July What We’re Reading

Christina here with a round-up of what the Wenches have been reading this month. This is a truly varied selection and I hope there will be something for everyone and that you find something that appeals to you. I’ve already clicked on a few things myself …

My own favourite reads this month were the two new Wench books – The Crystal Key by Patricia Rice and The Rake’s Daughter by Anne Gracie.

Crystal KeyThe Crystal Key is the third book in the Psychic Solutions Mystery series, and these stories just keep getting better and better. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, which broadened the cast and built on the previous books in a most satisfying way. Ghostbuster Evie Malcolm Carstairs has finally got together with gorgeous lawyer Jax Ives and they are raising their ward, Loretta, together while trying to make ends meet – her by speaking to ghosts and him by setting up a new law practice in the tiny town where they live. When Evie and her hacker team at the Sensible Solutions Agency take on a new case that involves a dead former FBI agent – an old lady who had been poking around in things she shouldn’t have – and a potential murder, things start to heat up. Jax tries to keep Evie out of trouble, but she has her own way of dealing with things and doesn’t think she needs his help. He wants to do things the proper way while Evie and the others don’t always take the legal approach. Add to that the fact that his reclusive sister Ariel starts to help his best friend to uncover a major scamming network run by some seriously unscrupulous people – while slightly coming out of her shell – and he has his work cut out for him making sure everyone is safe and the bad guys get their come-uppance. With a huge cast of crazy but wonderful characters, this is a fabulous story that kept me turning the pages. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what will happen next!

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From the Garden Gnome to the Pink Flamingo!

BadgerNicola here. I’m sitting outside today in the sunshine (we’ve been having very un-summery weather here in the UK lately so I’m making the most of it) and around me are various ornaments that are, literally, part of the garden design and something I really love having in my garden. There’s Fez, Kiwi and Piwi (who are metal birds) and elsewhere, my badger (in the photo), tortoise and even a peregrine falcon with its beak chewed off by one of the guide dog puppies. I’d never really thought what a feature garden ornamentation is until I read an article recently saying that the tradition of decorating your garden – or grove – dates back to Ancient Egypt.

The Ancient Greeks favoured statues of the well-endowed god Priapus which were placed outside to encourage fertility, act as bird scarers and allegedly warn of unpleasant consequences to trespassers. I haven’t included a picture of Priapus out of respect for readers’ sensibilities but the idea of decorating one’s garden with statuary was one that endured through the Roman period when the fashion for sculptures of animals began. At Roman villa complexes in England designs for hedges have been found that allowed for gaps where urns and statues were displayed.

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