Gift From the Sea review

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Goodreads: In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.

I do not want to say anything bad about this book.  Her stay on Captiva makes me want to drive over there as it is a mere fourteen miles from my house but it has changed a lot since 1955, that is for sure.

This book is delightful in the talk of the sea shells and finding oneself by spending some time in seclusion without the modern gadgets we think we can’t live without.  I love the sea shells and have looked at all the ones mentioned as I work in the Shell Factory.

Her insights were groundbreaking in their day – and certainly I found some enlightenment along the way.  However, a lot of what I read was not new to me which makes me feel further along in “finding myself” than she was in 1955.  But, of course, the subject of finding oneself has become a huge topic since then so it would be hard not to have crossed the subject a few times in reading, radio, television or movies.

When I originally bought the book, I thought it was something I would love and want to send a copy of to my sisters.  Now, after completing it, I won’t because they also have figured out most of this stuff already so it wouldn’t be worth the money for the book.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they have read it already anyway.

Anyway, I don’t regret reading it.  I give it a B – I’m sure back in 1955, I would have given it an A+ but whatever.  :-)

 

Death of a Scriptwriter review

Death of a Scriptwriter (Hamish Macbeth, #14)

Goodreads: With the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe away in London, Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth pines for company during the long Scottish winter. He gets his wish — and more — when a troupe of flashy, urbane filmmakers clamors into the nearby town of Drim. Before long bedlam erupts around their make-believe mystery …and culminates in the sudden appearance of one very real corpse.

The initial suspect in the killing is one Patricia Martyn-Broyd, the aging mystery writer furious that her musty old cozies are getting a risque face-lift in their TV reincarnation. Yet, going behind the scenes, Hamish soon finds a town full of locals bitten by the movie bug and a cast of quarreling show business types, all harboring their own secrets, lies, and hidden agendas. And as the culprit strikes again, Hamish must quickly find the right killer — or script the wrong finale to a show gone murderously awry.

Well, Hamish is at it again in the gloomy, dreary town of Drim where a filming company has decided to film a TV series.  Besides the drug issues of uppers and marijuana, the body of the scriptwriter is found by none other than Hamish himself.

It was quite easy to figure out who did it – I knew who the killer was before the man was ever killed.  Still, Hamish is always a delight to read about and his antics, though sometimes questionable, get results when no one else can.  Sometimes he makes a wrong move or lets his sympathies get in the way of rational thought.

However, he always gets his man in the end  The more I read about the Scottish countryside, the more I know I don’t have the slightest desire to visit it.  It sounds formidable at best – I couldn’t take the snow though.

Another great read that lives up to the Hamish Macbeth series.  It read quickly and stays on task the entire way.  I give this one an A.  :-)

Death of a Dentist review

402679 Goodreads: A blinding toothache sends Hamish Macbeth 120 miles out of Lochdubh to the dentist Frederick Gilchrist, only to find him dead. Since everyone is pleased the dentist is deceased–patients, several harassed women, and even his wife–Macbeth faces one of the more biting challenges of his career.  I know what you are thinking – another Hamish Macbeth on the same day? Well, yes, thank you very much, don’t mind if I do. This seemed more of a Hamish Macbeth story than the last one. I don’t know what was wrong with Death of a Macho Man but it really didn’t live up to the series in so many ways.  Between Hamish and Priscilla’s childish tantrums which never does anything but drive them apart, and the police ineptness made that one harder to get through.  There isn’t any of that in this one. Hamish does seem to be laxing a bit in his duties as the local constable – even to the point that he lets some serious infractions of the law slide when maybe he should not have.  I think the character needs a new dog.  I’m stilled miffed at the author for killing off his dog a few stories back. The murderer is not evident at first but comes to light about halfway in though Hamish doesn’t find it out till the very end.  It is hard to fault him, though, with his terrible toothache and reputation for chasing skirts.  The poor man barely finds time to sleep.  :-) Have to say, the storms and weather in this made me cold.  It made me appreciate sunny Florida, for sure.  I give the book an A.

Death of a Macho Man review

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Goodreads: When Hamish Macbeth, local constable of the Scottish village of Lochdubh, tries to break up one of the many fights involving Randy Duggan, the ruffian challenges him to a fistfight. But on the chosen day, Duggan is found shot to death and Macbeth is rumored to be the likely suspect. Macbeth must find the murderer, clear his name, and restore his Highland paradise to its usual tranquility.

So my first Macbeth book in a couple weeks or so.  Hamish was his good old self, getting into trouble and out smarting the other policemen.  The murderer in this story is hardly a secret and the reason was pretty easy too but the story was still a good one which I enjoyed.

There seemed to be more than a few typos in this one but I put it down to not knowing the lingo of the Scottish highlands.  In any case, I found it a bit distracting but not a deal breaker as far as reading it went.

Love the descriptions of the area but have to admit, it is not a place I would like to live.  The weather sounds formidable no matter what the season!   Kind of felt this book was more rushed than the others – like the author had a deadline to meet but it still is a good read.

I give the book a A-

Currently Reading

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In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.

With great wisdom and insight Lindbergh describes the shifting shapes of relationships and marriage, presenting a vision of life as it is lived in an enduring and evolving partnership. A groundbreaking, best-selling work when it was originally published in 1955, Gift from the Sea continues to be discovered by new generations of readers. With a new introduction by Lindbergh’s daughter Reeve, this fiftieth-anniversary edition will give those who are revisiting the book and those who are coming upon it for the first time fresh insight into the life of this remarkable woman.

The sea and the beach are elements that have been woven throughout Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life. She spent her childhood summers with her family on a Maine island. After her marriage to Charles Lindbergh in 1929, she accompanied him on his survey flights around the North Atlantic to launch the first transoceanic airlines. The Lindberghs eventually established a permanent home on the Connecticut coast, where they lived quietly, wrote books and raised their family.

After the children left home for lives of their own, the Lindberghs traveled extensively to Africa and the Pacific for environmental research. For several years they lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where Charles Lindbergh died in 1974.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh spent her final years in her Connecticut home, continuing her writing projects and enjoying visits from her children and grand-children. She died on February 7, 2001, at the age of ninety-four.

This is the book I am currently reading – should have a review up soon.

Death of a Nag review

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Goodreads: After his engagement is broken, Constable Hamish Macbeth is looking forward to rest and relaxation in the coastal town of Skay. But when he arrives at the somewhat dismal bed and breakfast, his fellow guests include the annoying Miss Gunnery, a London family, and Bob Harris, who so nags his wife that everyone wants to kill him. And then someone does. 

Ah, Hamish is back and the plot is perfect.  Who killed the nagging Bob Harris who has nothing good to say to anyone? I must admit, I knew the answer but could not figure out the motive till the end when Hamish revealed it.  The story moves along at a fairly good clip.

I can’t say I was brokenhearted about his engagement being broken – I know there has to be a better female character for him.  There are sad moments in the story as well that upset me and had me wondering exactly why the author put them in there.  Did they really lend anything to the story? Maybe, but I don’t like tear jerkers.

Wonderful descriptions – that bed and breakfast was totally disgusting.  I really am going to take a break from Hamish now for a bit – I know I keep saying that and I do have the next two books on my Nook – but I need to switch gears for a bit.  Maybe I will read a biography or something.

I give this book in the series an A – it would have gotten an A+ if not for the sad scenes.  :-)

 

Death of a Charming Man review

Death of a Charming Man (Hamish Macbeth, #10)

Goodreads: Hamish Macbeth’s unofficial engagement to the stunning Priscilla Halburton-Smythe is reminding the constable of the old adage about answered prayers. His lovely fiancee has replaced his cozy wood stove with a modern electric one and is busy trying to “make a man of him.” The only man Hamish wants to be is the one who slouches about the village, gossiping, fishing, and deftly solving a crime or two.

Deciding that this may be a good time for a little retreat, Hamish ambles over to the nearby backwater of Drim – ostensibly to check out a posh English chap who’s causing a most unusual problem. Single, wealthy, and terribly attractive, newcomer Peter Hynd has thrown the middle-aged matrons of Drim into a flutter, and put their men, dour Highlanders whose feelings run deep, on a slow burn.

Hamish’s instincts tell him this seemingly charming young man likes to stir up trouble, and it’s not long before the seething emotions transform the sleepy village into a hotbed of threats, domestic rows, and violent murder. With Hamish’s own relationship raising doubts about hearts and flowers, he’s more than ready to do what he now must – investigate the darker side of love . . .  

Well, OK, I can say this has been my least favorite Hamish book yet.  It seemed to drag and had Hamish running around so much that this reader was getting a trifle bit of a headache.  I wasn’t impressed by the plot either – I dunno, felt like the author kind of rushed through this one.

However, I do like Hamish and felt that his character was true to form and while I found the child, Heather, a bit creepy, I did like her as well.  I’m afraid Priscilla made it back to my not overly likeable list and if Hamish ends up marrying her in future books, I will be disappointed.

The book moves along and is well worth the read.  I give it a B+ though for giving me the headache.  :-)