Secret Santa

 

 

This year for the very first time I have been involved in a Secret Santa through an on-line book club which I was able to join this year.

My Secret Santa parcel arrived this morning and with it a dilemma.  As you know paper is important to me.  My present was beautifully wrapped in Art Deco type paper.  Black background with small bronze Christmas trees in a line.  The next line was bronze zig zag with angular corners.  So reminiscent of the Art Deco period.  Each bronze decorated line was followed by a pure white straight line.   The pattern on the paper was a work of art.

Oh my, but I was torn.  I wanted to find out what book I had received but I did not want to damage this beautiful paper.  A mug of coffee later and it was time.  With a scalpel, extra light on my work table and a steady hand I began the job of opening the paper.  Thank goodness, my Secret Santa had not used double sided tape.  With care I actually achieved removing this beautiful paper to reveal my book.

However, before scrutinising the book, the paper was ironed to remove the creases.  Yes, ironing it does work.  Just make sure it is a dry iron at low temperature.  I already have a few ideas for using it.  It definitely could be used as background for a greeting card but I think for the moment it will be placed in my drawer containing “special paper” to be used at a future date, possibly.

The book I received wrapped in that wonderful paper was “he said she said” by Erin Kelly and published by Hodder and Stoughton.  I would have walked past this book in a book shop.  The dust cover would not have attracted me nor would the fact that it was termed a “psychological thriller”.   Like everything else in life there are times to try something new and I look forward to reading it during the Christmas period.

Happy Christmas reading especially if it is a genre which you don’t normally read.

Reading Something New

 

What books have you read which are totally out of your comfort zone?

UP front here, I am the biggest coward on two feet.  Dr.  Who tv series has always scared me.  I prefer to record tv programmes or download so that I can fast forward over the bits which scare me.  Yes, honestly a total whoosh

As for books? I have a vivid imagination so reading about a human being viciously hurting another human being is a scene I really don’t need to read about.  As I have said before I enjoy a COZY mystery the emphasis on COZY.  Blood and gore literally make me sick.

However, being a member of a Facebook discussion book group sometimes one must take the plunge and read outside of the comfort zone.  So last month the theme was “Books which Scare you”.  The suggestion for those who don’t like to be scared was Joe Hill’s “The Fireman”.  This was for the scaredy cats like me.  Ha, ha: after two chapters, which I read in daylight, I heard a noise above me.  I jumped out of my skin looked out of the window to see my neighbour’s cat casually sauntering along the path having knocked down a new flowerpot I had left on the window sill.  My heart was racing.  See I did tell you I was a scaredy cat.  I am afraid I didn’t finish the book.  Perhaps someone can tell me how it ends during daylight hours pleas.

Now I have a friend who absolutely loves these sorts of books.  Anne this is definitely one for you.

For anyone who enjoys horror books an author which has been recommend  is Chris Rush .  Book titles include “Folklore”, and “All Shall Suffer”.

For me it’s back to Ruth Dudley Edwards.

 

One of Life’s Pleasures

A mug of coffee or tea and a good book are not just life’s pleasures but a necessity. I don’t think I could survive without a book. There are many book genres which I enjoy but a “who done it”  with a cuppa? A definite yes.

A book where the “baddy” is caught by a believable sleuth, justice is served, without any blood and gore details, is the basis of a good mystery book.  The sleuth can be a lady of indeterminable years, a young lady, a police detective, a retired detective, a librarian, a cook; it doesn’t matter as long as the writing is good and lures me into the story.

I was introduced to a mystery book while attending the children’s public library in Rathmines, Dublin by my good friend Úna and 50 years later she is still introducing me to new authors. During the years I have been enthralled by authors such as Ruth Dudley Edwards, Miranda James, Kate Ellis, Deborah Crombie, Ann Cleeves, Ann Granger, and of course Agatha Christie together with Colin Dexter and his Inspector Morse series.

Unfortunately, a “cozy mystery” is not a popular genre or so the publishers would like us to think. So many book shops do not stock them. In fact, it is hard to find them in general. Thank goodness for the independent book shops where they are more than happy to order these books. Dubray Books in Bray http://www.dubraybooks.ie/ being one such shop with their knowledgeable, friendly staff. Really what more could you ask for.

It is great to come across a new author. A new addition to my author’s journal is Lilian Watts, http://lilianwatts.com. She is an Australian author who has a theatrical series set in U.S.A. which is really enjoyable. So, if you are looking for a cozy mystery read try her out.

Thanks to Úna I have been enthralled, entertained and visited numerous countries through the “cozy mystery” genre.