Archives for posts with tag: Penguin

Image result for the boy the mole the fox and the horse penguin

Published by Penguin

Imagine how we would be if we were less afraid.

This is simply gorgeous. A beautiful book, in itself, the physical book, but the contents too – what is written and so beautifully illustrated inside is just as touching, thought provoking, gentle and wonderful as it could be.

A book Charlie Mackesy suggests you can drop into – and so you can, however, I did that thing of reading it from cover to cover. Which he thinks is impressive, which is lovely. I also dipped, before I bought. I’d love to meet Charlie and will be making contact with him & / Penguin, in the hope that I’m not too late to arrange an event with him.

A book of hope, of quiet sustenance. Peace – philosophy, a proposed way of looking at things.


Every home should have a copy. I have just tried to find out how many homes there are on the Internet – just in the UK, however, it was way too complicated. I just wanted an estimate… There are lots though.

Make sure your’s has a copy. Penguin may run out.

“Sometimes.” said the horse.

“Sometimes, what?” asked the boy.

“Sometimes just getting up

and carrying on is

brave and magnificent.”

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!

Published by Penguin

This is an adventure story set in 1749. Thomas Fielding’s father has died, and Thomas believes that he is responsible. Not directly maybe, but still responsible. When his mother receives a letter from his uncle in England giving details of how his life has improved, she suggests that Thomas travels to London to seek his fortune with him.

His journey is not an easy one. The mechanical hand his father made for him after an accident is affected by the sea spray as he sails to Plymouth. By the time he makes his way to London, he is exhausted, in pain and bewildered. The journey to his uncle’s home through London does not go as expected. The roads are treacherous, the weather appalling; snow drifting down into the front of the cab and the mayhem of London, loud and aromatic further increase his discomfort.

When his driver is shot, he finds himself riding at breakneck speed through London….chasing a carriage disappearing into the alleys and lanes…

This is Cameron McAllister’s second book – the first The Tin Snail was totally different…and set in the second world war. A glorious tale of inventiveness and bravery.

This is a brilliant rollocking adventure . Two extraordinary stories from one stable. An author to watch.

Published by Penguin

I don’t often read adult books; I spend too many hours reading those written for children and young adults.

A few years ago though I came across Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum crime novels.  I’m not sure how many there are in the series now – this though, is the first, and possibly the best – though that is uncertain.

At the beginning of the book Stephanie has just lost her job working as a lingerie buyer, and decides it is worth visiting her cousin Vinnie who runs the local bounty hunter office to ask if his job for an office worker is still available.

Under threat of exposure, (he has an interesting personal life) Vinnie agrees to take Stephanie on as his latest bounty hunter.

The books are gritty. They are certainly not for young adults (at least not from this blog), but they are also some of the funniest books I have ever read. The relationship between Stephanie, Joe Morelli (a local policeman with a history) and Ranger – an almost mystical bounty hunter already employed by Vinnie, is central to the story.

As is often the case the characters are what makes these books so wonderful (and why I’d love to own a Ranger’s T-shirt) -they are all extraordinary: Lula, initially a minor character in this the first of the books, develops into one of the pivotal people in the series – larger than life and twice as gutsy, though with the need to stop off regularly for doughnuts, and perhaps the odd handbag sale. Grandma Mazur is Stephanie’s maternal grandmother – and is quite unique amongst grandparents – willing to try anything and with a hobby of attending viewings at the local funeral parlours. Morelli and Ranger, as mentioned above, Stephanie’s parents and of course Rex. The longest living hamster I have ever come across. He is an integral part of the books. Rex doesn’t do a lot (hamsters don’t on the whole), but he has been known to bite, when necessary…

These cheer me up, when life gets difficult. They are in parts, extremely violent, but to counter that they are also extremely funny. Do read them in order – One for the MoneyTwo for the Dough, Three to get Ready…if you don’t, you won’t appreciate the characters as they develop.

They are American (set in New Jersey) and I have to admit that they are the only American books I have so far loved.

Read them – and laugh.

Published by Penguin / ISBN 978 0141354439

Not yet published – 16th July 2015

I wasn’t going to review a book today. I had a dental appointment in London, and thought I’d take the opportunity to do some shopping and purchase things I had forgotten to buy for my trip to Madagascar.

I started Stone Rider a week or so ago, along with at least two other volumes – Circus Mirandus / Cassie Beasley was finished first, so I reviewed that and have just spent the last 48 hours with Adam Stone.

This book reminds me of my youth. For a while I was a biker’s moll, (if I may claim such a status), travelling on the back of a Harley Davidson though never in quite the way Adam Stone rides – and I have never forgotten how glorious that was. I never did learn to ride a bike, but I am very aware of the special relationship bikers have with their bikes – and this is used to perfection in Stone Rider.

It made me want to find someone with a bike again, to ride behind him, with my arms wrapped around his waist and my legs around his – it was a superb time.

The plot and story line does have some semblance to the Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins), but it still has its own colour and there are some very important differences. The race is fundamentally a race, it is true many riders die, (actually, most of them)…including two important characters near the beginning of the competition, but there isn’t the darkness that I found in the Hunger Games. Not all the characters were necessarily out to kill each other, some were just trying to survive, (the organisers had made the race particularly treacherous), which gave this book hope and removed some of the violence. Though there is plenty of it…

It has two twists, that I didn’t see coming. One of which resulted in a lady in the train catching my eye to ask if it was a good book. I explained that something had just happened in the story I hadn’t expected, and she said she guessed as much from my face…

The English too was a pleasure to read, ‘A flash of coruscating light. A booming clap of thunder.’ really pleased me and it was good to read a book for teenagers/young adults that was well written and included small pieces of detail (mice and owls, in particular), that made the plot more believable…

The film rights have already been ‘optioned’ – so it seems a film will be on the way. Try and read it before you go and see it – as always the book will be so much more than the film, however, well produced it will be.

There is a question and answer section in the back of the book, and I am so pleased I read it, (as I have to admit I usually don’t), because I wasn’t sure if this was to be a stand-alone title, but it seems there may well be a second book about the characters to be published. I hope they send me a copy of that too…

It is due out on the 16th of July – you will want to read it – so get your orders in now.

Should someone called Paul Tilley who used to ride a Harley Davidson read this post, then I hope he reads it, if only for old times sake…

The Complete Short Stories / Published by Penguin / ISBN 9780141184494

Improper Stories / Published by Daunt Books / ISBN  9781907970009

Best Short Stories, Collector’s Library / Published by Pan Macmillan (Small pocket book, all edges gilt)

Saki, otherwise known as Hector Hugh Munro wrote the very best short stories. I have listed the details of three different editions – one of which is sadly out of print – as, though the Improper Stories contains some of the best – it does not include all my favourites which were published in the Collector’s Library edition and the Complete Short Stories, has too many of the others – though I do enjoy those too… He was a remarkable story teller. Which brings me to the title of Daunt Books edition – Improper Stories, a phrase taken from a short story called The Story-Teller – about a man in a train, with a woman travelling with two small children….

I cannot choose my favourite – they are  all on the whole, dark and twisted – at least my favourites are: Sredni Vashtar, The Open Window, The Music on the Hill, The Lumber Room, The Schartz-Metterklume Method, Laura, Morlvera…to name a very few.

I was introduced to HH Munro / Saki by a teacher in St Hilda’s School in Bushey. I can’t say I remember learning very much there, however, this particular teacher read the story of Tobomory and though I don’t believe I was made aware of the other stories at that point, I was hooked.

They are glorious and superb. I was once talking to a customer, (I have sold many, many copies of collections of Saki over the years), about the stories when he asked if I would be kind enough to mark in his freshly purchased copy the tales he should read. I started by placing little dots by each title in the Contents pages…after a while he said ‘It would have been easier to have asked you to mark the ones you least like!’

They can be very short – just a glorious canapé of a story, or just a sandwich length. The only problem is that once you start, like a gorgeous box of chocolates, you will go on to the next, and then the one after…

Published by Penguin / ISBN 9780141319117

This is a tale of friendship, a tale of prejudice and a tale of accepted beliefs, atitudes and values. It is the ending of the book that makes it so powerful.

Things are never quite as clear cut as the world would like you to believe.