This author is working her way through the alphabet, the next in the series being C is for Corpse so you get the drift. The central character, Kinsey Millhone is a Private Detective, a straight talking divorcee who lives in a fifteen foot room and drives a beat-up old car; the books detail multi layered adventures, each story following fleshing out the character (I know this because I've already started B is for Burglar...!) - 'A' being the first book the character and the writing is a bit unformed but I can see myself tearing through the whole alphabet over the coming weeks and months - 'A' is enjoyable, a bit on the light side but it has possibilities (which are borne out in the next letter of the alphabet) and this one comes with a surprise ending which I won't spoil for you.
Scarves and Wraps - 25 Gorgeous Designs by Jill Denton
I've realised that felting is seasonal - I have the most gorgeous pile of felting wools in my work-room (a.k.a. the spare bedroom) but I haven't once had the urge to do anything with them since the sun started shining (though now its raining constanly maybe I will do something...) - I've found that hot weather is not conducive to sweating over a great long piece of wool - and the physical process of felting is just that, physical - its hard work, and no-one wants to be panting over a sheet of wool in the summer, it just does not seem right somehow.
Having said that, its the most perfect time of year for learning, and this book offers lots of inspiration to the felter - I've not been doing it long and so I'll take any help I can get - I look at the work of others and wonder 'how did they do that'. Each chapter develops work around a different 'natural' theme - lots to go on, maybe a bit light on in-depth techniques though that is easily worked round by looking up anthing you might need on the internet - Jill Denton also has a nice website, which can be found here.
Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory - sometimes when reading something you become mesmerised, but not necessarily in a good way - a bit, I imagine, like coming across a snake and being too scared to move. Not that this book scared me, but I came away from reading it feeling thoroughly grubby and as though my soul had been slightly damaged. This sounds amazing as the result of reading a book but the central character somehow does this to you; imagine Scarlett O'Hara on acid, and you've got Beatrice Lacey, the 'heroine' of this piece. Its not that I don't recommend the book, but it should come with a health warning; murder, incest, you name it, its in here; riveting - certainly, entertaining - possibly, but dark, dark, dark - most definitely.
Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser - this is one you are going to love, it is incredibly evocative and brings to life this most astonishing King of France; not only does it do this to perfection, but it also does the same for the women in his life; mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - this book explores the relationships between The Sun King and his women, including Louis XIV's mistresses, Louise de La Valliere, Athenais de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orleans in succession, his illegitimate daughters, and Adelaide, the child-wife of his grandson; highly recommended, Antonia Fraser never disapppoints.