The Red House Mystery

Book Title: The Red House Mystery
Author: A.A. Milne
Series: N/A
Genres: Mystery, Classics, Crime
Format: Paperback

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Goodreads Synopsis

Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A Milne’s only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. And when the local police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and, together with his friend and loyal ‘Watson’, delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man.

‘The Red House Mystery’ is a lost gem from a time before Tigger and a perfectly crafted whodunit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters.


As soon as I saw that the legendary A. A. Milne had written a mystery novel I knew I needed to read it. I bought it back in January during my birthday book haul but it took me until August to actually get around to it.

Unusually for me I also read the introduction. To hear the author talk in that familiar style about his writing process was fascinating to me. As was his use of the word “watsonize” which may be my favourite thing to come out of reading it.

The story itself was frightfully British and in the ilk of Agatha Christie. There is a grand house and a visitor who sticks his nose in while trying to solve the crime. While this isn’t a ground breaking formula, it is something I can read time and time again without getting bored.

The twists and turns in this mystery really kept me guessing (as proved by my tweets below).

Other reviewers have suggested that the story is a parody. I’m not sure about that but it is true that the book didn’t take itself too seriously.

There is probably an argument that I am one of those book reviewers who give out 5 stars too easily. But this book was just perfect for me so it would be wrong for me to give it any less.

Perfect for me. Likely to talk about it during reading. Might re-read as I enjoyed it so much.

 

I am just as shocked as you dear reader to hear that I actually read a book in August. All the way through. And I started another one! My reading habit is back and long may it continue. Not sure what I am talking about? Catch up here

Now if I could just get back into the blogging habit…

Yes ma’am! I’m on it!

I’m also starting to #NaNoPrep. Last year I blogged about my NaNo experience on a different site which I no longer maintain. I am going to reblog some of the highlights over here and then share my experiences this time. Being a ‘book blog’ I think that is appropriate.

Best get to it…

 

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Book Title: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Author: Akira Himekawa
Series: The Legend of Zelda #3
Genres: Sequential Art > Manga, Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Format: Paperback

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Synopsis

After sealing Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm, Link returns to the time when he was a boy. Peace has returned to Hyrule, but his old friend Navi is missing. While wandering the forest in search of Navi, he meets Skull Kid, who is wearing Majora’s Mask, an artifact said to grant your wishes. The mischievous Skull Kid steals the Ocarina of Time from Link and turns Link into a Deku Nut!


I’m not usually one for skipping mid-way into a series but this was the first edition available back on Free Comic Book Day when I picked it up. I was excited to dive into my second manga after reading Pokemon earlier in the year.

I like to think that reading manga is reading outside of my comfort zone.  Considering both of my manga reads to date have been about video games I have played, I think perhaps I am kidding myself on that one.

It was initially weird to me that the character of Link was able to talk in the story. He is notoriously silent in the video game but once I was a few pages in I was enjoying reliving the excitement of the game through the book. There are some understandable differences in the story line and these edited out a lot of what you experience as you play through the game. It didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment though. It was still a nostalgic read.

There is an additional short story at the end that left me perplexed. Now I am very good at imagery, symbolism, reading between the lines etc. but I just didn’t get it. That left a rather sour taste for me.

This is very much a book that fans will enjoy. I’m not sure how well others would appreciate it.

Taking that into account, overall this is a 4* read.

4 Star Rating

Perfect except for…

 

 

I am NEVER moving again. I swear. After 14 house moves I’m done. Three moves ago my partner and I moved in together. Two moves ago my partner and I moved together in the first few weeks after I had quit teaching for health reasons. This last move was the first time either of us have ever owned a property, and technically we only own 35% of it as we couldn’t get a mortgage for any more than that.

Moving myself is hard enough. Moving him and me? Hell on earth. Moving him and me and dealing with housing buying shenanigans? Well that is enough to drive a woman to drink. Or gain 10 pounds. Or both. Oh and doing it in a heatwave? Enough said.

Moving on…

We’ve been in our new house for a couple of weeks now. Today is the first day I have had my desk set up and I was itching to write a blog post. I have been playing around with graphics on my iPad as you may have noticed but today is the first time I have been able to sit at a keyboard and type. Bliss.

I need to write a post about book shelves soon because I HATE our current solution. I tolerated it in the last house but now I have had enough. I want to see the books not hide them behind each other.

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I have hardly read anything in the last couple of months. The odd bit here and there but nothing like the old routine I used to be in. My mental health has suffered as a result. Reading isn’t the only routine that has gone out of the window. With things still in boxes and not really knowing where the things I have unpacked are either I am struggling.

The important thing is to keep going. One day at a time.

Hello Story Lovers! Welcome to my Sunday update post where I share mid-way reviews on my current reads with the hashtag #SoFarSo.

Here is what I am currently reading, and here’s how it is going so far…

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So Far So long…

Number of Reading Sessions: 10

Book Remaining: 57%

Quick Notes: I am still enjoying this read but it isn’t getting anywhere fast. This lack of resolution has caused me to start other books. I’m still plodding along with it.

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So Far So fabulous

Number of Reading Sessions: 2

Book Remaining: 200 odd pages

Quick Notes: I love reading this familiar voice. The story hasn’t really got going yet but I am still loving it. Perhaps I’m being blinkered by nostalgia? Time will tell.

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So Far So nostalgic. 

Number of Reading Sessions: 1

Book Remaining: 50%

Quick Notes: I couldn’t resist picking this up a few weeks ago while in the comic book shop for National Comic Day. I’ve played the game this magna is based on several times and I love how closely it is tied together. This book is a nostalgic trip through stressful encounters. At least I don’t have to worry about heart pieces while reading!

Untitled designDivider.pngThis week I have also reviewed my recently finished reads:

 

Want to join in? Use the prompts above to write your own mini review of your #currentlyreading. Then share your mini reviews using the hashtag #SoFarSo and link your blog posts in the comments below.

The British Books Challenge is a simple one. Read one book each month throughout 2018 that has a British author. You can my other #BritishBooksChallenge18 posts here.

Oh dear. No British Books were read in April or May. Whoops. Only 4 days into June however I have already read one. Yay me! Lets hope this is a sign of a better month.

Rachel Ward is not an author I had heard of before #YAShot2018 back in April. I took a workshop with her where she read the first couple of pages of ‘Numbers’ and I couldn’t believe it wasn’t something I had read before. It sounded exactly like my kind of thing. I promptly bought a copy and then did nothing with it for a few weeks. Standard.

Anyway, in a bid to improve my mental health, I decided I needed get myself back into reading so on Thursday night (technically still May but whatever) I started reading. In fact…


REVIEW

Book Title: Numbers
Author: Rachel Ward
Series: Numbers #1
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Paperback

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Synopsis

Since her mother’s death, 15-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else’s, a number pops into her head – the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn.


I’ll be honest, initially I wasn’t sure. Jem’s language was grating (and it is a first person narration). It took a couple of chapters for me to get to know her and look past that. Once I did I got completely lost in the story.

The inclusion of scenes from school really helped to get a better understanding of both Jem and Spider. I was a teacher. I know that feeling of helplessness where you can’t make the kids understand the importance their right now has on their future. But on the flip side… not wait don’t let this degrade into a rant about the state of the education system.

It is amazing the difference a decade can make to the inclusion of technology in a story. I couldn’t decide whether the fact that the characters smoked dated the story as well. It seemed really strange to me that they smoked but this was set pretty soon after the smoking ban and way before vaping became what all the cool kids were doing. Maybe I am just really out of touch.

I swear the book was scratch and sniff in places. I could smell Spider from the description. Rank.

And the end, well I saw it coming. Including the bit revealed in the epilogue. But that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment (I didn’t want to believe it) and satisfaction with how the story ended. You get enough resolution to not need book two, but I will pick it up at some point none the less. I would like to see where things go.

4 Stars

Really enjoyed the story. Related to the characters/issues. Would strongly recommend.