The Blackhouse by Peter May. is the first novel of The Lewis Trilogy. The prologue sets the scene which will become important as the book progresses. Although chapter 1 gets off to a start in Edinburgh where Detective Fin Macleod is dealing with personal tragedy, much of the story takes place on the remote Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
Detective Macleod grew-up on Lewis off the coast of northern Scotland. He is sent from his police station in Edinbugh to Lewis to help in a grisly murder which bears a resemblance to a murder he had investigated in Edinburgh. As this task is assigned to Fin, we learn that the crime not only took place in his native village but he knew the victim.
As the investigation progresses on Lewis, The Blackhouse alternates between the present time and Fin’s past.
I did not immediately like The Blackhouse. It seemed to start as a story that was just interesting enough to keep you turning the pages to see what happened but wondering if it was worth reading all of it. But within a few pages of reading about Fin’s childhood on the island, I was pretty sure that I would read the whole book. I guess it took 20 or 30 pages to get me hooked on the story.
The story is a dark and disturbing one. It is very intense at times. It is moody as is the landscape. It is not one of those action thriller/mystery books. I think it was a very good book and I’d highly recommend it. I plan on looking for the rest of the Lewis series in my library and perhaps other books by Peter May.
The full title New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal that Launched the Progressive Era was a bit long to fit as my title. The author is Daniel Czitrom. The history of New York City is an interesting one. At least, I find it interesting.
The story is set in gilded age New York City. It was 1892 and the rich were very rich, the poor were very poor, the police and the city government were corrupt, and Tammany was in charge of it all. Continue reading
Cars keep growing. Well cars don’t actually grow but they are getting bigger. We have 1999 Subaru Forester and it has been a wonderful car. I think of it as our Subaru small SUV.
The Subaru Forester has grown. The new ones are wider, taller, and longer. Our 1999 Subaru Forester looks like a miniature car when parked next to the newer models. Continue reading
I think there are 2 strong candidates in the Democratic Presidential primary. Neither is perfect but both are good. Certainly much better than we’ve seen on the Republican side.
I do not have a vote in the primary. I live in Pennsylvania. You get to vote in the democratic primary if you are a registered Democrat. You get to vote in the Republican primary if you are a registered Republican. If you are neither, you do not get to vote in the primary. I don’t think that is particularly good and I’ll probably write more about it later but I’m digressing from my original purose to discuss the Democratic Presidential primary.
I’ll probably support the democratic candidate in the fall. It may be Hillary Clinton but maybe it will be Bernie Sanders. Continue reading
How does it look? Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are trying to convince voters in the Democratic presidential primary of their abilities to represent the people as President.
At least part of the convincing revolves around who will do the best job for the American people – not the few but the many. Each thinks they would do better. And tries to convince people that of that.
How does it look?
But how does it look when Bernie runs off to Rome to see the Pope and spread his message while Hillary goes off to Hollywood to raise money and meet with movie stars.
How does it look?
Do you have a Presidential candidate in mind? Do you think he or she can do what is talked about during the campaign?
You should vote. But make sure the vote does what you want. Think about your vote.
It seems to me that if you think Smith would be a good president because he or she favors issues you think important, it makes little sense to vote for Jones for Senate or House if he or she opposes those issues. Of course things could be more complicated and there could be a variety of issues to consider but think about your votes.
This year we are electing all members of the House and a third of the Senate. Everyone voting for President can also vote for the member of the House of Representatives for their district. And about a third of us get to pick and senator. Choose wisely. I think your votes in these races should be consistent with your Presidential vote.
Near the end of my post for yesterday on the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge I cited a book called Scottish Military Disasters by Paul Cowan. I had read the chapter on the battle and the role of Flora MacDonald. It did seem rather an unlikely coincidence but it appears to be true.
Anyway I liked what I had read and that evening starting looking around to see if I could find more about the book. Well, learning about the book Scottish Military Disasters was my starting point. I learned a bit that was expected and some that was totally unexpected.
During a recent vacation we spent a few days at Wilmington, NC. One afternoon, after a pleasant lunch on the riverfront, we drove to Moore’s Creek National Battlefield.
The Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge took place about a half hour northwest of Wilmington NC in a very rural area. It was rural then and it is rural now.
Looking at the map, it is fairly close to an interstate highway so it may not be quite as remote as it seemed to us. We went by another route so it seem quite remote. We didn’t expect anyone else to be there but there where several carloads.
I like Jeffery Deaver’s books. I know I have read several and enjoyed them immensely, especially the Lincoln Rhyme novels. So when I saw an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. I was reading another book at the time which I planned on finishing and had several others in line to be read but this one jumped to the front of the “to be read” line.
The Steel Kiss by Jeffery Deaver is the latest Lincoln Rhyme novel. I had high expectations and this did not disappoint. Continue reading
Those of us with an interest in Irish history often read about many an Irish Revolutionary. The English held onto Ireland for 8 centuries. The Brits treated the Irish so poorly there were many attempts to throw off the English yoke. Finally in 1916 some of those Irish Revolutionaries had partial success.
By the way, the label does depend on your perspective. To those who believed Ireland should rule itself and the Irish should have rights, these men were Irish Revolutionaries. If you were English or believed England should rule the Irish, these men were rebels or traitors. Continue reading
A few days ago I wrote about free access to Irish Catholic parish records on Find My Past. These records are also availble on Ancestry,
In my experience to date I prefer the Ancestry Irish Catholic parish records. I have found a few new members of my extended family via the Ancestry Irish Catholic parish records. The records seem more complete, although that may or may not be true in general, it seems to be the case for my family.
I also like that the Ancestry index seems to be more often linked to an image of the actual record. That may be of limited value since the records are written in Latin and often hard to read. But it is nice to se the oriinal record and verify that it was indexed correctly. (I have not found a mistake yet.)
The free genealogy offer from Find My Past is better than I thought when I wrote my post on free access to this morning. I thought access to these records was free until March 7.
When I went online and started searching I noticed all sorts of Irish Records were being pulled up. Then I re-read the email from Find My Past: Continue reading
Good news for those with an interest in Irish genealogy. For some time now, we have known Irish Catholic parish records would be put an the internet with a searchable index.
Find My Past has put a searchable index of Irish Catholic parish records online, and it is free for a limited time. This has long been desirable since the are the state of useful records for Irish genealogy is so poor. In fact, births of Catholics were not included in public records until 1864.
Many of those records that did exist were destroyed during the Irish civil war. So the state of genealogical records in Ireland is pretty bad for everyone and worse for those of us with Catholic ancestors. That is why a searchable index for Irish Catholic parish records is so important. Continue reading
Before I retired I lived in Georgia for 30 years. For part of that time Georgia was a solid democratic state. Of course, this was a long time ago. The state seemed to have an abundance of Yellow Dog Democrats. That is, Democrats who would vote for a yellow dog if nominated by the Democrats over any candidate nominated by the Republicans.
So solid was Democratic Georgia that Republicans quite often didn’t even put-up an opposition candidate for many offices. The real decision was reached in the Democratic primary.
Now it seems we have Yellow Dog Republicans as well. Continue reading
Genealogists trace a family and then get to a point where is seems very difficult or maybe even impossible to get beyond. These involuntary stopping points in genealogy are often called “Brick Walls”. I have several and I suppose a good many people doing genealogy have several brick walls. This is the story of a brick wall broken by DNA.
To be more specific it is the brick wall in my McKenzie line. I had been able to go back as far as my great grandfather Malcolm McKenzie and his wife Emma Cash McKenzie. Over a year and a half I wrote a very short post about them, mostly Emma Cash McKenzie.