A Venetian Masquerade by Philip Gwynne Jones

The Venetian Masquerade - Philip Gwynne Jones

Nathan Sutherland,honorary consul and part time translator is asked to help the famous conductor, Thomas Lockwood, and his gorgeous talented partner,Isotta Baldan, an opera singer, in their quest for a mythical,but unfortunately lost,opera of Monteverdi. But death seems to follow in the wake of their investigations…

The setting,Venice during carnival, is of course absolutely stunning but somehow I’m missing some personal link to the city. We get all the names of the calle,piazza’s…but there is a certain warmth,a deep involvement lacking. The relationship between Nathan and his partner Frederica is a bit soppy,a lot of tesoro,mio cuore,caro mio(and I mean a lot!). There is also a lot foodstuff going on,but there again, I don’t have the feeling they are particularly enjoying their food apart from huge amounts of Spritzes (basically vermouth/Campari,white wine/prosecco and sparkling water.) Yes,Spritz is definitely an on going theme!

It is an easy read and it is not a bad story as the mystery of a long lost manuscript is captivating but it is certainly not as sparkling as the already mentioned Spritz…

…a bit of a slump…

I’m currently reading Bones of the Earth by Eliot Pattison but for some strange,and then again not so strange,reason I’m having such a difficult time finishing it. I really want to finish it but somehow this story does not make it easy but for some stubborn reason I will not start a new book as long as this one isn’t finished…

This photograph, of a very young pear blossom,says it all…

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…any diversion feels good. Luckily it is just a natural (small) miracle that catches my full attention at the moment . The book, I’m sure,will follow…

Sleep by C.L.Taylor

Sleep - C.L. Taylor

After a traumatizing experience in London where Anna was involved in a car crash and two of her passengers/ colleagues did not survive and a third passenger was seriously injured,she feels ,apart from feeling guilty, as if someone is stalking her and very soon paranoia and insomnia sets in. So she decides to leave the Metropolis and move to Rum,a small Scottish isle, where she is helping David,the owner, to run a small country hotel. A group of 7 hikers arrive in this charming hotel and they all bring their own secrets and problems. When a storm hits the island and the hotel is completely cut off things start to become a bit uncomfortable. Anna feels more than insecure and is convinced that her stalker is in the neighbourhood… It starts very slowly and I had a hard time getting into this story. Of course,the fact that I wasn’t particularly attracted to Anna and that her fate wasn’t a major concern to me,well it didn’t exactly help. Somehow this story had all the right building stones,(storm, invisible threats ,isolated house,strangers meeting each other for the first time…)but it just lacked something. The different POV didn’t help and their were some strange passages for instance:” He’s dead”, I whisper again. Her eyes fill with tears.”Her being the whisperer… I know that this is a 4 to 5 star rating on most major sites but somehow it had all the promises but it just didn’t fulfil them…