Friday, February 20, 2015

Mysteries & Music – Arthur Conan Doyle

I was in my early teens when I started reading Sherlock Holmes books and stories. I loved them with a passion, and have them all. I had seen pictures of Basil Rathbone portraying him, so I already had a mental picture to work with. And physically, Rathbone was good. But he smiled far too much when I viewed some of these old movies.

As with some of the other actors I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Jeremy Brett was BORN to do this role. He IS Sherlock Holmes, and all others will be compared to Brett. Robert Downey Jr. is good, don’t get me wrong, but Brett was the best. Absolutely brilliant. His death was almost a personal loss.

The theme was written by Patrick Gowers. Lovely and poignant.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mysteries & Music – Colin Dexter

I had never read any of Dexter’s “Inspector Morse” books, but liked the actor John Thaw. As a book, this isn’t really my type of mystery. I tried a couple of the books, but much preferred the series.

Thaw is a wonderful Morse. Very complex character. I enjoyed the back and forth between him and his junior, Lewis. When Dexter killed Morse off, and they dealt with this on the show, I was devastated. When Lewis viewed Morse’s body in the morgue and said, “Good-bye, Inspector” and kissed him on the temple, I cried. Sadly, John Thaw died not too long afterward of cancer.
The theme music is outstanding. Written by Barrington Pheloung. I didn’t know until I looked it up on youtube that the pulse notes at the very beginning are Morse code for the name, Morse. Kinda neat.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February 2015 Book Report

By Rebecca M. Hale: How to Wash a Cat (2010)
                                    Nine Lives Last Forever (2010)

This is a delightful new series. Very breezy and light hearted. A woman inherits an antique store in San Francisco from her late uncle and relocates to the apartment above the store. Along with her cats Rupert and Isabella, she finds clues from her uncle about hidden treasures dealing with the Gold Rush period when San Francisco was new.
I love early California history, and there is plenty of it mixed in with the shenanigans that go on. These are the first two books in the series. I have the third one on my shelf to read next, and I think there are a couple more after that. Love it!
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China to Me (1944) by Emily Hahn

Fascinating autobiography. Ms. Hahn was a reporter living in Japan-occupied Hong Kong during WWII. Great writing and very interesting story. I would really like to read more of her books if I can find them. This book doesn’t really have an ending, as she managed to get out of Hong Kong with her daughter before the actual end of the war. Her husband remained behind in a concentration camp.
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The Hell-Cat and the King (1977) by Barbara Cartland

Usual love story, but I always enjoy them. And there is some early Brit history in this as well. Ms. Cartland always did her research. Princess Zenka is promised to the King of Karanya by Queen Victoria. Zenka doesn’t like the arrangement, but you do NOT disobey the Queen!
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Seven for a Secret (1992) by Victoria Holt
 I’ve read a LOT of Holt. They are usually so melodramatic I tend to lose interest and skip to the end. This one was different. It was one of the much later ones she wrote. Maybe she had gotten tired of melodrama. At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and read it to the end and decided to keep it in my library. Frederica is penniless, but able to be tutored with the local rich girl. She falls in love with the older brother, but he has a dark secret. Then there are the odd spinster sisters. What is their secret?
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Suds in Your Eye (1942) by Mary Lasswell

OMG!! What a fun read! And great illustrations. This was the first of a series of books about 3 older ladies that decide to live together to save money. And these ladies were a REAL HOOT! They are what *I* aspire to be when I’m old(er). They come up with some real clever schemes to pinch those pennies while still being able to buy their beloved beer. And they REALLY love their beer!! I MUST find more of these books!