Taming the Highlander is the second book in a trilogy I enjoyed listening to a few years ago.
Fifty years previously four small pieces of a stone relic, the Wheel of Lugh, were brought to Scotland. Each fragment held a special gift but together, the four pieces would hold a terrible power if they were to fall into the wrong hands. The bearers of the tablets had sworn an oath, to travel to the farthest reaches of Scotland to keep the pieces of the relic separate.
I’ve loved this series and am looking forward to the fourth book which is due in November. The stories chart the history of jazz and the mafia during the middle years of the 20th century.
I really enjoyed the first two books in the series—The Axeman’s Jazz & Dead Man’s Blues—and The Mobster’s Lament was no exception. Set in post war New York where private investigator Ida Davies arrives to help her old friend and mentor, ex Pinkerton agent, Michael Talbot.
I used to read a lot of Marcia Willett’s books, but haven’t done so for a good while. This was one of my favourites and reminds me to check out some of the author’s works that I haven’t read.
Maudie Todhunter, Hector’s second wife, was recently widowed and has decided to sell Moorgate, the family’s holiday home, for much-needed funds. Her step daughter, Selina, has always hated Maudie through jealousy and her need to always come first. She has never forgiven Maudie for ‘taking her mother’s place’ and is obsessed with the need to possess, whether it’s people or things. Her continued hostility and bitterness eventually takes its toll on her long-suffering family. Selina’s daughter, Posy, and Maudie have formed a strong bond and are very close, adding to Selina’s bitterness and dissatisfaction with what she sees as a personal slight.
The Impossible Knife of Memory, performed by Julia Whelan and Luke Daniels, was released in 2014 by Brilliance Audio.
Hayley Kincain has an interesting take on her peers, they’re either freaks or zombies. She’s spent the majority of her teenage years travelling around the country navigating for her truck driving dad. Now they’re living in her grandmother’s old house in their home town and Hayley has started high school which proves to be a challenge for her. She copes by being aloof, hiding her pain as best she can and not letting herself get close to anyone…until she meets Finn.
Beginning with a short, intriguing prologue, we become acquainted with Justine King as she attends her mother’s funeral in Yorkshire.
Justine is a very successful artist and her story unfolds through present and past narratives. Justine’s return to her childhood home kindled memories, and thoughts on the path her life had taken after learning of her friend’s betrayal when they were teenagers. Turning emotions into art she created a collage which paved her way into art college and a subsequent year of study in Malaga.
Since there’s nothing much of interest on the TV lately, I’ve been re-watching the Shetland series. Series 6, put on hold due to Corona virus should be being filmed at the moment. The books stopped at number 6, hopefully the TV series will carry on.
I broke my own rules reading, or listening to, this series completely out of order. It’s not something I normally do but having watched each season on TV, which helps enormously with visualising the people and the locale, and at the same time becoming familiar with the characters, it’s not so much of an issue.
The story centres round an archaeological dig on Mima Wilson’s croft where a human skull has been found. Red Bones finds Sandy Wilson, Mima’s grandson, visiting family on Whalsay, a short ferry ride from Lerwick where he lives and works as a detective constable in the Shetland police force.
The prequel to the Pattern of Shadows series, A Hundred Tiny Threads explores the lives of Winifred Duffy and Bill Howarth up to the beginning of their lives together.
Winifred lives with her mother, the very unpleasant Ethel, and her much nicer and long suffering father, and works in the family’s grocery shop. Winifred is an innocent, leading a very sheltered life ruled by her mother. Until the day Honora O’Reilly enters her life with her independence and talk of a better life for women, persuading Winifred to join the Suffragette movement. That, and meeting Conal, Honora’s brother, changed Winifred’s life in ways she could never have envisioned.
Pieces of Her is a dual timeline psychological thriller, set in the present day and the mid 80s. Each chapter’s heading is clear so the reader knows the exact sequence as the narrative weaves from one period to the other, exploring the mother/daughter relationship along the way.
Three years ago thirty-one year old Andrea (Andy) left New York and returned home to help nurse her mother Laura, after a breast cancer diagnosis. Andy has no drive or ambition and no meaningful personal relationships to speak of. Her mother has made her life so agreeable that Andy doesn’t know how to begin to take control herself.
A serialised novel, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings tells the story of Hattie who is happily married to Gary. They have a teenage son Johnny who sometimes tries Hattie’s patience, as teenagers tend to do. Cat, Hattie’s best friend since primary school, has thankfully ditched her controlling husband and is much happier. Her brother Jack is in a strong relationship with his partner, Ben. Hattie’s mother Rachel is an elegant lady with a few gentlemen friends who is about to face a frightening battle.