This new collection of ten short stories can be dipped into throughout your day – a bit like a box of chocolates but without the calories.
Many of the stories have soft centres but some have more bite and crunch. You will find tales of romance, family life, love and loss, friendship and cosy crime. Feast and enjoy!
Link to Irish Charm on Amazon
Murder on the Levels by Frances Evesham is the second book I have reviewed as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. I choose this book from a long list as it sounded so much fun from the book description. I wasn’t disappointed as you can see from my review below.
Murder on the Levels is a delightfully quirky cosy mystery by Frances Evesham set in the West Country.
The central character, Libby Forest, is warmly portrayed; a baker of cakes and chocolate-maker by profession, she is unwittingly drawn into a murder mystery and detective work, not for the first time.
I loved all the musical references, my favourite being Libby’s recollection of her recorder playing at school being,
“a regular series of high-pitched squeals, like a dawn chorus of cats…”
There are poisoned cyclists, cars driven badly and much too fast, pets with definite opinions, an enigmatic love-interest called Max, and various characters we suspect are not as respectable as they seem, all contributing to an enormous web of mystery and humour. Like Mandy’s tattoos, all is not as it seems, and when the resolution comes, it is as welcome as it is unexpected.
Link to Frances’ author page on Amazon
‘Jam for Tea’ is a touching, funny and affectionate look at the author’s childhood in the 1950s and ’60s. It follows on from ‘Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood’ and takes us right up to the point where Cathy Murray is a qualified primary school teacher and is, in her own words, ‘on the cusp of some of the best experiences of my life’.
We learn where Cathy was when JFK was assassinated, how she tried to subdue her naturally curly hair with sellotape in an effort to copy Twiggy’s hairstyle and of the fun she had on her trip to Wales with the Girl Guides even though conditions were fairly basic. Cathy tells us about her holiday jobs, why we might want to follow her example of never sending food back to the kitchen in a restaurant and reveals why the book is called ‘Jam for Tea’ (hint: there is a canine influence).
One of my favourite reminiscences has to be the story of Cathy’s mother attending a wedding reception wearing a dress made out of the new one hundred per cent man-made fabric, Crimplene. In the crowd, her mother was pushed against a heater then spent the rest of the evening with her back turned away from the other guests so that no one would see the large brown scorch mark on her bottom!
There are charming glimpses of the future too, for example the vignette of Cathy and her father dressed up in their wedding outfits, playing piano duets at home while waiting for the ancient Bentley to arrive and take them to Cathy’s wedding. These hints of what is to come whet our appetite for the next installment of Cathy’s life story. More please, Cathy!
Why not take a look on amazon? UK USA
A link to my review of ‘Cabbage and Semolina’ by Cathy Murray.
My new collection of short stories, ‘Miss Peach’s Dream’, is free to download for five days from today.
There are three quick reads in the collection.
The first introduces us to Miss Rosie Peach, a young teacher keen to sort out other people’s problems.
In ‘Best Song in the World’, Celia tries to intervene between her son and daughter-in-law; she has to revisit sad events in her own marriage in order to help the young couple.
The heroine in ‘The Lady with the Funny Hair’ has had enough – after all, even a worm will turn in the end.
At the end of the book during this free promotion, you will find the Prologue and first three chapters of my recently published musical mystery, ‘The Funny Business of Life’.
We are finishing our John Rutter week with Deck the Halls.
You would be hard pressed to find a more spirited arrangement than this – it really captures the excitement of Christmas preparations and looks forward the New Year.
Wikipedia tells me that carols were originally dances, not songs, so please feel free to dance to the music!
Deck the Halls
I have a request to include from the Exultate Singers – another spirited carol, this time by Bob Chilcott. Enjoy!