Books Review by Brenda Repland
Adnan Khalil
Publish Date: 16 Mar 2018

Alhawadeth Media

 

 

 

Books Review by Brenda Repland

 

The Pope’s Cat

 

By

 

Jon M. Sweeney

 

 

 Review by Brenda Repland

 

This feline rags to riches story is intended for children but I challenge any adult not to be charmed by the delightful tale. 

 

Margaret is swept from the streets of Rome into the world’s smallest country – the Vatican – where she will charm not only her new “father,” but even Queen Elizabeth.

 

While not specified, the Pope here bears a strong resemblance of character to Pope Francis. From her insider situation, Margaret provides a look at the inner (and very human) aspects of the Vatican and its residents.

 

Next in the Pope’s Cat series will be Margaret’s Night in St. Peter’s which we look forward to eargerly.

 

 

 

  A Bold and Dangerous

Family

 

The Remarkable Story of An Italian Mother, Her Two Sons and Their Fight Against Fascism

 

By

 

Caroline Moorehead

 

 

 

Review by Brenda Repland

 

Historian Caroline Moorehead delivers the third of her “Resistance Quartet,” a series which covers all-but-forgotten stories of courage and defiance during Europe’s dark years of fascism and oppression. 

 

The story of the Rossellis is well-known in Italy, but not beyond.  Here is a vivid history of Italy between the wars – a country in deep trauma which made for the rise of il Duce (Mussolini) and fascism.

 

Amelia, the matriarch, was a woman ahead of her time.  As a playwright she highlighted the struggles of women and the poor.  WWI claimed Aldo, her first son.  But resistance to the bullying fascist government would turn her remaining sons, Carlo and Nello, into active resisters.

 

Mussolini sought the imprimatur of the intelligentsia but also resented their persistent attacks.  Both brothers would write for opposition newspapers and magazines.  As the attacks became more vocal, Mussolini and his “Black Shirts” (government-ordained militia) would carry out his tyranny.  The brothers were often imprisoned and exiled to the penal islands off Sicily. 

 

When they managed to escape to France, the long arm of Fascism would follow them and prove that the Italian government would stop at nothing to silence them. 

 

American readers may identify with the frustrations of those who knew they were witnessing the destruction of their land at the hands of an egomaniacal dictator.  The absolute intolerance of any view contrary to that of the fascists, reached a boiling point with Mussolini encouraging violence against any opposition. 

 

Ms. Moorehead brings this history alive allowing us to see the actual effect on a family living through the turmoil.  The Rosselli family should serve as an example of honor for all who seek to protect humanity.

 

 

 

The Crime

 

at

 

Black Dudley

 

By

 

Margery Alligham

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

This is a turn on the “weekend in the country” thriller.  Elderly Colonel Combe has implored his nephew, Wyatt, to host another weekend with his young friends at the family estate of Black Dudley. 

 

One of the guests – Albert Campion – is an affable and out-going party crasher (unbeknownst to all).  He attributes his strange speech pattern to having learned the language from reading advertisements. 

 

When murder puts a chill on the festivities, worse is threatened when one of the most notorious criminal gangs announces that they have control of the house and no one is leaving.  And to prove this, they show their willingness to use violence for anyone trying to escape.

 

What’s going on?  What interest could this gang possibly have in Black Dudley?  And why did Campion have to crash the party?

 

THAT is the real mystery and one that the guests will have to piece together from the snatches of information that each may have.

 

Pull up a chair; light the fire and sit back and enjoy a good English mystery!

 

 

 

 

Missing Guests

 

of the

 

Magic Grove Hotel

 

By

 

David Casarett

 

 

 

  Review by Brenda Repland

 

Nurse Ethicist, Ladarat Patalung has garnered a certain amount of fame after solving – with her detective boyfriend Wiriya – a famous serial murder case.  Now she must focus on her day job – helping her patients and making sure the ones she can’t have the dignity of a “good death.”

 

But when Wiriya comes to her about a new case, she can’t resist.  It seems that several foreign visitors have traveled to Thailand but never returned.  No one knows where they are and their families are asking for help finding them.  The only thing they have in common is that they have all been guests at one time or other at the Magic Grove Hotel outside Chiang Mai.

 

Ladarat engages the help of her cousin’s “bouncer” from her establishment, along with the hospital’s therapy dog, Chi.  Together, they uncover a case much broader than they would have imagined, but one that is very mystical in a kingdom that prizes Buddhist koans. 

 

The second in the “Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency” series, this one is just as engaging.  Sprinkled with Thai observations on foreigners (“they don’t know how to smile) and Thai cuisine, it captures the very essence of Thai culture.

 

 

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