Author Archives: Barbara Howe

Year of Wonders

Category: Historical fiction Age: Adult. Some violence, non-graphic sex, graphic descriptions of the effects of the disease. The year is 1665. Bubonic plague is sweeping through London. Further to the north, in Derbyshire, the plague comes to the mining village … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Five Hundred Kingdoms

Category: Fantasy Age: Varies. Minimal violence, but a few sex scenes. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for fairy tales. It shouldn’t be surprising then that Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series appeals to me. In this fantasy world, … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy | Leave a comment

Children of the Black Sun

Category: Fantasy Age: Adult. Violence, gore, sexual abuse, physical and psychological torture. Lots of it. What choices can you make when there are no acceptable choices left? That seems to be the question raised in Australian author Jo Spurrier’s Children … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy | 1 Comment

Happy Holidays

It’s warm summer weather here in Wellington, with the pōhutukawa trees (also known as Kiwi Christmas trees) in full bloom. I don’t expect to be posting as regularly for the next couple of months—I’ve been working too hard, and want … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turning over a new Leaf

I’ve turned over a new Leaf, and will no longer be burning fossil fuels on my daily trek to work. To be accurate, my all-electric Nissan Leaf is not new; it’s a 2014 model with 40,000 km on the odometer, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gaudy Night

Category: Mysteries Age: Teen and up. No sex, minimal violence. I’ve already written about Dorothy L Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, but Gaudy Night, the penultimate book in the series, deserves a post of its own. Gaudy Night does not … Continue reading

Posted in Mystery | Leave a comment

Reality intrusions

This has been a spectacular week. First my car broke down. The muffler fell off on Evans Bay Parade on my way to work, the battery died and needed a jump start, and the mechanic said it wasn’t worth replacing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dorothy L Sayers

Category: Mysteries Age: Teens and up Dorothy L Sayers is the writer most responsible for my ongoing love affair with British mystery novels. Her primary protagonist, Lord Peter Wimsey, may not be my favourite fictional detective—Brother Cadfael wins that honour—but … Continue reading

Posted in Mystery, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Answers breed more questions

We made a short trip down to the South Island last weekend, and started off with a question: how do we get from Christchurch to Picton, with Highway 1 still out of commission after last year’s earthquake? The standard answer … Continue reading

Posted in History | Leave a comment

Rivers of London

Category: Urban fantasy / Mystery Age: adult. Gore, lots of it, and adult situations. In the first chapter of Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch, probationary constable Peter Grant of the Metropolitan Police Service tries to take a witness statement … Continue reading

Posted in Fantasy, Mystery | Leave a comment