One Step Behind – A Kurt Wallander Mystery By Henning Mankell

Admittedly I never read these until they were televised recently. Mankell is brilliant. His books are easy to read but intelligent and fast moving. This story begins with a mysterious Midsummer’s Eve gathering, those attending wearing costumes from centuries before. It is extremely secretive but someone is watching. Simultaneously Wallander is returning from his summer holiday but he is exhausted and knows his health is compromised. The fatigue worsens when more questions arise than answers are found and he has to delve into the life of one of his colleagues. He knows he is racing against the clock to find the perpetrator and get his life under control included eating well and exercising. Easier said than done.

Royal Flush – A Royal Spyness Mystery By Rhys Bowen

I love Rhys Bowen’s books. I will endeavour to get a bunch more on here. She writes fun, fast reads that have wonderful characters. This series features Lady Georgiana, who is 34th in line for the throne of England. She has title but no money and no castle. Always looking for ways to make money, Georgie embarks upon another hair-brained scheme which gets her into way more trouble than she ever expected. Every year she is invited to Balmoral in Scotland for the annual shooting party but this year she finds herself up North weeks earlier than the hunt. Scotland Yard has recruited her to snoop around on a top secret mission to help keep the Prince of Wales safe. Her brother lives in their ancestral home near to Balmoral and he is hosting many individuals including the infamous Wallis Simpson. I do enjoy how Ms. Bowen has entwined real events and people into this book. The Simpsons, obviously, are real as are other side stories about those trying to break the speed record on water as well as the first sightings of the Loch Ness monster. There is a lot going on but not too much to keep track of.

WomenHeart’s All Heart Family Cookbook By Kathy Kastan

Gorgeous cookbook with tons of recipes. In the front of the book are 40 foods that have been found to help with heart health – hence the name (some alliteration for you). I love reading about new recipes and these are some that are easy to read, understand and there are lots of pictures which really helps. I like recipes that have only a few ingredients which this offers too.

December Boys

This film stars Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame, in his first major film role. He does a splendid job. Four boys growing up in a Catholic orphanage in the outback of Australia share birthdays in December, hence the name of the film. This is not a fast moving show but a sweet story of boys and their friendships with the constant backdrop of whether or not they will ever be adopted. This causes a certain amount of rivalry but also of camaraderie. The story centres on a trip they get to take, their first real holiday to the seaside, and how much they grow up during only a few short weeks. Also not lost is the caring nature of the couple who choose to allow these boys to live in their home whilst by the coast. Narration by the youngest boy adds personality and puts a lovely bow on the whole story.

The Wisdom of Father Dowling By Ralph McIrney

I seem to be on some kind of roll with these books. This is a collection of short stories with the noted wise priest solving many mini mysteries. I am not a huge short story fan but these are incredibly light reads that make you chuckle. He does resolve a lot of issues the way, I think, we do in the real world – we just hopefully don’t come across as many murders. I like to read major brain candy every few books and this definitely qualifies. Enjoyable without any strain at all.