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Halloween 2020 – 2 in a series – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1897)

September 5th, 2020 Comments off

Halloween 2020 - 2 in a series - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1897)

IN the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expan- sion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappaan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given it, we are told, in former days, by the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely ad- vert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, per- haps about three miles, there is a little val- ley or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail, or tapping of a woodpecker, is al- most the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity. I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon-time when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reveberated by the angry echoes.

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Finished Reading: Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen

September 18th, 2019 Comments off

I just finished this 13th installment on the Royal Spyness Mystery series and enjoyed it greatly, just as I have the past books. Mysteries are one of my favorite types of books and especially a series that gives me a lot of opportunities for revisiting their special characters and themes. I use books like this as a “palate cleanser” between the more weighty tomes you see me highlight here. Sometimes I need something a little fun to read, and this series never fails to miss the mark.

I read this book as an ebook from the Los Angeles Public Library and your own local library probably has similar resources. Be sure to check them out. — Douglas

Finished Reading: Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon in Kenya’s Happy Valley, but murder crashes the party in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

I was so excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that we were flying to Kenya for our extended honeymoon. Now that we are here, I suspect he has actually been sent to fulfill another secret mission. I am trying very hard not to pick a fight about it, because after all, we are in paradise! Darcy finally confides that there have been robberies in London and Paris. It seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—we are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects.
 
Now that I am a sophisticated married woman, I am doing my best to sound like one. But crikey! These aristocrats are a thoroughly loathsome sort enjoying a completely decadent lifestyle filled with wild parties and rampant infidelity. And one of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, has the nerve to make a play for me. While I am on my honeymoon! Of course, I put an end to that right off.
 
When he is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and I soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! I just hope I can survive my honeymoon long enough to catch a killer. . . .

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