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Brief review. White Heat: The First Edie Kiglatuk Mystery (Edie Kiglatuk Mysteries) by M. J. McGrath

White Heat: The First Edie Kiglatuk Mystery (Edie Kiglatuk Mysteries)

Edie Kiglatuk is a woman of half Inuit heritage. She lives in one of the Canadian portions of the Arctic very near Greenland. She’s an accomplished hunter and guide. A person who can deal with much of the modern world but also held in another world through her heritage and her culture. An admirable heroine. The book takes her through mystery, terror, and great sorrow while providing a description of an isolated land and peoples. This is the first in a series of three current books. I’ve read the first two in succession and now reading the third. A pretty good recommendation, no?

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Brief review. The Woman and the Ape by Peter Høeg

The Woman and the Ape

A nice treatment of the conflicts between our manufactured perfection and the perfection of the natural world. The woman comes from her perfect world and an ape, capable of speech and intelligence we often associate with humans is captured from his world. The two come together, live together in an excellent fantasy. Very nicely done.

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Brief review. The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson

The Second Deadly Sin

Another very nice mystery/thriler by Asa Larsson featuring Rebecka Martinsson and Anna-Maria Mella. Great descriptions of the cold in northern Sweden near Lapland. Larsson’s stories are filled with dark turns and redemption. Another one nicely done.

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Brief Review. An Event in Autumn: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)

An Event in Autumn: A Kurt Wallander Mystery (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original)

A relatively short, but very good novel that features Kurt Wallander. Although there will be no more Kurt Wallander novels, and he was essentially done away with in a previous novel, this one seems to have been unearthed form Mankel’s previous writings. All of Mankel’s fans surely wish for more Wallander novels and we gladly accept what we can get.

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Eating in Bergen, Norway – May 2015

A three night stop in Bergen, Norway was part of our trip to Norway, England, Wales, and Iceland from April 28 – May 28. While there we stayed at Augustin Hotel. Augustin is a nice hotel with very nice art in the rooms and the hallways and public facilities. Coffee and tea is available each afternoon in the lobby and DIY Norwegian waffles were available one afternoon.

Our room, 572, was clView from room 572 Augustin Hotelassified a standard double. Not too large or fancy but we had a great view of the harbor. Back to eating — the breakfast buffet at the hotel was filled with lots of choices of very good food including scrambled or boiled eggs, smoked salmon, three types of herring, vegetables, juices, croissants (plain and chocolate), a variety of breads and rolls, fruits, coffee and tea and milk and yogurt, and so on.

Restaurants we visited were

  • Sardine Salad at PingveninPygmalion Coffee House and Gallery
  • Pingvenin  – had lunch there twice. Great soup and herring salad
  • Naboen – we ate in the pub and the food is best described as decent pub food
  • Munken Bistro – our absolute favorite! Had dinner there twice. Outstanding! One of the best places we ate on our trip. had wonderful watermelon gazpacho, mussel & avocado salad, chicken ‘lasagne’, and other dishes.  Reservations necessary. Family run. Mom, from Peru, is the chef and the others are Norwegian.
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release of video for ‘What We Don’t See’

What We Don’t See is a selection from Transfixiation by A Place to Bury Strangers. It is a nice piece and the video adds interest to its meaning and intent.

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Brief Review. A Conspiracy of Faith: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen

A Conspiracy of Faith: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Another in the series of Alder-Olsen’s Department Q series. These books deal with an Inspector Carl Morck and his two assistants as they deal with what we call cold cases, ones that have not been solved for many years. It often turns out thought that they have some bearing on ongoing investigations. It seems that there are at least 4 story lines going on throughout the novel, making me think of the structure of Seinfeld episodes. Very enjoyable reading.

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Brief Review. The Baklava Club: A Novel (Investigator Yashim) by Jason Goodwin

The Baklava Club: A Novel (Investigator Yashim) by Jason Godwin

Having visited Istanbul I enjoyed reading this mystery/novel set in 19th Century Istanbul and written with historical accuracy. The plot moves along although I was disappointed in having guessed the primary perpetrator of one of several murders. However, the story is interspersed with descriptions of local life and culture.

Recipes are included as well including this one for zucchini cakes:  Grate a zucchini and put it in a colander. “Yashim broke two eggs in a bowl with a cup of clour and beat them together. He gave the zucchini a final squeeze and mixed them in.  On the board he chopped onions with a handful of dill and parsley, and pounded some garlic in the mortar with a pinch of salt. He swept it all into the zucchini mixture and stirred it around. Finally he set an open pan n the the heat, and threw in butter and oil.” This book is the last of a series with Yashim, but it was the first I read. Nicely done and an enjoyable read.

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Review of APtBS show in Santa Cruz

Oliver on stage

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March Trip South

16900372545_236739e025_mStarting March 9 and returning March 24 we took a trip from our home in Fredericksburg, Va to

  • Savannah, GA (March 9-11) – stayed at a duplex using AirBnB. Nice place, away from tourist area but within walking distance of all attractions. Ate two dinners at Local 11 Ten. The first night Lynn had scallops and I had an appetizer with local clams and sausage. Both excellent!
  • then to St. Augustine, FL(March 11-12) – Stayed at Edgwwater Inn. It has been upgraded since we last stayed. New common area with a decent breakfast. Met up with our friend Carol Kramer. Ate dinner at the Floridian. Nice food but not as exciting/satisfying as the last time we visited.
  • then to visit with my brother and his wife in Boynton Beach, FL (March 12-15)
  • then to Key West, FL for a few days (March 15-18)
  • then back again to Boynton Beach (March 18-19)
  • then to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, FL (March 19-21)
  • then to visit with my cousin Fran and her husband Bob in Sun City, Blufferton, SC (March 21-22)
  • then to Charleston, SC(March 22-24)

and then home.

Along the way we ate at some good restaurant, had time with family, met up with a friend from many years ago, stayed at some nice places, and had some good time on several beaches. We also got to see this as a warm-up for our planned month-long trip to Norway, England, Wales and Iceland in May.

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