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Luxardo London Dry Gin
2024-02-29 19:00
Founded in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo and still controlled by the same founding family, Luxardo is one of the oldest European companies producing liqueurs and spirits. It is best known for… Read More
Death At The Dolphin
2024-02-28 19:00
A review of Death at the Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh – 240118 You can take the girl out of the theatre but you cannot take the theatre out of the girl. I have been plodding my way th… Read More
Magnolia Tree Of The Week
2024-02-27 19:00
So, farewell to what was reported to have been Britain’s tallest magnolia tree, somewhat incongruously growing in Lilliput, a suburb of Poole in Dorset. Its fate was not sealed bec… Read More
The Man In The Shed
2024-02-26 19:00
At first glance, 78, Banbury Road looks to be a fairly unremarkable house in a part of north Oxford’s suburbia, but closer inspection will show it was for logophiles one of the spi… Read More
Matchstick Of The Week
2024-02-24 10:00
It must have been a tad disappointing to have spent 4,200 hours over eight years building a replica of the Eiffel Tower out of matchsticks, believing that it would be the tallest matchst… Read More
Somebody At The Door
2024-02-23 19:00
A review of Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate – 240115 Sometimes when surfing the world wide web it is possible to go down so many rabbit holes that you forget what it wa… Read More
Old Git Gin
2024-02-22 19:00
As someone who is in their seventieth year and growing more cantankerous and curmudgeonly by the day, I was drawn to Old Git Gin when I was surfing the pages of Drinkfinder UK’s we… Read More
The Case Of The Seven Bells
2024-02-21 19:00
A review of The Case of the Seven Bells by Christopher Bush – 240113 The thirty-fifth in Bush’s long running Ludovic Travers series, originally published in 1949 and now r… Read More
The Rescue Of The Forrest Hall
2024-02-20 19:00
By the time the crew of the Louisa had completed their herculean task of dragging their vessel the thirteen miles up and down Countisbury Hill with a little help from their friends and e… Read More
2024-02-19 19:00
A review of Good By Stealth by Henrietta Clandon – 240112 John Vahey, a prolific Northern Irish writer, published books under six pseudonyms, including Henrietta Clandon. Good b… Read More
Dacorum Decorum
2024-02-17 10:00
With the bladder of public finance under intolerable pressure, the future of the Council-funded public toilet looks bleak, causing consternation amongst those who fear the prospect of be… Read More
Minute For Murder
2024-02-16 19:00
A review of Minute for Murder by Nicholas Blake – 240108 The problem with putting an author on a pedestal, as I have done with Nicholas Blake, the pen name of Cecil Day-Lewis, i… Read More
Lemon Of The Week
2024-02-15 19:00
Having squeezed one on to my pancakes yesterday, I will never look at a lemon in the same way again after this snippet of news I came across. Shropshire auctioneers Brettells were prepa… Read More
Follow The Blue Car
2024-02-14 19:00
A review of Follow The Blue Car by R A J Walling – 240105 It is normally cherchez la femme that will solve a mystery but in the second in Robert Walling’s Philip Tolefree… Read More
A Remarkable Overland Trek
2024-02-13 19:00
Built and launched in Liverpool in 1883, the Forrest Hall was a three masted, iron hulled ship, 277 feet long with a gross tonnage of 2.052, capable of carrying over 3,000 tons of coal i… Read More
Dancing With Death
2024-02-12 19:00
A review of Dancing with Death by Joan Coggin – 240102 Well, what a transformation! The last time I met Lady Lupin, in Who Killed The Curate?, she was a ditzy, scatter-brained… Read More
Why Hot Dogs?
2024-02-10 10:00
Dog meat hit the news recently with the South Korean parliament approving legislation, expected to come into force in 2027, banning the sale and slaughter of dogs for their meat, althoug… Read More
Three Act Tragedy
2024-02-09 19:00
A review of Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie – 240101 Some sleuths in detective fiction take to knitting to help them think through the complexities of the case before them… Read More
Chord Of The Week
2024-02-08 19:00
There was great excitement at the Buchardi Church in the German town of Halberstadt on Monday, February 5, 2024 when the organ playing John Cage’s Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow as Pos… Read More
The Silent Pool
2024-02-07 19:00
A review of The Silent Pool by Patricia Wentworth – 231230 Seasoned readers of Golden Age crime fiction will realise the folly of one character donning a distinctive piece of cl… Read More
A Measure Of Things – Part Fourteen
2024-02-06 19:00
When an earthquake strikes, it is assigned a rating on the Richter scale. The recent Sea of Japan earthquake was assigned a rating of 7.6, but what does this mean and how much more power… Read More
The Case Of The Michaelmas Goose
2024-02-05 19:00
A review of The Case Of The Michaelmas Goose by Clifford Witting – 231227 One of the three Clifford Witting novels reissued by the enterprising Galileo Publishers in 2023, the C… Read More
Gin Galore
2024-02-03 10:00
The Flying Horse Hotel in Packer Street in Rochdale has recently undergone a refurbishment and reopened for business on February 1st. Nothing unusual in that although a somewhat bold mov… Read More
Inquest
2024-02-02 19:00
A review of Inquest by Henrietta Clandon – 231223 One of the many noms de plume which the prolific writer, John Vahey, used was Henrietta Clandon. I have not read any of Vahey&r… Read More
The Seven Sleepers
2024-01-31 07:00
A review of The Seven Sleepers by Francis Beeding – 231221 Originally published in 1925, The Seven Sleepers, written by the duo, John Palmer and Hilary Saunders under the nom de… Read More
Did The Earth Move For You?
2024-01-30 19:00
There were 1,712 earthquakes worldwide in 2023 with a magnitude of five or more and more than 64,100 people were killed, the highest death toll since 2010. 2024 opened ominously with the… Read More
The Case Of The Housekeeper’s Hair
2024-01-29 19:00
A review of The Case of the Housekeeper’s Hair by Christopher Bush – 231218 The thirty-fourth adventure involving Christopher Bush’s amateur sleuth, Ludovic Travers… Read More
2024-01-27 10:00
Stuart Ingram, founder and owner of House of Elrick gin, made two big calls. After purchasing the historic Elrick House, nestled in the lowlands of Aberdeenshire at Newmachar, in 2014 he… Read More
The Fatal Five Minutes
2024-01-26 19:00
A review of The Fatal Five Minutes by R A J Walling – 231216 This is the first book by Robert Walling that I have read and published in 1932 introduces his amateur sleuth, Phili… Read More
Walk Like A Penguin
2024-01-25 19:00
Penguins on land have never struck me as being the most graceful of creatures but their curious and comedic waddle seems to be effective as they rarely seem to fall arse-over-tit in the… Read More
Crime De Luxe
2024-01-24 19:00
A review of Crime de Luxe by Elizabeth Gill – 231216 Originally published in 1933 and reissued by Dean Street Press, Crime de Luxe is the third and final book in Elizabeth Gill… Read More
The Daily Grind
2024-01-23 19:00
How do we fill our time? Well, mostly by sleeping and resting, according to a fascinating insight into our habits released by the Office of National Statistics. Adults in the UK spent on… Read More
Brought To Light
2024-01-22 19:00
A review of Brought To Light by E R Punshon – 231214 I only wish I can write a book as good as this when I am eighty-two. Originally published in 1954, two years before his deat… Read More
Silent Pool Rare Citrus Gin
2024-01-20 10:00
Although I am more a fan of traditional London Dry, juniper forward gins than of contemporary style gins, the team at Silent Pool Distillers from Albury near Guildford do make a tasty sp… Read More
Dead Water
2024-01-19 19:00
A review of Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh – 231213 Set in the Cornish coastal village of Portcarrow, the twenty-third book in Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn series, originally… Read More
The Case Of The Abominable Snowman
2024-01-17 19:00
A review of The Case Of The Abominable Snowman by Nicholas Blake – 231212 I do like a bit of ring composition and who better to deliver it than a poet? This, the seventh in Blak… Read More
The Case Of Elymas The Sorcerer
2024-01-16 19:00
A review of The Case of Elymas the Sorcerer by Brian Flynn – 231211 Rather like Gladys Mitchell, but in a good way, you are never quite sure what you are going to get with a Bri… Read More
Blue Monday
2024-01-15 19:00
January can be a depressing month. Christmas has come and gone, leaving only its financial and emotional consequences to manage, New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the waysid… Read More
2024-01-13 10:00
I had come across Colwith Farm Distillery from Lanlivery in Cornwall before when I bought a bottle of their collaborative effort, Smuggled From Cornwall, and I will not repeat their back… Read More
Who Killed The Curate?
2024-01-12 19:00
A review of Who Killed The Curate? By Joan Coggin – 231210 Joan Coggin, who also went by the name of Joanna Lloyd, is a new crime writer to me. Who Killed The Curate?, sub-title… Read More
As The Days Lengthen, The Cold Strengthens
2024-01-10 19:00
Once we are past the Winter Solstice, the shortest day or longest night depending upon your point of view, the days lengthen, by around two minutes and 8 seconds a day. The impact is alm… Read More
Let X Be The Murderer
2024-01-09 19:00
A review of Let X Be The Murderer by Clifford Witting – 231209 Another name to the pantheon of publishers who are doing their bet to aid the revival of interest in classic crime… Read More
Brat Farrar
2024-01-08 19:00
A review of Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey – 231208 Originally published in 1949, Brat Farrar, which also goes by the alternative title of Come and Kill Me, is described as a myst… Read More
Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
2024-01-06 10:00
My stock of Navy Strength gin was running low and so now was a good time to invest in a bottle of a gin that has been on my wish list for some time. Four Pillars was established in 2013… Read More
The Twenty-Third Man
2024-01-05 19:00
A review of The Twenty-Third Man by Gladys Mitchell – 231207 Well, it’s 1957 and the thirtieth novel in Gladys Mitchell’s long running Mrs Bradley series has just be… Read More
Perihelion
2024-01-03 19:00
The elliptical nature of the Earth’s annual solar orbit means that there is one point, the perihelion, when it is closest to the Sun. This occurred in 2024 at 00.38 GMT today (Janu… Read More
4.50 From Paddington
2024-01-02 19:00
A review of 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie – 231207 Originally published in 1957 and going by the alternative title of What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw, this is the eighth in… Read More
Murder Intended
2024-01-01 19:00
A review of Murder Intended by Francis Beeding – 231206 One of my finds of 2023 has been John Palmer and Hilary St George Saunders who collaborated under the nom de plume of Fra… Read More
Digital Or Print?
2023-12-30 10:00
I am such a voracious reader that I have long abandoned the printed page. Don’t get me wrong, I have hundreds of books and am loathe to get rid of them, even though the chances of… Read More
Out Of The Past
2023-12-29 19:00
A review of Out of the Past by Patricia Wentworth – 231205 I have always found Patricia Wentworth to be an engaging writer, capable of creating page turners, but one who has a s… Read More
The Case Of The Haven Hotel
2023-12-27 19:00
A review of The Case of the Haven Hotel by Christopher Bush – 231204 The thirty-third in Christopher Bush’s long running Ludovic Travers series, originally published in 19… Read More
Cracker Jokes – 2023 (3)
2023-12-26 19:00
To complete the set Who delivers Christmas presents to sharks? Santa Jaws What did Santa say at the start of the race? Ready, set, ho, ho, ho! What do you call a greed… Read More
Cracker Jokes – 2023 (2)
2023-12-24 10:00
What athlete is warmest in winter? A long jumper Why doesn’t Santa eat junk food? Because it’s bad for your elf Why can’t penguins fly? Because the… Read More
Cracker Jokes – 2023 (1)
2023-12-23 10:00
1. What do snowmen eat for Christmas? Ice cookies 2. What do you call a child who doesn’t believe in Santa? A rebel without a Claus 3. How much did S… Read More
The Smiler With The Knife
2023-12-22 19:00
A review of The Smiler with the Knife by Nicholas Blake – 231203 While taxonomically this is the fifth in Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways series, it really is his wife… Read More
Sporting Event Of The Week (33)
2023-12-21 19:00
This one sneaked under my radar screen for a while but Britain’s successes are so few and far between these days that it is worth shouting out from the rooftops that we won the ina… Read More
Hand In Glove
2023-12-20 19:00
A review of Hand In Glove by Ngaio Marsh – 231202 Although I am not Ngaio Marsh’s greatest fan, you can generally rely upon her for an unusual and imaginative form of murd… Read More
Fools For A Gooseberry
2023-12-19 19:00
Egton Bridge, about six miles or so south-west of Whitby, is home to the village’s Old Gooseberry Society, whose show in 2022 was a mix of the new and the familiar. Hosted for the… Read More
The Box Office Murders
2023-12-18 19:00
A review of The Box Office Murders by Freeman Wills Crofts – 231202 The fifth in Freeman Wills Crofts’ Inspector French series, The Box Office Murders, also known as The P… Read More
J M Barrie And Quality Street
2023-12-17 10:00
Kirriemuir’s most famous son, J M Barrie, is best known now for Peter Pan or The Boy who would not grow up (1904), but in the 1930s his play, Quality Street (1901) was just as fami… Read More
Miss Pym Disposes
2023-12-15 19:00
A review of Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey – 231202 Sometimes you finish a book and the only reaction is wow, what have I just read? I have been a fan of Josephine Tey and M… Read More
Topical Cracker Jokes (2023) (2)
2023-12-14 19:00
What happened to Mark Zuckerberg’s novelty jumper when he had a cage fight with Elon Musk? He was left with nothing but Threads. What’s the difference between The Polar Ex… Read More
The Notting Hill Mystery
2023-12-13 19:00
A review of The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Warren Adams – 231201 Widely regarded as one of the first pieces, if not the first, of detective fiction, The Notting Hill Myster… Read More
Topical Cracker Jokes (2023)
2023-12-12 19:00
Did you hear about the Christmas cake on display in the British Museum? It was Stollen. Why is Elon Musk’s Christmas dinner so awkward? He can’t stop talking about his X… Read More
The Crow’s Inn Tragedy
2023-12-11 19:00
A review of The Crow’s Inn Tragedy by Annie Haynes – 231130 The third and final of Annie Haynes Inspector Furnival series, The Crow’s Inn Tragedy was originally publ… Read More
Keen As Mustard
2023-12-10 10:00
Inevitably, the success of Mrs Clements’ Durham mustard encouraged others to enter the mustard market. London had its first mustard factory, perhaps inappropriately at Garlick Hill… Read More
2023-12-09 10:00
For those who like a supercharged burst of caffeine there is nothing better than an espresso. However, a group of American scientists claim to have cracked the secret of making a perfect… Read More
Banana Before Bed
2023-12-08 19:00
Want a good night’s sleep? Try fruit just before you go to bed, say The Sleep Charity. Bananas, in particular, contain high levels of magnesium and potassium which help muscle rela… Read More
The Grim Maiden
2023-12-07 19:00
A review of The Grim Maiden by Brian Flynn – 231104 Always expect the unexpected with Brian Flynn, a writer who is not content to follow a tried and tested formula but who is wi… Read More
Gin Aux Agrumes
2023-12-06 19:00
The clue is in its name. La Distillerie de Monaco, Monaco’s only distillery, was originally founded by Philip Culazzo to produce L’Orangerie liqueur, but the principality is… Read More
Word Of 2023
2023-12-05 19:00
It comes as no surprise given all the chatter about it, that Collins, the publishers of the dictionary, have awarded the title of Word of the Year to AI, the abbreviation for artificial… Read More
London’s Eiffel Tower (2)
2023-12-04 19:00
Fired with enthusiasm for the project to build a tower that would out do the Eiffel Tower, Sir Edward Watkin formed the International Tower Construction Company but investors did not mat… Read More
Durham Mustard
2023-12-03 10:00
Mustard had reached the North-East of England by at least the 15th century, monks on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumbria, whose community was linked to Durham Cathedral, using… Read More
Lost Word Of The Week (88)
2023-12-02 10:00
On August 1, 2023 UK duty on still wine with a strength of over 11% ABV went up by 20% from 11.5% to 14.5% plus VAT, the biggest tax hike since 1975. Chancellors see taxing alcohol as fa… Read More
Head Of The Week
2023-12-01 19:00
Instantly recognisable amongst sea creatures, the starfish’s distinctive body shape is divided symmetrically into five sections. It gives them a starlike shape, hence their name. U… Read More
Dry Gin XII
2023-11-29 19:00
Distilleries et Domaines de Provence emerged in 1974 out of the Distillerie de Lure, which was founded in 1898 at Forcalquier in Provence. It is perhaps best known for its range of absin… Read More
The Undetective
2023-11-28 19:00
A review of The Undetective by Bruce Graeme – 231102 I have come across the works of Bruce Graeme, a pseudonym of Graham Montague Jeffries, through following his series of bibli… Read More
London’s Eiffel Tower
2023-11-27 19:00
The twin towers of Wembley Stadium were an iconic symbol of English football until they were demolished in 2003 but Wembley Park would have boasted an even more impressive structure had… Read More
Tewkesbury Mustard Balls
2023-11-26 10:00
Bright yellow with a relatively thick consistency, made from a combination of yellow and brown seeds and stronger than many other types due to its low acid content, English mustard is no… Read More
Lost Word Of The Week (87)
2023-11-25 10:00
Lord Ellenborough, whose birthname was, by a piece of nominative determinism, Edward Law, was Lord Chief Justice from 1802 until 1817, earned a reputation for being harsh and overbearing… Read More
The Village Twinned With Paris
2023-11-24 19:00
Many of the best ideas occur in a public house, so they say, and one of the most audacious occurred to a group of regulars of The Noel Arms in the tiny Rutland village of Whitwell one Fr… Read More
Death At The Villa
2023-11-23 19:00
A review of Death at the Villa by Moray Dalton – 231101 The last of the batch of five Moray Dalton novels reissued by Dean Street  Press in 2023, Death at the Villa was ori… Read More
Holborn London Dry Gin
2023-11-22 19:00
My third purchase on my recent trip to the Constantine Store, home of Drinkfinder UK, was one steeped in the history of gin, Holborn London Dry Gin. The development of the continuous sti… Read More
The Norwich Victims
2023-11-21 19:00
A review of The Norwich Victims by Francis Beeding – 231030 Death Walks in Eastrepps was my introduction to Francis Beeding, the nom de plume under which two British authors, Jo… Read More
The Rise Of The Leylandii
2023-11-20 19:00
Leylandii an evergreen coniferous tree of very fast rapid growth In 1911 at Leighton Hall, Christopher’s nephew, Captain Naylor, after picking up a cone from a Monterey cypress grow… Read More
Italian Kiss Of The Week
2023-11-19 10:00
An “Italian Kiss”, for those who do not know, was introduced into what is known as popular culture by a famous scene in the 1955 film, Lady and The Tramp. It involves two peo… Read More
Lost Word Of The Day (86)
2023-11-18 10:00
With the popularity of card games over the centuries and with a pack containing fifty-two different cards, it is unsurprising that individual cards bear unusual names. Are you like Mr Sq… Read More
The Rise Of Town Twinning
2023-11-17 19:00
Nowadays it is a familiar sight when entering a British town or city to see a sign greeting the traveller with the words “Welcome to…twinned with…”, and the cha… Read More
Murder On The Orient Express
2023-11-16 19:00
A review of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – 231028 So famous is it that Murder on the Orient Express, originally published in 1934 and the tenth in her Hercule… Read More
Blackwoods Navy Strength Vintage Gin
2023-11-15 19:00
In a time when shrinkflation seems particularly rife with distilleries reducing the ABV of even their long established products – stand up, Tanqueray – it is pleasing to come… Read More
What Dread Hand?
2023-11-14 19:00
A review of What Dread Hand? By Elizabeth Gill – 231026 The second of three novels featuring Benvenuto Brown that Elizabeth Gill produced in her tragically short career, What Dr… Read More
Leylandii – A Botanical Freak
2023-11-13 19:00
Leylandii an evergreen coniferous tree of very fast rapid growth There are almost as many of them in the UK as people, around 55 million at the last count and that was in 2011. For many t… Read More
2023-11-12 10:00
What do you do with a pumpkin? For the residents of the Belgian town of Kasterlee the question is more what can’t you do with a pumpkin? The town, associated with pumpkin growing s… Read More
Lost Word Of The Day (85)
2023-11-11 10:00
The glorious city of Durham was once famous for more than its impressive cathedral and castle. It was also the home of the finest quality mustard, the brainchild of a Mrs Chalmers. It wa… Read More
Keighley’s Contribution To Town Twinning
2023-11-10 19:00
Poix-du-Nord is a small community with a population of around 2,200 set in beautiful countryside in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, close to the Belgian border. Like many… Read More
St Giles Gin
2023-11-08 19:00
My bi-annual jaunt to West Cornwall leads me unerringly to the portal of Constantine Stores, headquarters of Drinkfinder, to stock up an empty box in the boot of my car with some more gi… Read More
The Case Of The Curious Client
2023-11-07 19:00
A review of The Case of the Curious Client by Christopher Bush – 231024 The Case of the Curious Client, astonishingly, the thirty-second novel detailing the exploits of Bush&rsq… Read More

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