Historical fiction based on fact. Told through the eyes of Adele, whose portrait is painted by Klimt, and her niece Maria, who flees Vienna during World War II. Although their stories are decades apart they share a strength of spirit. They were remarkale women. The story balances the excesses of Vienna’s Succession Art Movement with the Nazi rule and dispossession of Jewish wealth. I love a story that invites me to explore the topic further, I was looking at the artists mentioned and their work. You will want to watch the movie Woman in gold after reading this story.
This is a brilliant British crime show, set in London and surrounds. It starts with the discovery of a body, long dead, and introduces a series of seemingly unconnected characters and the police. As the series goes on, connections become clear, and finally the murder is solved. Like most British crime shows, I spend a lot of it identifying actors from other shows (It’s Ruth from Spooks! It’s Mrs Plornish from Little Dorrit!). The detectives are very endearing, and the mystery is clever and compelling; it’s a great show.
Detective Cassie Maddox was the partner of the main character in the first book of the series, and now she has transferred out of the Murder Squad, and is dealing with the fallout of their last case. She has an opportunity to go undercover in a household of post-grad students from Trinity College, to help solve the murder of a girl who was using her old undercover identity. It’s a beguiling life she falls into, and it makes her question so much about her life. The mystery is compelling, the characters enchanting and frightening, and the resolution packs an emotional punch.
Bluebottle is a quiet, leisurely paced book about the lasting power of family ties and secrets. Charlie is a difficult man to live with; his wife and children must tiptoe around his swinging moods. Something happens one Christmas that is still affecting them twenty years later. Set on Sydney’s northern beaches, the heat, ocean and rain are palpable, as is the tension in the siblings.
The landscape of Tasmania is wonderfully described in this story, being both wild and comforting. There is mystery, friendship and love in there but the overiding message is all about the environment. While this is an important message I think it could of been handled a little more subtlety and let the story and characters shine more.
The story is told through Rebecca during the week after her Da’s death. We find out that the family had lots of secrets, one of them about the death of her mother years earlier. I loved the way the story is told through Rebecca’s diary like telling, it’s more than a simple mystery to be solved. I was involved with the story from the beginning and had to keep reading to find out the ending, and though it was not the ending I expected with everything neatly tied up, I enjoyed the story very much.
Number 7 is out in a few days, so I thought I had best read 5.5, which I had missed. It’s only a quick story, but satisfying none the less, with the delightfully quirky characters, magical mysteries, and dry humour that we expect from the series. Lots of fun, as always.
It’s a big book, but it fairly flew by. Detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott take us through London, Westminster and the English countryside as they work for a government minister and try to find out how a troubled young man is connected to him. The mystery is convoluted and complicated, and the ending satisfying, but I don’t really read for plot. As ever, there is a great sense of place, and I have really come to care for the characters.
Ted’s innocence is exposed and Amanda delightfully pairs with him to solve another crime. I am enjoying the character Amanda and her canny ability to expose the underbelly of crime around Cairns. This was a good continuation of the story that began in Crimson Lake and I look forward to see which direction the next story will take me.
Reading the book after seeing and loving the film version, is one of my favourite things. The book is so slim, and very spare, so didn’t take much longer than watching the movie. It’s the story of a number of women working in a fancy Sydney department store in 1959. There’s glamour, romance, awakenings, wit, and light. It was a joy to read and to watch.