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  1. This month's round-up: Robert B. Parker - High Profile. Cop Jesse Stone investigates the murder of a chat show host and his latest partner. Smart and streetwise as ever. P. G. Wodehouse - The little nugget. OK, I confess. Having said previously that he was incapable of writing a dull word, this very early effort is more like a straight novel than a typical Wodehouse and came dangerously close. Richard Osman - The Thursday Murder Club. Enjoyable because it's just the sort of book you'd expect him to write. Ed Gorman - Cold blue midnight. I'm not usually a devotee of the psycho serial killer genre, but this one was not bad. Belinda Bauer - The facts of life and death. Another entertaining read with all her usual trademarks (child protagonist, lots of domestic detail, country/coastal setting) present and correct: Karl Shaw - Curing hiccups with small fires. A book about British eccentrics and as such books usually are, it was quite amusing and informative. Peter Whalley - Bandits. Private eye Harry Sommers investigates murderous goings-on at a South coast amusement arcade. OK. Philip MacDonald: The choice. Series sleuth Anthony Gethryn investigates the aftermath of a woman's murder, as others present are bumped off one by one. Macdonald's breathless short-sentenced style moves it along at a decent thrillerish pace.
  2. Nantucket Sleighride was one of the most recognisable tracks ever, even if it hadn't been used as the theme tune to Weekend World. And the album of the same name was just great from start to finish. RIP.
  3. I was just puzzled how you could interpret 'avoid travelling to other areas' as 'we're not allowed out of our counties'. That seems to be taking it too far if you ask me.
  4. Surely Derbyshire and South Yorkshire are both in Tier 3 so there's nothing to prevent you travelling between them?
  5. One of the ambient pioneers - I've got loads of his albums, including collaborations with Brian Eno, the Cocteau Twins and Hector Zazou. RIP.
  6. If you ask me its problems started when it stopped being an actual shop and changed to being a collection of franchises.
  7. I'm completely confused now. The BBC says that the three tiers system doesn't start until midnight on Wednesday so I thought that meant that shops wouldn't be open again until Thursday. But there are also articles about shops saying they're going to open tomorrow. Anybody know a definitive answer?
  8. This month's list: Haruki Murakami - The Strange Library. More of an illustrated short story than a novel, but full of the surreal strangeness that is typical Murakami. Terry Pratchett - Making Money. Still catching up on some of his later ones and while they're still a good read, I do feel that they got somewhat more formulaic. Anthony Morton a.k.a. John Creasey - The Baron at large. Art dealer John Mannering is also the Baron, an international jewel thief. In this early entry in the series he's still not quite entirely straight (in the criminal sense). Good old-fashioned thriller. Edgar Wallace - The Clue of the New Pin. Another good old-fashioned thriller. Simon Brett - The Hanging in the Hotel. One of his series of cosy mysteries set in the Sussex town of Fethering with the sleuthing done by two middle-aged women. OK but I felt it ended a bit abruptly. Robert B. Parker - Sea change. After a woman's body is fished out of the harbour of Paradise near Boston, police chief Jesse Stone uncovers nasty goings on. Excellent and fast-paced as usual. Jack Vance - Planet of Adventure. Omnibus edition of the four books in this series: City of the Chasch, Servants of the *****, The Dirdir and The Pnume. Typical Vance hero Adam Reith is stranded on the planet Tschai with a variety of alien and indigenous races and, assisted by a couple of companions he recruits on the way, needs to acquire or build a spaceship to get home. The title of the second book includes a word which the forum won't let me include; apparently Vance was unaware of its British meaning and some later editions changed it to Wannek (there's a clue there). As usual, good escapist SF.
  9. I think they ought to keep Anton when Motsi comes back, it just works better with 4 judges. Though he needs to be a bit more critical and mark a bit lower otherwise he'll leave himself nowhere to go when somebody does something really exceptional.
  10. I'm sure Max sealed his own fate on Saturday night which is why he ended up against somebody much better than him in the dance-off rather than somebody he stood any chance against.
  11. This month's round-up (can't believe nobody else has read anything all the way through October): P. G. Wodehouse - The world of Jeeves. A700+ page doorstop of Jeeves & Wooster stories. They say you can have too much of a good thing but not in this case. Belinda Bauer - Dark Side. I like her stuff, even though it's modern. Sarah Pinborough - Behind her eyes. The most shocking ending you'll read all year, says the front. Well it was certainly the daftest. Agatha Christie - Partners in Crime. Crime-fighting couple Tommy & Tuppence Beresford solve their cases by taking inspiration from other great detectives of the time. Not quite parody, but cleverly done and very good. E. C. R. Lorac - Case in the clinic. Inspector Macdonald investigates pensioners being seemingly bumped off by a homicidal nurse. OK. James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Miskatonic Monstrosities. The second of his Holmes/Lovecraft fusions. Quite enjoyable again. Now it's probably going to incorporate this post into the last one so that no-one will know I've posted it anyway - so annoying... Edit: oh, no it hasn't.
  12. Don't know where it is, but what puzzled me was - if they had £120K to spare, why didn't they just buy a bigger house in the first place?
  13. Here's my latest round-up of the things I've recently read: John Meaney - To hold infinity. Well it was OK, a competent enough hard SF novel but I never felt I really cared much about any of the characters. Robert B. Parker - Death in Paradise. This is one of his series involving police chief Jesse Stone as opposed to most of his output about private eye Spenser, but it's still set near Boston and written in much the same way. Good as usual. James Lovegrove - Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows. A Holmes/Lovecraft mash-up that was good fun. Agatha Christie - The mysterious affair at Styles. A classic, the first Poirot novel. Charles Powell - The poets in the nursery. A little book of parodies: nursery rhymes cleverly rewritten in the style of poets of the day (which was 1920). My copy belonged then to noted Bristol lawyer R. N. Green-Armytage and according to the inscription in the front was lent to his close friend Walter de la Mare in 1933. John Rhode - Blackthorn House. Stolen cars and a body turning up in a trunk. Another enjoyable Dr. Priestley mystery, though he doesn't feature all that much in this one. P. G. Wodehouse - Uncle dynamite. One of the best Wodehouses I've read for a while.
  14. I agree with some of the previous posters: if there was something going off in Sheffield, the forum used to be the place to come to find out what it was, and it was always more up to date than the Star. But now things happen and never even get a mention on here until days later, if at all. Now if I want Sheffield news that's up to date, I look at Sheffield Online on Facebook. The forum needs to try to get back that sense of being the go-to place for local stuff. And yes, the classifieds do need revitalising.
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