been answered.

This is a story of lies told. Rumours. Strange entities and the State and what they would like people to believe. A book of finding yourself. Friendship. Brotherhood, and what that means. Responsibility. Superman. The story of finding that bit that contains courage, that bit that sometimes gets lost…mislaid.

A book of hope.


Image result for rosie loves jack

Published by Usborne

This doesn’t need much of a review. A young lady leaves home to find her boyfriend in Brighton. The weather turns and she becomes stuck in London.

This is a story often told, from another perspective.


Touching and honest.

A tale of prejudice, assumptions, independence, trust and love.

A story of hope.

Image result for rosie loves jack


Image result for death in the spotlight

Frankly this is her best yet. Absolutely marvellous. With the usual plans and maps to be enjoyed, this time a theatre – superb mystery with wonderful characters. A production of Romeo and Juliette with dark overtones. A must read for those who are fans of the series. For those who enjoy the theatre, this one has added flavour.

They can be read out of order – should you wish, however, in this case, perhaps it is better to be a little traditional. The list below does not include the little vignettes.

  1. Murder Most Unladylike (Blue)
  2. Arsenic for Tea (Lime Green)
  3. First Class Murder (Orange)
  4. Jolly Fowl Play (Yellow)
  5. Mistletoe and Murder (Scarlet)
  6. A Spoonful of Murder (Green)
  7. Cream Buns and Crime (Purple)
  8. Death in the Spotlight (Violet)

I am pleased to confirm that

Robin Stevens

is coming to sign this her latest and back stock of the series at

Waterstones Finchley Road O2 (NW3 6LU)

on Sunday 28th of October 2018

Come and meet Robin Stevens and have a copy of her books signed!

Image result for undiscovered princess glynn

Published by Penguin

Princesses and pink. Not really me. I’m not really into princesses. It started as a ‘school themed’ book – with a seasoning of princesses, to add another dimension. This, though, has been a fun diversion from my usual – I loved it. By the end, it was more than just a school story with a different flavour. A story to suspend belief – which by the end had dark tones within it. The second volume in the chronicles is out now (Princess in Practice) – so if you enjoy this little piece of literary fun, there’s the second one to enjoy!