Books Review by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 18 Feb 2017

Alhawadeth Media

The Kaiser’s Last Kiss

 

By

 

Alan Judd

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

It is 1940 and (former) Kaiser Wilhelm is in exile in Holland, following his abdication.  Leaving the limelight is difficult for anyone but especially a deposed monarch. 

 

He fills his time chopping wood and trying to find purpose in his days while his wife,

Princess Hermine, works feverishly to have his monarchy restored, plotting their return to Germany.  To guarantee the admiration of the Dutch staff, he insists on taking them on a tour of his 300 military uniforms and (self-awarded) medals.

 

His narcissism and intolerance of anything but praise is hauntingly familiar . . . .

 

When Germany occupies Holland, many things change, even for Prince Wilhelm.  Now he will be “protected” by the SS.  The Nazis are eager to ensure Wilhelm’s loyalty to their cause.  (They have heard rumors that he may abscond to England.)  Reichsfűhrer Heinrich Himmler pays a visit and over dinner chillingly describes the “Final Solution,” which is to include children.  He knows of Wilhelm’s virulent anti-semitic stance. 

 

 

This well-written novel provides an intimate glimpse into a personality and period with all its complexities.

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92Y Lyrics & Lyricists

The American Songbook

 

                        Review by Brenda Repland

 

The evening was hosted by David Loud, artistic director and writer, who introduced each number along with the context of its creation.  Vocalists were Allison Blackwell, Lewis Cleale, Nikki Renée Daniels, Rebecca Luker and Matthew Scott.

 

Cole Porter was known not only for his music but his very sophisticated lyrics, often lampooning the upper classes (from which he hailed). 

 

Highlights included “Night and Day,” with great violin and bongo drum work; “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,' sung beautifully in a duet with violin by Rebecca Luker; a soulful rendition of  “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” by Nikki Renée Daniels, violin and cello; great saxophone on “I’m a Gigolo,” and the showstopper of the evening, a haunting medley of “Just One of Those Things,” “So In Love,” and “It’s All Right With Me.” By Matthew Scott, Rebecca Luker and Lewis Cleale. 

 

 

The series continues in March with the music of Dorothy Fields.

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A Divided Spy

 

By

 

Charles Cumming

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

Former MI6 officer, Thomas Kell is consumed with seeking revenge against the Kremlin for the murder of his girlfriend and fellow spy.  He knows who was responsible but has no way of finding the man. 

 

When a contractor, Mowbray,  with whom Kell had worked in the past contacts him, promising some “interesting” information, Kell agrees to meet.  In a remarkable coincidence, Mowbray describes how he actually just saw the SVR agent, Minasian while vacationing at a Red Sea resort in Egypt. 

 

From this thread, Kell can track the agent down.  The trail will lead from Moscow to London and Warsaw. But does he really want to act unilaterally?  He’s no longer part of MI6. 

 

Further adding to what could be a serious terrorist attack in England, is the issuance of “real/fake” British passports to jihadis by a culprit with a serious problem.

 

 

Mr. Cumming has brought us another terrific spy thriller.  By avoiding the temptation to glamorize the world of espionage, he conveys just how very dangerous it can be.  

 

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