Wednesday, 17 July 2013

My review of 'The Titian Committee' by Ian Pears

The Titian Committee (Jonathan Argyll, #2)The Titian Committee by Iain Pears
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Art historian, Jonathan Argyll and his lady-love, a member of Rome’s art theft squad, the beautiful and clever Flavia di Stefano, are embroiled in investigating a murder in Venice. A member of the prestigious Titian Committee, whose primary function is the authentication of works purported to be by that great master, is found murdered. Before Jonathan and Flavia can solve the mystery, more deaths occur, and with Flavia’s job on the line, and the future of the Art-Theft Squad in jeopardy, Jonathan and Flavia are in a race against time to solve the crimes.

This is a tale told with a light and humorous touch, and the principal characters, Jonathan, with his very British, reticent, bumbling ways, and Flavia, with her quick-witted, sharp intelligence, are both charming. This may be light reading, but is a delightfully literate and amusing read.

Recently I reviewed The Dream of Scipio by this same author. It is almost beyond belief to me that these two books are by the same author. Scipio is a dark and complicated tale, of great intellectual depth. The series of detective stories, all featuring the same characters, of which The Titian Committee is one, are light hearted and amusing rather than dense and thought provoking. Nevertheless, Iain Pears is a brilliant author, in whichever style he chooses to write.


View all my reviews

Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.  

To purchase one of these books, just click on the book link below and select the vendor of your choice.

 • The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family.  It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.

"The Memory of Roses by Blair McDowell is simply an incredibly lovely story. It’s also a love story, and a story about finding yourself, and about closure. The theme running through the book is “all’s well that ends well.”  --  Marlene, Reading Reality


 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!

"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews


 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations 
~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 

It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

“I found Sonata to be a charming novel that left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a delight to read.” – Night Owl Reviews


 Abigail's Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.
Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?


Sunday, 14 July 2013

My Review of 'I Claudius' by Robert Graves

I, Claudius (Claudius, #1)I, Claudius by Robert Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I, Claudius is a novel told in first person, as if it were the auto-biography of the famous Roman Emperor Claudius, poet, author, historian, scholar, and in general, the only “good” emperor since Julius Caesar. This is a story of the years leading up to Claudius’ reign, and of the hurdles and dangers he had to survive before he ascended to rule the Roman Empire. To anyone interested in ancient history, this book is a must. Graves documents his research thoroughly, and has made it come alive through Claudius’ accounts of the times in which he lived. We are there on the scene, through the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula, each more decadent than the one who preceded him. We observe through Claudius’ eyes the machinations of his grandmother Livia as she blithely poisons all those who do not fit in with her plans for succession. We fear with him for his safety, and we empathize with him as he is belittled and scorned because he limps and stammers in a society where physical defects usually result in death at birth. No one, least of all Claudius, foresees his place in history.

I recommend this book, written in 1936, to anyone who is a history buff, and to anyone who loves Rome. To see the ruins is one thing, but to see them, hearing what Claudius has to say as he lives in these sites, is quite another. I was delighted to find this book, that I thought was surely out-of-print, on Amazon.



Following are my published novels. Go to my Goodreads page, to find more info and reviews.  

To purchase one of these books, just click on the book link below and select the vendor of your choice.


 • The Memory of Roses ~ The story of a secret and how it impacts two generations of the McQuaid family.  It unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu and is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery.



"The Memory of Roses by Blair McDowell is simply an incredibly lovely story. It’s also a love story, and a story about finding yourself, and about closure. The theme running through the book is “all’s well that ends well.”  --  Marlene, Reading Reality



 • Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is a paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!


"Delighting In Your Company is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down." -- The Romance Reviews



 • Sonata ~ Sayuri McAllister has just arrived home to Vancouver to find some shocking situations 

~ A robbery has taken place at her family home, and it is being investigated by her old flame;
~ Alyssa James who she barely knows, is about to become her new stepmother; 
~ and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who is intent on bedding and wedding the rich and beautiful Sayuri. 

It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?


“I found Sonata to be a charming novel that left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a delight to read.” – Night Owl Reviews




 Abigail's Christmas (short story) ~ An enchanting tale of love and romance, with a magical touch of fantasy.

Abigail's Christmas is a holiday story about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing! Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?