I thought this little fellow might brighten your day. He certainly did mine.
Otters are so cute.
I thought this little fellow might brighten your day. He certainly did mine.
Otters are so cute.
I’m sure the coat pictured above has magic powers. Whenever I put it on Peebers (or Mr Peabody to give him his full title) it never rains. This morning it drizzled for hours and both the boys were desperate to go out so I got my wellies and Peebers coat and of we drove to the park. As soon as we got out of the car the sun came out. It happens everytime with that coat. Unfortunately, he gets too hot in it when the weather is warm so I ended up carrying it round after 20 minutes. Still the sun continued to shine and 2 very happy boys enjoyed it.
In case you were wondering, Little Bear has a very thick waterproof coat and a complete disdain for dog clothes!
PS I’m very tired of the tablets autofill feature making me look semi-literate. Does anyone know how to turn it off?
My new Rachel Ray magazine arrived today, it’s full of summer sunshine and lots of things to eat on hot days.
The weather Rachel is having is clearly very different to the weather in the North of England.
Yep, grey skies and rain. I guess it gives all us dog walkers something to talk about 🙂
Time allowing I’ll share the doggie dinner recipe over the weekend.
Well I’m trying again. Have I finally got WordPress working with my tablet?
The list of Berkley, Obsidian June releases are out, I really like the look of ‘The Azalea Assault’ it’s such a nice cover as well isn’t it? Anyway, here’s the full list with covers:
|Dead Man Waltzing
Ella BarrickWhen Corinne Blakely, a grande dame of international ballroom dancing, is poisoned, the dance community—including champion dancer Stacy Graysin—is left in an uproar. Corinne was penning a tell-all memoir, but now her secrets might well remain hidden, perhaps just as the killer intended.The victim’s dance card was full of people who might have wanted her silenced, if not dead. But when Maurice, a ballroom instructor at Stacy’s dance studio, Graysin Motion, becomes the prime suspect, she has no choice but to waltz in and take the lead.Clearing Maurice’s name is going to be harder than a running spin turn. But there’s one thing Stacy knows for sure—she’s not about to let the murderer dance away scot-free.
Victoria LaurieAbby Cooper’s next mission may truly be impossible…Abby Cooper, the FBI’s newest Civilian Profiler, is adding Spy to her resume. The military’s digital photography software that captures one’s aura- just like Abby can-sits in a drone aircraft that’s been stolen. It’s a major breach in security as every country’s leader can be identified by their aura…Abby springs into action to stop the criminals before they set their diabolical plan into motion, while making herself a prime target.
|Mr. Monk is a Mess
Lee GoldbergObsessive. Compulsive. Detective. An all-new original mystery starring Adrian Monk, the brilliant investigator who always knows when something’s out of place….No one likes to come home to a mess—least of all Monk and Natalie. But when they return briefly to San Francisco from an extended stay working as cops in New Jersey, Natalie discovers somebody has been sleeping in her bed. But this Goldilocks is not asleep. She’s dead.If that’s not bad enough, investigators find marked money from a Federal sting operation stuffed under Natalie’s mattress. Now her life is a real mess and she needs Monk’s help to clean it up.But Monk has problems of his own. His brother Ambrose is desperate to find Yuki, his missing lover, but his agoraphobia prevents him from leaving the house. Ambrose needs a man on the outside—and that man is Monk, who is torn, because he’s glad to see her go.As the two investigations begin, and the body count rises, it quickly becomes clear to Monk that Yuki has a dangerous past…and that they are pursuing a ruthless, cold-blooded killer that nobody would ever want to mess with…
|Quilt or Innocence
Elizabeth CraigA Southern Quilting Mystery series is set in the small mountain village of Dappled Hills, North Carolina, where Beatrice Coleman—a retired art museum curator—becomes a gifted amateur sleuth.As the newest member of the Village Quilters Guild, Beatrice has a lot of gossip to catch up on—especially with the Patchwork Cottage quilt shop about to close. It seems that Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate, wants to raise the rent, despite being a quilter herself…But when Judith is found dead, the harmless gossip becomes an intricate patchwork of mischievous motives. And it’s up to Beatrice’s expert eye to decipher the pattern and catch the killer, before her life gets sewn up for good.
|Grace Among Thieves
Julie HyzyAs curator and manager of the Marshfield Manor Grace Wheaton is delighted to be part of the estate’s magnificent history, but no one told her solving murder was in her job description…When Grace’s former professor calls to warn her that there have been a rash of thefts at various historical sites, Grace isn’t surprised—because Marshfield Manor has been targeted, too. She wonders if it has something to do with the film crew roaming the grounds, digitally immortalizing the manor, but then she gets distracted by an incident much more dire: the shooting of one guest and the murder of another.Grace does her best not to go looking for trouble, but with a murderer on the loose, she can’t seem to leave the dirty work to the cops—especially since the killer still seems to be lurking around town, waiting to finish the job of making Grace history…
|Cast On, Kill Off
Maggie SeftonWedding bells are ringing in Fort Connor, Colorado, and the House of Lambspun knitters are abuzz with excitement. But when a murder interrupts the wedding planning, Kelly Flynn will have to solve this crime fast to ensure the killer doesn’t wind up on the guest list…Kelly Flynn’s knitting pal, Megan, is about to get hitched, and all the planning is falling into place. Megan has found the perfect seamstress, Zoe Yeager, to create the dresses for Kelly and the other bridesmaids. And each bridesmaid is knitting her own loose-knit shawl to drape over the lovely dresses. But Zoe has more than bolts of fabric and seam-cutters stashed away in her shop—she’s harboring a secret. Bruises on her face show a troubling side of her marriage, and just after she finds the courage to leave her husband, Zoe’s found dead from a single bullet shot.Though her husband is a key suspect, it turns out there are others who might have had designs on Zoe’s death. One is fellow seamstress Leann O’Hara, who recently discovered Zoe won a bridal gown design contest with one of Leann’s own designs. Now it’s up to Kelly and her knitting pals to use their sleuthing savvy to solve the case, while helping Megan stay cool and collected as the big day approaches. They’ll have to stitch up all the loose ends before they can don their dresses and shawls and escort Megan into the land of happily ever after…
|A Fool and His Honey
Charlaine HarrisCharlaine Harris—#1 New York Times bestselling author—delivers a “strong and authentic” (The Mystery Reader) Aurora Teagarden Mystery. Though Roe has proven she can handle just about anything, this part-time librarian may not be ready for the full-time crises that comes her way…Aurora Teagarden’s life finally seems to have settled into a comfortable pattern. Her marriage to Martin is going well, she’s back at work at the Lawrenceton library—and she hasn’t found a dead body in quite a while. But then one afternoon her handyman goes crazy in her front yard. Roe suspects this is a sign of more bad things to come. And she is right.Soon Martin’s niece, Regina, shows up with a baby that no one knew she had. Then she disappears, leaving behind the child—and a murdered husband. To find her, Roe and Martin retrace her steps from sunny Georgia back to snowy Ohio, where they will uncover dark family secrets—at their own peril…Originally published September 1999 in hardcover by Minotaur Books.
|Faithful Unto Death
Stephanie Jaye EvansEverything looks perfect in Sugar Land, Texas. But it’s not.No one knows that better than Walker “Bear” Wells, a former college football player now serving as a minister in this upscale Texas town, where famous athletes mix with ranchers and the local parish priest wants to arm wrestle. It’s a beautiful master-planned community, but people can’t be held to neighborhood restrictions, and Bear deals daily with emotional and spiritual problems, in both his flock and his own family.But never murder. Not until a man is found dead on the nearby golf course, his skull crushed.Bear has no interest in playing detective. His job is praying for the dead, not searching for their killers. But every time he turns around, another facet of the investigation tangles with his own life…like the fact that the murdered man’s son—and a main suspect—is currently dating his own rebellious teenage daughter.He made a promise to do the right thing. But keeping promises may be what led to murder…
|The Azalea Assault
Alyse CarlsonRoanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’ job to promote them. But when an out of towner turns up dead, she discovers there’s no good way to spin murder…Camellia Harris has achieved a coup in the PR world. The premier national magazine for garden lovers has agreed to feature one of Roanoke’s most spectacular gardens in its pages—and world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges is going to shoot the spread. But at the welcoming party, Jean-Jacques insults several guests, complains that flowers are boring, and gooses almost every woman in the room. When a body is found the next morning, sprawled across the azaleas, it’s almost no surprise that the victim is Jean-Jacques.With Cam’s brother-in-law blamed for the crime—and her reporter boyfriend, Rob, wanting the scoop—Cam decides to use her skills to solve the murder. Luckily a PR pro like Cam knows how to be nosy…
|Hearse and Buggy
Laura Bradford Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in.Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between. As Claire investigates, she uncovers more than she wanted to know about her neighbors. And suddenly, everything she had hoped to find in this peaceful refuge is at risk . . .
|Threaded for Trouble
Janet BolinWelcome back to Threadville, Pennsylvania, where crafts are king, and a “killer” sewing machine lives up to its name…Darlene Coddlefield, the winner of a national sewing competition, has come to Willow Vanderling’s embroidery shop, In Stitches, to be presented with a top-of-the-line Chandler Champion sewing and embroidery machine as her prize. But Darlene’s triumph is short-lived after she’s found dead under her sewing table, apparently crushed by the heavy machine.It soon becomes clear that this was no freak accident. Who had it in for Darlene Coddlefield? The long string of suspects includes Darlene’s fire chief husband. So Willow and her best friend, Haylee, become volunteer firefighters to uncover the truth. But when a second sewing machine sparks trouble, the friends realize they may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire…
|Corpse in the Crystal Ball
Kari Lee TownsendPsychic Sunshine Meadows makes a dark discovery in the woods…After clearing her name as the prime suspect in a murder, Sunny Meadows hopes she can finally enjoy some serenity in the idyllic town of Divinity in upstate New York. She’d also like a second chance with Detective Mitch Stone. But when Mitch’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend Isabel Gonzales shows up, Sunny’s not sure she can compete. Then Isabel mysteriously disappears.When the police turn to Sunny for help, her visions lead to the discovery of Isabel’s corpse in the woods. Before she died, Isabel scrawled a message in the dirt implicating Mitch in her murder. Now Sunny must help the man she’s falling in love with as she sets out to find the real killer. But this time Sunny’s clairvoyant abilities might not save her—as what she doesn’t see canhurt her…
|The Diva Digs Up the Dirt
Krista DavisTrouble in spades…Determined not to be a garden-variety diva, Sophie Winston’s neighbor, Natasha, cultivates a plan to shine on television—using Sophie’s backyard. As the cast and crew of the makeover show Tear It Up With Troybulldoze through her backyard—and vacation—Sophie retreats to her perennial boyfriend Wolf’s to replace a dead rose bush. But her tender deed goes awry when she digs up a purse belonging to Wolf’s missing wife.As speculations sprout, Wolf bolts, and then a body crops up in a garden. Is Wolf’s thorny past raising a dead head? This is one case the domestic diva can’t let wither on the vine…
Kylie LoganButton collector Josie Giancola has a sharp eye for detail, and a love for keeping things together. But when a murder interrupts her button business, she’s always ready to snap into action…As chairwoman of an international conference for button collectors, Josie has plenty to worry about. Between greeting collectors, overseeing the dinner cruise, and attending to the many needs of the guest of honor, Thad Wyant, she barely has time to deal with her gorgeous ex-husband…let alone a dead body.But when Thad is found dead in a hotel linen closet, Detective Nevin Riley needs Josie to help him solve the case. Mr. Wyant’s historic Geronimo button has gone missing, and considering how many enemies he’s made in the small and peculiar world of button collectors, Josie will have to act fast—before she becomes history herself…Includes tips on antique button collecting!
Changing ISP can be a pain in the bottom can’t it? I’ve had a couple of hectic weeks as well, but I’m back. Whilst I wasn’t online my Mum found a stash of ‘TV Life’ magazines from the 70’s so I’ve had great fun scanning those. Every month they feature a star and their pet, with a drawing commissioned by the mag. First up is Anita Harris (probably best known for her ‘Carry On’ films), who’s afghan hound seemed to be just as famous as she was.
I just love Evelyn Birkby, I found out about her when I read ‘Welcome to the World Baby Girl’ by Fannie Flagg, as the character ‘Neighbour Dorothy’ is based on her. I have both of Evelyn’s books:
Now you can see her dog on the cover of the ‘Up a Country Lane cookbook’ so that was me hooked before I even opened it up. Well, I read the book and just loved it, I particulalry like this page that I’m going to share with you now. Please excuse the poor quality of the scan but it’s one of my fave books and I didn’t want to damage the spine. There’s the dog Sparkle watching the cows, now read the recipe for cottage cheese:
It’s just taken me ages to tell you that I enjoyed this hasn’t it?! What I like best about Lila Dare is that she doesn’t fit the ‘cosy formula’ mould and because of this, I’m never quite sure what’s going to happen next. In ‘Die Job’ all the lovely characters are back in the beauty shop, and a nice range of new characters are included in an easy-to-remember-the-name way. Now that may sound an odd thing to say, but I get quite frustrated when I get character’s names muddled, I’ve read a fair few cosies where I find myself thinking ‘which one is she?’ or ‘now was he the husband or the astronaut?’ – you get my drift 🙂 There’s something about the way Dare describes people that enables the reader to picture them and remember their names, and (IMHO) that’s essential for a cosy. In addition, with ‘Die Job’ Dare has kept characters previously mentioned and added in believable new ones. There’s none of this ‘nasty-person-off-the-telly-visiting-for-filming’ or ‘random-introduction-of-people-we-don’t-much-like-so-might-have-done-it’ that can happen in a lesser cosy. Every single character has a valid reason for their presence and is both distinctive and believable. Excellent writing.
‘To Die For’ is a little melancholy in places; whilst Dare includes humerous moments, on balance this book is a little sad. In addition the first couple of chapters include too much recapping for readers who have been with the series from the beginning. That’s the negative and really they are tiny bugbears. The storytelling is excellent, Dare keeps everything moving at a good pace, plotting is fine although the cluing is a little basic and I would have liked more opportunities to work it out alongside our heroine. Also I felt that Dare didn’t quite pull off the sub-plot. At times the narrative contains antique letters that seemed a little clumsy and pointless. I found myself wondering if Dare intends to develop the thread in a future installment, rather than including it here for a particular purpose.
Despite this I find I believe in the little world Dare has created, right now Grace et al are sitting in the beauty shop sipping coffee and chatting, I like them and want to know what happens next. It’s maybe time to get rid of the half-hearted gimmick (the ‘beauty recipes’ have been replaced with a top 10 of beauty dos and don’ts) altogether as the book is good enough without it.Now, you know I have a thing about covers and I must mention that I like the covers for this series, they have a lot of detail and always include the lovely cat. I’m definitely going to stick with the series, this instalment is better than the second and I really like Dare’s storytelling, characters and that she had the courage to go against the ‘formula’.