As it turns out, some this series of mysteries by Ellis Peters focus on George, some on Dominic, and at least one on Bunty Felse. This one is entirely focused on Dominic and his girl Tossa, and their impromptu trip to India, free of charge, in exchange for escorting the daughter of a film star to her father’s home in Delhi. If the last novel was all opera all the time, this one is all atmosphere, and Peters does an… Read more

The eight novel in the George and Dominic Felse series takes on the character of an opera, not least because it involves a diva, Maggie Tressider, who has gained fame throughout Europe as a remarkable alto with beautiful steel blue eyes. Maggie is unattached, married to her career so to speak, and doing well until one very rainy day, she slides off the motorway and has a big wreck and a near death experience. This in itself might be enough… Read more

The Free Dictionary online (by Farlex accessed 8-27-15) gives us an interesting history for the term grass widow. It says the following— The phrase “Grass widow is first recorded in 1528, and originally referred to an unmarried woman who has lived with one or more men, a discarded mistress, or a woman who has borne a child out of wedlock. The grass in grass widow seems to have originally made reference to the makeshift bed of grass or hay (as… Read more

It is an odd fact, but nonetheless a fact (as Tom Schreiner has rightly complained), that Arminians have not done a thorough job of articulating what the concept of prevenient grace means, and why it is important. Fortunately, there is now a book by Brian Shelton, which he kindly sent me a copy of, to remedy that deficiency. The book is 283 pages long and covers the subject from stem to stern, including discussions of Scripture, historical and systematic theology…. Read more

The sixth in the series of thirteen murder mysteries is the tale called ‘Black is the Color of my True Love’s Heart’, and apt title for a very interesting novel indeed. The ethos of the novel has to do with the art of folk singing and folk songs or ballads. In America we might think of the songs of Stephen Foster (1826-64) that good Kentucky boy who wrote Camptown Races, Oh Susanna, and many more. Folk songs of course are… Read more

Some animals are just born comedians. I’m referring to the monkeys and their kin of course. There is this sign that stands at the opening of the gorilla exhibit. It reads as follows…. This one however seems to have ignored all the necessary gorilla etiquette The orangutans and monkeys were doing their usual thing, just hanging around…. Equally impressive were the fish exhibits which included beautiful coral and seahorses… Here’s an interesting polka dotted skate…. There must have been a… Read more

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Sometimes you go to the movies expecting one thing, and something else happens. I went to see ‘The Intern’ expecting it to be a funny piece of enjoyable fluff. Rather like eating cotton candy. You know— empty calories, but nonetheless sweet. And sure enough Nancy Meyer’s latest film has its funny and sweet moments. But along the way to funny and sweet, there was actually a serious side to this film about work and family, and how to keep both… Read more

One of the older zoos in America is the Brookfield Zoo which first opened in 1934. It is on the west side of Chicago, is well worth the visit, and we took a trip there one hot August day with Ann and Yuliya. Disclaimer— the two wildest and scariest animals I saw on that day are these two that I took a picture of through the waterfall….. Visiting the zoo is rather like going to see the staging ground for… Read more

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