Judging a book by its (swell, just swell) cover

I was at our local Danish library on Sunday afternoon, browsing through the English crime novels (British English before American English, according to Danish cataloging systems…).  I like toread before I go to bed and I love crime novels.  But not ones filled with death and despair.  A bit of death is fine – it’s the bleak, cruel, sordid ones that I try to avoid.  That’s why I love the Montalbano seriesso much. Set in Sicily, the sexy swarthy detective swims daily in the nude (winterbathing anyone?!) and often escapes from work (or unplugs the phone at home) in order to enjoy his food. And there’s lots of food.  Plus he manages to [boom, boom!] devour a few signorinas along the way… ;D

Anyway, back to the library.  I spotted this book – which stood out like a sore thumb (or ‘exquisitely painted fingernail’) amongst the dimly lit streets, pouring rain and hooded figures that have infiltrated the display shelf.  Look at that hair and that dress!  What a swell looking female detective – just like something out of Thoroughly Modern Millie… 😀

Two pages in, and she’s already mentioned gin, a country house, a stolen diamond necklace, a retired Indian Colonel, a Duke, a ballroom, a gardener’s boy and a cricket ball.  Raaaaaaspberries!  I’m off for a cuppa and 15 minutes of my new book.

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

Oh, Jeeves!

I don’t often write book reviews.  Unlike Ms. Caboo.  Who has set herself the herculean task of reading and reviewing 100 books this year!  And shares her experiences good and bad – for your reading pleasure – on her blog,Bookalicious Babe Book Reviews 🙂

But I have – alas – now run out of Montalbano (my swarthy, Italian detective – swoon!) books to read (penned by Andrea Camilleri).  So I had to look elsewhere for my before-bed entertainment and – by golly – I came up trumps! ;D

P.G. Wodehouse and, in particular, his “Jeeves” series, has had me in stitches.  Literally.  I have the whole ‘shoulders-hopping-up-and-down’ thing going on.  And there are more one-liners than a stand-up comedian can shake a (diamond-tipped) walking stick at.

I read a chapter in bed every night.  Nothing better than going to sleep with a smile on your face 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. If cookery is more your thing, I’ve just posted some more recipes to my new blog – my little red file !

Pamper Monday – Cover to Cover Girl

Pamper time again! Spring is most definitely in the Copenhagen air. Just look at this carpet of crocuses/croci I snapped this morning. Yep, sorry it’s a bit blurry, but I was out on my morning run! 😉

And I l-o-v-e that the evenings are getting l-o-n-g-e-r. Makes me want to invite lots of friends round for dinner. It’s also beginning to warm up outside. Well, slightly. We might even make 13 degrees (55f) today!

I’ve decided that this week I’m going to get in a good pamper by going outside for (at least) 15 minutes every day and reading a book. (Before I started Flylady, novels were only something I read on holiday…read all about it in my post Lazy Days and Holidays) At the moment I’m on my very last (sniff!) Detective Montalbano book. (If you love accents, you’ll love these books. See more about him in yet another of my old posts Love That Accent) But luckily my sweetie friend Candace has come up with a replacement. Amelia Peabody mysteries. She’s an Egyptologist and the books are set in the 1920s so they’re sure to be right up my street (along with my love of Hercules Poirot and Thoroughly Modern Millie). I checked the website for our local Danish library and [praise high Danish income tax] they have four of them (in English) in stock. Guess where I’m going this afternoon? 😉

And where shall I sit and pamper? In the morning, I like to sit on this deck. It’s round and always makes me think I’m on a ship…

By the afternoon, the sun is round here, on the main deck outside the kitchen.

All I need now is a nice, new springy cushion to sit on. Time for a quick trip to Ikea, methinks!

Are you ready to pamper?

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂

Love that accent!

OK, so I have a slight Scottish accent. I speak pretty fluent Danish but, of course, there’s no running away from the accent – even if I wanted to… 😉 Most Danes presume I’m American – partly because I have a certain twang or lilt when I speak – but mainly because I don’t speak Danish the way English people do = badly or not at all! LOL

One of my favourite books as a child was ‘Whisky Galore’. Maybe you’ve seen the black & white film? The story takes place far away in the Scottish Hebrides, on two fictive islands, Great Todday and Little Todday. The islanders are hard-pressed (wouldn’t you be??) by a shortage of spirits during the second world. Indeed, Dr Maclaren even declares that the death of one of the regulars of the Snorvig Hotel is due to the shock of not being able to get his regular third dram of whisky or third beer 🙂

A few days later a ship, laden with crates of whisky bound for the US, sinks during a heavy storm. The cargo mysteriously disappears…and the Scottish islanders have, of course, nothing to do with it! 😉

I love it because of the accents. Here’s a passage from the very first chapter, straight from mouth of the lovable Captain MacKechnie:

“Ah, but the Sabbath’s not what it was. When I was poy, man, it wass a tay. My word, what a tay, too, what a tay! I remember my mother once sat down on the cat, because you’ll understand the plinds were pulled down in our house every Sabbath and she didn’t chust see where she was sitting. The cat let out a great sgiamh and I let out a hugh laugh, and did my father take the skin off me next day? Man, I was sitting down on proken glass for a week afterwards.”

I’m currently loving books by the Italian crime writer Andrea Camilleri which take place in (probably the most corrupt place in the entire world?) Sicily. Commissario Montalbano (the anti-hero and detective) has a small, but colourful staff. My personal favourite being Catarella, who is mistakenly given the job of answering the telephones at the station, because they thought he would do less damage there than anywhere else…

“Beckin’ pardon, Chief, for the ‘sturbance. Tree days ago somebody aks for you, Chief, wanted a talk t’ you in poisson, but you wasn’t ‘ere an’ I forgotta reference it to you. They said as how Vice Commissioner Tamburrano’s wife was dead.”

I also love these books because

  • the translations into English by Stephen Sartarelli are incredible
  • they make me laugh
  • Inspector Montalbano relishes his food. He eats at his favourite trattoria most days and the author is generous enough to share every detail of those sacred meals with us. In “The Voice of the Violin” the telephone starts ringing when Montalbano is at home boiling pasta and, to make sure not to jeopardize the proper al dente texture of the pasta, he pulls out the phoneplug 🙂

For any other ladies of a certain age out there, I can highly recommend watching the ‘made for TV’ films if you get a chance… Here’s a rather nice shot of the Inspector. http://fuorivista.eu/luca_zingaretti.jpg Or you can do a search for Commissario Montalbano on http://youtube.com/

And did I already mention that the Inspector likes to swim ‘in the altogether’? 😉