Post Script: Olivia The Spy

Olivia The Spy

Olivia The Spy

Ian Falconer

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781471164224

 

 Description:

Everyone’s favourite pig is about to have a surprise trip to the ballet! But when Olivia overhears her mother complaining about her recent naughty behaviour, her imagination runs wild and she decides to find out everything being said about her . . . until her eavesdropping leads her to believe she is being carted off to prison!

 

 

My View:

I love this feisty little character called Olivia – she is inquisitive, she has imagination and the writer and illustrator, Ian Falconer, has a great sense of humour that is evident throughout the narrative (and the drawings). This is part of a number of “Olivia” books – I think young children would enjoy to follow this fun character on her adventures.

 

There is a moral to the story – so this could be a useful tool for school librarians, teachers, budding young artists (the drawings are so much fun) and care givers alike.

 

This is a very fun read.

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Script: Insidious Intent – Val McDermid

Insidious Intent

Insidious Intent

Val McDermid

Hachette Australia

Little, Brown

ISBN: 9781408709337

 

Description:

In Insidious Intent, Tony and Carol are on the hunt for a serial killer who victimizes women at weddings without a date–and forces the duo to confront their most haunting moral dilemma so far.

 

In the north of England, single women are beginning to disappear from weddings. A pattern soon becomes clear: Someone is crashing the festivities and luring the women away–only to leave the victims’ bodies in their own burned-out cars in remote locations. Tony and Carol are called upon to investigate–but this may be the toughest case they’ve ever had to face. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Paula McIntyre and her partner Elinor must deal with a cruel cyber-blackmailer targeting their teenage ward, Torin.

 

 

My View:

This a very, very surprising read! There are the usual main characters that you have come to know and love, the horrendous crimes you expect to find in a Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series but what you won’t expect is the ending. I could not believe my eyes when I read the last few chapters! Incredible! What an impact!!! And then there is a personal note form Val McDermid.

 

 

letter

YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!

 

Post Script: The Bad Bunnies Magic Show – Mini Grey

The Bad Bunnies Magic Show

The Bad Bunnies Magic Show

Mini Grey

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781471157592

 

Description:

When the great magician, Hypno, goes missing just before a show, his rabbits Abra and Cadabra step in to save the day.

 

But are they all that they seem? Or is there more to their sleight of paw than meets the eye?

 

An exciting new novelty book from British author and illustrator Mini Grey that will have children and parents laughing out loud.

 

 

My View:

A delightful children story (suggested for about the ages 2+) , there is magic, rhyme, cut aways/fold back pages with reveals, naughty behaviours to giggle at and a lesson that demonstrates crime does not pay. What more could you want?

 

 

Post Script: Y Is For Yesterday – Sue Grafton

Y is for Yesterday

Y is for Yesterday

A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

Sue Grafton

ISBN: 9781447260233

 

Description:

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

 

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

 

 

My View:

This episode is the standout in the series- PI fiction doesn’t get much better than this. I wonder what Z will offer?

This episode in the Kinsey Millhone private investigator series is action packed, tension filled and takes us on a different journey with Kinsey – a journey where she is apprehensive (and rightly so we soon discover) and not in control of events surrounding her.

The narrative is told from a dual time frame perspective – and the events of the past are harrowing and cast a shadow that eventually reaches Kinsey in the current time, in her current job.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this episode – the action is intense and the crimes of the past are horrific yet told with a subtleness that actually reinforces the darkness of the crime, the perpetrator vile in his manipulative behaviours – the perfect picture of a sociopath.  The revenge crimes in the present – are not so subtle, worrying and will keep you turning pages. A great read!

I can’t wait for Z – unless that means an end to the series?

 

 

Post Script: The Accordionist – Fred Vargas

The Accordionist

The Accordionist

Three Evangelists Trilogy

Fred Vargas

Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

Harvill Secker

ISBN: 9781846559983

 

Description:

When two Parisian women are shockingly murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clément Vauquer, who was seen outside both of the apartments in question. It seems on the surface like an open-and-shut case.

 

But now Clément has disappeared from public view. His likeness has appeared in the papers and detectives from Paris to Nevers are on his tail. To have a chance of proving his innocence, he seeks refuge with old Marthe, a former prostitute and the only mother figure he has known.

 

Marthe calls ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler to help Clément. But what Louis uncovers is anything but straightforward, and he must call on some unconventional friends to help him solve his most complex case yet. Not only must Louis try to prove Clément’s innocence, he must solve a fiendish riddle to lead him to the killer…

 

 

My View:

This is a great series – I love the quirky characters – Vargas characters are unique, interesting and empathetic, unlike any I have come across in the many many mystery/thrillers/crime fiction genres I have read – refreshing, a joy to read!

 

If you are feeling a little fatigued, a little less engaged, a little disenchanted with the crime fiction books you had read recently re-ignite that joy of reading by reading the Three Evangelists Trilogy – you will not be disappointed.

Post Script: How Do Worms Work: A Gardener’s Collection of Curious Questions and Astonishing Answers -Guy Barter

How Do Worms Work

How Do Worms Work?

Guy Barter

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733638886

 

Description:

This book provides expert answers to the questions every gardener wants to ask – and a few they’ve never dreamed of, from ‘Why do flowers close at night?’ to ‘How do you attract butterflies?’ It’s a great, accessible educational resource for young and old – the essential companion for the curious gardener.

 

Ever wondered how worms breathe? Or why exactly trees are so big? This book covers all aspects of gardens and gardening, and will satisfy all your horticultural curiosity. Packed with photographs, vintage engravings and diagrams, this book will answer everything from the practical to the quirky and whimsical. Feature boxes provide practical guidance, so that you can apply your new-found knowledge to your own garden.

 

Written by the head of the Royal Horticultural Society Members’ Advisory Service, and updated to suit Australian and New Zealand readers, this book is the ideal gift for fact-loving gardeners with curious minds.

 

 

My View:

This is a fun fact filled read- suitable for the gardener, the school room, the nature lover or for anyone who has children who have asked:

 

  • Why do flowers close at night?
  • Does a severed worm grow into two worms?
  • What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
  • Why is compost hot?
  • When is a plant a weed?

 

And so much more knowledge crammed into this easy read book.

 

I hate to be the first one to mention this (and most likely I am not) but that major gift giving time of the year is fast approaching: Christmas. This is an ideal book to add to your gift buying list, there is something in these pages for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

Turkish Pide: The Flexible Vegetarian – Jo Pratt

The Flexible Vegetarian

Images and recipes from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99)

Turkish pide with spinach and aubergine

Pide (pronounced pee-day) is much like a pizza, but has no tomato sauce and a colourful, aromatic Turkish

flair. Traditionally, this boat-shaped ‘pizza’ is filled with vegetables, spices, cheese and/or meat, most commonly

lamb. I’ve made this one into an exceptionally tasty vegetarian version using spinach, aubergine and feta, but

you can be as creative as you like by using a selection of ingredients to top the dough, as you would a pizza.” p. 143

 

_TurkishPide-

Time taken 1 hour + 30 minutes rising / Serves 4

 

7g/¼ oz sachet fast action dried yeast

1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar

300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp salt

olive oil

2 medium aubergines, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/9 oz baby spinach leaves

150g/5½ oz feta cheese, crumbled

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp nigella seeds

flaked sea salt and freshly ground

black pepper

small handful mint leaves

 

Put the yeast and caster sugar in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of

warm water. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture

starts to show some bubbles on the surface.

 

Put the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add

the bubbly yeast mixture and slowly add 170ml/5¾ fl oz/2⁄3 cup of

warm water while bringing everything together with your other

hand. If you feel it needs it, add extra water but take care not to

make the dough too wet.

 

Once the dough starts to stick together, tip

onto a floured surface and knead for 6–7 minutes until you have a

smooth, stretchy dough. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover loosely with

cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine slices with

olive oil. Set on a baking sheet and grill for a few minutes each side

until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

 

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion for around

8 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook

for around 1 minute before stirring in the spinach allowing it to wilt.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

 

Heat your oven to its highest setting. Divide the risen dough into four

pieces. Shape each piece into an oval, dust with flour and thinly roll

out. Transfer to a couple of baking sheets and prick the surface of the

dough several times with a fork.

 

Divide the spinach mixture and aubergines between the dough,

leaving a border around the edges. Pinch the ends of the dough and

roll the edges of the border over the filling, to form a boat shape.

Scatter with the feta cheese, sesame seeds and nigella seeds, drizzle

with olive oil and season. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes

until the dough is golden. Garnish with mint leaves to serve.

 

Flexible

For a meaty twist on this recipe, omit the aubergine, and sauté around 200g/7 oz

minced lamb with the onion, continue to cook as above. Alternatively, to make this

into a seafood pide, omit the aubergine and mix 200g/7 oz cooked prawns into the

cooked onion and spinach before spooning onto the dough.