There Hangs the Knife by Marcia Muller

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Right, onto the second of the Joanna Stark books and most oddly it’s set in England. It’s very strange to find an author who paints me such ace pictures of California telling me about London and Cornwall. I had reservations and it’s easy to pick holes in the locals ways of talking and acting but I think Muller did a decent job and after a while I got immersed in the story and stopped trying to split hairs with her.

Like the first book I don’t think the plot would stand up to a thorough dissection but I’m not interested in giving it one. On a mission to catch the same art thief as in book one Joanna has trouble sorting out which of her friends and enemies are which. I’m off to reread book three and complete the series.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 25th February 2004.

Waiting for the End of the World by Andrew Taylor

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From Andrew Taylor’s website:

The book’s early reviewers often attached the word “amoral” to it, and in particular to Dougal. (I doubt if they would do so now.) It would be more accurate to say that Dougal is morally flexible, as most of us are, to greater or lesser extent.

He’s actually talking about Caroline Minuscule there but I noticed the ‘amoral’ tag on the back cover of this book and wanted to comment on it though finding Taylor’s comment has rather stolen my thunder by saying that the idea of Dougal as amoral is outdated but I’ll post my take on it all the same. I don’t think that William Dougal is at all unconcerned with whether things are right and wrong.

In the first book of the series William walks in on a dead body and decides that rather than getting caught up in the complexities of reporting it he’ll pretend he was never there, that’s probably a crime but more like a sin of omission than one of commission. He’s done something which is part of my worst nightmares: made one relatively minor mistake and from that the rest of his life has simply spiralled out of his control. Two books later and there’s no way he’s going to get his regular life back any day soon.

To me though William always seems to be trying to do the right thing, which is definiteley acting morally; he’s just got a knack for digging himself in deeper as he tries to get out.

A fun series, I don’t think I’d like it half as much if I felt the the central character was amoral.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 21st January 2004.

baggy things

various bag making threads at craftster are taking me one step closer to turning the pile of furniture fabric samples i’ve had sitting under my desk since 1997 into a usable and useful patchwork bag.

The Cavalier in White by Marcia Muller

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Oh it’s fun picking up an author you love but haven’t read much of for ages. I devoured all the Sharon McCone stories years ago and also read the three Elena Oliverez books but I only read one of the Joanna Stark mysteries. The one I read was the third of three and I didn’t much enjoy it at the time. This is the first of those stories and it’s not as good as a McCone and there are bits of the San Francisco/stolen painting plot that I find a bit weak but I did really enjoy curling up with the book and whizzing through it and meeting a new character of Muller’s.

My plan is to get hold of the second book in the series and then reread Dark Star to see what I think second time around. I think these books might make more sense as a trilogy than as one offs.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 21st January 2004.

The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse

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This isn’t the book that’s been taking me a million years to read but I needed a break from people going mad for a bit and this is what I chose as a bit of light relief. Just as much fun as the first Jeeves and Wooster book I read a few weeks ago but populated with alarmingly similar characters by different names. Not a problem, just not quite how I expected it to be. There’s so much that’s funny and original in it that the reused elements really stand out.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.


flickr looks like fun, though i haven’t quite got it sussed yet. plus, i don’t have any friends which probably isn’t helping me understand it!

old fat furry cat puss

happy 30th birthday to bagpuss.

the most important
the most beautiful
the most magical
saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world

the most magical saggy old cloth cat, to me, as well as to emily.

(that’s an ace website, especially the bits from old bagpuss annuals, these chocolate obals from the 1975 bagpuss annual for instance! forget modern ready made marketing gimmicks and sew your own bagpuss pyjama case. i can’t remember when i last had a pyjama case. actually i can’t remember when i last had any pyjamas. i’m saving the ivor the engine section of the website for later, i hope it’s just as good.)