Mrs Sherlock Holmes…Police Reform

I decided to write about a book I have recently finished and I want all the book lovers to go out and read it. I think that I loved it so much, because it is so relevant to everything that we are going through right now.

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Mrs Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca 

I HIGHLY recommend this one! Especially at the moment. When I first started this one, I thought it was just going to be about the Ruth Cruger case. It was so much more than that!

It’s all about police corruption, the “buddy buddy” culture within the police. It writes about her rise and ultimately how the Patriarchy tried to bring her down. Where it touches on a little about the suffragette movement. When people ask me now which three people, living or dead, would I ask around to dinner. One will be Mary Grace Quackenbos. I don’t want to write anymore about it. Just read it, and read it NOW.

For those who don’t know this book is based on a real person and a real famous case. Mary Grace Quackenbos, was a real person, a real lawyer and a real “detective”. Ruth Cruger was a real missing girl. Apart from the missing girl case, Quackenbos was really known for helping people get out, who were laboured with peonage or the person slave trade. Although peonage was officially outlawed in the states in 1867, it still went on. The reason why MGQ was called in, was because when Ruth Cruger went missing, there was a lot of alarm around the white person slave trading going on.

One of the reasons I found this book so fascinating was because how many of the issues and situations in this book, are still prevalent to this day.

When Ruth first disappeared, the police put it down to Ruth being a “bad girl”, and that she had just run off with some unknown man. Even though there was absolutely no proof of this. The only thing that Ruth took with her were her ice skates, no extra clothes, no money, just the skates.

The police did not thoroughly investigate Alfred Cochi’s, motorbike shop, where Ruth was heading to get to her skates sharpened. When it came out later, it was found that Alfred repaired and adjust a lot, if not all of the NYPD motorbike patrol bikes, at the same time.

When Mary Grace Quackenbos, started to investigate the Army though. With underage girls being taken back to their local training camps, a couple had disappeared. That was when she went too “far”. That’s when people started to question her, even though, by the evidence at the time, she was correct. Some of the local soldiers, were taking underage girls back with them. The Patriarchy decided that was a “step too far”. She was trying to smear the name of the Army…All of a sudden all the police originally question with the Ruth Cruger case, were suddenly let off, some got promotions, most were welcome back. MGQ, lost all her prominent positions. The media were HORRIBLE to her. After, they decided to credit the male detectives with the discovery of Ruth Cruger, even though it was because of MGQ constant poking and prodding. The male detectives physically brought out the body.

Quackenbos, just you know:

  • Got the search warrants approved.
  • Talked to Alfred’s wife, who was being a pain.
  • Actually questioned the police and dug more into the original witnesses accounts.
  • Listened to the family plea’s of “She had been kidnapped, she would never have just run off”.
  • Did some ACTUAL investigation into the Cochi’s.
  • Found the blue prints for them to dig around the Cochi’s cellars.
  • Oh, bought the Cochi’s house. So the detectives could get into the Cochi’s old cellar.

You know though, it was the male detectives.

Sound familiar?

This could literally be today, and it makes you wonder, really.

Goodreads

I finally met my Goodreads Reading Challenge!

If you follow my Goodreads page (here) you’ll see that I have been stuck on the same page of the same book for a while now. I’ve lost it…eep! It’s a Library book as well and I renewed it yesterday, but it’s the last time that I can. So I’m going to be looking for it extra hard this week.

Goodreads 2019

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Goodreads – Lolsy’s Library

The Vatican Princess

I actually had a few people who seemed to be interested in this particular book. So I have finally sat down and wrote about this book. It’s been great to be able about this book in more detail.

The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia:By C.W.Gortner

the vatican princess

*I just want to start this review off by writing that is purely based on my personal opinion. I have not been paid by anyone or any company to write this*

Too this day in modern History, Lucrezia Borgia, is one of the world’s most famous villainesses. Whether or not that’s completely justified, we will probably never be able to prove. Accused on incest, murder and poison vixen, luring men to their deaths. But what she just an unwilling pawn in her families games?

The biggest reason that I enjoyed this book was because, in the beginning at least. I really enjoyed the way that Gortner wrote Lucrezia, I absolutely believe that she was sweet and innocent. Someone who just wanted to love her family and their environment and just to basically be left alone. I felt like Gortner did Lucrezia Borgia a lot of justice with her character. She is written like a complete sweetheart. In other shows and books I’ve read of Lucrezia, they have written and given into the Myth of Miss Lucrezia Borgia.

Even with her rumoured romantic relationship with her brother, Cesare. A lot of other shows and books write like she enjoyed the incestuous relationship. Whereas with this book it’s written like Lucrezia, although not 100% without feelings, she has issues with it. This becomes even more apparent after Lucrezia begins to realise that Cesare is probably more obsessed with her, rather than in love with her. She does really her adore and treasure her husband in this book, Alfonso of Aragon. Which is probably a reason behind his murder by her brother.

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This is where my happy part of the review ends.

As soon as the book gets to about halfway through, it just seems to get real dark really quickly and seems to be purely for shock value. Rather than based on anything factual, and it really disturbed me. I think because I have a basic understanding of what the Borgia’s did. There was just one part that sincerely shocked me and then it put me off of the rest of the book.

I don’t mind a shock in a book, when it’s necessary, but I felt like the shock in this book was completely unnecessary. There was no proof of what was written even took place. Which I get to some extent that a lot on the Borgias are based on other people’s perspective, rather than actual fact. But I feel like, at least try. Don’t just write something completely horrible and shocking, just for the sake of it. Especially even when no one has heard this “myth” before.

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What Alice Forgot Review

I have not done a review for such a long time! I don’t think I’m going to be doing it the way I usually do either. I just really want to write what I thought, my likes and dislikes. I guess, in that way this isn’t really a review, it’s just some of my thoughts.

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Book Breakdown:

Imagine finding yourself, flat on the floor, in the middle of gym, complete strangers around you. Completely terrified you ask for someone to ring your loving, newly married, husband… Just too find out that you are getting divorced, have three children and have completely forgotten the last 10 years.

This is what has happened to Alice.

Positive Personal Perspective:

I thought that with a book that was about forgetting, I thought that I might become confused with the constant coming and back forth as (I thought) she might remember. I didn’t feel like I was getting confused at all. It’s one of those books written from the perspective of a couple of characters, and those can usually get quiet confusing, but I didn’t feel like that (until the ending).

Negative Personal Perspective:

I have to say I really did enjoy this book. The ending, I have to be honest, I got really confused  It almost felt like “Gotta finish this somehow” and then…I just became confused, I had to go back and reread what I had already read. I thought that somehow that there was just a huge tonne of characters being mixed up, or that I had somehow missed out an entire chapter. Turns out, it wasn’t, it was just the ending.
In hindsight, what lead up to the ending of the book, made the ending, make sense. I just don’t really read books going “I hope to have to reread this in case something doesn’t make sense, straight away”. It might be me being fussy, I like being able to understand straight away.

The End

However, apart from that one complaint, the rest of it was absolutely fantastic! It was a book that made me think, if something similar happened to you, would you want to even remember the last 10 years of your life? Despite everything you might miss, would it make you much more less bitter? Would it help you give a new lease to your life? Would it make you look at your current life a little different, and would you change just, a little on the inside. Would you decide to live your dreams from years ago? Every time I’d finish reading it a bit more, I would have all these questions in my mind, about my own life

Pose

Pose – 2018 IMDb

Here we are with another television series review! I just loved this one so much and I wanted to share it with you all, so if it comes up on your Netflix or something, you know…This…I want to watch this.

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Dear Lord, now I hope that I do it justice!

What is “Pose?”

First you need to know that Pose is set around the end of the 1980’s. Aids is about and there not yet a “cure” for it. At this point I’m not even sure about the research at the time. Despite that, it’s a show that takes a look at African American, transsexual and gay POC and how they have found the “Ballroom” where they “Pose” (lol). Where they are free to be who they truly want to be, where it was SAFE for them to be who they wanted to be. It takes a look at how society, not only white, religious and the straight community treated trans people. How they treated each other through their placing in society and whether or not they “pass”. By pass I mean that by being a transgender person, whether or not they pass for looking female…or male.

Have to warn you…

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 I will be writing spoilers….

The characters:

I have to start off by saying that I very much dislike how on the IMDb page they have put Evan Peters at the top of their list. I get that he is more probably well known then the others and he is actually in every episode (I haven’t seen the last two yet though, at this point). However, is he not really a main character, they could have literally any white guy play his part. Peter Evans plays the typical white married family man who…I can’t even say “falls in love”…But he becomes intoxicated by one of the ladies. So, enough about that.

I don’t know which character I loved more to be completely honest with you. What I loved about this show was that the characters were REAL. How can I describe it too you? A lot of the actual actors in this show are actually Transsexual AND Transgender to begin with, so they are absolutely coming from a place of realness. Pose is to date, the show with the largest reoccurring transsexual actors.

From the top of my head my favourite character has to be Pray Tell played by Billy Porter. The sassy dressmaker and DJ, speaker and in the opening credit that is his voice. I think I loved him the most because he was just so open and raw. Pray Tell was the character with the boyfriend, dying from Aids. When he finds out that he had Aids, he tries to keep it together but cannot anymore after making a promise to live to his dying boyfriend. It’s not just your usual promise to be happy either. It was a promise to be happy because Pray Tell has the aids and even though Pray Tell does not want to tell his boyfriend, but he can see it in Pray Tells eyes, be happy.

House of Evangelista

A “House” is where you get, pretty much, lost causes, and help each other and support each other to succeed. Well, that’s what they are supposed to be about, not every House is so supportive. They learn, they learn though. Both Houses have a “Mother” and you have to respect their rules, each house has a different mother and different rules.

The House of Evangelista are the main protagonist of the show, other than Pray Tell and Elektra Abundance from House of Abundance (who I also love).

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The House of Evangelista consist of “Mother” Blanca Rodriguez, recently diagnosed with AIDS. Finally tired of feeling held back in the House of Abundance (lead by “Mother” the fabulous Elektra Abundance) Blanca decides to head out and start her own House. Along the way she bumps into a young Damon Richards a young gay man whose just been kicked out of his house (for being gay) and a beautiful Angel (that’s her name) a young transsexual having to sell her body for sex, which is where she meets Evan Peters character.

A bunch of misfits, just starting out in the Ballroom world.

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What I really love about the show:

Not only does the show have the most transsexual reoccurring actors on a show. It still looks at all the topics surrounding gay people in the 80’s. Unlike a lot of other shows though, it doesn’t get to dark, but still keeps the seriousness. I absolutely love the relationship between Damon and Ricky (played by Dyllon Burnside). In all honesty I think it’s not only the first relationship I’ve seen between POC LGBT gay men, but it’s the most sweetest relationship I have seen between two men, just in general. Without the over PDA…I can’t stand that no matter what!lol

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What I love most about the show though, even with the competing House. They are still there for each other. The show shows what a family can be, that a family does not have to be “blood”. They just have to “be”.

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

“The Songs of Achilles” – Madeline Miller

The Breakdown:

Another Madeline Miller classic novel of her interpretation of an Ancient Greece tale.

Some compare it to the Iliad, but it’s not like that at all. It focused solely on the ancient Greek Hero, Achilles. So do not pick this book up if that’s what you are expecting. Set from Achilles childhood…until…well hopefully there are not spoilers for you…His death. It’s about his friendship with his childhood friend Patroclus on their journey to come to Troy.

Positive: 

This is not really a prequel to Madeline Millers “Circe”, however I felt like it really stood on it’s own. What I personally enjoy most about reading, is when you go read a book and just keep reading it. This is what this books offers. When you write a character growing from child to adult, with all the feelings of a growing human being. You don’t want it to start and stop, you need it to flow, need it to make sense. Madeline Miller is a perfect writer when it comes to this.

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What I have loved about all of Madeline Millers novels is that you can tell she has done the research. Even though she is a modern writer, she still is holding true to the classic stories. The rules and roles of the Gods, but with a twist…I loved the relationship twist that come with it. I have to say that I think it may be my first LGBT romance…Apart from Mangus Bane. I was thinking about it and I don’t think I’ve read a book yet where the main characters are gay. It was a beautiful love story too.

Negative:

The only real negative thing I could say about this book was that I kept expecting it to be “Circe” and it wasn’t. Although I completely enjoyed the book, I felt like it was a little slower than Circe. I actually wish that I read Achilles first, because I was expecting it to be more like Circe. They are both really fantastic books and I love them both. You can tell the difference of writing between them both. There is 6 years between the two and one can tell.

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Patrick Melrose

I was going to put this in my Category of “Magical Monday” as I try to keep my reviews on a Monday. However, this television series…well it’s a televisions series and it taps onto various themes that are dark. I didn’t feel it very appropriate to call it “Magical”. I think this may also be my first ever television series that I’ve reviewed.

Reviews

I decided that I wanted to review the series, but I really want to encourage people to find it and watch it. However, beware! It is about a wide range of dark issues. Suicide, Sexual Abuse, Drug use. Before I start to write about the series, I definitely should mention that!

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Anything that stars both Benedict Cumberbath AND Hugo Weaving, you know is going to be a great series…I am very happy to say that it was!

The Breakdown

Patrick Melrose is a drug addict, alcoholic, messed up … well I’m not sure if he even does work. I don’t think so. It’s a five part television series, partly based on the upper-crust of English Society semi-autobiographical written by Edward St Aubyn. After the death of his father in the 80s, Patrick Melrose (Cumberbath) attempts to overcome his addictions and demons rooted in abuse by his father (Weaving) and negligent alcoholic mother (Leigh).

The series has a set of flash backs between each episode, but they are fluent and make sense. I swear that no one else knows how to do a mini series like the English.

Positive

This is exquisitely uncomfortable and will make you feel frustrated, but in a good way. because that’s what is suppose to happen. The whole premise of the show is to show how sexual abuse (especially when it’s perpetuated by someone you know) affects people, how it use to be quiet. How it was covered up, how people would never talk about it. They knew what was going on, but it was the “done thing” to do anything about it. The people I was watching it with would constantly say “Why aren’t they doing anything!” “How could you live in that kind of atmosphere”.

That is the what the show is supposed to highlight. It’s a dark comedy and you will feel uncomfortable. I have to say “Bravo” to Hugo Weaving. Being a huge fan of all his characters, I truly hated this character. I think it was very brave of him to take on this role. It would have been a difficult character to play and I love the ending of the series, because of the twist to his character. Think of Agent Smith, but even darker and much more menacing. I would be very surprised if he didn’t get a Emmy nomination for it.

Of course Cumberbath is superb in it. I would have to loved to have seen him play the role of the father. I know he’s not old enough to play the role, and I loved/hated Hugo Weaving, he was perfect for the role. I think it would have been interesting to see Cumberbatch as the father.

Negative

The only real complaint I had about it was there wasn’t too much of a warning about the topics in the series. For such a dark series and dark topics, I would have hoped that they would have had more of a “trigger warning”. They had the general age rating warning, but not about the topics.

I just felt like people needed to be warned before watching. There is so much going on with this at the current time and it’s bringing up so many issues. That people may be feeling particularly vulnerable right now.

Heart of Thorns #1

heart of thorns

The Breakdown:

“Heart of Thorns” by Bree Barton is the first book in a series.

I’m not sure by starting if I should say that it’s an ancient world, or a possible future world. I know that in the Goodreads bio (follow me here) it does say an “ancient world” but I almost feel like it’s a possible futuristic possibility after years of evolution. It takes place in a rivertown that has slowly broken down over time with the death of their Queen.

We are introduced to Mia Rose as she in preparing to get married to the Kings son. Mia is is a free spirit, but worries about her younger sister. Although she wants to run away, she also wants to save her little sister, by marrying the young Prince, instead of her little sister. Mia’s mother was murdered by a Gwyrach, women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath and blood. The same demons who killed Mia’s mother.

If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I had a hard time finishing the book because I was loving it so much!

Positive

I was lucky enough to get this book in the “FairyLoot” Loot boxes, and I was so impressed just be the cover alone! The people who managed to get this box will also know though that the pages were sprayed with red. They were so gorgeous! I was instantly in love before I even started reading.

I think when you are reading a book, you don’t want to finish and you want to know when the next part in the trilogy is coming. I find these to very good signs. That’s what has happened with this book.

This book took me away and apart from maybe Circe. I haven’t read too many books this year, where I have felt like that. The writing was superb and I cant even remember thinking that “Oh no, this grammar is all wrong” or “That’s the wrong word…Again”. I read the whole thing without being interrupted. The characters, you love all the character you are supposed to, sympathise with the ones who are supposed and hate the ones that you are supposed to hate.

Even the twists for a couple of the characters, though I sort of saw them coming. I don’t think it interrupted the flow of the book at all. It kept the story going. As one has to remember this is a trilogy. I suspect that a lot more is going to be happening and it also means that it didn’t feel drawn out, by revealing something we had already guessed.

Negative:

That it has to end! Although it took me a while to finish because I didn’t want it to end, because then you have to wait for the next book!

Oh my Circe!

I have to admit that I could not wait to write about this one! Isn’t that a fantastic feeling?! When you are actually excited to write about a review.

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 Circe

The Breakdown:

Are you a lover of the Ancient stories? Have you ever wanted to read something else, other, than about Zeus, Cleopatra? Do you like the Ancient drama and intrigue? Well, this is the book for you!

This book is all about the Greek Goddess/Witch Circe. It is an life story of the Circe from the beginning…Is there an end though? After all she is a Greek Goddess, well a Titan Goddess. If you love the Ancient Greek World…This book is for you!

The Positive:

The positive parts of this book, is well, honestly, everything! The written was beautiful and I can’t even remember thinking to myself at all about any spelling mistakes. This included the grammar too, once I started reading, I was able to keep reading it happily. I loved how the story flowed as well, I never once felt like I was getting bored while I was reading it. The story kept going and the story was good.

One of the best bits I find about a book is when you are done with it, you want even more! Once I had finished reading Circe, I then went onto doing some research about her. Having read the Odyssey in high school, I was familiar with her story regarding her time with Odysseus. That was it though. What a fascinating creature Circe is!

The Negative:

I feel terrible for saying this and such a cop out. I couldn’t really find anything negative to say about the book. Its has to be one of the best books that I’ve read all year so far. I am off to the Library to put a hold “The Song of Achilles”.

 

Peril at End House…The actual review!

First Impressions:

It was really interesting to start off reading this book. I’m not sure that if you remember now but I started these having seen the television series and had not read a single book! I am so grateful for this challenge! One of the first impressions that I got from this book how interesting it is that it’s from the point of Hastings, Poirot’s friend. Which if you’ve seen the tv series you’ll know that the series is not usually told from a third person point of view. It made it interesting to start off with Hastings. It had never even occurred to me that this would be how the book would be written, rather than how the television episode is shown.

Positive Impressions:

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I realised that I hadn’t seen the tv episode of this book either. I’m not even certain that there is an television episode. Still writing by Agatha Christie which is funny and witty. (*On a side note lots of Trump supporters thinking “witty” mean to put down someone’s looks* They should read this book sometime then they’ll understand witty.)

It was also the first book that I read that had both Poirot and Hastings. It was a really interesting perspective. You can read the fondness that Poirot and Hasting have for one another, even with their (actual) witty insults. It’s interesting because as I have mentioned (numerous times) I have never read a book of Agatha Christie’s, I’ve only ever seen the televisions series and movies.  It was a little disconcerting because Poirot seemed to be mean to Hastings but after a little while of reading, you understood better.

Negative Impressions:

I honestly didn’t really find too much wrong with the book. I mean Agatha Christie is a legendary author for a reason. It’s like trying to find something wrong with Beatrix Potter, it’s just not going to happen. The only thing that I did not enjoy and this is probably just the cynical/modern side too me. They are all just too jolly happy when it comes to murder! They find it exciting. It’s just a little odd too me.

Overall Challenge Breakdown:

I absolutely enjoyed this challenge. Coming from someone who had never actually read an Agatha Christie novel but had seen the whole television series and the movies. I started it with a little trepidation that I would not enjoy the books. I am very happy to very wrong on these circumstance. I already have put holds on other Agatha Christie novels through my Library.

Thank you to “This is my truth now” For setting up this challenge!