Friday 28 June 2019

A quick catch-up post

Two quick reviews to finish June off. I don't know where the first half of this year's gone. We left our Christmas tree covered in a corner of the garage prior to putting it in the roof space of said garage. It's still there and I said to Hubby that there's not much point in getting it up the ladder now because if the next 6 months go as quickly as the first 6, Christmas'll be here before we know it! I do find this slightly alarming...

First up, Bitten by Spain by Deborah Fletcher. This is my 6th. book for the 2019 European Reading challenge which is being hosted by Rose City Reader. This book covers the country of 'Spain'

The author of this book, Deborah Fletcher, bored with being an accountant, ups and moves with her firefighter husband to southern Spain. The sort of land they move onto is known as 'the campo'... it's near the town of Bullas, in a region called Murcia, and is basically rather barren, hot and wild. The Spanish mainly have holiday homes in these areas, figuring that the only people who want to live there full time are either deranged or British. The author loves animals and has a large menagerie made up of parrots, dogs and cats. They lead her a merry dance and their antics were great fun to read about, particulary a mad dog named Marcos, and an episode when two of the parrots escaped. Aside from looking after her animals the couple are rebuilding the house on their land while living in a caravan. All part-time, as the husband has kept his job in Manchester and is travelling back and forth according to the dictates of his job. I'm in awe of people who do this kind of thing. I simply would never cope... not because of the language as I seem to have a small linguistic bent and would manage I think... my problem would be leaving my family in Britain, homesickness for our green countryside, and: The Heat. I do however enjoy reading about other people coping with new cultures and this is the first Spanish one I think I've read. Self-published I fancy (not sure), which means little as Deborah Fletcher's writing is very good and I really enjoyed her witty turn of phrase. A fun read.

Lastly, The Devil's Cave by Martin Walker. This is my 19th. book for Bev's Calendar of Crime challenge covering the August category of 'Original publication month'.

The dead body of a woman is floating down the river that runs through St. Denis in the Perigord region of southern France, in a punt. There's a scramble to grab the boat, onlookers try, then Bruno Courréges, the local chief of police, and a local canoe business owner have a go and manage to stop it. They realise almost immediately that this is not an ordinary accidental death. The woman is laid out in a ritualistic manner with black candles around her; has satanism reared its ugly head in their quiet little town? Investigations lead to a proposed holiday village that the Mayor is very keen to promote in order to bring money and employment to the town. Who are the people and companies that are going to be financing and running this project? The answer to this question brings the small provincial town of St. Denis to the attention of some of the highest political echelons in France... and not in a good way.

Another terrific instalment of this excellent series. To be honest, in a lot of respects Bruno is a right Goody-Two-Shoes, and I'm really not sure about this super-hero thing he seems to get to do, at least in recent books. His private life continues to be complicated as well. He juggles the two women in his life, one of whom is away in Scotland looking after her mother, the other just arrived from Paris to help him with this case, quite skillfully, but it all has to come crashing down at some stage surely? Despite these - very minor - misgivings I still love this series to bits. I suspect it's the delightful setting in Perigord, the history, descriptions of the meals, the wonderful community feel to the town and the way Bruno fits seemlessly into it all. It's gorgeous. So I can put up with Bruno heroically saving the day every time, this time it was caves which made for an exciting read to be honest. It's all good and I'm pleased there are quite a few books left for me to read... this is book 5 and there are 12 with #13 coming next year.



Kay said...

I laughed about your Christmas tree. Time certainly passes, right? We have a closet in our house that is able to handle our tree. It's even on a little wheeled thing. We just wheel it out and then back in. Lovely!

DesLily said...

your book posts are written so well. I am surprised the a company hasn't asked you to review their books and pay you for it!!

I am in the middle of another Bosch book I hope I can finish it before the end of June!

Cath said...

Kay: I honestly can't believe we're halfway through the year already. It's crazy. Oh, I like the sound a Christmas tree on wheels! I want one of those. LOL

Pat: Thank you, thank you, but they're just me warbling away (read *warbler* gettit? LOL). And the older I get the more eccentric my writing seems to get. Oh well.

Peter likes the Bosch books and also Kay who has commented here too, I think?

TracyK said...

I love your comments about the Christmas tree and Christmas being here before we know it. That it so true for me but this year that will be good because by Christmas I will be retired. And have more time for keeping up with other blogs and enjoying my blogging more.

Just based on the first book of Martin Walker's Bruno series, I had wondered about his being a goody two shoes. Not that I don't plan on continuing the series. I have number 2 in the series.

I did have to look up the background "goody two shoes" though, which was very interesting but another reason why I never get anything done.

Cath said...

Tracy: How nice that you'll be retired before Christmas, that's an excellent Christmas present to yourself.

To be honest I didn't know the origin of Goody Two Shoes myself and had to look it up. I thought it was pantomime connected but apparently not!