Garment of Shadows (Mary Russell, #12) by Laurie R. King

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Enjoyable. Not my favourite Mary Russell book, but not bad. I thought the long drawn out amnesia-raddled beginning was difficult to pull off without becoming too cartoony but the author managed it nicely and I enjoyed the Moroccan setting. I got confused on a few points of plot, but mostly I was just along for a fun ride with Mary. If anything there was too much of Sherlock, though I do like the not-completely-infallible version of him in these stories.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
This was a hardback.

Miranda’s Gerbils

Still unnamed! (My choice: Mo & Jess; Darren’s choice: Frantic Fran & Mellow Mel; Miranda still contemplating: “the black one” & “the brown one”!)

Travels Of Maudie Tipstaff by Margaret Forster

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An audiobook that I kind of forgot about. Margaret Forster has a knack of writing stories that seem very ordinary but end up being complete gems. A great family of characters in this one, who appear sequentially as Maudie visits her three grown up children in turn. Each section is different to the last and not what you are expecting at all.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

A Tale of Three Journeys

This was the first time my car had needed a service since I had fitted the bike rack on the roof.

  • Journey 1: After morning rush hour, from home to the garage. By car. Distance 8.5 miles. Time 32 minutes. About 16mph.
  • Journey 2: From the garage back to home. A lift into town, walk across the town centre and the bus home. Time approximately 1 hour and twenty minutes. About 7mph at most. I don’t generally mind buses but this one was a hot bus when I was dressed for a chilly day, my head was achey and I felt travel sick.
  • Journey 3: To the garage to fetch the car in afternoon rush hour. By bike. Taking a longer almost 10 mile route along nicer roads and checking whether the canal towpath and a greenway are suitable for riding with Miranda at a later date. Time 54 minutes. Just over 11mph, would have been rather faster if I’d stuck to the main roads I guess.

Conclusion: 11 is not that much less than 16 (and could be speeded up a bit quite easily). And the bike is a lot more fun than sitting waiting for the car in front to move.

Next time I will take the bike with me and do Journey 2 by bike as well I think, though it may take a little longer as it is more uphill back. Can’t be worse than the original Journey 2 though.

Journey 4, back home with the car, with the bike on the roof, was slightly quicker than Journey 1 had been. It still didn’t top 20mph though.

Postscript: for the price of the car service and two new tyres I could have bought my bike again. Twice in fact. I know my car is a luxury item. Maybe I need to spend more on bikes too…