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Ali

Ali’s book reviews

The story takes place at the end of the nineteenth century at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Carl Masters is one of a legion of secret service men – employed to keep the multitudes safe, and be on the watch for the Criminal gangs drawn to the fair. As soon as he arrives Masters is drawn into the first of several mysteries – which eventually weave together. At the heart of the story is June Jenrys, who appears to have been targeted by a strange young woman – but for what purpose? She and her Quaker aunt are befriended by Masters as he sets about discovering the truth about the small brunette who keeps throwing herself in Miss Jenrys’s way. There is also a Jewel robbery, some counterfeiting, a kidnapping and a disappearance for Masters to sink his teeth in.
Set against the back drop of the world’s fair this is readable little novel in the tradition of those old fashioned story tellers such as Conan Doyle although I don’t claim it is as good as that. I did find it took me a little time to get into this one – and that may have been because of this unusual setting. I realised I knew nothing about The World’s Fair – although I had heard of it. I could conjure up no mental images – and so struggled at first to “picture” the events and the places – in fact I don’t know if I ever really got over that. I googled for images to help me – as my mind had the characters floating about in white space as I couldn’t conjure up the right kind of setting. The fair was quite obviously massive – and simply teemed with thousands of people and so it amused me to see how often Masters managed to bump into people just at the right time. All in all however this was a diverting and rather enjoyable read, and I may well download more by this author one of these days.
04/01/2012

This is a rather entertaining spoof of an old fashioned country house mystery. There are a host of unlikely characters, not to mention a monkey called Percy, rooms suddenly plunged into darkness, a missing bracelet, and finally a dead body. A well written, quirky little novel, that is certainly unusual, Miles Franklin manages to have quite a nice little dig at social conventions of the time, class and snobbery. Her cast of characters include people of different races and social backgrounds and how they are percieved by one another and interact with each other is interesting in itself. I was amused by the outlandish names of some characters - including: Swithwulf George Cedd St. Erconwald Spillbeans (Lord Tattingwood), Zarla Osterly, Ydonea Zaltuffrie and Captain Stopworth. An amusing cosy read.
10/29/2011
It is a great many years since I read anything by Louisa M Alcott. I downloaded this book free from the marvelous manybooks.net. I had certainly no memory of Alcott's style, merely that I had enjoyed The "Little Women" books when I was younger. This I am sure was written for a much younger audience than me, though it is a comforting, cosy read and could certainly be enjoyed by anyone wanting to escape for a while to a different time and place. To begin with I found the style a little too sweet and twee, before settling into the cosy story of Rose and her cousins.

Rose is 13 when the story begins, and she is certainly a very different kind of girl to modern thirteen year old girls. Rose is still very much a child, she is all goodness and sweetness of course, an orphan thrust into a new world. Rose quickly finds she enjoys the company of her seven boy cousins, they and her adored Uncle Alec are the new focus of her young life. This is a charming, readable little book.
10/29/2011
J.D. Moyer - Colliding Worlds and Repopulation of a Wild Earth
FEATURED AUTHOR - J.D. Moyer lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, daughter, and mystery-breed dog. He writes science fiction, produces electronic music in two groups (Jondi & Spesh and Momu), runs a record label (Loöq Records), and blogs at jdmoyer.com. His previous occupations include dolphin cognition researcher, martial arts instructor, Renaissance Faire actor, dance music event promoter, and DJ. His short stories have appeared in several magazines and his novelette The Icelandic Cure won the 2016… Read more