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Daylight savings has abandoned us to the wet and chilly days that creep into early evenings…

MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN
by W. Bruce Cameron

RepoMan

In the vein of Elmore Leonard and John Kennedy Toole, Cameron brings us the voice of Ruddy McCann. He is the quintessential has-been — former football sensation turned tow-truck driver. As the local repo man, he is the one the town loves to hate. He leads a simple existence with his dog, Jake, and bumps from one uneventful day to the next.

Then he begins to hear voices. Well, one voice. That of Alan, a local realtor. Who is dead. That’s when things really start to get interesting for Ruddy and Jake.

“Help ya?” he wanted to know. His neck was thick as his head and his big frame supported a lot of beef. His nameplate read Timms. He looked like the kind of guy who would drive his elbow into my sides after tackling me, but only when he was sure the ref wasn’t watching. His hair was so short it stood up like brush bristles. “I think I know this guy. His name is Dwight Timms. His dad runs a bait shop. I can’t believe he’s a cop, he used to be in trouble all the time,” Alan murmured.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Forge Books (October 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765377489
ISBN-13: 978-0765377487
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches

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The Dancer and the Raja – The True Story of the Princess of Kapurthala
By Javier Moro

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Though this is a novel, it is based on the real life of Anita Delgado. Born in Spain, she grew up taking flamenco lessons and eventually became a celebrated dancer (and beauty).

When King Alfonso of Spain married Victoria Eugenie in 1906, Madrid held a number of celebratory events which were attended by other royals and dignitaries. It was at a procession that included His Royal Highness the Rajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, India. The two were immediately smitten.

Through a number of messengers, letters, meetings and assignations, the two were finally married and Anita Delgado became the Princess of Kapurthala.

Like Ali and Nino, the book visits an ethereal day gone by through the eyes of an unlikely couple.  The story is told in present tense, making the lost era all the more tantalizing.

In spite of the idyllic beauty of the palace, of the fawn that wanders round the park, of the Abyssinian sheep that graze a little farther off, of the laughter of her son playing with other children in the garden and the water that gurgles in the fountains, Anita feels overcome by a feeling of sadness, as if she guessed at the fragility of everything around her and felt that it  might not last. It is an insidious feeling, which emerges when she discovers the changes in her husband.

File Size: 760 KB
Print Length: 359 pages
Publisher: Grupo Planeta via Open Road Media (September 23, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00N4ERP48

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HOW TO BE A VICTORIAN
By Ruth Goodman

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Goodman goes beyond meticulous research. She actually lives the practices she learns about. She has engaged in more than one experiment to live like a Victorian.

She structures the book around the routine of the day, and begins with nightgowns, morning ablutions and getting dressed — and so on through the day.

She uncovers some surprising details, some of which go against modern assumptions of the straight-laced society we imagine.

I have worn a two-piece Victorian bathing suit, as described in many of the fashion articles from the period, and it was a fantastic experience. I enjoyed not having to bare my midriff, and, while the costume was slightly heavier when wet than a modern swimsuit, it was not so heavy as you be a nuisance of to hinder any movement. It did take longer to dry … but as a dry garment, worn before entering the water, it was much more comfortable, offering protection from the vagaries of the British weather.

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (October 6, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0871404850
ISBN-13: 978-0871404855
Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 1 inches

Thanks to Liverlight for the review copy.

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