Our 2018 Mystery Logo: Solved!

I invited every sleuth-minded person who is interested, to solve our 2018 “My Kind Of Mystery” logo because my groups were very small this year.  I am going to squeeze in time to roll out my new year of reading themes in December, even though I am always busy November and December, to increase membership henceforth.  In the meantime, the riddle of identifying the book cover from which I drew our logo, is open to everyone.

I make them easy to solve, so I will try one more time to prompt you, by showing you how I would solve it.  All you have to do is follow these steps and use the answers you derive to look-up the rest.  Ready?  Here are the starter clues!

GAME #1 ~

Identify this year’s 2018 mystery group logo!
Which book is it, which author, and original publishing year?
Guesses are unlimited.

Clue ~

The cover I chose for our 2018 group is not the one I own but I find it the most beautiful.  I have not read this novel yet but this version suggests paranormal content but the categorization is something I favour anyway:  gothic mystery.  My first clue was to put it up and see if you recognized it.

It is a recent release (for me, that is 2010 onward), originating in England with this cover.  This title is about a character.  It was reissued in Canada and the United States one month after, with a cover and title about a place.

The clue with which to really work well, is that the English authoress’ last name, resembles an American author of Greek-inspired children’s fantasy adventures.  His are blockbuster films, in which Pierce Brosnan has appeared.  I have seen the first two and like them, myself.  This gives you enough to work with, or recognize right off the bat, therefore any little bit of effort will bring in answers!

~ Steps ~

Does that look difficult, or can you see the easiest clue to target?  Simply search a broad query:  “Greek-inspired children’s films Pierce Brosnan has done”.  If the author’s name is not evident in one go, obviously look up one of the film titles and find out the author’s name.

I said a British authoress has the same name, so use it with another broad query:  “British author –“.  If there is more than one, you know she is publishing recently.  Pinpoint her, who I don’t believe has many novels and all you have to do is locate this cover.  Do you need help with that?

There are three easy ways to see a variety of book covers.  At Google, type a title and click the option “images”.  At Fantastic Fiction and Goodreads, type a title and see a variety of versions there too.

I’ll give until the week-end for people to solve it because it would be the first time and a shame, if no one played.  Go ahead and make guesses in this post’s comment box:  the authoress, title, and year.  Then my posts for my four groups will be wrapped-up and I can start creating new pages for sign-ups.

No one has attempted this yet?  Alright, here is one final hint that comes close to giving the solution away.  Did you see the clue about searching for a Pierce Brosnan film for youths, inspired by Greek mythology?  The first of the American author’s films is “The Lightning Thief” in 2005.  Take it from here!  ;)
~ ~ ~ ~

~ Update, January 15, 2019 ~

I believe my RIEDEL Fascination reading challenges are emerging from two lean years.  Twice, I made one prize draw across all four groups and we were so few, I invited any of the group guests the mystery logos.  The year we are finishing, was rock bottom for membership and the logo tradition was only played, because a new friend of mine from Goodreads solved it.  Thank you, Sheri in Wisconsin!

I am happy to say she and other new faces are already starting to join for our 2019 run, as well as some veteran players.  This is a good sign, which means that as people read the variety of advertizing folks have helped me post and have time to act:  we will for certain step up this year!  If I had ten people in each group (yes, we were lean), I would consider that a cascade and would re-open all of my creative activities and a draw for my individual groups.

As for the answer to our “My Kind Of Mystery” logo of 2018, that Sheri solved?
It is a 2015 novel I received as a birthday gift, brand new, in 2017 and look forward to reading this year!  My trade paperback is called “Fiercombe Manor” but the original, much lovelier cover and title are:  “The Girl In The Photograph“, by Kate Riordan!  My clue is that her name resembles Rick Riordan, the American fantasy novelist.  But you will read in the comments that Sheri solved it another way:  she just did a search of the promotional quote on the book!

Thank you again to Sheri for ensuring someone played our annual game and my thank-you to my registered 2018 guests is heartfelt.  Each of you mattered even more in the leanest year.  Yours truly, Carolyn.

Join “My Kind Of Mystery” 2019!

Join “Ethereal” 2019!

Join “Celtic Coasts” 2019!

Join “Gentle Spectrums” 2019!

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Carolyn’s General Update

Hello!  In the quietest, smallest year group-wise:  I thank you, who read along with my blog and reading themes this year.  We were too few to do the activities I have in mind but a new year is upon us and I have made an influx of new friends through Goodreads.  I succeeded in an effort to acquaint like-minded cat-lovers, physical book appreciators, paranormal- and mystery-lovers.  When one’s heart and good work goes into a blog and reviews, readers are a must, right?  Thank you for being among them.  I love making general posts too and have ideas for fun discussions.  :)

I believe in prayers making possible, what is important to us.  Ron & I are not giving up on our dear cat, Conan, being home with us safe and sound soon.  Please keep up the prayers and positive wishes.  This worry on our minds, along with small group numbers, are why I did not post any more discussions or activities than this.  However we extended our range and leg work to find Conan, even asking schools to put up our poster.  Miles of kids are watching for him across more rural houses than we would find door to door.  He is well-known on the internet and locally, therefore we are set to let the work bring results.  Please continue to assist us with prayers and positive well-wishes.  We will succeed!  Conan is a precious son, like the rest of our cat family.

To improve group membership, I know sign-up posts are needed in December, when people browse but am busy this time of year.  All our family birthdays are in winter, too.  If I don’t want to rush reviews and websites around Christmas, neither does anyone else.  Let’s urge hosts to break the January to December cycle and nudge things up one month, like I do:  February to January.  We can count our reading from January to December but not require closing during these busy times.

See what we are reading in my four themes!
ETHEREALreview page
CELTIC COASTSreview page

Putting out a shingle earlier, with an influx of new friends keen to join veteran members, promise fun interaction.  Most importantly, with prayers answered on our personal front:  I see 2019 as a great year, to look forward to with pleasure!  Please pop in and tell me how you are.  I would love an update from friends I have made.

Other other cats, waiting with us for their son and brother, Conan, are very well.  They keep Ron & I happy, hopeful, and energized and cuddling with us when we are reading, too.  I give honourable mention to two infant mice whom we helped overnight, when a neighbour cat disturbed a nest.  Even wild creatures we acquaint are appreciated and respected.  We loved witnessing a family of wild turkeys grow up and they are still here!  They sleep in trees and have no trouble in a Manitoba winter!

How many of you garden?  This year was dry for fruit and squash and flea beetles infested again but each year is different and we try new things.  Deer fences on our other three gardens are a must, with a munchy Mother and twin offspring staying with us all year.  Laying nets across them worked in the meantime.  We always grow an abundance of something each year, including flowers galore!

Television shows I enjoy are:  “The Curse Of Oak Island“, “Long Lost Family“, “Mama Medium“, “Modern Family“, “The Big Bang Theory“, “Roseanne / The Connors“, “The Voice“, “The Social“.  Oak Island’s real mystery, whose exploration we watch unfold, is a childhood dream.  You must read about one of the world’s greatest legends.  After falling in love with Nova Scotia on my only visit years ago;  I keep discovering reasons to be entraced with it.  Long-distance trips aren’t in the cards but I have Ron curious to see this province!

The Social” is a Toronto talk show of Canadian news and general celebrities, including authors.  Authors are seldom interviewed.  Canadians speaking to Canadians is lovely.  Which shows do you enjoy?

My next post will be about solving our “My Kind Of Mystery” logo.  It earns a bonus entry in the draw I make this week-end.  If you are in any of my four groups and want to be in the draw, please e-mail or comment on any post / page.  A bonus for guessing the mystery group logo is open to all groups.  Friends and subscribers wanting to guess for fun, may chime in!  I have fun activities planned for all my WordPress and Goodreads subscribers.

I like everyone wishing each other what we celebrate, rather than a “happy holidays” generalization.  I delight in wishing everyone’s blessings back to them.  Warm words from all cultures are a gift.  Here are Conan and his sister, Petal;  two of our dear bed-cuddlers.

The view is a special building for all of us, that our cats konw very well as “the library”.  A break from the house, when it is not idea to play outside, their favourite words are:  “Who wants to go to the library?”  They trot down the sidewalk in their eager, colourful parade;  one of my most joyous sights to me!  Before I start writing Chritmas cards, from our south-eastern Manitoba home:  we wish you a merry Christmas!  Yours truly, Carolyn.

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Dread & Read Book Summary 2018

My turnout was passable, the first time I tried Jane’s interesting reading theme.  I finished and reviewed 150 books for myself, with plenty I was less keen about.  It so happens I targeted two of the three I estimated, dismissing one as not for me.  However Jane knows I write thorough write-ups and keep trucking.  I follow through.  Let’s see if I challenge other books I highlighted.  I am more keen to this year.


(A)  “Sense And Sensibility  Jane Austen  1811

I feel if I am to be a serious authoress, I should read Jane Austen.  I have collected most of them.  There are millions of editions at those bargain places I riffle.  I am all ready to go.  But I have worried enjoyment might be hampered in a “women not treated properly” manner, being so old.  She has been described as a romance writer, which is not my cup of tea but is also billed as a must-read of all time, the queen of excellence.  I like beginning with the first.  Maybe I’ll find humour or other surprises.  Maybe I’ll be intoxicated by the writing.  With me, that is possible;  something I admire most.  If I love the writing, the subject almost never matters.  If all of this is not incentive enough:  I have visited her house in Bath;  the entryway!  I figured I shouldn’t tour upstairs if I hadn’t read her yet.  If I can afford to return to England, up I go!

*  I am keen read this in 2018!  In November, my birthday month, I had my fill and treated myself to the kinds of literature I love best!  I am ready to try this classic authoress.  I believe it is a smart educational excursion as a writer.


**  November 12, 2018:  **  I did it!  I read it right when starting 2018 and what’s more, I loved it!  I am still a little automatically leery of big name classic authors, outside my favourite mystery fiction genre.  Will I find 1800s books old-fashioned, unpleasantly injust towards women or animals, or unrelatable?  These thoughts have me bracing myself for the most famous “Pride And Prejudice” and putting it on Jane’s list for next year.  However now, I am armed with the knowledge that I liked one output of Jane Austen’s work.  I feel very satisfied and accomplished about reading her first novel.  Hurray!


(B)  “One Corpse Too Many  Ellis Peters  1979

This is another case of gathering a long series but not falling in love with the character or premise.  I hesitate to step forward over the writing.  I cannot stand the adjective “gently” more than once.  I had trouble reading “A Morbid Taste For Bones” and acquired about 20 of this lady’s books.  Let’s hope this second book is better.

*  I will read this in 2018.  There should be no more reluctance about reading this series after the first page.  It is my hope the Ellis tamped down weak, overdone descriptions and gets right to the chase and her interesting aspects.  I am sure I will like other mysteries a lot more too.  The first was a slow trip to Wales.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  Believe it or not, I did it!  I tried Ellis Peters, with her writing style I don’t quite like, and survived far better than I imagined!  She DID improve this time around and I thought the novel was pretty good, too!  Far more interesting than the first, in narration and in action.  I was more afraid to revisit a series novel I knew I had not liked than of English classics, so this is an especially gratifying and triumphant accomplishment, Jane!  Trepidation still exists for her third, “Monk’s Hood”, because one is unsure if she would slip back into lazy excess of narration, or if the improved editing will perseve.  Perhaps if I like the next volume as well, I will be cured of dreading Ellis (who is Edith Pargeter).


(C)  “The Tin Flute  Gabrielle Roy  1945

I read Gabrielle Roy’s first short story collection, presented as ficiton but autobiographical.  She is from my home city.  I already love her graceful, expressive writing;  a genuine writer who is unparalleled!  Why dread her first début, award-garnering oeuvre?  I saw the original, French film in school, “Bonheur D’Occasion” and it was depressing.  Curriculums are comprised of things we wouldn’t choose;  not as children.  Most school material can’t be appreciated until we’re grown-up.  I had an extra cultural layer.  I attended French schools since grade 4.  Yes indeed, I speak and read more than two languages.  :)  Winnipeg’s own Gabrielle Roy was a must.

I will read this, this month, perhaps when I finish my present book!  It works with a translated challenged for the Canadian reading group.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  I have a proud report here too, Jane!  I made it through this dreary poverty story that I have had an aversion to since school days!  I was an immersion student and know French arts can get depressing and dramatic;  even if they are known for “Joie De Vivre”, Can-Can dancing, romance, and high fashion (“haute couture”).  The contents of this story that was groundbreaking for French Canadian literature, were the poorest situation I have ever imagined in a first world country.  Their fortune, with a sick child in addition to finances, was grim.  It received a modest rating but I had no troubling sticking with it, rooting for everyone, and appreciating conversation points that are new considerations for me.  People were so poor, that war offered a life-saving income?  Thought-provoking is a compliment and Gabrielle authored this in real time.  The awards are well-merited.


(D)  “Surfacing  Margaret Atwood  1972

I always thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” sounded too abusive and injust for me to tolerate;  so much that I am selling the new paperback I have owned for years.  I understand there is no need to read unpleasant that I know I cannot abide.  After last year’s success making a television show out of it, the violent clips confirm my impression.  I tried Margaret’s first novel, “The Edible Woman” and gave it three stars.  It was peculiar and abstract but there was enough resonance and levity to read through the story.  I worried about the shelf of her books I have owned for years and whether or not any of them would approach my cup of tea.  Since “Surfacing” is from my birth year and is all about rugged nature;  daring to try it brought a triple-incentive.

**  November 12, 2018:  **  I am pleased to have pushed myself above an addition, fourth dreaded book!  Here is some irony.  The one I thought I might like, with a natural forest and lake setting and the sound of a mystery to it, is one of the books I have least liked in my life.  It got one star and good-riddance, in my selling bin.


I appreciate the gift of three sweetener goodies and feel that they merit the best effort I can make.  So I feel good about conquering as many books that generated trepidation, as I can.  If there are more, I will add them.  There are plenty to conquer on a list per year!

“Eat, Drink, And Be Buried”  Kate Kingsbury
That or the 3 picks from your book giveaway list.  You know I love the ones about water’s metaphysics and the book about handwriting.  I hope you did put them aside last year, as options for me.  :-)
With a thank-you and appreciation, Carolyn.

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Reading Naturally, Summary 2018

I rejoined “Reading Naturally” with pleasure and it merits a fresh page of updates, since we have arrived all the way to my birth month:  November!  Jane is generous, inclusive of Canadians, which I know as her first year’s winner!  Our natural world and universe having a great deal to do with the spirit of all of us, fits right in with my long-standing “Ethereal“, which she joins.

Jane is an eager, gratifying hostess, taking interest in what we contribute.  She is very engaged and appreciative in a way I hope my guests feel, because this is my aim.  With smaller groups and a longtime one, she establishes a nice community to which I am thrilled to belong.  Any of her themes are well worth joining but I especially value sharing fellow animal and nature advocacy.  Everyone knows our cats are our precious children.

I will read to new year’s eve and add anything that fits this theme amply.  I am finished, with at least three books in each!  I met every item except the Orion book;  a specific niche.  I have one beautiful book about octopus that I won from Jane but want to savour it another time.

I have many new books and continue working on my inaugural list.  Even though no size is set, I made sure every category comprises full books, alongside tiny tot ones that fit the subjects nicely.  Please return to see my explanations of my selections in these categories.  Most of my reviews are ready.  :-)  Sincerely, Birthday Girl, Carolyn!


Exposed to nature:  1-3 books
Engaged with nature:  4-6 books
Immersed in nature:  7+ books.



I love reading short educational spotlights about Canadian history, places, and people and buy a wide variety of them.  I acquire knowledge in easy sips that I retain.  Other than docking marks for focusing on dreary stories and these also sounding repetitive;  the understanding I gleamed of how our police were formed, is valuable.  Indeed, our Mounties helped found Canada, herself, by making it liveable through establishment of common sense laws and building protected outposts.  They comprise as well, companion and working horses.

I doubt anyone doesn’t know Beatrix Potter as the conservationist, unusually-varied animal person, and nature artist that she was.  Her books result from tried and true experience painting animals, plants, and fungus;  which made her an expert in mychology.

Although warped religious aspects poor continuity struck my disapproval, Kevin Donovan’s independent book about saving animals from peril was appreciated by me.

The Mounties:  Tales Of Adventure And Danger In The Early Days
Elle Andra-Warner  2004
The Tale Of Ginger And Pickles”  Beatrix Potter  1909
Billy And His Friends Rescue Betsy Bear”  Kevin Donovan  1996



The Hardy Boys series, started by Canadian ghostwriter Leslie McFarlane, can be counted on for athleticism and animal and humanitarian protection.  Extreme adventurous pursuits take place on land in all seasons and on lakes;  with never-ending camping, hiking, climbing, wood-trekking, and cave-exploring.

I didn’t feel Emily Toll had her stride with unrolling a mystery and putting this novel’s focus where it belongs.  The natural locations are its special highlight:  vineyards and even a forest of the amazing redwood trees.

A kid’s book my brothers & I have had for years that I did not know was exceptionally good and forward-thinking:  I loved Little Audrey’s story more than a look at the cover would have me guess.  When a girl is declined use of a telescope, she and a friend, with some help from her Dad, invent a creative way to convince a boy of their intelligence!

A picture book for the youngest of youth age groups, I admired that it was set in an unusual place, on a one-of-a-kind tourist experience.  The white pass rides between the Canadian Yukon Territory and Alaska, a northern territory of the United States.  Bernd & Susan Richter retired in the latter.

The Mystery Of Cabin Island”  Leslie McFarlane  1929
Murder Will Travel”  Emily Toll  2002
Little Audrey And The Moon Lady”  Harvey Cartoon Studios  1960
When Grandma And Grandpa Rode The White Pass Train”  Bernd & Susan Richter  1988


(03)  ANIMALS.

These are self-explanatory.  While my own precious cat has been missing, I need to read books like the two here.  Any good, positive, and happy facts and testimonies of cats being returned home after a year and being resilient!

Here are some special notes I would like to make, about why the four children’s books are a must.  Wendy Frood Auger’s & Les Drew’s book is a new discovery that will surely become one of Canada’s classics.  It is impressively uplifting, emotional, and representative of our activities in many seasons.

Pamela Conn Beall’s & Susan Hagen Nipp’s story is notable for being a songbook, that is additionally well set-up for performance as a play.  My favourite part about it, that touched me the most, is that each infant or youngster animal asked its Mother why they do specific things.  Their answers are sweet and beautiful, even though they are commonplace and practical.

Caroline Stellings’s sparklingly-illustrated book is a fresh new gem in Canadian children’s literature.  It depicts the history of fortunecookie-making, via Gypsy, the cat, who needs to create a new way of employment for herself, after San Francisco’s stickler new mayor makes a law, against paying for fortunetelling.

Anyone would be surprised at the education level of Jane Yolen’s & Mark Teague’s simply-told board book story.  You might not notice that standard or made-up dinosaur shapes are not dashed off but astoundingly:  are accurate drawings of how each dinosaur species looks!  What’s more, this board book becomes useful to grown-ups, when you spot their actual scientific names in a corner of the portraits!

Great Cat Stories:  Inspirational Tales About Exceptional Cats
Roxanne Willems Snopek  2004
Cat Miracles:  Inspiring True Tales Of Remarkable Felines
Brag Steiger & Sherry Hansen Steiger  2003
10 Drowsy Dinosaurs”  Wendy Frood Auger & Les Drew  2010
Over In The Meadow (A Musical Story / Play)
Pamela Conn Beall & Susan Hagen Nipp  1987
Gypsy’s Fortune”  Caroline Stellings  2014
How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?”  Jane Yolen & Mark Teague  2004



This is self-explanatory too but I want to emphasize that Margaret Atwood’s story is an outdoor mentality at the extreme.  The protagonist psychologically snapped after having enough of overbearing companions and flees them by momentarily throwing off human-made things.

Elizabeth Peters’s most famous Amelia Peabody character, everyone knows, works with her archaeologist husband in late 1800s Egypt.  I favour her modern heroine, the impressive and much more relatable Vicky Bliss.  She is a doctor of archaeology in the 1970s and 1980s and evades villains too, in terrain all over the world.

Carole Nelson Douglas’s début mystery was not very good but one protagonist narrative is of a Las Vegas street cat, fashioned after her boy in real life.

I am a new fan of Martha Grimes.  Each mystery takes place in different English country and both men working on them leap in to all manners of adventures and exertion;  intellectually and bodily.  The policeman makes himself memorable by expressing a love for snow, whenever he can spend time in it.  Martha ought to write a Canadian visit!

Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
The Lion In The Valley”  Elizabeth Peters  1986
Street Of Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
Catnap”  Carole Nelson Douglas  1992
The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982


(05)  CURRENT ISSUE:  climate change, biodiversity.

This is where I valued making an explanation particularly.  You would not know by any of these covers, nor by their respective genres (coming of age youth, standard adult mystery, and gothic mystery), that they entail admirably serious focuses on biodiversity.  Phyllis A. Whitney’s original hardcover was not of a brooding child but of the wholly forestral experience it is about!  Furthermore, a class of kids trying to get along, study how artificial lakes achieve water conservation.

Our great Howard Engel who features detective cases around Niagara Falls and Ste. Catherine’s, surprised me by tackling the illegal disposal of hazardous waste!  With the concern for the world’s environment risen since 1990, the aspects of this case would receive an exponentially more irate reaction.

Velda Johnston puts a lot of work into gothic mystery personages and her settings, which are throughly-developed and impressively realistic.  In short, her novels are not trite;  even though romance is the surface sideline of this genre.  In this one, an enterprising captain’s son establishes a sugar planation on a French Caribbean island and plans a sugary refinery counterpart for his American town.  Do you see?  You wouldn’t expect any of this content from these bookcovers!  I am thrilled to achieve this specialized category so abundantly.

Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
Dead And Buried”  Howard Engel  1990
The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972
Penny Visits Oak Hammock Marsh”  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky & Jack Brown  2008


(06)  WATER.

The sweet-looking Scuffy of my childhood suite of books is self-explanatory.  These mysteries by Anne Perry, Simon Brett, and Jo Dereske are started or resolved in various water bodies:  London’s sewer system, a river alongside a retirement home, and a lake.  As usual, Nora Roberts set her drama alongside an ocean.

Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
A Nice Class Of Corpse”  Simon Brett  1992
Daring To Dream”  Nora Roberts  1996
Miss Zukas And The Library Murders”  Jo Dereske  1994
Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely & Gertrude Crampton  1972


(07)  NEW:  published 2015 onward.

Jane & I chatted about the difficulty of this category, which is why she accommodates what is new for us.  I am a physical book reader buying primarily second-hand.  These three are unusually new for my home stock, two and three years-old.

Ghost Gifts”  Laura Spinella  2016
In A Dark, Dark Wood”  Ruth Ware  2015
The Other Side Of Midnight”  Simone St. James  2015


(08) DYSTOPIA-FLAVOURED:  emphasizing consequences.

A Canadian classic, based on history:  I did not expect to love Hugh MacLennan’s literature landscsape changer to the degree that I did.  Fictional post war lovers show us starkly, how serious the Halifax explosion was.  A foreign ship carelessly ran into a parked WWI amunition ship at Halifax’s port.  Hugh lived through it as a boy.  The explosion and fires destroyed half the city glass shattered in many towns at a distance.  Then, with people dashing for shelter;  unfortunately, a blizzard hit.

Gabrielle Roy was not only an adult in WWII but wrote her own literature landscape changer two years after it ended.  Her perspective was very current and astute.  At that time, there were Montréalers who were so poor;  signing up as soldiers brought an income superior to what many had, to families!

The great spy authoress, Dorothy Gilman, took us farther back in history and I gained more insight than I expected, into Boston’s defeat of the British.  Her protagonist is a boy, kidnapped from England into indentured servitude.  The city was affected by battle and the king cutting off supply ships.

Past obsession and crimes were built vididly into Sarah Rayne’s mild horror mystery.  Buildings of torture erected when the law excused favoured figures, stain a town decades into the future.  It also affects the socio-economic state of villagers who have become elderly.

Barometer Rising”  Hugh MacLennan  1941
The Tin Flute”  Gabrielle Roy  1947
Bells Of Freedom”  Dorothy Gilman  1963
The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013


(09)  EXTREME ELEMENT:  sailing, mountain-climbing.

The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993
Extreme Canadian Weather”  Joan Dixon  2005
Little Lost Lamb”  Margaret Wise Brown (Golden MacDonald) & Leonard Weisgard  1945


(10)  SEASONS.

Nowhere are the seasons more prevalent than in northern and inland Canada:  most of our country!  None of these books salute the seasons solely by title.  They all depict the outdoors vividly.  However the first three, Canadian works, incorporate our seasons the most tangibly and directly of all.

The first comprises short stories from my home province, with our infamy of climate and geographical terrain well-sampled.  The succeeding pair are mysterious, by Louise Penny and Gail Bowen, that describe and include the outdoors expansively and keenly.  Seasons are a category homemade for Canadian literature!

Manitoba Stories”  Joan Parr (editor)  1981
The Brutal Telling”  Louise Penny  2009
A Killing Spring”  Gail Bowen  1996
Arthur’s Hallowe’en”  Marc Brown  1982
Franklin’s Hallowe’en”  Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark  1996


(11)  PLANTS.

ILouise Penny’s enthralling mystery takes place at a forest resort but what’s more, the resolution incorporates ants and sugar.  Mignon Warner’s town medium makes special jam and tea brews.  Thomas Kinkade was a prolific cottage, landsape, and garden painter;  even if they looked the same.  Ellis Peters’s medieval Benedictine monk really cuts the mustard of this category!  He is their monastery’s herbalist and gardener!

The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
A Medium For Murder”  Mignon Warner  1976
The Garden Of Friendship”  Thomas Kinkade  2000
One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979



I would like to emphasize that Lillian Beckwith’s and Constance Walker’s stories in particular, imbue enchantingly region specific wilderness.  The ocean along the Hebrides Islands characterizes Lillian’s autobiographic episodes and dangerous moors in Wales contribute to Constance’s mystery.

Jane Austen whisks us into horseriding countryside.  Elizabeth George takes her police team around farmland and old monasteries, beside a wilderness retreat.  For Dorothy Daniels’ excellent mystery, her hard to access lake and island are the point!

Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
The Shimmering Stones Of Winter’s Light”  Constance Walker  1991
A Great Deliverance”  Elizabeth George  1988
The House Of Broken Dolls”  Dorothy Daniels  1972


(13)  SPIRITUAL:  emphasizing connection.

Haunted”  Ophelia Julien  2012
Ghosts Of Government House”  Judith Silverthorne  2011
The Strangers On Montagu Street”  Karen White  2011
Arrow Book Of Ghost Stories”  Nora Kramer & George Wilde  1960
Mysterious Brockville”  Nancy Wickwire Fraser  2000
A Ghost In The House”  Betty Ren Wright  1991
Adventures Of A Psychic”  Sylvia Browne & Antoinette May  1990


(14)  SKILLS.

There is a lot of new content for me to adopt into my favourite literature this year!  Victoria Holt’s gothic mystery heroine is an accomplished equestrian teacher and Victoria Thompson’s heroine is an early 1900s widwife.  Rhys Bowen’s Welsh policeman is an accomplished hiker and mountaineer, like many of his small town by practicality.

My other two books require less succinct descriptions.  The Father in Robert Westall’s novel is a historic architecht, restoring a monastary discovered to be older than the extior revealed.  This is woodland and a variety of masonry, cooking, and outdoor skills arise.

Cancer Care Manitoba has worked towards a cure since 1930!  This is a wonderful, keepsake artbook about their most memorable fundraiser, that I saw and on occasion, continue to see personally.  Amateur and professional artists of Winnipeg painted majestic, permanent polar bear statues for company donors!  It brought together mould-making artisans, transportation and storage experts, visual artists, fundraisers, an array of local industries.  Their efforts connected with the medical, scientific, and administrative experts in cancer curing and care.

The Bears Of Broadway”  Cancer Care Manitoba  2005
Mistress Of Mellyn”  Victoria Holt  1960
Murder On Astor Place”  Victoria Thompson  1999
Evans Above”  Rhys Bowen  1997
Ghost Abbey”  Robert Westall  1988



Loving local memories, creations, and artwork again:  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky are a daughter and Mother, authoring beautiful self-published books with Kristin’s artist and convervationist Father, Jack Brown.  I seldom visit Oak Hammock Marsh because it is at a distance and takes time to explore but I remember and value every visit dearly.  It is one of Manitoba’s very important nature and ecology preserves.  It is a children’s book but none fits better.

David Handler is one of few men writers I enjoy and I am a fan of his interracial mystery-solving series couple.  The strong, fit policewoman is a cat-rescuer and her film critic boyfriend resides in a lakeland gated community.  In this mystery in particular, they fight to keep it natural and quiet.

Larry Weinberg’s book has another cover that does not give credence to the fantastically sympathetic dual timeline adventure;  bolstered with impeccably-researched Civil War history.  It pertains to humanitarianism the most but the whole face of the United States, people and land, altered drastically at this time.  There is a tremendous love and respect for horses throughout as well, if this theme required more of that aspect.

The Hot Pink Farmhouse”  David Handler  2002
Ghost Hotel”  Larry Weinberg  1994
The Whispering Rabbit”  Margaret Wise Brown & Cyndy Szekeres  1948



Jean Little is a Canadian born in Taiwan, with missionary parents.  This biography of her Mom’s, also born to missionary parents, shows how she and her husband got into it.  The protagonist’s own parents often acclimatized to foreign countries but also had re-establish themselves with relatives, in Canadian towns or farms.  Jean, legally blind, became an advocate for education about blindness and guide dogs.

Peter J. Peters emigrated to Manitoba as a child from wartime Russia and was extremely well-known in our agriculture and berry-picking industry.  He happened to be a self-published poet, with autobiographical pieces and poems in each of his books.  I don’t like his prose but love the heart about our home turf.

The most self-explanatory name there is on natural, animal, humanitarian, and spiritual subjects:  Jesus!  This energizing, all-inclusive spiritual discussion, accompanies a documentary Janet & Richard Bock filmed called “The Lost Years”.  It shares documented historical facts that the average populace doesn’t know, or strive to know:  the gospel book was edited down.  It was done to the advantage of Constantinople’s religious leanings in 325 AD;  made worse by ruining the invaluable Library Of Alexandria in 389 AD.  There are no arguments and every portion is very respectfully, impartially presented.  There is also a lovely personal element:  their experiences looking for records in India, of Jesus’s omitted life activities from ages 13 to 30.  All of the natural landscapes explored in India are vividly brought to mind and sacred places and experiences related with wonderment.

His Banner Over Me”  Jean Little  1995
Driftwood And Other Poems”  P.J. Peters  1978
The Jesus Mystery (Of Lost Years And Unknown Travels)”  Janet Bock  1980



This is a section I skip because I’m not an award-winning or classic reader.  However, I did not recall the amended definition.  If nature-related books garnering other awards work, I can finish this category as well.  However the ones I have read that fit, serve any other category better.


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Are you an earnest listener?

We made two of our closest friends seventeen years ago.  Yes, I have a strong memory for dates, personal moments, the stories of novels and films….  details generally.  The only aspect at which I am less strong is memorizing a list string, which demonstrates that a different brain neuron works with those.  As evidenced by board game trivia, I ace retrieving memories.  If I have ever absorbed it, I can get it out, with patience and a prompt!  Therefore when this wonderful friend seemed to have a habit of laughing off her inability to retain information “for old age”, it made me angry.

I have never abided a defeatest attitude, the impossibility of making some contributions and possessing some control.  Age 43 recently, was as far as I could go to avert reading glasses but by gum, age is not an automatic declarer of brain and body health!  I pointed out to her a couple of years ago, that I am older than she was when we met.  I am glad she has not made that distasteful joke again.  In her case:  an intelligent, educated, successful, and loveable woman….  attention span is the key!  I need to alert her about this because it has grown hard to have a conversation.

She is one of those folks you might have encountered, who drops the person speaking to her for whomever walks by.  Not “Excuse me, I’d like to catch them before they leave” but dropping me and turning to them!  How can she remember a thing, if she tunes into the room instead of the person facing her?  Every subsequent shiny object is more interesting than her present focal point.

It doesn’t work to be like my Dad, so geared-up about what he wants to say, that he can’t be paying attention.  People who break in as soon as your sentence ends (which would be a step up with my dear friend!) are a sure sign.  They say they heard you but barge on, closing the conversation you offered.  Being good, invested listeners is the first step to memory strength.  My philosophy is that we all win, if we are most interested in what the other person has to share!  Make emotional exclamations, validate feelings, pose questions to show earnest interest.  It’s a shame my folks bicker to speak and that we need to firmly clear sentence space.

My beloved spouse is a unique case in its own way, less frustrating if it didn’t require a daily effort to overcome.  Instead of listening to my simple queries and answering the plain words, he inexplicably drums up an interpretation of what he thinks I want.

Gadgets must go when we are visiting!  Phone calls, e-mails, voice mails, text messages are for keeping in touch with someone who isn’t in your house.  Don’t answer phones or messages when you are in someone’s house!  Enjoy the person in front of you.  It is impossible to engage yourself fully and concentrate sufficiently well.  Even if you ignore messages but have gadgets on and can hear or see what’s incoming.  It serves nothing but to make you curious about what the message is.  The moment your guest or host leaves the room, most people can’t contain their curiousity.  The beauty of visiting someone’s home is that when your host steps away, you absorb their atmosphere, their life!  Make friends with their pets, gaze at their portraits and art objects.  When is the last time you perused anyone’s shelves of books, music, or movies?

Leave calls and messages for home, or emergencies!  It goes without saying that parents with young children necessitate a gadget tuned in.  We are discussing the need to establish conversation and visiting etiquette, especially in the era of people’s answering machines and e-mail being hauled with them.  It used to be that you checked your internet and answering machine when you got home, or asked to check-in remotely on a long visit.  We dearly need to preserve the “catch up at home” mentality and manners!

Ron & I got so aggitated about our land line disturbing us, when we were enjoying cats on our laps and other lovely couples moments, that we keep it unplugged.  I favour the unobtrusiveness of e-mail.  People can leave you messages at any time and you set aside time to check it when it’s convenient.  My parents who don’t have the internet, can leave a voicemail on my cell phone, which only has emergency minutes.  It sits in a drawer unless I go out.  If I hear it, I answer and look for voicemails every few hours.  I am not interrupted, nor apprehensive about being disturbed.

My reading, writing, and special home time is wholly invested.  Ron leaves his emergency cell phone on the counter.  His Mom and mine occasionally call.  We don’t watch movies and listen to CDs often enough and savour that.  Because I am focused, if I see a film or television scene again, I know the dialogue by heart.  It feels splendid when we occasionally read books together on the same couch.  I treasure all of these moments.

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Birth Year Reading 2018

I rejoined J.G. for her most well-known group too, making me a member of all three!  It is my pleasure.  I was a prize-winner from her collection, which thrills me and delivered good news when I needed it.  I have several books ready and plan to read at least three.

Note that I work entirely with books we already own, in abundance in our home.  I don’t shop for 1972 literature.  The purpose of reading challenges is to enjoy books we own, with fun themes and relaxed scavenger hunts for sharing them.

I suggest that finding books in our birth year is amply specific.  J.G. allows switching to a relative’s birth year if we don’t have literature in ours.  It follows that securing even small books in our own, answers the mission accurately.  I have been retrieving more voluminous books from my collection, to guarantee fulfilling the wonderful prize criteria, in the meantime.

Here are the ones I have on hand!  Please visit for replies to comments, that I assure you are immediate and for review links added.  All of my reviews can be found in an alphabetized menu atop my blog.


Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972
Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
The House Of Broken Dolls”  Dorothy Daniels  1972
Uncle Robert’s Secret”  Wylly Folk St. John  1972
Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely  1972

– – – – – – – – – –

“The Seventh Sinner”  Elizabeth Peters  1972
I will not likely read this one because it is well into a series I have not started.

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My blog’s seventh anniversary!

My blog spends a lot of time on the subject of literature and the four related groups I run but the original purpose remains, that it is my place to write:  publically.  As a matter of fact it is my RIEDEL Fascination anniversary, the day when I posted something fretting my mind and was glad to have this forum for pouring it out.  I had decided to give a home to four kittens and their Mom, born of a youngster I willingly fostered.  I will let you read about, as I do every February, how the prudent intentions of a shelter’s policy broke down, into a propostrous fight to keep them from a shelter they had never seen.

They are the lights of our lives.  Now seven years old and their little Mother eight, one is missing.  Please know that your prayers and “my cat came back after so many months” stories, encourage us tremendously.  I know our joint request, faith, and positive energy have kept Conan safe!  I know it IS also ensuring the outcome that he is reunited with us at home this spring!  May someone notice his tattoo, local or internet alerts, or free him to walk home when it is safe this spring.  He is the baby against my cheek and baby Love is the white boy upon my shoulder.

Conan is the orange sweetheart, in between his white sister, Angel and brother, LovePetal is our orange girl at the left of her Mom, Marigold.  If my youngest children of seven cats are seven, I guess that is the anniversary of my blog!

In honesty, I have not had the shower of comments I hoped, which did not improve with hosting reaching challenges.  I am working towards inviting participatory people, to keep on visiting long-time peers as much as it is feasible with dial-up internet, and am writing more of the plain articles my original subscribers like.  Silent or not, thank you for staying with me.  I love books but like writing about a lot more than that.  Today, I am.  It works out that if I keep up with my book groups, it frees me to talk of other goings-on and things.

I have not hesitated to share the most personal concerns of my life and were grateful for the few who stepped up to give a comforting hand about them;  sometines non-subscribed strangers.  Three years ago, one of those cherished kittens suddenly died at four years-old and I absolutely had to have my WordPress blog, to grieve and reach out to you.  We are healed from Love’s passing now and when we have his brother, Conan home safely, that is all that matters.  We will be the happiest we have been in those three years.  We can’t do anything but remember Love.  We can and have very determinedly been working towards bringing Conan home!

As an author-in-progress, this is a place to learn and make connections.  I want readership and publicity when I triumph at finishing a piece of work.  However I am too, a girl who likes making friends and who wants to share.  This community, also associated with Goodreads, means a lot to me personally.  I guess I am a real writer, if life’s difficulties raise the urging to write my feelings and thoughts out!  In honour of my anniversary:  here is a post just about me, with my endeared thanks to all of you!  Especially folks finds this spot of mine for the first time, which is finally drawing many more of you:  welcome and thank you, genuinely!

I am going to host some special features, likely just for fun, that are for everyone who stops by and is interested.  Please stay tuned:  my festivities are called “Show Your Seasons” and “Show Me Your Stash”!  I am a gardener, nature lover, amateur photographer, and music-lover too and there is a lot of mutual interest in those passions.  Interacting with you, from my rural home and despite slow speed internet, is one of my dearest pleasures.  Life is for sharing with loved-ones and friends who are close and for telling people at a further distance about it!  Wouldn’t you agree?  :)  Yours Truly, Carolyn and family.

Do you recognize this?  I am showing the full picture, from which my blog’s banner is a part!


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Carolyn’s Gentle Spectrums 2018!

Here are the books I finished for my theme, Gentle Spectrums 2018!

I am excited about brainstorming a lot of great new topics and beneficial ways to expand the ones we are reprising.  This logo is not my photograph, like the gorgeous Manitoba marsh vista last year but I hope everyone derives peace and happy thoughts from its beauty.  I really like it.

My selections go by my moods and I constantly score fresh book bargains, which is important when one reads nearly all physical literature.  However I normally read the ones I list for myself soon.  Goodness knows we are blessed with good stock.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


Also: colourful, colour, bright, light, iridescent, iridescence, dark, shade, hue, spectrum, rainbow, prism.

Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
The Hot Pink Farmhouse”  David Handler  2002
The Shimmering Stones Of Winter’s Light”  Constance Walker  1991
In A Dark, Dark Wood”  Ruth Ware  2015
When Grandma And Grandpa Rode The White Pass Train”  Bernd & Susan Richter  1988
Brainy Baby Shapes And Colours”  Edith Reynolds & Rose Audette  2004
Three Barnyard Tales: The Little Red Hen / The Ugly Duckling / Chicken Little”  Marilyn Helmer & Laura Watson  2002
The Tale Of Ginger And Pickles”  Beatrix Potter  1909
(9)  “Grover’s Little Red Riding Hood”  Norman Stiles & Joe Mathieu  1976


The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993
The Car Book”  William Dugan  1968
The Mystery Of Cabin Island”  Leslie McFarlane  1929
The Mounties:  Tales Of Adventure And Danger From The Early Days”  Elle Andra-Warner  2004
Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely & Gertrude Crampton  1972 (1946)
The Lion In The Valley”  Elizabeth Peters  1986
Barometer Rising”  Hugh MacLennan  1941
Harry Potter: The Prequel”  Joanne K. Rowling  2008
(10)  “Uncle Robert’s Secret”  Wylly Folk St. John  1972

One could call nearly anything a toy or hobby, so let’s make these well-established toys and hobbies.

Little Audrey And The Moon Lady”  Harvey Cartoon Studios  1960
The Little Bookstore Of Big Stone Gap”  Wendy Welch  2012
Haunted”  Ophelia Julien  2012
A Medium For Murder”  Mignon Warner  1976
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics”  Chris Grabenstein  2016
Gypsy’s Fortune”  Caroline Stellings  2014
The Strangers On Montagu Street”  Karen White  2011
The House Of Broken Dolls”  Dorothy Daniels  1972
The Tale Of Two Bad Mice”  Sarah Albee & Maggie Swanson  2003
Death By Scrabble”  Charlie Fish  2006
(11) “Book Scavenger”  Jennifer Chambliss Bertram  2015

Happy feelings, drink, food, exercise, medicine, energy: you decide!

Cookie Monster And The Cookie Tree”  David Korr & Joe Mathieu  1977
People In Your Neighbourhood”  Jeffrey Moss & Leon Jason  1977
The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
Mistress Of Mellyn”  Victoria Holt  1960
Murder On Astor Place”  Victoria Thompson  1999
Murder Will Travel”  Emily Toll  2002
Adventures Of A Psychic”  Sylvia Browne & Antoinette May  1990
(8)  “The Jesus Mystery (Of Lost Years And Unknown Travels)”  Janet Bock  1980

I always include birds, fish, and insects. I love them all.

Little Lost Lamb”  Margaret Wise Brown & Leonard Weisgard  1945
Great Cat Stories:  Inspirational Tales About Exceptional Cats”  Roxanne Willems Snopek  2004
Catnap”  Carole Nelson Douglas  1992
The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982
Farm Animals (A Very First Picture Book)”  Nicola Tuxworth  1996
Over In The Meadow (A Musical Story / Play)”  Pamela Conn Beall & Susan Hagen Nipp  1987
How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?”  Jane Yolen & Mark Teague  2004
Arthur’s Hallowe’en”  Marc Brown  1982
Clifford’s Puppy Fun”  Norman Bridwell  2001
The Whispering Rabbit”  Margaret Wise Brown & Cyndy Szekeres  1948
Derby Downs:  The Value Of Respect”  Stephen Cosgrove & Wendy Edelson  1988
Winnie The Pooh, Friendship Day”  Nancy Parent & Philippe Harchy  2000
(13)  “The Owl And The Pussycat”  Ron Berg & Edward Lear  1984


The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013
Street Of Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
The Brutal Telling”  Louise Penny  2009
Evans Above”  Rhys Bowen  1997
A Great Deliverance”  Elizabeth George  1988
Ghost Hotel”  Larry Weinberg  1994
Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
Hurry, Santa!”  Julie Sykes & Tim Warnes  1998
(11)  “Penny Visits Oak Hammock Marsh”  Carol & Kristin Szuminsky & Jack Brown  2008

(07)  THE ARTS

The Tin Flute” Gabrielle Roy  1945
Driftwood And Other Poems”  P.J. Peters  1978
The Bells Of Freedom”  Dorothy Gilman  1963
The Bears Of Broadway”  Cancer Care Manitoba  2005
(5)  “The Garden Of Friendship”  Thomas Kinkade  2000

We needn’t stop at sewing and knitting.  We can expand to curtains, doilies, linen, and quilts!

My Flight Bag Book”  Kathleen N. Daly & Yoshi Miyake  1977
The Body Farm”  Patricia Cornwell  1994
The Romper Room Doo Bee Book Of Manners”  Nancy Claster & Art Seiden  1956
What Was I Scared Of?”  Theodor Seuss Geisel  1961
(5)  “Doors In The Air”  David Weale & Pierre Pratt  2012


Manitoba Stories”  Joan Parr  1981
Dead And Buried”  Howard Engel  1990
The Fire-Dwellers”  Margaret Laurence  1969
The Haunting Of Government House”  Judith Silverthorne  2011
Death At Buckingham Palace”  C.C. Benison  1996
A Killing Spring”  Gail Bowen  1996
Great Canadian Romances (Love, Scandal, And Passion)”  Barbara Smith  2005
Extreme Canadian Weather”  Joan Dixon  2005
Mysterious Brockville”  Nancy Wickwire Fraser  2000
Franklin’s Hallowe’en”  Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark  1996
Franklin’s Neighbourhood”  Paulette Bourgeois & Brenda Clark  1999
10 Drowsy Dinosaurs”  Wendy Frood Auger & Les Drew  2010
(13)  “Creatures Of The Night”  Pat Hancock & Mark Thurman  1992


Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
Murphy’s Law”  Rhys Bowen  2001
Ghost Abbey”  Robert Westall  1988
Arrow Book Of Ghost Stories”  Nora Kramer & George Wilde  1960
The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972
One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979
Hippity Dog And The Groover’s Fling”  Andrew Knowles & Gordon Stowell  1979
More Channel Chuckles”  Bill Keane  1971
The Other Side Of Midnight”  Simone St. James  2015
The Laughing Ghost”  Dorothy Eden  1943
(11)  “Once Upon A Tomb:  Stories From Canadian Graveyards”  Nancy Millar  1997

Anything to do with three. Third visits with authors.  After the third book tired you out, did an author plateau or grow better?

Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
His Banner Over Me”  Jean Little  1995
(3)  “Something Wicked”  Carolyn G. Hart  1988

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Carolyn’s My Kind Of Mystery


My reading groups are started for the year, this very month!  Here is my own post, where I will keep track of my mystery reading, further to this group’s review page!  I hope you will visit both to see how we do.  This post comprises a list of books in this genre I am conteplating this year.  Atop, with links as I review them, is my sequenced list of what I have finished reading.

It isn’t all fiction.  My theme includes everything, including mysteries of real life like the two below, about Oak Island and the Lemon Mine.  Please enjoy and spread the word so others discover this happy group.

Here is what I read last year.
Join all four my my relaxed, easy reading themes!


~ READ ~
The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993


“Death At Buckingham Palace”  C.C. Benison  1996
“Cirak’s Daughter”  Charlotte MacLeod  1982
“The Missing Madonna”  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie  1988
“The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982
“Grey Mask”  Patricia Wentworth  1928
“Mystery Mile”  Margery Allingham  1930
“The House On The Roof”  Mignon G. Eberhart  1934
“A Dry Spell”  Susie Moloney  1997
“The League Of Frightened Men”  Rex Stout  1935
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Mystery Of The Black Diamonds”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1954
“Secret Of The Samurai Sword”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1958
“Cast, In Order Of Disappearance”  Simon Brett  1975
“A Nice Class Of Corpse”  Simon Brett  1986
“The Body On The Beach”  Simon Brett  2000
“The Street Of The Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
“Secret Of The Tiger’s Eye”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1961
“Mystery Of The Angry Idol”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1965
“Secret Of The Spotted Shell”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1967
“Secret Of Goblin Glen”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1968
“The Mystery Of The Crimson Ghost”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1969
“Secret Of The Missing Footprint”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1970
“The Vanishing Scarecrow”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1971
“Mystery Of The Scowling Boy”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1973
“Secret Of The Stone Face”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1977
“The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

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Carolyn’s Celtic Coasts 2018!


It is my pleasure to reprise my newest theme, for its third year:  Celtic Coasts 2018!
I love Irish and Scottish places, authors, lore, and have been learning more about Wales.  I am first to give Welsh-related literature somewhere to go in reaching challenges!  A few of my novels at home are finally sampling it.

I would love to visit Ireland, loved Scotland wholeheartedly, and our 2010 vacation schedule had us reluctantly drive past Wales. Reading about places you know and increasing knowledge about places and cultrues through books, has us enjoying them as subjects and settings increasingly.  Like most Canadians, I am very multicultured and two Celtic countries comprise a large part of that.

I am in the mood to renew my Celtic reading with refreshed vigour.  Favourites in whom I haven’t indugled for awhile, like Maeve Binchy and Lillian Beckwith, are going to be rejoined and there is no shortage of new Celtic authors and plots that I come across.  Like all of my reading themes, we have the stock at home to ably fulfill all of them for years, with what we have on hand.  This is the literature I matched with Celtic Coasts last year.


Here is what I propose to give a whirl this year.  The more I think on it, the more authors, sequels, and books come to mind!  Please visit again to see the links of books I finish and the review page too, is always available to browse.

“Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
“The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
“Bridge Of Friendship”  Mabel Esther Allan  1975
“Central Line”  Maeve Binchy  1978
“Victoria Line”  Maeve Binchy  1980
“Echoes”  Maeve Binchy  1985
“The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Into The Fire”  Jodi McIsaac  2013
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

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Dread & Read 2018!

I am back for 2018!  I pray the same about our cat.  We kept our babies in too much, while I helped my parents move.  Praying we see him again is the meaning of dread but we are sure he wintered with someone:  wisely.  We know he wants to be home.  Safe is better!  All discomfort will stop as soon as Conan is home.  See him here!  I didn’t recall he is with me in my “About Me” webpage.  It is a boost to see his beautiful face.

Also to stay calm in full white winter, I am a member of all of Jane’s groups.  It is a pleasure that she began joining mine last year as well.  Looking forward to the day soon, when all there is is minor dread:  here is Jane’s literary theme!  Choose three or more books we are unsure we would like, or which we are unenthused to try for various reasons.

I am a fiction fan, the mystical and “Ethereal” above all, which extends to non-fiction.  (I created a theme with that name).  Secondly, I love mysterious mystery;  the rare, creative kind, in which crime is not the focus.  (That is why I created another of my groups, “My Kind Of Mystery“).  Therefore no matter how award-winning or famous;  big names like Jane Austen and the Brontë trio might be (in my own Manitoba, Gabrielle Roy);  general or historical fiction is not my fare.  Not without a great ghost story or mysterious mystery in it

I am a writer working on being an authoress.  I am reading some of these greats to properly educate and enrich myself for my craft.  I have loved Gabrielle Roy’s short stories but her first novel, despite garnering accolades to the moon and back, is my most dreaded.  I was a French immersion pupil and saw the film in school.  I have long hesitated because I know “Bonheur D’Occasion” is heavy.  But going in knowiong that, let’s see if I can enjoy something about the writing or characters.  A lot of war-type movies hit theatres, so this novel that brougt attention to Canadian literature in 1945 and after it was translated into “The Tin Flute” in 1947, must have merit.

Jane Austen is a writer’s must but especially, because I visited just inside this lady’s house, in 2010!  If I do well with her, I will be geared up for “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë.  I think it is deemed a gothic.  That atmosphere *is* my forté.  Authors I am going to give a second try are Kate Collins and Ellis Peters.  I did not dig their first novels.  I enjoyed Kate’s, after pushing myself to the 60% mark.  That is not praise but far better, than detesting Ellis’s writing style wholly.  Second novels are often better.  I hope the same of Ontario’s popular Alan Bradley.  I joined the many who couldn’t stand his insolent child sleuth, Flavia DeLuce but I had bought the second hardcover with the first, at a charity sale.

Bottom of the barrel, maybe I will hunker down and revisit Gabriel García Márquez, by reading a full novel.  “One-Hundred Years Of Solitude” won’t be any more depressing than the short stories and to my pleasant surprise, some scrutiny of the synopsis hints at mystical contents.  I am prepared to like this better than I imagined too.  So there we are:  I plan to read three of these!

Kate Atkinson is a new author I have read before and I enjoyed “Human Croquet”.  I had it behind a shelf, actually, for years.  What brought it forward is a friend’s gift of her recent novel, “Life After Life”.  This one seems more up my alley but being a person who likes to follow literature and music releases in order, I sought out “Behind The Scenes At The Museum”.  It is an award-winner and will probably pan out to be fun.  However Kate writes with a stream of consciousness style that can be like following an especially energetic rabbit hither and thither;  with an “out there” style and perception.  We can’t guess where it will go and it is verbose.  Pages above 450 are more numerous than my norm as it is.  So I’ll add this to my list this year, not as dread but as uncertainty and minor hesitancy.

The Tin Flute(“Bonheur D’Occasion”)  Gabrielle Roy  1945
“Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
“Slay It With Flowers”  Kate Collins  2005
“Wuthering Heights”  Charlotte Brontë  1847
“Behind The Scenes At The Museum”  Kate Atkinson  1995
“One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979
“The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag”  Alan Bradley  2010
“One-Hundred Years Of Solitude”  Gabriel García Márquez  1967

I will establish “sweetener” treats later.  I need to see what Jane has travelling to me in the mail!  Happy new year 2018, everyone!
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Update, January 29.
Before Jane has visited this opening post, I have finished a Canadian classic on my list, probably the book pushed back the longest.  I am happy to discover that I like it much more than I thought I would and that after the first few chapters, it becomes a very readable story!  See my review in my list.  Other books, which I am uncertain I will like, have occurred to me that could easily be added.

Update, February 13.
While awaiting the warm welecome benediction from my dear hostess, I feel triumphant to declare my first Jane Austen work finished this morning!  I liked it enough for four stars, too!  I said when Ron & I were in Bath, England, that we ought go on the tour of her entire house, without having read something of hers.  If we go to Europe anew, I should be pleased to view her home entirely.

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