Episode 09: “Then You Begin To Wonder”

Slightly late for August, and with very little yarn content. Plenty of tea and Sherlock Holmes, and I get to say the words “Oxonian” (once), “Cantabridgian” (once), and “Queer” (a whole bunch of times).

A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

The Hinge that the Whole Team Turns On [MISS]

Watching the Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope [RESI]

Contest Between the Two [FINA]

Outside the Conventions and Humdrum Routine of Everyday Life [REDH]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts:

Episode 08: The Charming Climate of Florida

July means Tour de Fleece, a new round of Nerdopolis challenges, Summer Reading at the Library, ARCs from ALA, and news from Comic Con.

A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

My Friend Lomax [ILLU]

A Well-Staged Performance[VALL]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

The Hinge that the Whole Team Turns On [MISS]

Watching the Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope [RESI]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Goodies from Florida: Yarn, Tea, and Sherlock Holmes (and also biscuits)

Goodies from Florida: Yarn, Tea, and Sherlock Holmes (and also biscuits)

Related Posts:

Episode 07: My Friend Lomax, the Sub-Librarian

kimono

Irene Adler’s kimono-inspired dress

A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

  • Anderson blend by Cara McGee available from Adagio

My Friend Lomax [ILLU]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

holmes_cottage

Holmes’s cottage in Mr Holmes

Watching the Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope [RESI]

The Hinge that the Whole Team Turns On [MISS]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts:

Episode 06: An Opinion upon the Subject

A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

Watching the Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope [RESI]

The Hinge that the Whole Team Turns On [MISS]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts:

Episode 05: Outside the Conventions

A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Traces of the Treasure-Seekers [SIGN]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

  • Mind Palace blend by Cara McGee, available from Adagio

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

Outside the Conventions and Humdrum Routine of Everyday Life [REDH]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts:

Book Review: Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret

(This post is part of the blog tour for Paula Berinstein’s newest book in the Amanda Lester series.)

Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks' Secret (Amanda Lester, Detective #4)

Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret by Paula Berinstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What was Nick Moriarty, her ex-best friend, now her mortal enemy, doing in her bedroom? And why was that old red Formica table there, and that tiny oak cupboard, and that awful yellow beanbag chair?

Synopsis: Waking up on board the Moriarty family’s boat face-to-face with Nick – once her best friend and now her sworn enemy – is just one more confusing thing for Amanda Lester to cope with. The split between the factions of teachers at Legatum Continuatum sent half the instructors to Scotland to establish a new school, and the headmaster, several students, and Amanda’s cousins are missing. The acting headmaster is hiring new instructors, and Amanda’s mother is among the applicants. As if that’s not enough going on, her filmmaker idol is coming to England, her mother is dating a new guy, and her complicated feelings toward Scapulus Holmes are compounded by his relationship with her friend Amphora. Then there are the rare all-blue peacocks who have become mysteriously ill and an archaeological discovery that may turn the public against the detectives. Amanda and her friends have to keep a running list of the problems they need to solve!

Review: The fourth book in the series is packed with a lot of things happening at once. Background information is provided in the first few chapters, but it’s probably best not to jump into the series with this volume. The relationships between the characters take on great importance, whether they are bonds of family, friendship, or romance. The main characters all gain some development over the course of the novel. Ivy’s family plays a significant role in the story, providing details to round out her character. The perspective of the novel occasionally shifts away from Amanda, giving the reader a chance to glimpse what else is going on. The cliffhangers at the end of the book ensure that readers will be eager for the next installment! The Q&A section with the author in the back matter provides links to further information about the scientific facts that play a part in the story.

Personal Thoughts: Okay, I’m hooked. In my not-so-humble opinion, Berinstein’s writing gets better with each book, and I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with next.

Source: Kindle e-book courtesy of Lola’s Blog Tours

View all my reviews

Related Posts:

Book Review: Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle

(As part of the blog tour for Paula Berinstein’s newest book in the Amanda Lester series, Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret, this week I’m reviewing the second and third books as well as the new one.)

Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle (Amanda Lester, Detective, #3)

Amanda Lester and the Purple Rainbow Puzzle by Paula Berinstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Who would have thought a little twerp like David Wiffle could bring an entire detective school to its knees?

Synopsis: Things have gone from bad to worse at the secret detective school, Legatum Continuatum. David Wiffle has disappeared after apparently destroying the school’s most precious artifact. Editta Sweetgum is also missing, having run away with the Moriarty family after the showdown involving that artifact. And two other students are also missing, presumably with the Moriartys as well. The teachers are dividing into factions, lawsuits have been filed, and the entire school seems ready to fall apart. In some areas, it’s ready to literally fall apart, as earthquake damage is still under repair. Amanda’s family seems set to self-destruct, too, now that her father has taken off for Tibet. Then things get really weird, with rainbows appearing in the sky in the wrong color order, and zombies appearing in town.

Review: The third book of the series picks up right where the second left off, so some space in the first chapter is given over to recapping the events leading to this point. After that, events pick up pace, with Amanda and her friends tasked with solving a whole bunch of problems that the adults are unable to handle. The point of view remains in close third-person, so the reader gets a good idea of what Amanda thinks of things, though other characters sometimes act in seemingly inexplicable ways (simply because Amanda has no idea of the explanation). The interpersonal relations are realistically thorny, as the teenage characters cope with emotional and physical challenges. The story ends with some open questions readers will want to find the answers to in future installments of the series. Like the previous book, it has a Q&A section at the end with author that includes pointers to more information about some of the scientific curiosities that play a part in the action.

Personal Thoughts: I enjoyed this book more than the previous one. I feel there’s a bit of a Roald Dahl influence, especially in the larger-than-life characteristics of the adults versus the more realistically drawn young people.

Source: Kindle e-book courtesy of Lola’s Blog Tours

View all my reviews

Related Posts:

Book Review: Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis

(As part of the blog tour for Paula Berinstein’s newest book in the Amanda Lester series, Amanda Lester and the Blue Peacocks’ Secret, this week I’m reviewing the second and third books as well as the new one.)

Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis (Amanda Lester, Detective Book 2)
Amanda Lester and the Orange Crystal Crisis by Paula Berinstein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Life was already weird enough at Legatum Continuatum, the secret school for descendants of famous detective, in England’s Lake District. After the events of the last few months, including her father’s kidnapping, two murders, a teacher’s disappearance, an explosions, and a criminal plot to corner the world’s sugar market, she was battered, fed up, and downright depressed, especially since one of the kidnappers had turned out to be the boy she thought was her best friend.

Synopsis: As classes resume at Legatum Continuatum after the Spring Holiday, Amanda and her friends are joined by a new student: Scapulus Holmes. Nearly everyone is impressed and/or intrigued by him, much to Amanda’s disgust. But she has other things on her mind, too, as she overhears the teachers panicking over a missing object, her filmmaking idol Darius Plover asks for her input on his new film, and one of her classmates is several days late returning from the break. And then there is an earthquake, causing extensive damage and revealing some unusual orange crystals and a skeleton. Amanda and Scapulus are going to have to find a way to work together to keep the crystals out of the hands of the Moriarty gang and maybe help the school recover the mysterious missing object.

Review: The second book in the Nancy-Drew-meets-Harry-Potter-minus-magic series picks up the loose ends from the first volume and weaves them right in to a new adventure. The characters are realistically flawed, and their interactions ring true to anyone who has spent time around tween and early teens. The cast of characters is diverse without feeling forced, which is refreshing. Less refreshing is the fat-shaming that occasionally pops up in the close third-person narration, which generally reads as Amanda’s internal voice. All of the characters are facing challenges and hiding secrets, sometimes putting them at odds with each other just when they need to come together, and sometimes making their character development uneven and unconvincing. Berinstein brings in some interesting scientific ideas, taking understandable artistic license, and includes pointers to more information in the Q&A section at the back of the book.

Personal Thoughts: I want to like this book more than I did. At one point, Amanda explains that, “Voiceovers are stupid. You’re telling rather than showing the audience what you want to get across.” That rather summed up one of my issues with the book, which is that too much is told flat-out in the narration rather than revealed through dialog or action. Still, I like the world and the characters too much to stop reading.

Source: Kindle e-book courtesy of Lola’s Blog Tours

View all my reviews

Related Posts:

Episode 04: The Dramatic Moment of Fate

TTSCover
A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

Watching the Ever-Changing Kaleidoscope [RESI]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

Well, Jack, You Are Very Hot [HOUN]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts:

Episode 03: My Collection of M’s is a Fine One

TTSCover
A Few Words as of Greeting [VALL]

Mr Soames’s Tea-Time [3STU]

We Progress, My Dear Watson, We Progress [MISS]

Running like the Wind [SIGN]

Curled upon the Sofa, Reading and Re-reading [CARD]

Contest Between the Two [FINA]

One or Two Points of Contact [RETI]

Related Posts: