Lots of War and Little Peace

This week Molly and I read Volume 3 parts 1 & 2 of Tolstoy’s War & Peace.  The weather has been so nice here that Max did not read with me this week.  I have lost him to the sun and I’m okay with that.  This week was mostly about how the war with Napoleon was affecting everyone in Russia.  Moscow was being abandoned by all those who could afford to get out and fear and rumor spread.  It culminated in the battle of Borodino which was expertly told through Pierre’s eyes.  Okay, on to what happened to my people…

Prince Andrei has not recovered from getting dissed by Natasha.  He goes to Turkey as a general, but he’s really looking for Anatole so that he can force him into a dual over his behavior with Natasha.  He doesn’t find him but does find satisfaction in being a military man once more.  He is able to visit Bald Hills and gets into his first fight with his father over Maria.  The next time he goes to Bald Hills it will be abandoned due to the invading French.  On the eve of the battle of Borodino he meets Pierre on the battlefield and treats him cooly.  He may regret that the next day as he lay dying from wounds on the battlefield.  Will he live?  It doesn’t look good.

Princess Maria is finally getting a story of her own.  Her domineering and awful father dies of a stroke when they should be leaving their land for the safer Moscow.  As he dies he makes an attempt to apologize to Maria and being the most virtuous woman ever, she comforts him.  As she tries to leave she makes a generous offer to the families of her brother’s land and it backfires.  They hold her hostage there until Prince Nikolai, serving in the Russian army, saves her.  Sparks fly between them and as she makes her way to Moscow she fancies herself in love.  I have high hopes that she can flourish into a woman now that she’s on her own.

Vaska Denisov is finally back, a little.  He is now a hussar lieutenant colonel and he meets Andrei as they are both waiting to meet the new commander.  Vaska has solid ideas for war strategy, but they are ignored.

Princess Natasha after her busy time last week is recovering.  She is depressed and broken-hearted, but Pierre and the church seem to awaken some of her spirit.  I’m not sure of what’s brewing between her and Pierre.  I just don’t get it.

This week was heavy on the war and I liked it.  Last week at the halfway point Jason asked me for a grade and I told him a B+, but it could easily be an A.  I am really enjoying this book.  Maybe next week my review will be excerpts from the book only.  The storytelling is beautiful.  Now go check out Molly’s take on it.  She’s covering Nikolai and I wonder of what she thinks of this infactuation with Maria.

The Proof is in the Pudding, by Melinda Wells

The Proof Is in the Pudding by Melinda Wells: Book CoverFinished 3-8-10, rating 3.5/5, mystery, pub. 2010

Book 3 in the Della Cooks mystery series (Book 1) (Book 2)

“We look like twin cat burglars,” I said.  “Maybe we should stop at a gas station and buy some black grease to cover our faces.”

Liddy shuddered.  That would be awful for our skin.  Open the glove compartment and take out a baggie.”

I did as directed and removed a Ziploc bag.  “What’s in here?”

“Two pairs of Bill’s powder-free latex examination gloves.  So we won’t leave fingerprints.”

Chapter 13

TV chef Della Carmichael is asked to host a fancy Celebrity Cook-Off for charity.  As one of three judges she walks around the gala mingling with the guests and judging the celebrity dishes.  When a smoke bomb goes off Della is thrown to the floor by a favorite author and when the smoke clears Della finds another judge stabbed to death.  Della is afraid because one of her oldest friends, John O’Hara, is the lead suspect and Eileen who is like a daughter to her has been dating the dead judge.  Della decides to do a little investigation of her own.  The dead judge had been blackmailing Eileen so her first order of business is to break into his house and remove the sex tape. 

I enjoy the Della Carmichael series and this was no exception.  They are fun cozy mysteries with a protagonist in her 40’s and recipes included in the back.  This one even contained a little story about the actress Linda Dano (and a recipe) who I watched back in the day on Another World.  I didn’t guess the killer, although I had my suspicions, until it was revealed, so that’s a big plus.  And there was a fight with her boyfriend Nicholas and I enjoyed the progression of their relationship.

A fun, light  series.

This was from my personal library.