2012 March book log

Another book log with no more than brief notes for most of them, I’m afraid. I’m getting on reasonably well with Dragon, but it’s still much slower than typing with the keyboard and mouse, and by the time I was able to write anything more detailed, I couldn’t remember the details.

27) E.F. Benson — Trouble for Lucia

Abridged on 3 CDs and read by Miriam Margoyles. Sixth and last of Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels about the battle between those ladies for social supremacy in the village of Tilling. In this one Lucia is now Mayor and apparently triumphant in the social status stakes, but that doesn’t stop Mapp plotting to unseat her.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as the others, but I think this was mostly because I was ill while listening to it. Still a lot of fun to be had in this gentle satire of social climbing and snobbery in 1930s England. Margoyles again does a stunning job of bringing the characters to life.

28)Ngaio Marsh — The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries

A Man Lay Dead + A Surfeit of Lampreys

Two BBC Radio Four dramatisations, each on one CD, starring Jeremy Clyde as Chief Inspector Alleyn. Well written and performed, and I think with good relisten potential, if only to enjoy spotting the clues once you know how it was done.

In “A Man Lay Dead”, a game of “murders” at a country house party results in a real corpse.

In “A Surfeit of Lampreys”, the wealthy head of the family is refusing to fund some of the younger generation after their latest failure to keep hold of any of their own money.


29) Ngaio Marsh — Death in Ecstasy

Abridged on 3 CDs, Read by Nigel Bentinck. Excellent story, abridged well, and a good reader. But the book is marred by homophobia, and while the criticism of charismatic religious frauds could apply to any religion, Marsh is a bit hard on non-mainstream religions here.


30)PG Wodehouse — Meet Mr Mulliner

BBC Radio 4 full cast dramatisation of six short stories, each running about 30 minutes. Richard Griffiths is the narrator as the titular character Mr Mulliner, who is reminded of a story about one of his many relatives by any and every conversation in the snug of the Angler’s Rest. Very funny short stories, performed by an excellent cast.


31) Ngaoi Marsh — Last Ditch

Abridged on 3 CDs, Read by Nigel Bentinck. Excellent story, abridged well, and good reader.


32) Chaz Brenchley – Dead of light

Re-read of Chaz’z stunningly good dark urban fantasy, previously reviewed here: http://www.librarything.com/review/16872835

I was reading the paperback from its original publication in the 90s, but it’s now back in print as a DRM-free ebook from Book View Cafe.

33) PG Wodehouse – Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

Complete and unabridged reading by Jonathan Cecil, on 6 CDs. Sublimely funny book, well read.


34) Wlliam Shakespeare – Twelfth Night

BBC Radio 3 full cast production, first broadcast in 1998, and presented on 2 CDs. I bought this one because of the Blake’s 7 interest, as Josette Simon plays Olivia.

While it’s an enjoyable performance, I would have been hard put to it to follow what was going on without previous knowledge of the plot from seeing the play on stage. Fortunately there’s a good synopsis booklet included in the box.


35) Peter Anghelides — Torchwood: Pack Animals

Enjoyable second season novel.


36) Phil Ford — Torchwood: Skypoint

Another good second season novel, this time focusing on Tosh and Owen.


37)Martin Day — Doctor Who – Wooden Heart

Ten and Martha explore a deserted spaceship and find it’s not so deserted after all. The characterisations feel a bit off to me, and the plot device is far from new, but it’s an interesting take on that plot device.


38)At Bertram’s Hotel

Re-listen of the abridged audiobook read by David Timson. I found it easier to follow what was going this time round.


39) 4:50 from Paddington

Re-listen. Abridged on 3 CDs, and read by Joanna David. Good audio abridgement.