The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

About the book

Richard III reigned for only two years, and for centuries he was villified as the hunch-backed wicked uncle, murderer of the princes in the Tower. Josephine Tey’s novel The Daughter of Time is an investigation into the real facts behind the last Plantagenet king’s reign, and an attempt to right what many believe to be the terrible injustice done to him by the Tudor dynasty. Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains – a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother’s children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the the Tudors?  Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard III really was and who killed the Princes in the Tower.

Reviewed by Sutton Scotney

His parking fee must have been horrendous!! Very interesting read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. A good way to learn history”

star rating ****

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Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith

About the book

It is a troublesome fact on which even Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi agree: there are things that men know and ladies do not, and vice versa. It is unfortunate, for example, when Mma Ramotswe’s newest client is the big-shot owner of the ailing Kalahari Swoopers, that one thing lady detectives know very little about is football. And when the glamorous Violet Sephotho sets her sights on Mma Makutsi’s unsuspecting fiancé, it becomes exasperatingly clear that some men do not know how to recognise a ruthless Jezebel even when she is bouncing up and down on the best bed in the Double Comfort Furniture Shop.

In her attempt to foster understanding between the sexes and find the traitor on Mr Football’s team, Mma Ramotswe ventures into new territory, drinks tea in unfamiliar kitchens and learns to trust in the observational powers of small boys. And, as wise and warm-hearted as his heroine, Alexander McCall Smith reminds us that we must dig deep to uncover the goodness of the human heart.

Reviewed by Perspectives

Descriptions of life in Botswana were very vivid. The characters were very believable and amusing in the nicest way. Some members now want to read earlier books”

star rating ***

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The Full cupboard of life by Alexander McCall Smith

About the book

Mma Ramotswe, who became engaged to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni at the end of the first book in this series, is still engaged. She wonders when a day for the wedding will be named, but she is anxious to avoid putting too much pressure on her fiance. For he has other things on his mind.

Reviewed by Solent U3A

Enchanting and enjoyable book, very descriptive with lots of warm characters and good humour.

Star rating ***

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The No 1 ladies' detective agency by Alexander McCall Smith

About the book

The No. 1 LadiesDetective Agency is one woman, Precious Ramotswe, working out of a breezeblock office in Botswana. A cross between Kinsey Millhone and Miss Marple, Precious makes an unlikely heroine as she embarks on a very African mystery.

Reviewed by Titchfield Abbey WI

We all enjoyed this charming book. It held our interest right from the start when Mma Ramotswe solved the mystery of the bogus “Daddy”. The details of Mma Ramotswe’s early life and that of her father’s was cleverly woven into the story. We liked the descriptions of Botswana, the atmosphere of the land itself, seemed quite magical – so different from our own. We look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Star rating ****

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Murder must advertise by Dorothy L Sayers

About the book

Victor Dean falls to his death on the stairs of Pym’s Advertising Agency. No one is sorry – until Dorothy L. Sayers unique detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, joins the firm and asks some awkward questions.

Review by Chandler’s Ford Crime Readers

Some group members found this hard going at first but we agreed that it was a style of writing very much of the period and you had to relax into the book. This is not a hard hitting page turning, what’s coming next, frantic storyline. It is a comedy of manners. The period and the setting are well defined. The Advertising industry laid bare and we think much the same as today in how it views consumers. It is witty and very funny in places. class divisions form an integral part of the unfolding story. All in all an enjoyable read.

Star rating: ***

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The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

About the book

One of the earliest works of ‘detective’ fiction with a narrative woven together from multiple characters, Wilkie Collins partly based his infamous novel on a real-life eighteenth century case of abduction and wrongful imprisonment. In 1859, the story caused a sensation with its readers, hooking their attention with the ghostly first scene where the mysterious ‘Woman in White’ Anne Catherick comes across Walter Hartright. Chilling, suspenseful and tense in mood, the novel remains as emotive for its readers today as when it was first published.

Reviewed by Boaters Book Club:

Generally we were of the same opinion and it was awarded 3 out of 4 stars which always says a lot. It was considered a Victorian Melodrama, a novel of its time, reflecting life as it was then, straightforward read and therefore predictable. The opening few sentences were found hard to understand until one got into its rhythm. Many liked the way each character wrote their version of events but many disliked the idea of “the women in white” and thought the half sister underdeveloped. It was found to be repetitious. The post system of those days was admired. Many commented that it had obviously been written as a serial and found the “secret” an anticlimax. It was not considered as good as Dickens.

Star rating: ***

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