Words Can Really Hurt You

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

All is not well in the village of Lymstock. The village’s quaint country charm has been disturbed by series of virulent poison-pen letters. So far the letters have been dismissed as the harmless ravings of a frustrated and disturbed person, after all the accusations they have made are simply not true. But even are arrow shot blindly may hit its mark and the business of these letters becomes serious indeed.

With the police baffled there is only one person who can get to the bottom of this mystery. A person intimately familiar with the darkness that lurks within the human soul and the depths of depravity to which her fellow man can sink: Miss Jane Marple.

Let Me Introduce Myself…

The Devil’s Novice by Ellis Peters

The Abbey of Shrewsbury has welcomed a new novice, but while Meriot is everything the Benedictine brothers can wish for by day, calm, obedient, and ardent in his piety; by night he is someone, or something, else entirely. By night Meriot’s sleep is haunted by nightmares of frightening intensity. Nightmares that Brother Cadfael, the abbey herbalist, believe point to a mind and soul haunted by dark deeds of a more earthly nature than a supernatural one.

When the body of a young priest connected with Meriot’s past is found in the woods near Shrewsbury it is up to Brother Cadfael to determine what secrets are being concealed by the young man the other brothers call “The Devil’s Novice”.

Before Britannia

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

It is the middle of the Ninth Century, the England as we know it exists only as a dream, a dream in the mind of one man, Alfred, King of the West Saxons. But it is a dream that will not come easy or without a cost. England is a divided land under invasion by Viking war bands looking for land and plunder.

To make his dream a reality Alfred will need the help of strong and capable men. Men who know how to fight and know what it is like to stand shoulder to shoulder in a shield-wall. Men like Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a man with closer ties to the Vikings than to Alfred and his Saxons. But Uhtred needs Alfred as much as Alfred needs him, for Uhtred also has a dream, to reclaim his family’s ancestral home, a dream he can only accomplish with Alfred’s help. They may not like each other, but they’re all they’ve got.

Men or Mice

The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout

It is almost certain that Paul Chapin is a murderer. His former classmates at Harvard are almost certain of it. They are certain he is responsible for the deaths of two of their number, that the oddly worded pages of prose sent to each of them is a proof of his crime. The problem is they have no solid evidence and each is afraid he will be the next entry in Paul Chapin’s list of murder victims.

Enter Nero Wolfe a detective nearly as famous for his love of food, his enormous collection of orchids, and for the fact that he rarely leaves his home as his is for his powers of deduction. But will his skills be enough to save the remaining members of the League of Frightened Men.

With Heroes Like These

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

A barbarian warrior weary from constant battles and blood-feuds, all to aware that his luck is running out and that his next battle may be his last.

A dashing young soldier as handsome as he is skilled with a sword and as perfect a paragon of selfishness as this world has ever seen.

A torturer crippled in body and scarred in soul, but with a mind still as sharp as the instruments of torture he uses.

An escaped slave determined to let nothing stand in the way of the vengeance she believes she deserves.

The man who has brought them together, someone who may be a living legend or may be the biggest fraud of all time.

I’ve Been Doin’ Some Hard Ramblin’

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail  by Ben Montgomery

On May 2, 1955 Emma Gatewood, a 67 year-old grandmother from rural Ohio, told her family she was “going for a walk”. And she did. The next they heard from her she was 800 miles into a journey that would take her 2,050 miles along one of the longest hiking trails in the world. Nicknamed “Grandma Gatewood” by reporters, she became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one season (as well as the first person to hike it twice and the first to do it three times) bringing to the attention of the wider world a piece of Americana that would otherwise likely have faded and been forgotten.