Tuesday Travels. . . .Clickimin Broch, Lerwick

There are iron Age brochs in many parts of Scotland but this is one of the more well-known ones.  The broch of Clickimin is situated on the outskirts of Lerwick and it was a short walk from our accommodation at Fort Charlotte.

The broch is accessed by a causeway as it is on an island in the loch.

This is another archaeological feature of Shetland that must be visited when you are there.

More June reads

Much of my reading is crime fiction and Stuart MacBride is one of my favourite authors.  I tend to read quite a bit by Scottish authors.

A Song for the Dying is another novel in the Oldcastle series.

“He’s back …

Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside.

And then the killer just … disappeared.

Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Now a nurse has turned up dead on a patch of waste ground, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom.

At revenge.”

Bye Bye Baby by Fiona McIntosh is one that I borrowed from the library.I have read many Fiona McIntosh novels but none of those has been crime fiction, perhaps The Pearl Thief could be classified as such but none of the others.

“It all began in Brighton. Now there is a killer on the loose. Scotland Yard′s brightest talent is chosen to head up the high-profile taskforce, a DCI who must confront his own past as the body count rises.

There are few leads and Jack Hawksworth can only fall back on instinct and decades-old cold cases for any clue to the killer′s motive … and identity.

With his most loyal team member threatening to betray him, a Chief Inspector pushing for results, a hungry British media clamouring for information, and a restless public eager for a conviction, the high-pressure operation can only end in a final shocking confrontation …

A searing story of brutal revenge.”

I loved this book and devoured it in one sitting. I couldn’t wait to read the first book,

so went out and bought it.  It didn’t disappoint.  I loved it too.  Apparently these books were originally published under the pseudonym of Lauren Crow, in 2007. They have now been re released under her own name and as there are so many followers of Fiona McIntosh’s books I am sure these will do equally as well.

“A calculating killer, who ′trophies′ the faces of his victims, is targeting Londoners.

Under enormous pressure from politicians and the public, DCI Jack Hawksworth and his team begin their investigation, which takes them into the murky world of human organ trading.

But when the murderer strikes closer to home than Jack could ever have imagined possible, the case becomes a personal crusade – and a race against time. Can the killer be brought to justice before Jack is removed from the operation?

From London′s backstreets to the dangerous frontiers of medicine, BEAUTIFUL DEATH will keep you reading late into the night.”

This is a fast paced read, perhaps a bit bloodthirsty for some.

I didn’t know this.

I must have been living under a rock as I was unaware that J.K.Rowling was the author Robert Galbraith.

I had borrowed Lethal White from the library and had started to read it when a friend told me that she had the first three books in the series.  I had been reading thinking it was a stand alone book, which indeed it could be.  Nevertheless I stopped reading it and borrowed two of the first books from my friend and the books are The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm.

The Cuckoo’s Calling was perfect as it introduced the characters of the book I had started to read and it futher expanded on what I had read in Lethal White.  I quickly read both of these books and couldn’t wait to borrow the third but in the meantime I continued reading Lethal White.

Cuckoo’s Calling

“When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger . . .

A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho.”

The Silkworm

“A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives – so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before…”

The books are now a TV series and you can view trailer for the series at the following link.



A wonderful surprise in Bairnsdale.

I was walking through a little arcade in Bairnsdale, on my way to the dentist, when I came upon this wonderful little shop.

I had no idea it was there.  It certainly wasn’t there the last time I went through this arcade.  I found out that it only opened recently so that explains why I hadn’t seen it before.

The window display enticed me inside,and the interior of the shop was just as interesting as the window display.

You can see some jars in a basket resting on the floor.  The owner has provided free jars so you can fill from the bulk containers if this is your first visit and you would like to try.  You are encouraged to bring your own containers so there is no unnecessary packaging.  You can also purchase glass containers in the shop.

There is a variety of products in the shop and I will certainly be visiting it again.

I bought these two items and some bulk shampoo.  The website of Nicholson River Soaps gives you the option of buying online.

It is so good to see a local artisan doing so well with their business after time spent selling her products at local markets.  Well done.

What a bargain!

Those of you who have followed this blog over the years will know that my favourite illustrator is Robert Ingpen.  I have wirtten previous posts about him and this is another one.

I was lucky to find another hardback book in his series of illustrated classics.  I found this at the Op Shop at St John’s church in Bairnsdale.  What a treasure to find and the best part was it cost $4.

The end papers of the book are so fitting.I have so many happy memories related to this book.  I loved it as a child and I remember taking my elder daughter to see a stage production of this at the Canberra Theatre.  She was very young at the time and may not have the vivid memory that I have of that particular event.

It is a lovely story and I am happy to be able to add it to my collection of Ingpen illustrated classics.

Tuesday Travels. . .Jarlshof, Shetland

This particular place blew me away.  Yes it was windy but the actual history that we were viewing was absolutely amazing.  I feel privileged that we were able to see it.

Jarlshof is a historical site of Prehistoric and Norse Settlement on Shetland. In 1890 fierce storms exposed structures which had been hidden under layers of earth.  The settlement is close to the sea and the winds during the fierce storms meant the waves washed over the shore and exposed the layers of settlement.

The photo above lets you see how close to the sea the settlement was.

The visitor’s route through the site starts with the earliest buildings and ends with the laird’s 17th Century house.

The amazing stone work that constitutes a wheel house was true craftsmanship.

The careful placement of stones to create the structures such as the broch.

The remains of the Norse settlement were not as well preserved but you could still see where the settlement had been.

The laird’s house was the structure that was most evident as it was on the present day surface.

This is an archaeological site that you must visit when you visit Shetland.

(You can click on photos to make them larger. Click a second time and they are enlarged further.)