Puzzle Doctor At The Movies – Spooks: The Greater Good

SpooksSpooks was a UK TV series that ran for nine series and ended on a pretty definitive ending. Or, if you’re in the US, MI-5 was a UK TV series, etc. But recently it returned in the cinema, of all places.

A dangerous terrorist escapes from MI-5 custody during a routine prisoner transport and the blame falls on the chief of intelligence, Harry Pearce. Pearce is convinced that an insider helped Qasim to escape and goes on the run to try and prove matters. He recruits an ex-agent, Will Holloway, someone he decommissioned for a reason known only to himself, as he needs someone to trust. But can Will trust Harry? Can Harry trust Will? And can Harry and/or Will trust anybody else?

With Qasim plotting a major strike on London (where else?) and MI-5 hunting both Harry and Will, can things possibly get any worse? Hint: yes.

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Posted in Film and TV | 2 Comments

A Day In The Death Of Dorothea Cassidy by Ann Cleeves

Day In The DeathDorothea Cassidy was the second wife of the Reverend Edward Cassidy but did not conform to the expectations of the Northumberland parish of what a vicar’s wife should be. Young and beautiful and determined to get involved in the community – and worse, she had ideas about how things should be done. Ways to change things that had been done the same way for years. People either loved her or hated her. And now she lies in a field, dead.

Detective Inspector Stephen Ramsay isn’t the only one who finds himself drawn to Dorothea after her death, but as he and the blunter DS Hunter investigate, they find that peoples’ descriptions of  Dorothea’s final day are full of contradictions. But when the murderer strikes again, it becomes clear that someone is desperate to hide their secrets – desperate enough to kill again if necessary.

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Playing With Fire by Kerry Wilkinson

Playing With FireDS Jessica Daniel is tasked with escorting Martin Chadwick from prison. He was jailed seven years ago for setting fire to a local pub, unaware of the fact that someone who asleep inside. Despite the protests of the victim’s father, Chadwick has returned to his family home. And soon the fires start again…

Has Chadwick returned to his earlier habits? Jessica isn’t convinced – her attention is drawn to instead to Chadwick’s son, Ryan, an extremely angry young man. But there are other things to deal with as well. A teenage girl has apparently committed suicide and when Jessica begins to look into it, she finds a link to the fires – Ryan Chadwick himself. But with the arsonist striking again and again, Jessica finds herself in a race against time to prove her suspicions – before things get extremely personal…

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Info Post: The Bodies From The Library 2016

Just a quick post to let you, dear reader, know that the Bodies From The Library event, so successful this year, will be back next year, again in the British Library, on Saturday June 11.

Tickets cost about £30 and are on sale now. All the links to buy tickets and stuff are here. It was a great event last year – the free books were worth more than the ticket price! – my report on it is here (and Past Offences’ somewhat more informative one is here). And I promise that if there’s a talk on Ngaio Marsh this year, I’ll behave myself. Probably…

The speakers from Bodies 2015

The speakers from Bodies 2015

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The Puzzly – The ISOTCMN Book Of The Month – September 2015

September and it seems that the summer of reading madness is well and truly over. Thirty eight books over the two summer months but then that slight distraction of heading back to work struck, coupled with my weird side-strain that caused a problem sitting still – thanks for all the good wishes by the way. And, to be fair, starting to play Skyrim again probably didn’t help. Wonderful game but horribly addictive…

So, only the seven books this month. It’s actually nine-ish – Playing With Fire is done and dusted but I haven’t had time to review it yet. It’s good, by the way. Also I’ve delved in Ann Cleeves’ back catalogue with A Day In The Death Of Dorothea Cassidy which I might finish before the clock strikes October. Oh, and there’s a third one – Chef Maurice And The Bunny-Boiler Bake Off – but the review will appear when the book comes out. I normally wait until the release date is close before reading books, but as you just might have noticed, I love this series to bits and, with my annoying side-strain – which is clearing up, by the way – it was exactly what I needed. No spoilers, but there’s going to have to be something pretty fantastic this month to beat it to next month’s Puzzly. Anyway, out of the possible seven, which one walks off with this month’s Puzzly?

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Posted in Book Of The Month, Brother Athelstan, Paul Doherty | 1 Comment

Time To Murder And Create by Lawrence Block

Time To Murder And CreateMatthew Scudder, ex-New York police officer, current private investigator, has a strange collection of friends. But the Spinner wasn’t exactly one of those. A petty criminal and a blackmailer, he knew that he had enemies. So he gave copies of his secrets to Scudder, paid him a retainer, and checked in every Friday. On the day that he doesn’t check in, Scudder is under instructions to open the envelope. And that day has come…

Scudder has three names – a man who has been paying for his daughter’s mistake for years, an uptown lady desperate to keep her (many) liaisons a secret from her fellow socialites and a candidate for governor with dark sexual secrets that would destroy his campaign in an instant. Convinced that one of these was the killer, Scudder adopts a dangerous plan – to take the Spinner’s place and continue the blackmail. If someone killed the Spinner, then they will presumably try and kill him too. But the plan is going to have far worse consequences than that…

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Posted in Lawrence Block, Matt Scudder | 8 Comments

A Cruel Necessity by L C Tyler

A Cruel NecessityEngland 1657, and Christmas has been cancelled. King Charles I is dead and Oliver Cromwell rules the country with an iron hand. But secret sects of Royalists hope for the return from overseas of the future Charles II – small groups of The Sealed Knot, loyal to the Stuart throne, are springing up over the country, even in a small village in Essex, home of one John Grey.

John has just returned from studying law at Cambridge but after a night’s drinking, he wakes to a world of trouble. A Royalist spy is found with his throat cut – John saw a masked rider approaching the village inn in his drunken stupor but nobody else saw – or claims to have seen – the potential murderer. John finds himself incapable of letting the mystery rest. Somewhere in the village is a murderer and a traitor. And for some reason, John is in their sights.

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Posted in L C Tyler | 8 Comments