Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Job

The next installment in the Fox and O'Hare series. This time Kate O'Hare and Nicolas Fox plan a major con to entice Lester Mendenez, a major criminal wanted all over the world, into the open. He had been in hiding for many years having completely changed his appearance so they not only have to plan how to capture him but also need to first identify him. They carefully select their support team, including Kate's father, as they undertake their mission.  Not wanting to reveal too much of the plot, I can add that this is another entertaining book by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. A good holiday read.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

At Freddie's

The Temple Stage School in the 1960s supplied many of the West End theatres with child actors. The school is known as Freddie's, named after the woman who ran the school - Miss Freida Wentworth. This short novel by Penelope Fitzgerald is about the management / mismanagement of the school, about the lives of the two teachers who join the staff, about Freddie and her attempts to manipulate her contacts to keep the school afloat in a changing and challenging environment and particularly about a small selection of the children attending the school - especially Mattie and Jonathan. The book is largely about the end of an era and what can be salvaged. The many story lines are intertwined and following what is going on is not always easy, though the night after I finished reading the book I found that I was still thinking about parts of the book, particularly an outcome for Jonathan.

The good, the bad and the emus

It is amazing what you can learn reading fiction. The background for this book (part of the Meg Langslow series) by Donna Andrews is a former emu farm. Not only did I discover that there is emu farming in the United States of America but when I did a Google search I discovered a website for the American Emu Association.

Meg is asked by Stanley Denton to go with him to visit a lady living in Riverton. He has been employed by Meg's grandfather, Dr Blake, to find the woman who is the mother of his son. Stanley has discovered where her home is but he also discovers that she died recently in a fire, possibly murder. Stanley wants to interview the cousin of the dead woman but she is a recluse. As Meg bears a resemblance to the grandmother she has never known, Stanley hopes that having Meg with him might encourage the cousin to provide some information.

When Stanley is asked by Annabel to help discover who committed the murder he needs to discuss the situation with Meg's grandfather, who not only approves of extending Stanley's contract but also decides to round up and rehouse a flock of emus that were released in the area many years previously. Two further murder attempts plus another murder occur when Dr Blake and his cohorts descend on the area for the emu round-up. Meg, Stanley and the police meanwhile endeavour to discover who is committing these crimes and why.