Tag Archives: British

Miss Graham’s Cold War Recipe Book- a Review

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This reader wanted to love this book. Alas, even though it had a number of good points and some parts were immersive and well done, the beginning was slow and the last chapters—excluding the epilogue-ish last chapter, were devastating and made this reader angry.

This story had a slow start with way too many characters thrown into the first chapter which slowed the story even more as I tried to get a handle on who was who.

Edith, the character who was the point of view character for most of the book, was naive and put her trust in people too easily. She was recruited as a spy, so this was not a good characteristic for her to have. I see how it was relevant to the story line though.

The plot picked up after the first 100 or so pages. It was a dense plot with a lot of moving parts which I like. I didn’t have any problem following along at all. I usually read fast but this one took me a number of days off and on. I became invested in Edith and her journey. Recruited as a spy, she had some skills and was able to make people feel safe to talk to her (thereby giving away some of their secrets), but the misplaced trust issue became problematic. She couldn’t keep a secret and talked to pretty much anyone in her inner circle about what she was doing. I liked the character and was rooting for her.

There was a lot of graphic detail about the Nazis and the atrocities they inflicted; including the acts perpetrated on children and the disabled. I read a lot of books set in the WWII era so that was expected. What was not expected was how it turned out. Completely disappointing. I was enraged at the time I spent invested in this book to have it utterly dissatisfy me. The very last chapter went a little way to make me less furious, but not a lot. I am still gutted by the ending.

I give this one three stars as I enjoyed the style of writing, the premise, the attention to detail and the parts in the middle where things were happening.  I downgraded it for the time it took to actually get into the story and for the way I felt betrayed as a reader invested in a story by the two big events near the end.

A Book Character I’d Like to Be

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Gotta Love British Cozy Mysteries

I would love to be Miss Marple (a much younger version of course)- She had such a sharp mind. She solved some of the best mysteries ever. I read these all as a kid and I got where I could solve them in like 28 pages. It was a fun game for me to figure out “who dun it”- I didn’t usually get ALL the details but I did get the identity right. I would write down my guess and the page number I was on- then my sister would read the story and be stunned when I gave her my paper when she got done.

I think this clue solving made me want to write such stories myself.

And it doesn’t hurt that I love the time period of the stories as well as the glamorous settings (see my answer yesterday- even though that story was  Hercule Poirot and not Miss Marple, it was still a glamorous place for a murder, Ms. Christie).

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