feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
My Cousin Rachel
This adaptation of Du Maurier’s book, which I haven’t read, revolves around Read more... )

Adventure on Rainbow Island by Dorothy Clewes
I enjoyed this well enough, considering it was narrated by a sixteen year old chauvinist Read more... )

I've also recently reread The Ambermere Treasure by Malcolm Saville, featuring the Jillies and Standings. I’d bought a second copy by accident, although I can see why I didn’t really remember it. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Jolly Foul Play!: Robin Stevens, Puffin, 2016

The fourth ‘A Most Unladylike Mystery’ or ‘Wells and Wong’ mystery follows our heroines, schoolgirl detectives Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells, back to Deepdean School. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: (1950s green outfit)
Abbey Turns the Tables: Eric Leyland, Nelson 1959

I bought this thinking it would be about a mixed-gender school, but, set at a boys’ boarding school, it’s solely a boys own adventure. I see I’ve never written a review of a boys own book before, but then I haven’t read many and most of those involved Billy Bunter. When I see boys own books in shops, I tend to wish they were girls own and move on.

The most striking feature of this book is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Fardingales: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Girls Gone By 2015
(originally published 1950)

As this book is associated with Chudleigh Hold (I understand some of the characters in it will cross paths with Chudleighs), I was looking out for similarities as I read. It features a family of young people, living in a large family house, the eponymous Fardingales, by the sea, which means picnics, caves and adventure. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I haven’t posted for quite a while, during which time I haven’t read many feather-ghyllesque books. That is, I read Dead in the Water, one of Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, in which she and Alec solve a murder over a weekend – a book I happily read while day-tripping.

In the meantime, the news about Maria Sharapova has come out. Some thoughts )

As I said in the review, reading Barbed Wire-Keep Out! made me eager to revisit its prequel Snowed-up With a Secret, also by Agnes M. Miall, which I think I could have bought twenty years ago, which may be why I didn’t remember it.

In this story, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Christabel’s Cornish Adventure: Dorothy May Hardy Nelson (this reprint the second in 1958)

‘”Well, for cool cheek you have no equal, Chris.”

‘Thus spoke Jane with admiration’ p.83

I don’t know about that assertion, Christabel is part of the Dimsie Maitland, Mary-Lou Trelawney etc tradition. Read more... )


For tomorrow, a merry Christmas!
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Barbed Wire—Keep Out!: Agnes M. Miall Brock Press 1950

Isn’t this one of the most brilliant titles for a children’s book ever? It demands that the reader dives in, just like the barbed wire and the injunction to keep out has no influence on the main characters of this adventure.

They are Perry (really Perilla, poor thing) and her sister Prue and their chums Hump and Noel. They have appeared in other books, one of which, Snowed Up With a Secret, I own and had read years and years ago, but don’t remember a thing about. Perry and Hump are aged about sixteen, Prue’s about fourteen and Noel about eleven. So, if you like books about gangs of children bringing down gangs of criminals, you’ll like this.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Arsenic for Tea: Robin Stevens, Corgi, 2015

The second Wells and Wong mystery and sequel to Murder Most Unladylike is set at Fallingford, Daisy’s home – I suppose another murder at Deepdean school really would have led to its closure – where Hazel is holidaying and observing upper-class English life at close quarters. For Daisy’s fourteenth birthday, there is going to be a party, but, as we know from the outset of the book, it is going to be marred by murder.

Stevens is therefore tackling the country house murder mystery through the eyes of clever 1930s schoolgirls, with references to Daisy’s beloved detective stories.

”I,” said Daisy, ‘can do anything. And even though she doesn’t like to mention it, so can Hazel.”’ (p 324).

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
For the School Colours: Angela Brazil. Blackie & Son.

I wish I could say this was a blossomy book, borrowing the top-hole slang that its characters use, but I can’t. Well, it isn’t too bad and it doesn’t feature that dreaded chapter of made-up stories that usually dog Brazil’s books. However, I did mentally say ‘Oh, Angela’ in a ‘what are we to do with you way’ quite a lot. It is set during World War One and features a great deal of propaganda that is glaringly cartoonish and yet sincere from a century’s distance. It’s also not quite the book it seems to be in the first chapter, and perhaps I would have preferred it if it was – I’ll explain.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Deborah’s Secret Quest: Cecilia Falcon The Thames Publishing Co.

This is a reread – I was uncertain as to whether I already owned this book, but the copy before me was lovely and irresistible. I didn’t really remember the story, anyhow. It has a little of the feel of a serial story brought together within covers of its very own: occasionally chapters start with an unnecessary recap and it stretches a little beyond most book length school stories in terms of genre. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Murder Most Unladylike: Robin Stevens Corgi 2014

Before Daisy Wells and narrator Hazel Wong have had a change to get bored of their secret Detective Society at Deepdean School, Read more... )

Thanks to callmemadam for drawing my attention to this book!
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Luck of the Melicotts: Monica Marsden Brock Books 1951

The title struck me, as I’d been making comparisons with Saville’s books when reviewing the pervious book in this series The Manor House Mystery. As with The Luck of the Sallowbys, the word ‘luck’ refers to Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
The Manor House Mystery: Monica Marsden 1950 Brock Books

I enjoyed this more than I expected to – I hadn’t thought much of the last couple of books by Marsden that I’d read (I looked, and I only mentioned them in passing here, I’m thinking more of ‘A Matter of Clues’ than ‘Behind the Dragon’s Teeth’ although this is more similar to the latter than the former), although I’d liked her books a lot as a child. This book is part of the AMPs series – the AMPs being the siblings Angela, Michael and Patricia Thompson.Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
There were some mysteries: one featuring bored redheaded twins in Rhodesia in Monica Marsden’s A Matter of Clues. The first Rhodesian-set story I’ve read in a while, it's extremely silly. I then read Out of the Past by Patricia Wentworth, a (late) Miss Silver mystery that features many familiar elements, but there is an attempt to reorder them.

There were two family adventures off the Irish coast, both featuring some extraordinary modes of transportation and Irish clichés, plus the handy deaths of some of those Irishmen who were only mourned for a chapter at best. The Golden Galleon by Eileen Heming Read more... )

Then there was Jonquil, Test Pilot by Eileen Marsh, about Jonquil and her brother Jack and sister Belinda, who love flying aeroplanes. Read more... ) This book featured a lot of illustrations, most of which I didn’t like at all.

Then finally, unseasonally, there was The Merryfield Mystery by Marjorie Cleves about a group of schoolgirls, two mistresses and staff who stay behind at their school over the Christmas holidays. They’re snowed in and ‘haunted’. I wished that the whole mystery angle, in which everyone was a part-time ghost hunter and sleuth, had been dropped by the author just to tell the story of how this mixed group had got on and entertained themselves.

Oh dear, that’s a grumpy overview, and the truth is, the fact that I managed to nearly burn three toasts this morning has nothing to do with it. I had a relaxing break! (A fuller review of a book that I enjoyed more will be coming next.)
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Secret of Grey Walls: Malcolm Saville Newnes (Seventh Impression 1972)

I haven't really written about the Lone Piners’ influence on me as a reader. Rationally, I know by now that the books and the characters' adventures don’t stand up well in comparison, but they were quite as influential on me as the Swallows and Amazons books growing up. I was probably reading them higgledy-piggeldy, along with various Enid Blyton books even before The Chalet School and before I was the twins’ age. I admired Peter tremendously, although I never wanted a pony of my own.

I owned an Armada paperback copy of The Secret of Grey Walls and bought this hardback edition to replace it at a reasonable enough price, because I heard that the Armada editions were abridged, which may or may not become a new habit. I found I didn’t remember much about the story – except it fits in with the pattern of the mysteries and adventures that Saville’s gangs of children happen across (I came across the Buckinghams later and the Jillies even later in life, which, along with their being smaller groups and having fewer books devoted to their adventures, made them less important to me than the Lone Pine Club,)

Every member of the Lone Pine Club signed below swears to keep the rule and to be true to each other whatever happens always. (p 102) )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I have just returned from my first ever trip to Paris, where I was staying at a hotel that did not have Eurosport, sadly, so I couldn't watch the men’s US Open final. I really, really wish I’d been able to see it!

While there, I stumbled upon the famous Shakespeare & Co. That is to say, I meant to go there, but did so accidentally. It’s a cramped shop – too little space between the floor-to-ceiling shelves and too many of us tourists and bibliophiles shuffling through it. I felt obliged to buy something (in English, my French is about good enough to order food I want to eat these days). I popped into several bookshops – some catering for English readers, but quite a few definitely not - just because it's a compulsion of mine.

I visited a lot of touristy places and found quieter formal jardins to recover and in which I could read incongruous books such as the following

The Headland Mystery: Arthur Groom. The Children's Press.

Read more... )

Madensky Square: Eva Ibbotson. Arrow, 1998.

Read more... )

The Goats: Brock Cole. Cornerstone Books, 1989.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A break from all the tennis talk!

The Luck of Sallowby: Malcolm Saville. Lutterworth Press, 1952.

I opened this with much less excitement than if it was one of the few Lone Pine or Buckingham books that I hadn’t read before (although I mainly have Armada copies). I think because I came to the Jillies books when I was older than all the main characters, I never took them to heart so much. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Reading it was less of a drudge than I remembered the last Jillies book as being.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Susan's Helping Hand: Jane Shaw. The Children's Press

I bought a second copy of this book because I wasn't sure if I already owned it, and it was available cheaply at a charity shop, so it wasn't as if it would cost me dear. As it turned out, I did already own a copy, given to me be a relative. In my defence, it must be many years since I read the book, and I once described these books as Susan Does Something Indistinguishable. Having very much enjoyed this reread, I feel rather mean about that, but the titles are indistinguishable though. However, if you haven't come across the adventures of Susan Lyle and her cousins the Carmichaels, they're well worth reading.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Pomeroy’s Postscript: Mary Fitt The Children’s Book Club by arrangement with Nelson.

The postscript is to a letter to Marguerite (aka Meg) and it's from her twin brother, who understandably prefers to be called 'Roy' rather than his full name of Pomeroy.Read more... )

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