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1. Shades of Murder (A Mitchell &
2. A Restless Evil: A Mitchell and
3. That Way Murder Lies: A Mitchell
4. Cathedral of Vampires (Marquis
5. Beneath These Stones: A Mitchell
6. Shades of Murder: A Mitchell And
7. Livin' Large: African American
8. The Worst Noel: Hellish Holiday
9. Flowers for His Funeral: A Markby
10. Wetland Creation and Restoration:
11. Families of Sarah Ann (Mitchell)
12. Cold in the Earth: A Mitchell
13. A Touch of Mortality (Mitchell
14. David Douglas: Explorer and Botanist
15. In the Name of the Vampire (Marquis
16. A Season for Murder (A Mitchell
17. Liquid Polymer Clay: Fabulous
18. Call the Dead Again (Mitchell
19. The Witch
20. The Farquharsons

1. Shades of Murder (A Mitchell & Markby Mystery)
by Ann Granger
Paperback: 416 Pages (2001-02-01)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$7.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0747268037
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1889 Cora Oakley died by inhaling a poisonous gas in her sleep, and her husband William was put on trial for her murder. Over a hundred years later, the only remaining members of the family are two elderly sisters who live in the ancestral home. Unable to maintain the mansion, the sisters decide to sell up and live off the proceeds. Then a young Polish man named Jan appears, claiming to be William Oakley's great-grandson and threatening to ruin the sisters' plans. When he is found dead, it seems that the shadow of murder has returned to haunt the Oakley family again, and Superintendent Markby must look back at the events of a century ago to find the killer... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love mysteries!
This latest Mitchell& Markby mystery is another great one.I loved the characters and was glad to see the elderly friend show up in another book.

4-0 out of 5 stars not my favorite


4-0 out of 5 stars running a litle short of material..but still worth a read
Well, its the weakest of the series, to me. If meredith and markby do not get married and move in they are gonna find a way to blow it. And they seem to be the two most argumentative people in the world. Anyway, the story is a little thin, the mayhem a little restrained, only at the end does the spooky old house explode with the old ladies around.But its still a good cozy, nice pubs, nice setting, nice atmosphere. Even the bad London cops turn out to be not so bad.The hundred year flashbacks work pretty well, andshe leaves a few dangling strings this time. ... Read more

2. A Restless Evil: A Mitchell and Markby Mystery
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2002-12-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$6.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312306555
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The officer on duty at Bamford police station is skeptical when he takes a call from Guy Morgan.Morgan claims to have stumbled upon human bones in Stovey Woods in the heart of the Cotswalds, but surely animal bones are more likely?Morgan, though, is a doctor as well as a hiker, and he knows exactly what he's found.

It sends a shiver down Detective Alan Markby's spine when he hears the news.Twenty-two years ago, as a fresh-faced young inspector, he had a rare failure: His hunt for a brutal serial rapist preying on local women in the Stovey woods came up empty.After the third rape, the attacker disappeared, never to be heard of again.

Now, with a new investigation prompted by Morgan's grisly discovery, the trail could be warm once more.But almost at once Markby is confronted with another body and a thoroughly up-to-date murder.Markby's lover, Meredith Mitchell, can't help but wonder: Could the two be connected?But as both are about to find out, it seems that some of the village residents would be just as happy to let sleeping dogs lie and secrets-both old and new-stay hidden...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Average Markby and Mitchell tale
The good news is that Ann Granger has written a lot of very good crime novels; the bad news is that this is not among the best of them.Meredith and Markby are futilely house-hunting when they enter the creepy village near the even creepier woods where Alan's first big career case went unsolved two decades past.

There is nothing cozy about the English village of Lower Stovey, and it is beyond the limits of credulity to think that the author intended to write a "delightful" book set there.The natives are generally dim, sleazy, secretive, oversexed or demented, or some combination of all three; and except for them the place is pretty much deserted all week because most of the nicer houses have been purchased by weekending yuppies.

First, old bones turn up in the woods. Then a fresh body turns up in the church and a middle-aged woman who came to live in the village reluctantly, is left stewing about the dark secrets in her past.

At least this time the exhaustively "independent" Meredith doesn't get into the obligatory "female in jeopardy" scene quite as crudely as in some of the novels.And I believe I know where this loving couple are finally going to find a house.

It's hard to maintain a quality series over time, especially one with an amateur sleuth.This is a 3-star effort - not a wasted read, but not the best of the series. Though certainly not the worst.

(And at least Meredith isn't red-haired and feisty as well as obsessively independent and pigheaded.I'm so sick of red-haired feisty amateur sleuths that I won't read past that description in a novel before putting it back on the shelf.)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful village cozy
Dr. Guy Morgan calls the Bamford police station to report he found human bones in the Cotswold Lower Stovey Woods.When Detective Superintendent Alan Markby on a house-hunting trip with his beloved Meredith Mitchell learns of the human remains, he thinks back to a haunting failure.As a rookie over two decades ago, he never caught The Potato Man, a serial rapist, who vanished, after his third rape.

Alan hopes that even after all this time has passed, a break has finally occurred.However, a new concern surfaces when another dead body is found, but this one is a recent corpse.As he digs deeper accompanied by his lover, the locals refuse to cooperate making their investigation that much harder and leaving the dedicated cop feeling déjà vu as he wonders if he will fail again.

The latest Mitchell and Markby novel is a delightful village mystery.The story line contains a strong who-done-it and an insightful look at a decaying hamlet especially the surly townsfolk and their detest of the new money brought in by outsiders.The two wonderful heroes augment the enjoyable plot, especially Alan's memories of that case that still disturbs him.Ann Granger provides her usual, a wonderful village cozy that is a treat for sub-genre fans.

Harriet Klausner

3-0 out of 5 stars About Meredith and Alan
I used to love this series, but lately I find Meredith Mitchell, our commitment-phobic heroine, a little annoying. She calls herself independent, of course, and I'm all for the hard-to-get routine, but in her case it's getting a bit tedious. Alan Markby should really find someone else, or he'll turn into a complete wimp in the relationship area, always defensive and wondering. For quite some time now, I've wished for some serious competition for her, but in that I've been disappointed. OK, so now at long last she has agreed to marry him - in fact, she suggested it herself at the end of the last book - but somehow the fireworks are missing.
I realise this is not a romance story in the first place, but the Mitchell-Markby relationship does play an important part on the whole.
Also, in the first book - "Say it with poison" - which appeared in 1991 (I think), Meredith's age is given as 35, and now, in book 12, she is still only about 37 in the year 2000. Poetic licence? I checked all the books, and taking into account the seasons and other bits of information, she must be at least 39.
By the way: On page 10 of the paperback edition, it says: "... he heard a rumble of thunder. As he'd done when a child, Guy began to count in his head. One - two - three - four - The lightning burst across the sky ...". Perhaps it's different in Britain, but here on the Continent it's light before sound. :-)
On page 125 (still the paperback edition), an overbite is described as the lower jaw protruding further than the upper one - the exact opposite to what I thought from my experience and found in the Oxford dictionary. The author thanks some dentist for his help at the beginning of the book, which makes me wonder.
There are also quite a few spelling mistakes in this edition, which together with the inconsistencies mentioned above seem to indicate some rather negligent editing. Too bad!
Having said all this, I can still recommend this series to anyone who is interested in rural England and characters one can easily relate to. I'll certainly give the next volume a chance.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best "cozy"/police procedurals I've read all year
This is, I think, one of the better Alan Markby & Meredith Mitchell murder mysteries.

Detective Superintendent Alan Markby and his fiancee, Meredith Mitchell, are house hunting at Lower Stovey, when news of a grisly discovery at Stovey Woods filters through. Apparently a hiker had stumbled over some human bones. For Alan Markby however, the find and the woods bring to mind a case that he considers one of his more spectacular failures -- the case of a serial rapist, known as the Potato Man, who operated at Stovey Woods about 20 years ago, and who was never caught. Could the bones be the remains of the Potato Man? And was the reason why he suddenly stopped assaulting women be because he was killed all those years ago? These are the questions Markby that haunt Markby as he begins the investigation into discovering whose bones these could be. And then a church warden is found murdered in the church at Lower Stovey. And even as Markby initiates the investigation into this murder, he cannot help but wander if this new murder is connected in any way to the rapes at Stovey Woods all those years ago? Or if the two cases are totally unconnected? Unfortunately for Markby and his team, the villagers have their own fair share of secrets that they'd rather never saw the light of day, and they soon close ranks against the police. But Markby is determined that this time around (at least) he will get a result at Lower Stovey.

The previous reviewer hit nail on the head. This mystery novel was a completely enjoyable and engrossing read. And "A Restless Evil" turned out to be one of the best cozy/police procedurals that I've read all year. Ann Granger does a wonderfully job of skillfully guiding the reader through each new development, and each new development added a new dimension to this richly nuanced mystery novel, thus making this mystery in particular a truly brilliant read. The mystery unfolded smoothly and seamlessly, and Granger did a magnificent job of maintaining the level of tension throughout the book.

With the cooler and greyer weather, and shorter daylight hours, "A Restless Evil" is just the thing to curl up with one of these winter nights. Definitely a worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book
The standard of her Mitchell and Markby books remains so consistently high that it surprises me. Each book has been interesting, enjoyable, well-written, with a good plot, and very different to preceeding books. This time around, human bones are found in Lower Stovey woods, and Alan Markby, charged with investigating the remains, considers the possibility that they may well have something to do with a serial rape case in the same area 22 years ago. A case which he investigated, and which he failed to solve. But then, he is brought smack bang into the present when an apparently motiveless killing of a local woman occurs in the village. And the detecting begins in earnest.

A really strong aspect of this series is the way that the relationship between Meredith and Alan has developed throughout it. It takes new turns with each book. It is what often makes the series stand out against second-rate claimants to the Queen of the Village crime novel (as Ann Granger surely is) Watching how it develops is really enjoyable, and it amazes me that AG is still able to keep it interesting after 14 books.

The plot is good, although the only flaw this book has it perhaps that there are not really enough viable suspects to allow us to guess, or the end to come as a shock. However, this is still a cracking book (i can only liken reading an Ann Granger book to reading an episode of Midsomer Murders) very exciting and interesting. It throws up questions, even in its blinkered spectrum of society, questions about people, the world we live in, religion (and its future) and so many other issues.

There is a strong cast of backing characters (one of her strongest yet) who are interesting and carry the plot along well. The writing is first-class, and Ann Granger's world tangs with reality.

This is a near-perfect example of everything a good classic english detective novel should be. If this is your thing, definitely comes highly reccomended. ... Read more

3. That Way Murder Lies: A Mitchell and Markby Mystery (Meredith and Markby Mysteries)
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2005-01-30)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$43.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312338279
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Meredith Mitchell is delighted when an old friend from her consular days, Toby Smythe, turns up on leave between foreign postings. But Toby has a problem---or rather his relative Alison Jenner has---and Toby wants to enlist the help of Meredith's fiancé, Detective Superintendent Alan Markby. Alison has been receiving anonymous hate mail in which reference is made to a time twenty-five years earlier when she stood trial for the murder of her aunt, Freda Kemp, but was acquitted. Who is the writer, and how does he or she know about this secret in Alison's past?

Markby is reluctant to become involved, not least because Toby is hardly his favorite person. Besides, he and Meredith are planning their wedding, and distractions aren't welcome. But inquiries into a poisoned pen campaign soon turn into a murder investigation.

With the help of Inspector Jessica Campbell, a new member of Markby's team, and the non-professional but enthusiastic assistance of Meredith and Toby, the inquiry unravels a twenty-five-year-old mystery and its dreadful legacy of violence.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars English Whodunit
Interesting murder mystery that takes place in England. Several murders are linked to a murder that transpired some 30 years prior to more recent murders.Meredith Mitchell and her inspector finance are hot on the trail.The author keeps you guessing and wanting to read more.A number of young people die before the murders are solved so that made the story somewhat sad. The story kept me involved and I enjoyed trying to decide who the murderer was.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poison pens can be murder
When Alison Jenner opened the mail and found the poison pen letter, she was taken aback. Way back, 25 years to be exact, to when she was acquitted of murdering her aunt Freda Kemp in Cornwall. When her husband confronts her with the malicious missive, he insists on having the police look into it. The investigation stirs up a hornets nest and two more murders occur right in the Jenner's back yard, so to speak. The search for the poison pen writer and murderer leads investigations to Cornwall and back. Attempted murder number three is the undoing of the perpetrator and the resolution of the case.

A plot of murder motivated by greed, resentment and cover- upmakes this a highly recommended novel. If you like British based mysteries with a little amateur help thrown in by the Inspector's fiancee and some truly believable supporting characters, romantic sub-plots,good local flavor, then this is the book for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Looking for a solid mystery with really good characters, pick this one up!
The most interesting thing about this book is the very natural and realistic relationships between the people and the events that unfold as a result of these relationships. The characters act out because of their shame, fear, loyalty, envy, ambition, sloth, etc. They all have unique characters and world views and all act accordingly. It seems an odd thing to say, but it seems very organic and believable. I think Granger must be a great student of human nature.

I quite like the main characters, too. Meredith Mitchell works for the Foreign Office and her fiancé Alan Marksby is in the police. In their 30's and 40's, they are a strong couple who are willing to compromise to be together and tolerate each other's baggage. Like Toby Smythe, a friend and co-worker of Meredith's who Alan doesn't care for, and who gets them involved in their current unpleasantness - poison pen letters which are being sent to his aunt.

Another thing I liked about this book is that Granger doesn't have Mitchell and Marksby competing to solve the crime before the other does. I find it so annoying when the unofficial detective messes up evidence and conceals information from the police. Instead, she investigates background information that the police don't have the time or inclination to pursue and then turns over what she finds to Marksby. It is a pleasing, cooperative effort that doesn't grate on the nerves.

Did I guess it? Sort of. If you are looking for a solid mystery with really good characters, pick this one up. This is a long series and I plan to go back and read the others, too.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Agree with Laura Pressler regarding the grammatical errors/typos.It's really said when you pay for a book and the entire story line is disruped with these errors.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Read
I was eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series, and I was not disappointed.This was a very enjoyable and satisfying read, even if, as others have pointed out, the ending was a little rushed.If you haven't read any of the earlier Mitchell and Markby mysteries by Ms. Granger it may take you a little while to understand the relationships among the repeating characters, but that won't detract from the story and shouldn't stop you from starting with this book.I suspect that when you're finished you'll want to read the earlier ones as well.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, and hope there's not as much time between books as there was between this and the previous one.

I have just one quibble.Did others notice the several typographical errors throughout the book?I think editors and proofreaders are relying too heavily on computerized spelling and grammar checkers, and not enough on carefully reviewing the actual text.

... Read more

4. Cathedral of Vampires (Marquis de Sade)
by Mary Ann Mitchell
Mass Market Paperback: 355 Pages (2002-06)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$0.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843950234
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars A good book for those with a short attention span.
I bought the book in a drug store on impulse. I saw the title and read the back. It seemed like a good concept so I bought it. The character development is brief and half assed and everyone seems wrapped up in thier own little dramas that overlap poorly. The book moves rather fast bouncing over the storyline whith not much attention to detail. Still I found the book tollerable for a boredom read though the ending was badly done and highly dissapointing.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bloodsucking Boring
This book is a mere shadow to nothingness.The characters are weak and never relate to them nor will you have compassion on any of them.Save your money buy an Anne Rice novel because Mitchell dosen't have the talent to be writing Vampire Novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars 5/5 stars
this was the first book that i read by mary ann mitchell. i bought it on impusle, not knowing any perts of the story behind it.. & yea, i was a little confused. i would suggest reading the others b4 reaing this, you won't get really confused, but if you read it in the wrong orders like i did you could get lost when you try reading book #3, then #4, then#2, then #1... so yea. overall it's a good book, I loved it!

2-0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing...
I saw this book and I thought, hey, Lord Byron... gotta be kool.I was dissappointed, for this book didn't speak to me at all.The characters were underdeveloped and it was too fast paced for my tastes. There are parts and aspects I did like however, but not enough to make me want to read more of the subject and author.Being an Anne Rice fan, I think she has spoiled me and this book just seems to me another plain ole vampire novel.

If you are interested in Lord Byron as a vampire, I suggest Tom Holland's work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mitchell outdoes Rice and then some...
Mitchell gets better and better with every novel and she is way ahead of the queen, Rice. She sets the story up, paces it, and makes us identify with her characters. Honestly, I never have been a big vampire fan because most of it is too flowery and wordy. But Mitchell breaks it down and writes in a straight-forward way as not to "over-write."

She can write with any of the other splatter-punk's, too; she writes in an orgy of blood and gore. She writes with just a hint of sexuality and sensuality, keeping us wanting more and more.

Her ideas are fresh and very well-thought out and planned. She writes like a bat out of hell and composes her fiction in a literary manner, but not too wordy.

Mitchell is one of the few female writers in the genre that is truly gifted and can deliver chills and shivers down your spine. ... Read more

5. Beneath These Stones: A Mitchell and Markby Mystery (Meredith and Markby Mysteries)
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2000-03-02)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$47.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031224178X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Life has not been easy for 12-year-old Tammy Franklin. Her mother has passed away, and now her father's new wife has been found stabbed to death. Superintendent Markby is the first on the scene, and he must protect Tammy, as her father is the primary suspect. No one is talking, and Markby and Mitchell are faced with a truth far more complex than they imagined.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Satisfying but not outstanding
There's nothing really remarkable about this book to make it resonate in a reader's memory. On the other hand, if you like English village mysteries - with the implied promise that the villain can be found among the residents described and won't turn out to be a passing serial killer - you'll appreciate this story. Granger gives us plenty of players with motives and doesn't make it easy to spot the crucial one.Unfortunately, her leading characters have come to an "awkward" point in their relationship and aren't a lot of fun to be with. Let's hope they work things out before becoming less pleasant company than the bad guys they're chasing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Reads like an early Deborah Crombie....
If you want an easy to read and mildly entertaining book for a long flight somewhere-this is the book for you. The characters are sterotypical--including a career policeman with a failed marriage, his professional but meddlesome girl-friend, a troubled child, her caringteacher, an embittered husband (of the corpse-natch), and gypsies not muchdifferent from Auntie Mabel and Uncle Herbert who bought a camper fortraveling around the U.K.Heck, this book isn't even scary.Granger willmake a mistake if she marries the two main characters at some point--thenthere'll be no tension.Well, I read it anyway, but hey, I'm home sicktoday with a head cold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good addition to this long-running mystery series
Inspector Alan Markby asks his long time girlfriend Meredith Mitchell to marry him, but she rejects his request. They continue to see one another, but their relationship has turned awkward as neither one is fullycomfortable with the other at this time.

That changes when Alan beginsan investigation that Meredith finds interesting. The Smith family membersare tinkers who always stay on the Hazlewood Farm when they are in thearea. This time when they park their camper, the murdered corpse of thefarmer's wife greets the Smith patriarch. The tinker and the deceased'sspouse Hugh report her stabbing death to the police. The victim'sadolescent daughter Tammy is distraught over the woman's death and worrieswhat will happen to her and he father, especially since evidence pointstowards Hugh. Tammy's teacher asks her friend Meredith to uncover the truthbehind the slaying. Meredith and Alan travel down numerous paths in searchof that elusive truth.

The twelfth Mitchell and Markby mysteryremarkably retains its freshness due to the twists to their relationship.Readers obtain a glimpse of life in a small British village through theeyes of the lead characters. Alan and Meredith narrate the story line. Thatmethod works as it provides insight into what each one is thinking abouttheir relationship as well as the case. The police investigation isentertaining especially the behind the scenes activities of an aid. An AnnGranger novel is always a wonderful reading experience and BENEATH THESESTONES proves the veracity of that statement.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

6. Shades of Murder: A Mitchell And Markby Mystery
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2001-10-05)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312284454
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Oakley family of Bamford, England, has lived in the shadow of tragedy. In 1889, Cora Oakley died by inhaling a poisonous gas in her sleep, and her husband William was put on trial for the murder. Although the case was dismissed, Oakley's reputation was ruined, and he fled the country, never to be heard from again.

Over a hundred years later, the only remaining members of the Oakley family are two elderly sisters living in Bamford, who exist in poverty in their rambling ancestral home, Fourways. Unable to maintain their mansion, the sisters have decided to sell the house and live comfortably on the proceeds. But a young Polish man named Jan appears, claiming to be William Oakley's great-grandson and brandishing what he alleges is Oakley's will, which entitles him to half the profits from the sale. The sisters panic, knowing that, although Jan's claims don't stand up, a court case could drag on for years, and time is not on their side. When Jan is found dead, poisoned by the same substance used to kill his great-grandmother so many years ago, it seems that murder has returned to haunt the Oakley family once again, and Superintendent Markby must unravel two mysteries, one from a hundred years ago, to find the killer.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars She is the mistress of the village mystery
Ann Granger is simply superb. She is the mistress of the modern day mistress, and probably the closest thing we have to an accurate modernization of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series.

The writing is flawless, and the characters utterly brilliant. They are incredibly well drawn, with what seems little effort. They jump off the page, and are very realistic.

She spins her plot effortlessly, and glides back and forward between the two time-frames completely effortlessly. The two crimes interconnect realisticly (not as they did in Mary Higgins's Clark's "On The Street Where You Live". A very good book, but the way the murders seperated by a hundred years were connected was completely far-fetched. This book is a much better example of how to do it.).

The double-plots do lack...excitement, is probably the word. But they are nonetheless very interesting, as well as being bouyed up by her sprightly writing style.

As always, the strength of this excellent series is found in it's two protagonists, Alan Markby and Meredith Mitchell. For over 10 books now, their relationship has been slowly developing. In fact, considering that theyve known each other for ten books is amazing, considering how far their relationship has actually gone. (Not all that far.) It's surprising that AG has got away with it for so long! But that is what adds freshness and an extra dimension of suspense to the story, the will they/wont they aspects of their developemental relationship. They are two brilliantly well drawn characters. Interesting. And the reader keeps reading, rooting all the while for them to finally get it together officially. And with this book, their relationship takes another small step forward, leaving the reader wonder just what might be in store for them in the near future...

2-0 out of 5 stars Whodunit?Who cares?
A very minor entry in an otherwise pleasant series.Two mysteries (one old, one new), neither particularly interesting.And neither one solved by Meredith or Markby!What gives?

4-0 out of 5 stars not a bad read at all
This latest Meredith Mitchell & Alan Markby murder mystery proved to be a completely interesting and absorbing read for me. The thing I like about this series is that Ann Granger takes the old 'murder in a cosy village' motif, and expands on that so that it becomes something a lot more modern and accessible, and yet somehow manages not to lose that patina of nostalgia. And with "Shades of Murder," Granger has come up trumps again.

About 100 years ago, 'Wicked' William Oakley was tried for poisoning-murder of his heiress wife, Cora, who was about to divorce him and take all her lovely money with her. His was found not guilty of the crime, but such was the feeling in the village of Bramford that he had got away with the crime, that 'Wicked' William left Bramford and England, never to be heard of again. In Bramford, William is survived by his two granddaughters, Damaris and Florence. Now, in their 80s, the sisters hope to sell their crumbling ruin of an estate, and to move to more modern accommodations, in order to live whatever is left of their lives in some comfort. All this suffers a setback, when a young Polish man (Jan Oakley) turns up claiming to be their nephew, the product of 'Wicked' William's second marriage. Jan has decided to put in his claim for half of his great grandfather's estate, to the dismay of Damaris and Florence, and to the fury of the sisters' friends (who include Juliet Painter, the forensic pathologist's sister, Markby's own sister, Laura, who also happens to be the sisters' solicitor, and Meredith, herself). And then, just as the tension is at its highest, Jan is poisoned with arsenic. Leaving aside the question of who would want Jan dead as there are just too many suspects there, the question of the day seems to be where the murderer obtained from, as well how (s)he administered the poison.

For Superintendent Markby, this whole case is proving to be a both a professional and personal headache. His fondness for the Oakley sisters makes him want to handle the case delicately for their sakes, however his close relationships with everyone concerned makes it highly unlikely that he will be allowed to investigate Jan's murder. And his fears prove only all too true what the chief constable calls in the heavy guns and two investigators from the London Met are sent down to handle the case. Will the 'outsiders' be canny enough to handle the villagers and solve the case? And will Markby be able to stay out of the investigations, or will he throw caution to the winds and stick his oar in?

The Oakley murders have all the hallmarks of a murder mystery set in the Golden Age of Mystery: a cosy English village, the macabre coincidence of two arsenic poisonings that link two murders within the same family, a 100 years apart, a murder victim that had somehow managed to antagonise nearly everyone in the village of Bramford, and where the suspects for this later murder include quite a few prominent members of the village... However Ann Granger deft handling of this old plot device made everything seem new and fresh. The book itself is divided into two subplots -- one subplot deals with the murder of Cora Oakley, and 'Wicked' William's trial; while the second subplot deals with the intrusion of Jan into his aunts' lives and all the mischief and mayhem he causes. Both plots were well crafted and executed, and the development of characters in the second modern plot was especially well done. (However, I was so caught up in the second modern plot that I sometimes felt that the juxtaposition of the William Oakley murder trail plot to be a bit of an intrusion.) There were even flashes of humour as when the two detectives from London come to realise that all the major players in the Jan Oakley poisoning case are especially well connected. The novel also revisits the old question of exactly where Meredith and Markby's relationship is going, but this time, I felt as if Granger was more successful in making the reader understand exactly where Meredith was coming from, and her reservations in tying herself completely to one person or one place.

"Shades of Murder" was definitely a fun and absorbing read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to standard
I am a fan of Ann Granger, and I was looking forward to this addition to her Meredith-Markby series.Alas, I was disappointed.The book is fragmented and ultimately unsatisfying.

This book deals with two murders that took place approximately 100 years apart. There is no real effort to integrate the two; despite some connections, their presence in the same novel seems largely coincidental.The earlier murder is reported, not analyzed or studied, and certainly not detected.The later murder is the real subject matter of the detective portion of this story.Unfortunately, the solution is excessively pat, and the reader is given no way of knowing how Meredith arrives at it.It just sort of seems to strike her at the end of the book.As far as I could tell, there were few clues and no analysis--just a conclusion.

This book did have some highlights.The head Scotland Yard detective assigned to the mystery (Markby is off the case, as he is too close to the characters involved in it) turns out to be an interesting addition to Granger's usual characters. I would have liked to get to know him better, though.The victim, however, was dull and artificial.It is hard to believe that anyone, even two elderly ladies (themselves wildly improbable), could have taken him at all seriously as a threat, and the explanation of why they did so does not hold water.

Overall, a disappointing addition to this otherwise sound series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to this series
In 1889 at Fourways house in the English village of Bamford, Cora Oakley informs her spouse William she wants a separation.Ailing from an extracted tooth, Cora uses medicine to ease her pain.The next day she is found dead apparently poisoned.The police arrest William who stands trial for her murder.

In 1999 William's descendants, two elderly sisters Damaris and Florence, are trying to sell their ancestral home Fourways.However, a Polish veterinary surgeon claiming to be William's great-grandson arrives.Jan demands half the profit from the sale of the house.Not long afterward, he is found dead from the same poison used to kill Cora.Superintendent Alan Markby and his significant other Meredith Mitchell lead the investigation into whether two senior citizens pulled an arsenic and old lace operation that requires looking into the century plus old mystery as well.

SHADES OF MURDER, the thirteenth Cotwolds village mystery, is a wonderful double murder story as Ann Granger effortlessly moves back and forth between the two centuries.The story line is cleverly designed, but the tale, as is the case in most of these novels, belongs to the lead couple, having moved forward in their relationship and by doing so freshening up the plot. ... Read more

7. Livin' Large: African American Sisters Confront Obesity
by Stacy Ann Mitchell M.D., Teri D Mitchell
Paperback: 216 Pages (2008-08-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$8.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0980064910
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Presented as a conversation between two sisters, Livin' Large confronts obesity head on and gives women the information they need to control their weight, get information from health-care professionals when diagnosed with health related illnesses, and stay healthy. This updated edition will include the latest information on obesity.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Livin' Large
The authors of this book get straight to the point! They don't hold back any punches and when it comes to such a serious matter I don't believe that they should. By reading this book the reader will learn that African-American's suffer from the disease of obesity more than any other race. That's right, these author's feel that obesity is a disease! They don't buy into the myth that African-American women are suppose to be `thick' in order to be considered cute or sexy. They also think that we should know that obesity is dangerous and even more alarming is the fact that more of our younger African-American children are starting to show signs of obesity related diseases. Wow, this is a serious topic, right? Yes, it is, but these two authors -who by the way are sisters- have written a book filled with solid information so that African-American's can learn that they have a choice in making the right decisions about what they eat and how to live a healthier life style.

Dr. Stacy Ann Mitchell shares medical facts with us, like how the metabolism works and the formula for calculating `Body Mass Index'. Her sister Teri Mitchell on the other hand comes at the reader with a different approach. A "recovering big girl" approach. She adds humor, honesty, but even more importantly she adds that human touch to let the reader know that it was not that easy for her either to decide to make the right choices. From tips on controlling your blood pressure to poems like "The Heart of the Fat", I think these authors and this book will be successful in getting this important message across to the reader. I got the message!

I am glad that I decided to read "Livin' Large African American Sisters Confront Obesity"! I highly recommend it to those of you who are wrestling -up and down-with their weight and obesity related health problems. Also if you are still using excuses like `big bones' run in my family, you need to read this book!

Reviewed by H. Renay Anderson
For BBW Reviews ... Read more

8. The Worst Noel: Hellish Holiday Tales
by Collected Authors Of The Worst Noel
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$0.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060838116
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Does the thought of mistletoe give you hives?
Does the sound of jingling bells
instill fear in your heart?
Do you hide under the covers from the day after
Thanksgiving till New Year's Day?
And even if you love Christmas, do the
hyperconsumerism, overindulgence, and
tinsel-covered everything make you crazy?

If you said yes to any of these questions, this is the book for you. You are not alone. Everyone has a Christmas-nightmare story to tell. Some of the best writers around have gone through some of the worst Christmases ever. Their tales of holly-draped horror are gathered here for your amusement, from NEAL POLLACK's Christmas-ham disaster to the accidental Santahood of JONI RODGERS to BINNIE KIRSHENBAUM's receiving what may be the worst gift ever given. And Stanley Bing gives us a peek at the lonely guy's Xmas feast. All this, plus many more recollections of Worst Noels past.

So pour yourself a glass of eggnog, chisel off a piece of rock-hard fruitcake, and curl up in the big comfy chair by the fireplace where the stockings have been hung with such care -- and settle in to read The Worst Noel.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worst Noel - Funny
I enjoyed the stories very much especially the one by Cynthia Kaplan.Almost choked I was laughing so hard when I read it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it Zero Stars!
I agree with all of the 1-star reviews above. I rarely write reviews but this book was so bad I felt compelled to write.I am so glad I didn't waste any money on this book- I think I got it at a garage sale- from someone else who obviously were duped into thinking they were going to be reading a clever well-written book.Hah!This was nothing but a collection of boring stories oddly written by mostly Jewish authors (?!!) who couldn't handle their angst/guilt over celebrating Christmas and the fact that they really didn't want to celebrate Hannukah.Not funny or amusing.I was going to pass it on to a Jewish friend but the more I read I decided it belongs in the trash instead.Oh, yeah- when the authors aren't whining about their spoiled non-Christian Christmasses, there are also a few jabs at Republicans here and there.I was waiting for one of the stories to blame Bush for their ruined non-Hannukah Christmas!This is just a stupid annoying book.Save your money and buy something else!!!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Relatively amusing stories of Christmases gone wrong
This is a collection of true stories from various authors sharing some of their worst Christmas memories ever.Most of the stories, while they may have seemed sad and tragic at the time, are cast in distinctly humourous light, from "Donner is Dead," about the misfortune of a car hitting a deer, to "Birthdays," Ann Patchett's lament about those unfortunate ones who, like herself, celebrate their birthdays in December.A few of the offerings, however, are more serious and more poignant, such as Anne Giardini's "Christmas 2001," in which she describes her family's last Christmas with her mother, who is dying of cancer.

One odd thing about this book was that a good number of the stories actually feature Jews celebrating Christmas.Although a few of these are quite amusing--most notably, "The Jew Who Cooked a Ham for Christmas," about one man's quest to cook the perfect Christmas ham--they seem somewhat out-of-place in a book about Christmas stories, even bad ones.My favorite story in the book was Binnie Kirshenbaum's "The Gift of the Magi Redux," a tale of two young lovers who don't quite succeed at holiday gift-giving.

If you like the idea of this book, I recommend Maeve Binchy's fictional This Year It Will Be Different, a more compilation of fictional less-than-perfect Christmas stories.

3-0 out of 5 stars Christmas!!?? Oy vey!!
Yes, as you might guess from the title, this book is mildly amusing in spots. But then a leopard is coal black in spots, too.

Most of the essays are written by Jewish females who tend to be too arch and clever by half for their own good, and who seem to think that cynicism and pseudo-sophistication are funny in and of themselves. Often, they're not.

Do the essays capture some of the frustrations and imperfections that accompan our biggest holiday? Yes, definitely. But do they, as a whole, also show the beauty and majesty of the Christmas season, of what The Day is really all about? I think not. All too often the writing sounds like the whining of spoiled suburban kids who have had far too much handed to them free gratis in their lives.

If many of the writers are from families who found themselves caught awkwardly between their Jewish heritage and the national peer pressure to participate in the Yuletide -- well, it's part of the fate of minorities to sometimes feel out of step. Get over it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Jewish Christmas?
FIrst off, let me say that I am Jewish myself and grew up in a Catholic neighborhod, where my family was one of the only Jewish families around. So I know plenty about being the "odd girl out" during the holiday season, with many of my own humorous tales.

However, I think it is wildly misleading to label a story collection "The Worst Noel" and then have more than half the stories about Jews who either are celebrating a bogus Christmas they clearly don't believe in (for the parties and gifts) or angsting because they are stuck with the incredibly lame Festival of Hannukah, the poor stepchild of Christmas. There is certainly a place for the assimilated (or unassimilated) Jewish writers to pour forth their anguish or glee or awkwardness, but it is NOT in a book glaringly mislabeled "The Worst Noel". Maybe it's in a book that could be called "The Worst Hannukah" or "The Worst Chrismukkah".

Anyone even nominally Christian, or even non-sectarian, who picks up this book hoping to read actual funny stories about CHRISTIANS celebrating THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR is going to feel wildly cheated. After all, Jews make up roughly 1.5% of the US population (although disproportionately more of the book buying public). It would make more sense to write about a Muslim's outlook on Christmas or a Hindu's or even an atheist's.

Maybe the publisher thought a story collection called "Dysfunctional Jews At Christmastime" wouldn't sell. But this book is a cheat and misleading. While about 1/3 of the stories are genuinely funny (although collected here inappropriately), the rest are often whiny and betray an insulated sense of privilege, as they are entirely about wealthy, educated intellectuals whose idea of how to celebrate the holidays bumps up against Southerners, low-lifes, non-intellectuals and peope with -- GASP! -- bad taste.

I guess therefore that "bad taste" is the ultimate sin against Christmas. I don't read any ringing indictments of tasteful, Martha Stewart/Pottery Barn celebrations.

HINT: buying this for a Christian friend or family member as a holiday gift would be a huge mistake. ... Read more

9. Flowers for His Funeral: A Markby and Mitchell Village Whodunit
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 250 Pages (1995-12)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$62.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312134959
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Running into his ex-wife Rachel and her well-to-do new husband Alex, D.I. Alan Markby is amazed when Alex is later discovered murdered, and with the help of his friend Meredith, he learns that Rachel had stoked many jealous fires. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A very fun romp!
This is my second Markby/Mitchell mystery by Ann Granger. I enjoy the recurring protagonists, and the plot was quite different and interesting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Love this series!
Ms. Granger is one of the best English country village writers out there.Her books do not have cyncial characters in them like so many in this genre do.The stories are intelligent and the mysteries are tricky.And Markby and Mitchell are a unique crime fighting duo.One is a cop and one works for the British foreign service.Meredith and Alan do not get to work on the same puzzle very often even though their paths seem to cross at a lot of murders, but in this one Meredith is doing some investigative work for her office and Alan is a visiting copper when a murder occurs at the famous Chelsea flower show.I love the light humour and the eccentric village characters that each book brings.I am really enjoying this entertaining series.

5-0 out of 5 stars great cozy stuff
Well, you either like this genre or not. I do, and this series is one of the best. Great relaxing stuff. not are trying as Graham, not as bleak as Dexter, nor as intellectual as Sayers, but fun stuff all the same. ... Read more

10. Wetland Creation and Restoration: The Status Of The Science
Paperback: 616 Pages (1990-05-01)
list price: US$110.00 -- used & new: US$65.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559630442
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With more than thirty papers from leading scientists and technicians, this book draws upon important new information and provides the first major national assessment by region of the capacity to implement a goal of no-net-loss of wetlands. It is a one-of-a-kind compendium of hands-on information about methods of creating, restoring, and enhancing wetlands. ... Read more

11. Families of Sarah Ann (Mitchell) Neighbors Landrum Peters: And her three husbands and their wives
by David Arthur Myers
 Unknown Binding: 314 Pages (1982)

Asin: B0007179Z6
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12. Cold in the Earth: A Mitchell and Markby Village Mystery
by Ann Granger
 Hardcover: 218 Pages (1993-04)
list price: US$17.95
Isbn: 0312087470
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Chief Inspector Markby's anger at the disruption of one of his boyhood haunts by a bulldozer turns to curiosity when a recently buried corpse is unearthed there. ... Read more

13. A Touch of Mortality (Mitchell and Markby Series)
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 247 Pages (1997-03)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$39.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312152310
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A move to rural Oxfordshire from London in search of a more peaceful existence turns deadly as Sally and Liam Caswell become the targets of what appear to be animal rights activists, until their neighbor is found to be hiding something and a body turns up. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful English village cozy!
Ann Granger is definitely one of the best out there that pens English village cozies.This book was extremely good!One of Meredith's old friends finds herself a victim of a number of attempts on her life.She can't figure out why her when it's her husband who riles up the animal rights activists.There are some wonderful secondary characters in this book too.Old Bodicote with his pet goat Jasper, Libby the village mail deliverer, and numerous others.That is what I usually enjoy the most about these books.Yes, the mysteries are intelligent and not easily figured out; yes, Meredith and Alan are wonderful sleuths and their personal relationship helps holds these books together, but it's always the secondary characters that make my enjoyment of the book more complete.I cannot wait to read the next book in this wonderful series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This is the book I like the least in the Markby/Mitchell series. Nothing seems to happen until well over half way through the book. If you are starting this series, this is perhaps not the best place to commence. I love this series, but this effort leaves me a bit cold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ann Granger's A Touch of Mortality
#9 in Granger's Markby/Mitchell series is definitely a good read
especially if one is already immersed in the characters by having read the earlier books.This one just didn't take off for me until about midway but I wouldn't have missed it for anything because it provides more insight into both Markby and Meredith.The ending delivers as Granger always does and I
love the explanation of the title.Probably most of us can also
use "A Touch of Mortality" in our own personalities.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent entry in an excellent mystery series
Ann Granger's novels involving Chief Inspector Alan Markby and his on-and-off paramour, Meredith Mitchell, take the classic Britishcountryside cozy and update it in ways that turn it into anend-of-the-millennium contemporary. The inhabitants of a duplex inOxfordshire symbolize this clash between the old and new. The ancientbuilding with large back lot, once used to house farm families, is nowsplit between Bodicote, the elderly village eccentric who keeps goats andhas a wandering eye, and Liam and Sally Caswell, a professional couple whomoved from London to the peaceful countryside so that Liam, a scientistwhose research involved beagles, can write a book based on his work.

Trouble shows up swiftly. Liam's a dragon whose short fuse and totallack of manners has enraged nearly everyone he's met. Bodicote and he havealready clashed over the goats getting into his garden, and Boticote'shabit of barging into their house led to numerous unpleasant scenes.Bodicote's also angry at Sally when she fed his goats turnips andunknowingly spoilt their milk for awhile.

Then a letter bomb goes off,nearly killing Sally. A local animal rights group is suspected, butMarkby's not sure.

The more popular Brit mysteries these days, and hereI'm thinking of the ones on PBS and A&E featuring Inspector Morse, JaneTennison and Dr. Edward Fitzgerald (of "Cracker"), feature thewalking wounded as heroes. In general, they're unpleasant to be around, andsaved only from total ostracism by the brilliance of their work. Granger'sMitchell and Markby are good people in the tradition of the classiccharacters, and she leaves the bad attitudes, shaky morals and addictivehabits to her villains, such as the wonky thirtysomething son of the ladyof the manor, who share the same manorial home and lead the local animalrights group.

"A Touch of Mortality" is full of twists andturns in the second half that led this reader to continue turning pageslong after bedtime, and ends with a satisfactory climax in which justicetriumphs and the guilty get punished, sometimes in ways that have nothingto do with the legal system. Granger scatters her clues fairly, lays downred herrings with consummate ease, and leads readers repeatedly, andfairly, down the garden path. As an excellent example of classic mysterystorytelling, "A Touch of Mortality" is the best I've read thisyear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Ann Granger has done it again.Mitchell and Markby are quite a pair.I recommend this book to anyone who likes a quiet read by the fire (or during the present heatwave the airconditioner).Granger conjures up good images of the characters and the English countryside.I enjoy the little tidbits of life in the pubs, the cottages, the towns and the interplay amongst the characters.My only regret is that since they start in England it takes a long time to get the next volume in the United States. ... Read more

14. David Douglas: Explorer and Botanist
by Ann Lindsay Mitchell, Syd House
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1999-12)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1854105914
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
David Douglas became a celebrated scientist and explorer. He explored the area of western Canada, collecting and classifying its flora and recording the life of its native American population, and was the first to record the fir named after him.' ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Plant Collecting in the Early 1800s
The adventures of an ardent plant lover/collector during the 1820s and 1830s. David Douglas documented, collected, and returned to England over 200 new species of plants commonly found in contemporary gardens. The Douglas fir, arguably the most significant timber source of the 20th century, is named for him. He walked more than 10,000 miles during his travels across North America enduring many hardships while experiencing an unexplored wilderness. His interaction with native peoples demonstrated his inate skill as a diplomat.
His wonder at the marvels of nature will resonate with any plant lover. ... Read more

15. In the Name of the Vampire (Marquis de Sade)
by Mary Ann Mitchell
Mass Market Paperback: 321 Pages (2005-11)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0843955449
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not great but an interesting read.
I must honestly say that even though I enjoyed this book...I expected more. It was definitely suspenseful but the suspense was taken away about halfway through the book. Although that part was a little bit of a let down...I did however enjoy the conceited yet devilishly charming Marquise de Sade. Right when I thought this book was going to end with the famous Sade being somewhat of a nice guy towards the main situation of the story...he flips the script and ended it just like his character should. Out of all of the characters...he is definitely my favorite.
I have to say that I was left with a few question marks when I reached the end of this book. I'm curious to know if the artist Jacques continued his insane love affair with the conniving yet sexually-talented Marie or did he flee after his meeting with Justin to confirm that she was indeed a vampire. And what happened to the sweet hearted Lillanna? She made her appearance in the story...determined to help Justin find Madeline and then she just up and disappeared when things started to get good.
Hopefully those questions will be answered in Mary's next book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bloody Awful
It's gotten to where I'm almost afraid to pick up a vampire novel anymiore because so many of them are just so bad.This was no exception.I thought the premise of the Maruis de Sade as a vampire might prove interesting but the writer obviously knows very little of the historical character and managed to make him a good deal less interesting in undeath than he was in life.Ditto for the fictional characters that populate the book.They were so painfully boring I kept hoping they'd all die a grisly death.No such luck however.In short, don't waste your money or your time on these books.Anne Rice may have gotten predictible as her books went along but at leat the woman could write!This one can't and it shows.Painfully.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not award winning but still fun and entertaining
Mitchelle's series, inspired by a vampire who has donned the legendary name of Marquis De Sade, continues in this sixth installment.This time the reader is introduced to two young lovers, a mortal woman who is admired and sought after for her beauty, and a young man who was born half mortal and half vampire.

The woman, once a lover of Sade before seeing his true self, has suddenly vanished from the apartment of Justin, the half-breed who destroys vampires. Hearing the Sade is back in Paris, he is convinced the diabolical man has captured his former slave. Enlisting in the help of another vampire to locate Sade - and of course, his beloved Madeline, he has to repay for this information by vowing to also try his best to locate the current vampire serial killing traumatizing the streets.

The books plot is no mystery, as much is given away in the beginning. The reader knows who the killer is, the details of Sade's involvements, and everything along the step of the way. While it's not a mind twister and isn't a read that makes one think, it does offer some amusing tension between the old rivals Marie and Sade.

Justin's character is convincing enough but it wouldn't have hurt to know a bit more about him besides his undying devotion to the memory of Madeleine. Pacing is fast enough and I never grew bored, although the midsection and ending of this novel was hurt by its lack of weight.

Before a Sade novel I read went into much more sexual detail, but here it was sadly amiss. Those looking for more of the same will find it a bit dry here, hinting more rather than showing. The compassion of Lilliana was a change, and welcome, but didn't make the most sense. The interesting 'family' was the more entertaining aspect. I couldn't really care about Madeline or Matthew, as they just didn't seem real and sympathetic enough. The ending was an abrupt drop, almost like the writer realized she'd reached her word limit and had to suddenly cease. A more thorough resolution - on the parts of many players - was sorely amiss.

Besides that, this was a fun little book in other ways, I was treated with a few chuckles, and it's hard to put down. Call it a guilty pleasure. Not something that's first star reading that one should actively seek out, but a book that's good enough not to be ignored if you walk by it in the library somewhere. ... Read more

16. A Season for Murder (A Mitchell & Markby Village Whodunnit)
by Ann Granger
Paperback: 320 Pages (1992-02-06)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$9.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0747237158
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
It is with some trepiditation that Meredith Mitchell returns to the Cotswolds: the Bamford district holds memories that, to put it generously, are bittersweet, and Christmas is a difficult time to find oneself a stranger in a new area.Yet she receives a kindly welcome, in particular from her old acquaintance Chief Inspector Markby and from her new neighbour Harriet Needham, a striking redhead with whom Meredith immediately feels a certain kinship. But Meredith has barely got to know her neighbour when Harriet is involved in a shocking - and fatal - accident at the Boxing Day Hunt.Witnesses to the death are plentiful, for the incident occurred in Bamford's crowded market square, and many are adamant it's a case of murder.Chief Inspector Markby is inclined to agree, although he suspects the guilty party is not the most obvious one.Before long Meredith Mitchell begins, reluctantly, to think he might be right ... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars More politics than mystery
The English countryside, mistletoe, murder and a little romance - I thought this would be a great book. What a disappointment, I stopped after 40 pages because I couldn't take any more preaching. Unless you want to read endless left-wing rants about what is wrong with the world - save your money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Meredith is back in England
And smack in the middle of another death which could be murder.Meredith has been posted to the London office, and is renting a small cottage in the countryside.Even though Pook's Common looks quiet and sleepy, there are more things going on than Meredith is prepared for.She and Alan are on the trail of a murderer again.I really do enjoy this series, and this second book leaves me panting for more about Meredith and Alan.Ms. Granger is a very good writer.I like her characterizations, and she keeps the plot moving along at a good pace.I am also curious to see what happens between Meredith and Alan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good cozy
Ms. Granger's "Mitchell and Markby" mystery series is very enjoyable.She crafts as decent mystery as cozies go and I'm usually interested enough to finish the book.The plots are neat and move along fairly quickly.However, I've read about seven in this series and am having a real problem warming to the heroine, Meredith Mitchell.She's just not all that likeable and in this particular book, she's especially disagreeable.It seems that on every page she's either annoyed about something or going into some sort of snit with the long-suffering Alan.Other than that, it's a pretty good book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Cozy
Meredith Mitchell has been working for the British Foreign Service for years, and Pook's Common is the best place for her to move after getting a desk job. When she meets a charming woman, Harriet Needham, she knows she's found a great friend, until she turns up dead at the Boxing Day Hunt. Now it's up to Meredith and Inspector Markby to find the killer.

While this was a very charming cozy, it wasn't all mystery. It did deal a lot with the relationship between Meredith and Markby. I also felt that the author described the characters a little too much, I was waiting for a murder. Overall I enjoyed this book very much, and recommend it to anyone looking for a great cozy this holiday season, or for anytime of the year.

4-0 out of 5 stars A connoisseur's delight
If you like the British mystery, complete with English heaths and pubs, tweeds and gardens and walking shoes--then you'll enjoy "A Season for Murder". Meredith Mitchell returns to England after years abroad with the British foreign service in Central Europe.She settles in to a small town in the Cotswolds, is greeted by her old friend Chief Inspector Markby and her soon-to-be-murdered neighbor, Harriet Needham. There's lots of tea, horses, and heath-walkers in the course of events--even a handsome gypsy thrown in for good measure.But Harriet's murderer is a surprise and by the time Meredith and Markby discover who it is, he's murdered another victim.

A delightful book, well written, with deft and remarkable characterization and plotting. ... Read more

17. Liquid Polymer Clay: Fabulous New Techniques for Making Jewelry and Home Accents
by Ann Mitchell, Karen Mitchell
Paperback: 144 Pages (2003-05)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$28.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873495632
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Liquid Sculpey[registered] is a new medium with endless possibilities, and these two recognized experts have developed a considerable following for their handcrafted jewellery and accessories. Now they share their original sculpting techniques, so everyone can explore the exciting crafting opportunities offered by liquid polymer clay. Each chapter provides information on the development of the techniques and the medium or art application that inspired it. Twenty-two projects teach crafters how to combine polymer clay with beads, metal filigree and antique glass cabochons to create 11 unique jewellery and 11 home decoration items. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Liquid Clay....what will they come up with next?!
This is a really neat technique that I've yet to try. I am constantly adding to my polymer clay book collection and this was the only one I found on the uses of liquid clay. Very good instructions and lots of ideas in here.The liquid clay is something anyone can make themselves in the colors you want.
Great used book too.I was very, very pleased.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book is just wonderful :)

I had it only 24 hours but I know it is the best written creative book I have so far.
I sculpt with polymer clay and new ideas are always welcome and I truly did find some really good ideas.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I borrowed this book from the library, and had to purchase. The most useful book on liquid polymer clay I've seen to date. VERY detailed instructions and photos for projects, with inspiration for your own. Superb!

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written and structured
I have been a polymer clay artisan for many years, and just recently became curious about what I could do with liquid polymer clay.This book was VERY useful in supplying me with information about the many uses of liquid clay.It is easy to read and is structured in a way that you can start at page one and go from there, or simply look up the technique you are most interested in.

I was most impressed with the MANY step-by-step photos offered along with the written instructions for the different projects and techniques.Concise and comprehensive.It does a superb job of covering the lessons presented.However, there are a couple of techniques mentioned in the beginning of the book that I would like to have seen explored in more detail (like using a heat gun to quick-set liquid clay).

Highly recommended for anyone who is already familiar with regular polymer clay and would like to explore a new direction.Moderately recommended for complete newbies - it does leave a lot of questions unanswered if you are totally unfamiliar with using polymer clay.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable PC Resource Guide
If you've never used Liquid PC, get this book and get started!As a PC artist, I found the uses of liquid PC staggering.The world of the PC artist is a very sharing and caring environment.That's one of the reasons I enjoy the craft so much as the artists are all very generous with their techniques and knowledge.The authors of Liquid Polymer Clay are no exception and have a wealth of tips and tricks within the pages of their book.Novice and Advanced artists alike will benefit from the Mitchell sisters' wealth of knowledge.Kudos to you both! ... Read more

18. Call the Dead Again (Mitchell and Markby Mysteries)
by Ann Granger
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1999-03-15)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312205058
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When Meredith Mitchell spots a hitchhiker on a lonely road outside Bamford one evening, she feels obliged to give her a lift. But Mitchell drops off her passenger feeling distinctly uneasy. Though pleasant enough, and despite her apparent self-confidence, the girl seems highly secretive. And what business can she have at Tudor Lodge, the beautiful old home of Brussels-based lawyer Andrew Penhallow?

Penhallow is constantly coming and going from the European mainland, but that night he is at home, and--with his son away and his wife in bed with a migraine--alone. The next morning he is found murdered in the garden.

His death results in some spectacular revelations about a double life involving his mysterious visitor, Kate Drago. Might their meeting have escalated into a murderous fury? But Kate is not the only suspect. What about Harry Sawyer, owner of a nearby garage, who had a long-running dispute with Penhallow over land? Does the ne'er-do-well Joss family have anything to do with the killing? And what role does Kate's solicitor and friend, Freddie Green, play, arriving hotfoot from London to stake his client's claim to Penhallow's considerable estate?

Superintendent Alan Markby investigates the ghosts of Penhallow's past as well as the secrets of the present. But when his colleague, Sergeant Prescott, inconveniently falls in love with the main suspect, Markby can rely only on his girlfriend, Meredith, to help him solve the case.

This highly enjoyable crime novel is the eleventh to feature the appealing Cotswold sleuths, and displays all Ann Granger's skill with place, plot, and character. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars As good as the others
I have been reading the Mitchell and Markby series for some time, but I took a hiatus from the series for awhile as I was reading other things.This book is just as good as the others in the series.I love this series and the duo of Meredith and Alan is wonderful.These are English village mysteries, but the characters are always wonderful, and the mystery is usually complex.It was great to get back to this wonderful series and to lose myself in the village of Bamford again.These books do not disappoint at all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Mystery
Ann Granger is an excellent mystery writer. I especially love her Meredith and Markby series.I have read them all twice. She has finished this series. Her others are not nearly as good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Cotswold police procedural
While driving home, Meredith Mitchell picks up a hitchhiker whom she drops off near the home of European VIP Andrew Penhallow and his family.Meredith soon enjoys the comfort of being with her lover, policesuperintendent Alan Markby.The next day, Andrew's wife finds her spousemurdered.Suspicion immediately falls on the hitchhiker.

Alanconducts an official investigation while Meredith makes her own inquiries. Apparently, the much traveled Andrew had two families with the hitchhikerbeing his neglected daughter from the other side of the tracks.However,were Kate's feelings strong enough to murder her father?Alan leans inthat direction, but Meredith thinks otherwise and plans to sell her loverwith a different scenario.

CALL THE DEAD AGAIN, the eleventhCotswold novel, is an interesting British police procedural that, like itspredecessors, adds elements of an amateur sleuth to the tale.The storyline moves rather quickly, only slowing down when Alan and Meredith aredoing anything except sleuthing.The characters are warm and cozy.Ofmajor interest is the victim, who dies in the first quarter of the novel,but the revelations about his life spin the story line forward.AnnGranger provides genre fans with a fine entry to the Mitchell and MarkbyCotswold series.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed as much as the others
You should enjoy the book even if you haven't read any of the earlier entries in the series. Ann Granger will gently fill you in on what has gone before.Marby and Meredith's relationship moves forward by thetiniest of steps, so you won't have missed much.The murder weapon isinteresting.The mystery unravels nicely.You won't be sheltered from thehard facts of life, but you won't have your nose rubbed in them, either. Personally, I think every adulterer who thinks s/he is going to get awaywith it should read this book.It fits the old saying about being surethat your sin will find you out.(That's not giving away much.It'sobvious early on that adultery is the root of the matter.)I've alwaysenjoyed learning that an author whose works I like shares an interest.I'mpleased that Ms. Granger chose to mention *Sprig Muslin* of all of the lateGeorgette Heyer's many regency romances, because that's my favorite of herbooks.(From the description of the cover, I'm sure that mine is adifferent edition, though.)For readers who are not familiar with Heyer'swork, she also wrote mysteries."Penhallow", the name of one ofthe characters in this book, is the title of one of Heyer's mysteries. Ireally, really, hate the fact that so many hardcover books have boring orugly dustjackets compared to paperback covers.I'm pleased that thismystery has a dustjacket that fits the mood of the book. [Note to thepublisher:Given the title of the book, the last line of the quotedepitaph should probably be "call the dead" instead of "allthe dead".] Ann E. Nichols ... Read more

19. The Witch
by Mary Ann Mitchell
Mass Market Paperback: 463 Pages (2007-02-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932815813
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Deep in the basement a wooden box sits on a table. Demons that were called into the world are etched on the box. With tiny claws they writhe, push, and scratch at the wood, attempting to gain freedom. The forked tongues flick the air, bulbous noses scent, swollen cheeks pulse. Their icy determined voices vibrate the atmosphere with inaudible high-pitched screeches calling for revenge. Five-year old Stephen's mother, Cathy, is dead. Her body was cremated, her ashes cast into the ocean. Yet her spirit hovers over Stephen. It urges him to go down to the basement. For Stephen is meant to be the demons' instrument. His innocence will be their mask, his love their weapon. Because Stephen's father ended his affair with the babysitter too late. And Stephen's oppressive, demanding grandmother must pay for the pain she selfishly forced on her daughter. With blue eyes and cherub smile, Stephen will set out to punish Mommy's persecutors.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars NOT UP TO PAR......
This was not my first book I have read by by Ms.Mitchell...and quite frankly, it's a good thing it wasn't. Her previous books i:e",Sips of Blood (1999). Quenched (2000), Sirens Call 2004), and an excellent novel..'Street of Death (2007) all encouraged me that 'Witch' (2007) would be another satisfying read.What was she thinking!!??This was not her first rodeo!Stephen, the main character, is five years old going on thirty.Absurd!!The entire premise of the story was akin to a Brothers Grimm fairy tale...(albiet adult, but fairy tale nonetheless,) Unless you are into little 'boogie man creatures' and nasty little witches and stupid snakes with a wry sense of humor...forget this book.I admit I did keep reading it hoping something would happen...I mean, something has Got to happen!!Well, forget it.As far as I'm concerned, this book is a waste of time.Read one of her others... Skip this one...............

3-0 out of 5 stars I've read better
SPOILERS ALERT!Please don't continue reading if you don't like spoilers.
Meet Cathy, a mother, wife and witch.Her husband Jacob cheated on her with their 17year old babysitter.Her mother, Mabel, was hard on her growing up, made her have an abortion, and didn't approve of her practicing witchcraft.Meet Stephen, Cathy's son who she's schooled in witchcraft.After Cathy kills herself by hanging Stephen misses her mother too much and brings her back.But she's mad and wants to hurt everyone.Stephen must take care of the uglies Cathy brought over to have her revenge on the world.Stephen doesn't realize at first that his mother wants to hurt everyone he's just happy to have his mother back.After the uglies set fire to Jacob he begins to question his mother's motives.Then his Grandmother is attacked and dies.Nobody but Jacob believes Stephen when he's saying it's his mother.The family moves out of the house and a new family moves in.But his mother isn't done.She has her sister hurt and again tries to convince Stephen to hand his soul over to her.Ultimately Stephen banishes his mother back to the underworld where she belongs.

I read this book in one sitting.The first few pages are confusing until you realize Jacob is telling his son a story.The chapters are very short making this a page turner.I was expecting more from this book, I wouldn't say it was a great book, but an ok read.The main character, Stephen is 5 years old.However, there are times, more towards the end of the book, he didn't talk like a 5year old, his speech was much older.Also the uglies were rather annoying, all they did was bicker for 90% of the book.The ending was a bit of a let down.It was too easy for Stephen to get rid of his mother's shade, after all the grief she caused during the book I expected her to be much harder to take down.I expected a battle.

2-0 out of 5 stars Often puzzling character interactions
The premise of Mary Ann Mitchell's The Witch appealed to me, and the context in which the plot takes place, specifically with regard to the character relationships, is intriguing. What ultimately prevented me from enjoying the story was dialogue that seemed contrived and characters and character interactions that just didn't seem realistic.

Jacob has had an affair with the babysitter that (apparently) resulted in his wife's suicide. Jacob thus tries to distance himself from the babysitter, but his behavior in this regard often left me shaking my head and asking, "What?!" He speaks patronizingly and even rudely to Molly, the babysitter. But many of his statements are issued glibly as he is all too aware that he is a character in a story who is deliberately being manipulated by the writer. In one scene Jacob tells Molly to leave and tells her, "You've got a lot of maturing to do." When Molly asks if she should come the next day, he replies, "Why not? Stephen still needs you." "Why not?" The response just doesn't make much sense. After a number of scenes in which Jacob has spoken to Molly in similar manner, displaying an undercurrent of anger and even disrespect, he actually blows her a kiss.

It was the kiss blowing passage that fully jarred ne from any immersion in the story, and I became all too aware that this is a work of fiction too conscious of itself as a work of fiction. The characters go through the motions of doing what the writer thinks these characters ought to be doing, but they do not speak like real people, they do not act like real people and they certainly do not feel like real people. When Jacob comes home from work to greet his son, I have the feeling that it's all being acted out on stage before a studio audience that can clearly see the set is not a real home and the people in it merely players. Works such as these depend entirely on suspension of disbelief. The reader must be able to feel that these could be real people in a real situation, but too many of the contrived interactions and behaviors of the characters remind its audience that this is, after all, only fiction and it doesn't want to pretend to be anything else.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sorta kinda ok
What I have always liked about Mary Ann Mitchell is the pace she writes. A reader doesn't have to worry about getting wrapped up in what I have come to call "filler" pages. It's all about the plot!

That being said, this was not my favorite by her. My biggest problem was Stephen. He had the potential to be a great character...but he's five years old and, on occasion, I think Mitchell forgot about that. Stephen would sometimes speak like an adult. Though he was supposed to be wise beyond his years there were still many instances in which Mitchell completely lost the fact that he's FIVE.

The "uglies" are another problem for me. Most of these critters were poorly developed and probably shouldn't have even had whole chapters devoted to them. Their dialogue was boring. In fact, very rarely did they offer anything to the plot. Maybe this is teetering on the brink of those pesky "filler" pages...hmmm...

The story was a good idea but it wasn't executed properly, in my opinion. Perhaps it's just not my cuppa I suppose.

5-0 out of 5 stars chilling horror thriller
In life Cathy was a very unhappy woman who didn't get along with her mother and was hurt when she discovered her husband was cheating on her with their teenage babysitter.During an episode of deep depression she hung herself in the basement; her son Stephen discovered his mother's body.Cathy in life was a practicing dark witch and she taught her son how to gain power so he could one day become a powerful warlock.

Stephen calls his mother back from beyond; upon her return she wants to live again if only to enact revenge on the people who hurt her.In the basement where she practiced her craft, there is a box on the table decorated with real demons on the top of the box. When Stephen's blood is spilt and the demons drink it, they can be freed to enact her vengeance.Stephen does this but people closest to him are badly injured and die as the demons carry out Cathy's revenge.Stephen realizes that this can't continue but he doesn't know if he will be able to sever his last link to his mother and send her back to the hell she belongs in.

Readers who like to be scared out of their wits will thoroughly enjoy THE WITCH, a chilling horror thriller in which one shocker follows another.Mary Ann Mitchell is talented horror author who uses interaction between her characters to tell a great haunting story.Readers will wonder how far Cathy will go because after she achieves her quest. She also has a hidden agenda (with her offspring) to take over, by his "invitation", Stephen's heart & soul.

Harriet Klausner
... Read more

20. The Farquharsons
by Ann Lindsay Mitchell
Paperback: 32 Pages (1997-04)
-- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1852170425
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