RogerBW's Blog

Death at Victoria Dock, Kerry Greenwood 30 September 2016

1992 historical detection, fourth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). As Phryne is driving home one night, someone shoots out her windscreen. As the gunfight moves on, she gets out of the car to find an injured young man, who dies in her arms.

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Spider Light, Sarah Rayne 29 September 2016 - 3 comments

2006 psychological thriller. After a highly public series of tragic incidents, Antonia Weston goes to Cheshire to stay in a cottage near a small market town, hoping for anonymity and peace. But she soon experiences a series of events which seem to be echoing the past she's trying to forget.

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Murder on the Ballarat Train, Kerry Greenwood 28 September 2016

1991 historical detection, third in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Everyone in one of the carriages on the overnight train to Ballarat is chloroformed; Phryne retains just enough consciousness to shoot out the window and let in some air. When everyone recovers, it's found that an elderly passenger has vanished. But why?

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How To Use a Garmin Drive navi with Linux 27 September 2016

I have recently purchased a Garmin DriveSmart navigation unit. It is quite possible to get this up and running, legally, without buying a copy of Windows or Mac OS. Here's how. I believe this will also work with DriveAware and DriveLuxe models.

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The Empress of Mars, Kage Baker 26 September 2016

2009 SF, loosely connected with the Company series. The British Arean Corporation sponsored the colonisation of Mars… then it turned out that short-term profits weren't possible, and they lost interest. Mary Griffith runs the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge.

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Death in Ecstasy, Ngaio Marsh 25 September 2016

1936 classic English detective fiction; fourth of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. At a meeting of the House of the Sacred Flame, a small cult, the Chosen Vessel drinks from the Flaming Cup, gabbles nonsensically, and dies of a dose of sodium cyanide.

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The Expanse season 1 24 September 2016 - 5 comments

2015-2016 science fiction, 10 episodes. When the ice-hauler Canterbury gets destroyed, the Belters blame Mars, Mars blames Earth, and Earth blames the Belters.

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Flying Too High, Kerry Greenwood 23 September 2016

1990 historical detection, second in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne takes on the case of a son whose mother is worried he'll murder his father, and then the father is indeed murdered; and she tracks down a kidnapped child.

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GURPS Adaptations, William H. Stoddard 22 September 2016

This supplement is not about a specific world, or an area of GURPS rules: it's about how to convert a fictional setting for use in a role-playing campaign.

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The Moon-Spinners, Mary Stewart 21 September 2016

1962; mystery/thriller or romantic suspense. Nicola Ferris, on holiday from her job at the British Embassy in Athens, has been looking forward to getting away from it all in an obscure corner of Crete. But a day of random wandering brings her into contact with two men, one of them badly injured.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 5 September 2016 20 September 2016

Back to the Two Brewers on a muggy night, for the third meeting of this Meetup-based boardgames group.

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Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood 19 September 2016

1989 historical detection, first in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Intelligent, beautiful, rich, and bored, the Hon. Phryne Fisher travels to Australia in order to find out whether John Andrews is poisoning his wife, her clients' daughter.

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Where Brands Meet People 18 September 2016 - 4 comments

I'm not fond of ClearChannel; I'm already inclined to regard it as a fairly vile mob because (a) it's an advertising firm and (b) it systematically destroyed non-top-40 music radio in the USA so as to maximise advertising revenue. But it's reached a new low.

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Strong Poison, Dorothy Sayers 17 September 2016 - 8 comments

1930 classic English detective fiction; fifth of Sayers's novels of Lord Peter Wimsey. Philip Boyes, writer on atheism, anarchy and free love, died of quite a lot of arsenic; Harriet Vane, who had lived with him without benefit of clergy for nearly a year until they had quarrelled three months earlier, is accused of having poisoned him. Wimsey, seeing the trial, is convinced of her innocence, not to say smitten by her; when the jury cannot agree on a verdict, he makes it his business to save her from the gallows in the month before the new trial.

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Eye of the Storm, Marcia Muller 16 September 2016

1988 mystery; seventh in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. Sharon's sister Patsy has a new boyfriend, and a renovation project in the Sacramento Delta. But someone's playing tricks, sabotaging the project and scaring off the workers; Sharon takes a long weekend away from her job to help Patsy out.

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Mansions of Madness Second Edition 15 September 2016 - 4 comments

Some friends of mine have got the new edition of Mansions of Madness, and I went along to try it out. Spoilers for the "Escape from Innsmouth" scenario.

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Blood at the Bookies, Simon Brett 14 September 2016

2008 mystery; ninth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Jude drops into the local betting shop to take shelter from a sudden hailstorm; another customer staggers out, and turns up stabbed in an alley nearby.

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Moonbeam City 13 September 2016

2015 science fiction comedy, 10 episodes. In a corrupt neon future, the Moonbeam City Police Department tries to keep the peace. More or less.

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The Galapagos Incident, Felix R. Savage 12 September 2016 - 2 comments

2014 SF, first of the Solarian War Saga. Elfrida Goto works for the Space Corps, persuading asteroid-dwellers to accept resettlement before their asteroids are dropped into Venus as part of the terraforming project. But her telepresence robot is acting up, and then the space station she's living on comes under attack.

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Pyramid 93: Cops and Lawyers 11 September 2016

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's police and legal systems.

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Death Under the Dryer, Simon Brett 10 September 2016

2007 mystery; eighth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Carole always has her hair cut at Connie's Clip Joint, "same shape, but shorter". This time, Kyra, one of the juniors, hasn't turned up, and she turns out to have been left dead in the back room, strangled with the cord of a hair-dryer.

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Thirsty Meeples August 2016 09 September 2016 - 2 comments

Back to the boardgame café again. With images; cc-by-sa on everything.

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Flowers for the Judge, Margery Allingham 08 September 2016

1936 classic English detective fiction; seventh of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. The Barnabas family publishing house is used to strangeness; the founder's nephew disappeared in broad daylight while walking between his house and the main road. Now Paul Brande, one of the cousins who run the firm, is found dead inside a locked room. US vt Legacy in Blood.

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Flash Point token upgrades 07 September 2016

The various markers in Flash Point Fire Rescue work pretty well, but they're a bit dull and cardboard. Well, they can't help it, poor things. Here's a replacement.

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The Stabbing in the Stables, Simon Brett 06 September 2016

2006 mystery; seventh in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Jude's been asked to extend her healing practice to a horse; but she doesn't expect to find the co-owner of the stables stabbed to death. Obviously it was the local "Horse Ripper", caught in the act. Or was it a jealous husband?

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 1 August 2016 05 September 2016

This Meetup group was trying out a new venue, the upstairs room of the Two Brewers in Marlow – which was blessedly free of fashionable lighting.

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Resolute, Mike Shepherd 04 September 2016 - 2 comments

2006 military SF, fourth of the Kris Longknife books. Kris finally gets an independent command: a single-world "naval district" on the far end of anywhere.

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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 18: Power Items, Sean Punch 03 September 2016

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals with magical items that store spellcasting energy.

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The Witness at the Wedding, Simon Brett 02 September 2016

2005 mystery; sixth in Brett's Fethering Mysteries series (amateur sleuthing). Carole's son is getting married, but the bride's parents are oddly reluctant to have any announcements made… and then the father is strangled.

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August 2016 Trailers 01 September 2016 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal.)

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