Category Archives: Great Britain

Careless in Red

By Elizabeth George

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association


You can’t keep a good detective down. George has put longtime series hero Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard through quite a bit lately: in her last novel, With No One as Witness (2005), Lynley’s much-loved wife was shot to death on the street, reducing him to a grief-stricken shell and leading to his resignation from the Yard. How to resurrect him? George uses a pretty klunky (but familiar to all mystery fans) deus ex machina device. Lynley has embarked on a walk along the coastal path in Cornwall; his rationale is that if he doesn’t keep moving, despair will overtake him. Sure enough, on day 43 of his walk, he spots, far below, what seems to his trained eye to be the vivid red and crumpled shape of a man who has plunged to his death. The machine creaks into place, with Lynley (whose walk has made him appear like a homeless man) being treated as a suspect, then with grudging respect from the local, bumbling constabulary, and finally as someone his old associate Barbara Havers of New Scotland Yard seeks to restore to his post. Despite the obvious restoration device, George delivers, once again, a mystery imbued with psychological suspense and in-depth characterization.–Connie Fletcher

Source Citation:Fletcher, Connie. “Careless in Red.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.12 (Feb 15, 2008): 4(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
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Buckingham Palace Gardens

by Anne Perry

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

The venerable Queen Victoria remains on the British throne. Her son, the middle-aged Prince of Wales, awaits the time to come for his occupancy of the throne. In the meantime, he fills his days–and nights–with wine, women, and song. One such evening explodes when, the next morning, in a linen closet in Buckingham Palace (the queen, fortunately, nor in residence at the time) is discovered the bloody body of a prostitute who had been part of the previous evening’s entertainment, when the Prince of Wales hosted a gathering of businessmen to discuss a certain engineering project in which he was interested. Called in to quickly and discreetly get to the bottom of the murder is Inspector Pitt (a recurring Perry character), whose strategy includes installing the maid from his own household as an undercover employee in the palace. In a mystery novel, or any novel, with such a setting, it would have been easy for the author to trip over titles and protocol, but Perry has done her homework and does not stumble.–Brad Hooper

Source Citation:Hooper, Brad. “Buckingham Palace Gardens.(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.12 (Feb 15, 2008): 38(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
<http://find.galegroup.com/itx/start.do?prodId=GRGM&gt;.

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Filed under fiction, Great Britain, Victorian London

By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English

By David Crystal

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 2008 American Library Association

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Crystal has been dubbed a latter-day Samuel Johnson, and with good reason, as evidenced by the long list of academic studies penned by the distinguished linguist, among them, How Language Works (2006). However, it is Professor Henry Higgins, popularized on stage and screen, that he most often cites in this delightful book, which is part travelogue, part memoir, and part meditation on the intellectual and emotional underpinnings of language. Hired to work on a BBC project celebrating the range of present-day British English accents and dialects, he took off for a series of ports of call throughout Wales and other parts of the UK. His encounters with the locals, described with exceptionally dry humor and an eye for the entertaining detail, are often priceless. So it is that he ends up in a discussion with a farmer on the difference in bleats between Scottish and Welsh sheep, or is greeted with much pity by shopkeepers in Portmeirion, the location for the 1960s cult TV program The Prisoner, when he can’t resist parroting phrases from the show. What is most seductive about Crystal’s narrative, though, is the fascinating glimpse it provides into the quicksilver mind of a man who is so knowledgeable and yet still so curious about our mercurial language.–Joanne Wilkinson

YA/S: Young language geeks will be drawn in by Crystal’s stream-of-consciousness style and his love of wordplay. JW.

Source Citation:Wilkinson, Joanne. “By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English.(Young adult review)(Brief article)(Book review).” Booklist 104.16 (April 15, 2008): 13(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale. Arvin A Brown Public. 30 May 2008
<http://find.galegroup.com/itx/start.do?prodId=GRGM&gt;.

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Filed under Great Britain, linguistics, non-fiction