Hmm, for some reason, all of my posts seem to be truncated on the front page. Nope, not any more, I fixed it! It's important, I think, to play around with what you can do on any one platform. I've been looking to liven up the template though, and, for awhile, it looks like I may have broken things.
I'm sure it's because blogger figured out I was considering cheating on it with wordpress. But only for the templates! The pretty templates! Luckily, in all of my messing about, I saved the original template for the blog. Uploading it appears to have worked! Thank goodness.
Of course, if I wasn't willing to play around and learn, I'd be stuck with whatever comes out of the box. I'd rather make mistakes and have to fix them than have no idea what I'm doing at all.
Excellent. Off to the library, then. And then back here for more book reviews! continue on...
Ngaio Marsh, and Agatha Christie, and John Dickinson Carr, occupy a special place in my childhood history of reading. Sometime in between The Hobbit and Foundation, I went on what can only be described as a British mystery reading spree and attempted to read everything these people had ever written. Along with,of course, everything Arthur Conan Doyle had ever written. Ngaio Marsh, though she had the smallest number of books (and, well, is technically a New Zealander), outshines everyone on pure quality of her writing.
Two of my favourites are Vintage Murder and Death of a Peer, and, as I wend my way through my library, I picked them up to read during our recent snow storm.
Vintage Murder is an early, and fun, book in the Roderick Alleyn series. This one takes place as he is travelling through New Zealand and recovering from some unspecified operation. It is early in the canon as he is not yet married or dreaming of his future wife. There is a rugby-hooligan type incident on a train that ends with a bruised backside on one of the characters and a theft before the main murder even occurs. This book has a number of characters, and following every movement of each person can get baffling at times; however, Marsh never makes the reader feel as if Alleyn knows something special or has super-powers, merely that his powers of deduction are sharp and that all of the information is there that is necessary to solve the mystery along with him.
It is interesting to note that the translations of the book all mention the murder weapon, but lose the pun inherent in the original title.
Death of a Peer, though, contains at its heart one of Marsh's best creations, the Lamprey family. Dotty, eccentric, lovable, they form the center of a locked room mystery--and distract the reader from the horror of the crime itself. They nearly distract the detectives as well, but as Marsh's Inspector Alleyn can always be relied upon to re-center himself, the distraction does not prove fatal and all of the clues are neatly laid out in the narrative itself. One of the characters even appears in a later book (Night at the Vulcan) and the quiet romance is dealt with deftly. Very well-plotted, very "British", very enjoyable.
If you enjoy Christie, or even more recent incarnations such as Anne Perry, Ngaio Marsh would be well worth giving a try. continue on...
The past few days have been a mess. Today, I made a mess. A burnt, smokey, stuck to the sides of the muffin-tin mess. I got distracted by the content I was helping a friend write for her website, and I had forgotten several things about the oven in our flat. The first, it's convection, which means I need to subtract time and temperature from the recipes I thought I knew by heart; second, well, things had been going pear-shaped in general so I should have been more attentive in general, and third.... let's just say that with constantly converting temperature, weight, ingredients, and general culture, well, I was bound to slip up somewhere.
The plus was, of course, I had to snap out of my malaise and figure out what to do with twelve well-toasted muffins.
Well, beside throwing them away. The chocolate I had added to them was lovely, and it seemed a shame to waste anything that was actually edible. So, on my way to my husband's work to rewrite my C.V. again (but this time somewhere with a printer), I carried in my hands----muffin middles. Unattractive they may be, but they taste lovely, and I'm sure it's that chocolate that finally allowed me to get through rewriting my CV in what is apparently known as a "skills" format. All I know is that I need a job. Although I LOVE writing content and reviews, I'm currently doing it for free (or bartering for free books or horseback riding), and well, I'd like to rejoin the workforce, thank you.
So here's hoping the muffin middles did the trick, and I'm on my way to gainful employment.
(I feel I should say that I couldn't take a picture of the middles. So, instead, I treated myself to a second look at the cupcakes we had at our wedding. Mmmm. They tasted and looked good.) continue on...