Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watching You #Pupdate

Think You Know Macbeth? Think Again!

Macbeth: A NovelMacbeth: A Novel by A.J. Hartley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Think you know the tale of Macbeth?

Think again.

This retelling of the tale by David Hewson and A J Hartley is just simply amazing. Bringing a new depth to the story, this is no repeating the original Shakespeare but an inspired reworking, incredibly bought to life by the vocal talents of Alan Cumming.

View all my reviews

This is an audiobook available via audible (and worth every penny), you can download it here in the UK and here in the USA.  Even if you are not a Shakespeare fan I recommend this to you.

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The Return of Sherlock Holmes

One of my favourite genres when it comes to reading is the crime novel.  For me I suspect it started probably from watching black and white Sherlock Holmes movies on tv as a kid.  

The Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, Holmes and Watson was where I began.  As I grew a little older I seem to remember moving on to the novels, and I still have the first one, a folio edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 

A little older still and I had moved on to The Hardy Boys


I think if you were a boy you either read The Hardy Boys or Alfred Hitchcocks The Three Investigators


if you were a girl then it was probably Nancy Drew .  I started with The Shore Road Mystery and The Great Airport Mystery, and my collection grew from there.

From there I moved onto Dick Francis, Agatha Christie and Robert B Parker as well as many others.  For an English Literature project I covered the Sherlock Holmes stories, and have read crime novels ever since.

There are times when I don’t read at all however.  Normally they come after I have read several books back-to-back and can’t seem to settle into another one, they don’t pass the 50 page rule.  (The one that says if I’m not hooked within the first 50 pages then I’m not going to and probably should give up).  They are of course not always crime, my other vices range from natural history and travel to military history and real science to name a few. 

After a recent non-reading spell though I was really struggling and I found myself turning to my kindle and opening the complete works of Sherlock Holmes again.  I’m not sure how long it’s been since I read Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales of the great British detective, and I happened to select The Red Headed League, a little at random.  I must admit to not really remembering the story, but it was just what I needed to kickstart me back into a “crime-phase”.  From there I went onto reading some newer crime, including a book that I have agreed to review for the authors upcoming virtual tour in September, but more of that nearer the time. 

I am pleased that Holmes and Watson can still spark that interest in my reading and drive me back to the genre that I love.  In my head I have also plotted out the next couple of books that I want to read, a David Hewson


a Peter James, perhaps some Parker and Christie too, as well some scenes for my own writing; all from reading that one Holmes and Watson story, so there will definitely be more of the greatest detective due of all time too.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Remains by Vincent Zandri: Book Review

The RemainsThe Remains by Vincent Zandri
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joseph Whalen, a convicted sex offender, attacked twin sisters Rebecca & Molly Underhill when they were children. He's been in jail for the last 30 years but now he's been released on parole. A lot has changed in 30 years, Molly has passed away and Rebecca now runs an art centre.

When Rebecca starts receiving anonymous text messages and the artist in residence at the centre Franny, an autistic savant, begins painting her pictures reminiscent of when she was attacked by Whalen, things begin to take a nasty turn.

Vincent Zandri cracks out a terrifying ride through both sub-conscious and conscious mixing memory and present in this fast paced thriller. From the opening chapters where he paints elements of doubt, and an is he isn't he presence of Whalen, back in Rebecca's life the story keeps you turning the pages.

The cat and mouse chase sequence in woodland, at night during a storm are reminiscent of some of the best adrenaline rides out there, and you know that the evil isn't going to stop, just keep coming.

The final twisting and turning pages tie together nicely and remain believable where so many others in this genre would fall.

View all my reviews

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Thursday, July 21, 2011



I took Wilson to the vets to be neutered on 12th July. After a lot of discussion, and talking to his vet we decided that this was the best thing to do.

Since the operation he has had to wear a plastic collar to stop him pulling put his stitches. He only has to wear it, if we're not about or able to keep a close eye on him, and whilst it doesn't seem to bother him too much I for one will be pleased to see the stitches come out. Not because of the collar but as a dog with so much energy, it's been hard to keep him from doing his usual mad, crazy things while he's been convalescing. Within two hours of bringing him home from the vets, he was back to his usual self, and couldn't understand why there has been no ball chasing and off leash walks for so long!

Roll on Friday!

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Working on the book

I've spent a lot of time on a train today, and have been able to pick up the Wilson pupdate book that has been a current work in progress for some time.  As this is in part a book that has many pictures, I've been going back through the back catalogue.  It seemed right to share at least one of those here this evening.  Not sure if this one has been posted before or not, but anyway....


If you're interested in the book, I am hoping it will be similar in some ways to this blog, but with many photos that have not been published here before, and with more background than has been written.  I have no idea when or even if it will make it to publication.  It may well be self-published, unless I have any success in finding an agent in the meantime.

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