Gratefully Received – part THREE of three

Finishing up with the books I received for Christmas…

The Dutch Shoe Mystery by Ellery Queen (1931).

An eccentric millionairess is lying in a diabetic coma on a hospital bed in an anteroom of the surgical suite of the Dutch Memorial Hospital, which she founded, awaiting the removal of her gall bladder.

When the surgery is about to begin, the patient is found to have been strangled with picture wire. Although the hospital is crowded, it is well guarded, and only a limited number of people had the opportunity to have murdered her, including members of her family and a small number of the medical personnel.

Murder in the Mill Race by E. C. R. Lorac (1952)

When Dr Raymond Ferens moves to a practice at Milham in the Moor in North Devon, he and his wife are enchanted with the beautiful hilltop village lying so close to moor and sky. At first, they see only its charm, but soon they begin to uncover its secrets―envy, hatred, and malice.

Everyone says that Sister Monica, warden of a children’s home, is a saint―but is she? A few months after the Ferens’ arrival her body is found drowned in the mill-race. Chief Inspector Macdonald faces one of his most difficult cases in a village determined not to betray its dark secrets to a stranger.

Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life edited by Marta McDowell

Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of the natural world, but less well known is the fact that she was also an avid gardener—sending fresh bouquets to friends, including pressed flowers in her letters, and studying botany at Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke. At her family home, she tended both a small glass conservatory and a flower garden.

In Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, award-winning author Marta McDowell explores Dickinson’s deep passion for plants and how it inspired and informed her writing. Tracing a year in the garden, the book reveals details few know about Dickinson and adds to our collective understanding of who she was as a person. By weaving together Dickinson’s poems, excerpts from letters, contemporary and historical photography, and botanical art, McDowell offers an enchanting new perspective on one of America’s most celebrated but enigmatic literary figures.

I love this sort of book, and also have Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by the same author.

That concludes my listing of the books I received for the holiday. I’ve read one (the graphic novel) and am well into another, but it will take a while to get to them all.

I’m taking the next week or so off. See you January 12.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in At Home in Portland, Books & Reading, Mystery, Non-fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Gratefully Received – part THREE of three

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Nice ones again. I have never read a Lorac novel – I have read at least one of her short stories – though I used to regularly look for them (and those she wrote as Carol Carnac) on book buying trips to England. I am glad to see several of her hard to find books available in this country, some of them for the first time. I’ll be curious as to your reaction. As mentioned last time, I read all the early Queens, though this one doesn’t stand out in my memory the way some of the others (Egyptian Cross, Roman Hat, Siamese Twin) do.

    I guess we will be in Florida when the blog returns, so Happy New Year to you two.

  2. Like Jeff, I’ve never read a Lorac novel although I own a few. I would say you made out pretty well in the gift department. We didn’t have a White Christmas but we are getting a White New Year’s Eve. I drove through some white-out conditions this afternoon as I went to the Seneca-Niagara Casino and made a bet on the Buffalo Bills. Enjoy your break!

  3. Art Scott says:

    I recently read two Loracs – Murder in the Mill-Race & Murder by Matchlight. The latter especially interesting as it’s set late in the war, with London blacked out and being bombed. Both are excellent, and I’m looking forward to more of Insp. Macdonald from BLCC.

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