Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith

Portrait of a Murderer (British Library Crime Classics) - Anne Meredith, Martin Edwards

Adrian Gray,an unpleasant patriarch of an equally unpleasant family invites his six children (and their partners) to the family manor to celebrate Christmas. He is not a very loved or likeable man and his family have solid reasons to murder the old man. And one of them does murder Adrian Gray on Christmas Eve. The identity of the murderer is immediately revealed. This is not a who,how or why done it. The story revolves mainly around the exposure and evidence seeking to convict the culprit. It has definitely a modern,not Golden Age at all,twist about it but it took me an eternity to finish it and some parts just dragged on. True,my mother passed away in December and that really didn’t help me to keep focused…

Therefore it is really very difficult to give an unbiased opinion on this classic mystery…

Turkish Delights by John Gregory-Smith

Turkish Delights: Stunning regional recipes from the Bosphorus to the Black Sea

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A sprinkling of sun…

Although I really don’t mind the winter,a sprinkling of sun in the kitchen is a welcome present.
And both the recipes and the photographs (mind you not all the recipes have photographs but most of them…)bring a bit of sunshine in your daily diet.
The problem with a lot of “international ” cookbooks are the ingredients. How does anyone expect you to find some obscure vegetable or an unheard of spice blend? Well,the author gives you alternatives . For instance certain Turkish cheeses are replaced by feta,cheddar and even mozzarella! Those alternatives and the fact that most recipes are not overly complicated make this a very pleasant introduction to the Turkish cuisine.

Deep Waters edited by Martin Edwards

Deep Waters - Martin Edwards

Sixteen short stories all relating to water,be it rivers,seasides,estuaries, pools and so on. And ranging in style from classic murder mysteries to tales of the unexpected. Some are good,very good indeed,and some do not quite enchant me so much. But one of the great advantages and delights of these anthologies is the fact that you are introduced to different writers(some famous like Arthur Conan Doyle,C.S.Forester,Michael Innes and some now long forgotten) and their different approach to the “murder mystery”. And notwithstanding the fact that some were written more than a century ago,they are still highly readable and are still a wonderfull source of bookish pleasure.

 

Storm of Secrets by Loretta Marion

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Storm of Secrets (Haunted Bluffs Mystery #2) - Loretta Marion

A storm is closing in the Cape Cod and the small town of Whale Rock and everybody is preparing for this natural disaster. But just before the storm hits the land,a small time drugs dealer is found dead in a dumpster and a toddler has gone missing. So the local police force and Daniel Benjamin a retired FBI agent(and groom to be)have their work cut out for them. Meanwhile Cassie Mitchell,a bride whose wedding has been postponed due to the stormy weather,welcomes several local residents and visitors ,whose houses are in a danger zone ,in her house “The Bluffs” where the ghosts of her great-grandparents have taken up residence . There is another story of another boy whose body washed up on the shore,some 20 years ago, but who was never identified. It is clear that this story still attracts some attention. There is a mysterious woman who visits his grave,a local writer trying to make a book out of this tragic story and a visitor who also has some keen interest in the unknown boy. There is yet another storyline going back to the sixties,eighties and present day, about an immigrant Italian family and their tribulations in the US. The mystery side of the story is not bad but there are so many sidelines and so many things going on …paternity quests,diaries,ghosts,paintings,pregnancies,illness,beach houses,party guests,lost(or forgotten)lovers,drugs,lost boys both from the past and the present,damaged young men…it is just too much. Of course,it didn’t help that I couldn’t connect with the amateur sleuth,Cassie. She is opinionated,judgemental, nosy(ok,that’s normal for a sleuth…),not very discreet and even rude sometimes. But the setting is great,a small town of the Cape Cod coast,flooded by merry vacationers in the summer and pretty restful in the winter. And that is a great start full of promises.