Author Archives: Barbara Howe

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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The Moonspinners

Category: Mystery/suspense Rating: PG. Some violence, mostly off-screen. Understated romance; no sex. Nicola Ferris, a young Englishwoman on holiday from her job at the British embassy in Athens, goes for a walk in the White Mountains of Crete, and stumbles … Continue reading

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The Lymond Chronicles

Category: Historical fiction I had intended to write on a different topic this weekend, but I made the mistake of looking at Facebook, saw this link to an article in The Guardian about Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, and got derailed. My … Continue reading

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Role Models

We hear about the underrepresentation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, and one of the strategies always discussed for dealing with that disparity is by providing good role models. The number of non-traditional role models, both … Continue reading

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Tsundoku

I learned a new word this week*: tsundoku, a Japanese word meaning owning too many books that will never be read. I came across the word in the Saturday paper, in an article on home decorating that had me in … Continue reading

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Drama

Category: Children’s books Age: middle school and up Apparently I’ve had it wrong all my adult life. I thought explicit sex involved, well, contact or at least display of private body parts. You know, actual sex. But I’ve just discovered … Continue reading

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