Steve Peters

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Steve Peters

Steve Peters’s book reviews

A short story with a twist or two of good advice for the recently married; or for those that are about to take the matrimonial plunge.
Spargo is a journalist with deep conviction and passion - in part caused by an underlying interest in the daughter of the accused - in discovering the truth about the murder;the murdered man's past; and who actually was the killer. Set in London and traversing a little further afield as the chase for evidence ensues this is another entertaining book by this author and survives the test of time as to its continued readability.
Oh dear, well I am going to go against popular opinion here - but "Satya" (honesty) must come before popularity. I find this book to be an extremely simplified understanding of Yoga and an even simpler understanding of the relationship between the west and the east. Indeed at times the book is extraordinarily tedious. To my mind the author appears to be confused as to what and where his religion is. Hinduism is extremely different from Christianity - the are both good in a general sense and just as useful as the other - but there is little need to attempt a melding of the two. I should hasten to add that Yoga is not - nor should it be - a complex concept, nor does it lie solely in the environs of Hinduism - but it cannot be so simplified that it can be melded with western concepts as easily as Yogananda attempts it.

My best rating is that if you must read this book, do so only after you have actually read Gandhi's autobiography - so you can actually get an understanding of the relationship Mohandas (in many ways a great Yogi) had with the Hind-i's, Tamils, Gujarati, Moslem, Protestants, and Christians - this will assist you to understand the lack of similarity (other than the most general concepts) between these religions and allow you to filter the good from the guff in this current book.
This yarn rips along quite well - indeed for much of it, it is quite unputdownable. A novel with murder and mystery; missing funds and jewels; old acquaintances and blossoming romance; big city and small country policing; and all placed within a context of small country sleuthing, rumour, and supposition. A good novel and well worth the read.
An interesting who-dun-it with the added twist of a second, third and then fourth killing - plus a twist at the end to really remind the reader that crime doesn't pay - even after 30 years of trying to escape the truth.
Based loosely at the time (July 1856) and within the "kingdom" of James Jesse Strang - the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - otherwise known as the Strangites.

Captain Plum has been wronged by Strang's band of pirates and so he arrives at Beaver Island with an intent to kill Strang. His intentions are played by old man Obadiah and further thwarted (at least initially) by the thought and the lilac sent of one of Strang's seven wives.

The book is somewhat mysterious for the first 30%, leaving the reader wondering much the same as Plum does as to the playings of Obadiah - but later the book blossoms into a reasonable storyline of intrigue and love - before finishing with a loose connection to the real life murder of Strang.
Brilliant! One can easily see that Sabatini hit the "big time" with this novel - and it is clearly a precursor to his other two great adventures, Captain Blood and Sea Hawk. This one is not as much of a man's "love-story" as the other two but still has an interesting twist in terms of male/female relationships. Further Sabatini creates the perfect dysfunctional family atmosphere - whilst at the same time entwining the hero of the story within the arms and whims of fate. Thankfully his hero's are made of enterprising stuff - and Andre-Louis in this case is no exception.
The longer title of this book is "Bardelys the Magnificent; being an account of the strange wooing pursued by the Sieur Marcel de Saint-Pol, marquis of Bardelys...'' - and strange account it is. One of Sabatini's earlier works the novel is an enjoyable read - and follows a usual formula of the author insofar that the main character, Sieur Marcel de Saint-Pol, a man of splendiferous honour pursues fortune and a woman of whom love grows as the adventure unfolds. In the current case Bardelys may be magnificent in his abilities to woo, to control men, to pursue valour etc but he is left severely wanting in the area of common sense and therefore (but for the moderating hand of fate) he continuously makes mistakes which would fell the normal man with regards truth and honour. Thus whilst lesser men who perhaps with rather more 'magnificence' in this area would act more carefully, Bardelys survives by chance and the privilege of nobility.
A tale of Pirates of the Caribbean but where the main character, wrongly convicted rebel Peter Blood - who is forced to escape to the high seas and ply a trade as a buccaneer, never loses sight of the fact that his initial conviction was as the result of the law being applied correctly but unfairly. The result is Captain Blood is a fair minded leader of brutal pirates intent on ravaging various ships on the oceans. Once again Sabatini entraps the main character via the shadow of his love for a women, Arabella Bishop, who similar for other Sabatini books is created to appear somewhat disingenuous. Not quite as good a read as The Sea-Hawk but still quite difficult to put down.
An immensely enjoyable adventure with shades of Ben Hur meeting Pride and Prejudice, so as to build into a tale of swashbuckling survival on the high seas. The male of the species at his chivalrous and honourable best, only to be thwarted and brought down by the disdain of the female lead, and the bind of an enduring love between the two main characters. Sabatini at times appears to come across in a slightly misogynous manner but this can be forgiven when the era encompassing the story is considered.
Becki Willis - Christmas Crimes in a Small Community
FEATURED AUTHOR - As an avid reader herself, Becki Willis likes to write about believable characters in believable situations. Many of her books stem from personal experiences. (No worries; she's never actually murdered anyone.) She's won several awards, but the real compliments come from her readers. Becki loves spending time with her family, unraveling a good mystery, traveling, dark chocolate, and strong coffee.  As our Author of the Day, Willis tells us all about her book, Christmas in The Sisters.