Friday, September 26, 2014

The silkworm

The second book in the Cormoran Strike series, this novel by Robert Galbraith is another murder mystery being investigated by detective and former soldier, Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott. Cormoran is 35 and is a damaged person, not just physically (the lower part of one leg was amputated when serving in Afghanistan), but also emotionally as his former fiancee is about to marry. The main case investigated in The Silkworm concerns the search for the author, Owen Quine, who is reported missing by his wife. Quine has just completed his latest book and the release of the draft manuscript upsets many fellow authors and others from the publishing world as well as other associates of Quine. When Quine's body is discovered in bazaar circumstances the investigation turns into a hunt not only to discover the killer but also to find out why this has happened. Although the policeman leading the investigation is a former colleague of Strike when in Afghanistan, Strike is convinced that the police suspect the wrong person and sets out to solve the case himself.

The working relationship between Strike and Robin, who also wants to be an investigator, is further developed in this well written, fast paced mystery, adding another dimension to the novel. I have enjoyed reading the first two books in this series and look forward to the next installment in the Cormoran Strike series.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Everything I need to know I learned from a Little Golden Book

For many generations young children were read to and later read titles published by Golden Books. I vividly remember The Big Brown Bear (originally published 1944) about a bear who is warned by his wife to stay away from the bees but of course tries to get honey from the hive and ends up being chased by the bees. Badly stung, he takes refuge in the river and catches a fish for dinner.
The first Golden Books were published in 1942 and cost 25c making the purchase of these books accessible for most families. Approximately 600 titles were published over the years and many are sought after by collectors.

Everything I need to know I learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow provides a collection of sayings or comments on modern life illustrated with pages from Golden Books.

Examples include:
Get some exercise every day - with illustration of animals exercising from the book Animal Gym (1956)
Turn off the TV from time to time - with illustration from the Naughty Bunny (1959)
Use your imagination - with illustration from Nurse Nancy (1952)
Let your children know you love them - with illustration from Baby Dear (1962)
Go fly a kite - with illustration from Chicken Little (1960)
but remember to stop and smell the strawberries - with illustration from Poky Little Puppy (1942)

It is all good fun and the illustrations bring back lots of memories even though Big Brown Bear is not included.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top secret twenty-one

A note on the cover of this book describes Janet Evanovich as 'Queen of Kick-Ass Crime'. This is the twenty-first title in the popular Stephanie Plum series featuring bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum who with the aid of an assortment of lovers, friends and acquaintances, attempts to persuade those who missed their court appearance to return to the police station to be rebailed.

The two main plots in this book involve the attempts to apprehend Jimmy Poletti, used car dealer who sells more than used cars, and the search for the person who is attempting to kill her friend and associate, Ranger. As usual there are explosions - buildings as well as cars - over the top characters and, of course, plenty of action and laughs.