RogerBW's Blog

Weapons of Choice, John Birmingham 23 February 2017 - 1 comment

2004 alternate-history science fiction war story. In the near future, an American-led multinational naval force is approaching an Indonesia turned muslim-fundamentalist, when it finds itself hurled through time to 1942, just before the Battle of Midway.

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Joker Game 15 February 2017

2016 historical espionage, adaptation of a novel series, 12 episodes: AniDB. In the years just before the Second World War, a maverick Japanese spymaster establishes a new intelligence agency.

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Blood and Circuses, Kerry Greenwood 06 October 2016

1994 historical detection, sixth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne goes undercover in a circus to try to find out who's sabotaging it; and a performer who's moved on from it is accused of murder.

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The Green Mill Murder, Kerry Greenwood 03 October 2016

1993 historical detection, fifth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). During a dance competition at the Green Mill, a figure slumps to the ground. Was he the target of his attacker – or was it Phryne? And why has her partner for the evening bolted?

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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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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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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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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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The Castlemaine Murders, Kerry Greenwood 26 August 2016

2003 historical detection, thirteenth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne investigates a mummified corpse found in a carnival attraction.

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Murder in Montparnasse, Kerry Greenwood 10 April 2016

2002 historical detection, twelfth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne looks into trouble at a French restaurant, the disappearance of a young woman, and the murder of old soldiers.

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Away with the Fairies, Kerry Greenwood 30 October 2015

2001 historical detection, eleventh in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Miss Lavender, an author and illustrator of overly-twee fairy stories, has died after receiving threatening letters. Phryne is called in by the police as someone who might be able to spot something amiss in the sea of cuteness that is Miss Lavender's home, and finds rather more motives than anyone could reasonably have expected.

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A Place of Confinement, Anna Dean 15 August 2015

2012 historical detection, fourth in Dean's Dido Kent series. Dido is forced to act as companion to her elderly and wealthy aunt, but the house they visit has its own problems: a young lady has disappeared, perhaps to Gretna Green, but her guardian is curiously unconcerned about her.

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A Woman of Consequence, Anna Dean 17 July 2015

2010 historical detection, third in Dean's Dido Kent series. On a visit to a supposedly-haunted ruined abbey, a young lady slips and falls, saying in her delirium only "I saw her – it was her". Was it the Grey Nun of legend?

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Death Before Wicket, Kerry Greenwood 11 July 2015 - 2 comments

1999 historical detection. Tenth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne is in Sydney, nominally to watch a cricket match, at the request of two university students, whose friend has been accused of stealing exam-papers: an obvious setup. But it seems that there's more to it than that.

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A Gentleman of Fortune, Anna Dean 26 May 2015

2009 historical detection, second in Dean's Dido Kent series. Rich invalid Mrs Lansdale has died, of an overdose of laudanum. Her nephew stands to inherit. But did he do it?

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A Moment of Silence, Anna Dean 21 April 2015 - 4 comments

2008 historical detection, first in Dean's Dido Kent series. In 1805 at Richard Montague's engagement party, he suddenly puts off his fiancée Catherine and leaves for parts unknown. And a woman's body is found in the shrubbery. Catherine's spinster aunt Dido tries to clear up the mystery. US vt Bellfield Hall.

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Raisins and Almonds, Kerry Greenwood 09 April 2015

1997 historical detection. Ninth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). A man drops dead of strychnine poisoning in a bookshop; the owner's the obvious suspect. But Phryne is unconvinced.

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The Ninth Daughter, Barbara Hamilton 24 February 2015

2009 historical mystery. In Boston in 1773, Abigail Adams (wife of lawyer and future president John Quincy Adams) tries to solve the murder of one woman and the disappearance of another.

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The Cardinal's Mistress, Benito Mussolini 06 January 2015

1910; melodrama. In the middle of the 17th century, Claudia Particelli is mistress to the Cardinal (Prince-Bishop) of Trento, and everybody will come to a Bad End.

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Urn Burial, Kerry Greenwood 12 July 2014

Eighth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia); a homage to the novels of Agatha Christie.

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The Young Lady from Paris, Joan Aiken 05 July 2014

In the late 1850s, Ellen Paget is employed as a governess in Paris.

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I Was A Stranger, John Hackett 21 June 2014 - 2 comments

In September 1944, then-Brigadier John Hackett commanded the 4th Parachute Brigade during Operation Market Garden. He was wounded at Arnhem and captured, and spent several months hiding with members of the Dutch underground.

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Rebuilding the Royal Navy, D. K. Brown and George Moore 10 May 2014

In 1945, Britain had a large and often hastily-constructed fleet which was clearly close to obsolete, and very little money with which to update it. This is the story of what happened next.

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Alternate Generals 26 April 2014 - 2 comments

Anthology from 1998 of alternate histories based on different decisions by military leaders; edited by Harry Turtledove, Roland Green and Martin H. Greenberg.

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Ruddy Gore, Kerry Greenwood 09 March 2014

Seventh in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series.

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Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre 25 February 2014

This is the story of the well-known deception operation in the Second World War: dropping a dead fake courier into the sea near Spain, in the hope that his deceptive paperwork would be taken seriously by the Germans and misdirect them as to the location of Allied landings in the Mediterranean.

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Steadfast, Mercedes Lackey 22 February 2014

The ninth and so far final book in Lackey's Elemental Masters series. This time our heroine is a circus acrobat fleeing from an abusive husband.

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Home from the Sea, Mercedes Lackey 19 February 2014

The eighth book (or, if you believe the publisher, seventh) in Lackey's Elemental Masters series. This time our heroine is a Welsh fisherman's daughter, and as one might expect from the title and that set-up the main supernatural beings are "selch", a variant of selkies.

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Mirror Mirror, J. D. Robb and others 02 February 2014

I picked up this collection of novellas for the Robb story, as I was clearly intended to. All the stories here are loosely based on, or more properly inspired by, fairy stories (something of a coincidence given the Elemental Masters series I've also been reading).

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Unnatural Issue, Mercedes Lackey 30 January 2014 - 3 comments

The seventh book (or, if you believe the publisher, sixth) in Lackey's Elemental Masters series; for a change, it's not just more of the same.

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