'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Old Dogs by Donna Moore

201 pages
Author's Website

'La Contessa Letitzia di Ponzo and her sister Signora Teodora Grisiola are not who they might seem. Now in their seventies, they're actually Letty and Dora, a pair of ex-hookers turned con-artists who've decided to steal a  pair of gold, jewel-encrusted Tibetan shih tzu dog statuettes from a Glasgow museum. Unfortunately, it seems everyone wants to get their hands on the expensive pooches. There's the dodgy chauffeur, a pair of delinquents who work in a crematorium, an out of work insomniac bent on revenge, and an innocent young islander who's obsessed with returning the dogs to Tibet. And yet the elderly con-artists might just manage to execute their plan and live the rest of their lives in the lap of luxury. That's if they can avoid the Australian hit-man with his sights on a very different future for them...'

Alan Jones told me a while back I HAVE to read this book. I loved it! It's hilarious. A raucous, quirky, full go, screwball heist, fun read. Set in Glasgow and centered around a museum exhibit. You can tell from the book description it can only end hilariously with all these different people after the same thing! I finished it up in bed last night and my poor hubby who was trying to get to sleep kept giving me dirty looks because I kept laughing.

Lots of fun characters and each one gets ample time on the page. I don't know what else to say, I don't want to give away anything. You'll want each crazy thing to unfold for you as you read it. There's kidnapping, revenge plotting, murder, robbery, you name it you've got it and all of it wildly funny.

Here's a sample of the silliness...
Letty put her feet up on the coffee table which groaned under the weight of her legs. "Me ankles are killing me. These shoes are a nightmare. I'll be glad when I can get back into the motorcycle boots afain." She eased the navy blue court shoes off her swollen feet, flexing her toes with their silver nail varnish. "And this bleedin' corset is cutting off my circulation and making me fart. I had to keep it in with Sheehan here. and that's not healthy. If I'm gonna wear these clothes all the time we need to get a dog we can blame for the stink. Add that to the list, doll."

Kyle dropped the crowbar, feeling sick...
Then Sheehan noticed that the seven dancing Gwens were holding seven colossal crowbars...
  Sheehand groaned and tried to open his eyes. His head felt as though it had been trampled by a herd of wildebeest. He felt his head with his hand. He now had a matching egg-shapped lump on the right side and he could feel the blood trickling down his face. Maybe he would just lie here for a little while. Go back to sleep. It was better when he was asleep. Yep, that's what he would do.
  It was the sound of someone clearing his throat that made him open his eyes. Gradually. Painfully. A well dressed man. Tanned. Posh shoes. Carrying a fecking crowbar. Where were people getting all these crowbars from? Did the museum have a supply of antique crowbars? As the crowbar came towards his head at high speed, Sheehan thought, "Not a-fecking-gain."

I've already ordered her first book 'Go to Helena Handbasket'!

Get a copy of Old Dogs:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Go to Helena Handbasket - US
Go to Helena Handbasket - UK 
The Book Depository

Peggy Ann

Monday, November 17, 2014

Because I'm Happy...

Just to make you smile today!

Come on admit it you were clappin' along and swaying to the music before it was over;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where's Oswald?

In the US! James Oswald, author of the Inspector McLean series is in the US and had a guest spot last night on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson!
Check it out!

Way to go James!

Puzzles and Books

It's finally feeling like winter around here and that means jigsaw puzzle time!
I decided I couldn't get the puzzles out until I got a couple of big jobs done around the house that I hadn't had much time to get to this last year. So the windows are washed and the carpets are cleaned and I'm on the second puzzle of the year.

I stocked up over the summer. I love Charles Wysocki puzzles and found ebay is the place to get them! It's like a treasure hunt every time I get on there! What a thrill when I find an old one with all the pieces and a decent price. We've decided to box up the ones we do and keep them for when we get old and then they'll be like doing new ones again as we'll have forgotten doing them before;)

We do them in the dining room on the table and it is a little low for me. Kills my back leaning over it so long. So this year I've solved the problem!
Bed risers! I put one under each table leg and voila! No more leaning over. Does my dining room look weird? You bet, but who cares! Don't mind the scratched up table legs. My set is my grandmother's old maple set and it is 50 years old this year. Its a little worse for the wear and really is in need of being re-done, But we're not picky here.I have the china closet too. Now full of cookbooks instead of china.

So I haven't gotten much reading done with a puzzle going. You can find me at the table doing the puzzle and watching River City (a Scottish soap opera) or Grantchester (an English detective drama) on the computer most days. You can see my computer there in the background.

I am slowly working my way through the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Excellent book!  I found this great video of Randy speaking on C.S. Lewis on Heaven if your interested!

For pure enjoyment I'm reading Old Dogs by Donna Moore. This one is by a Scottish author and will get me to my challenge level for Read Scotland 2014! Its a humorous crime novel recommended to me by Alan Jones. Ms. Moore has a good website and on her sidebar she has an alphabetical list of Scottish authors! Might come in handy if you are thinking about joining the 2015 challenge!

Well the puzzle is calling to me and A Touch of Frost will be on soon. Talk to you later!

Peggy Ann

Monday, November 10, 2014

Murder on Smuttynose

In 1873 there was a double murder on the isolated island of Smuttynose off the coast of Maine/New Hampshire. It involved a Norwegian fishing family and a man they once gave a job to, Louis Wagner. Smuttynose is the third largest of the group of islands known as The Isles of Shoal. There are nine islands in the group, five of which belong to Maine and four to New Hampshire.

I first learned of this true crime when reading Anita Shreve's book The Weight of Water. It is a fictionalized account of the true happenings. I read it in one day, couldn't put it down. But then I researched the true story and that caused me to not really like Shreve's account at all, even though it is clearly 'fictionalized'. The book was also made into a movie which is available @Netflix. It wasn't that good.

I was reminded today on the blog Maine Crime Writers, Vaughn Hardacker wrote about it. I thought my fellow mystery lovers might like reading up on this interesting bit of history.

Poet Celia Thaxter lived on a neighboring island, Appledore, and actually employed one of the victims at one time. She was among the first on the scene and knew all of the people involved well. She wrote a fascinating article, A Memorable Murder, describing the events. Read the letter Celia wrote to a friend just a few days after the murders. Lots of interesting things on this website to whet your appetite for this tale!

Murderpedia's Louis Wagner page

A great article about it in The Yankee Magazine. I love this magazine and get a subscription myself!

A couple of non-fiction books about it...
Return To Smuttynose Island: And Other Maine Axe Murders

Cold Water Crossing: An Account of the Murders at the Isles of Shoals

Visiting Smuttynose today

Visiting Karen & Anethe's graves at South Cemetery off Sagamore Road in Portsmouth, NH

Peggy Ann