The Rankin Files— The Naming of the Dead

green

Writing is sometimes like playing a sport. Even though you may always have the same skill level, you are not necessarily always on your game. You have days when you perform in inspired fashion, ideas come easily to you, but there are other days when this is definitely not the case. Whilst Fleshmarket Close was not Ian Rankin's finest, The Naming of the Dead, the 15th full novel in the series, must be near or at the top of the list of must reads by this prolific author. It has everything one … [Read more...]

The Cambridge Chronicles: Part Five

ely12

Only fifteen minutes up the road by train from Cambridge is one of my favorite small towns--- Ely. The thing is, Ely has a big cathedral, thanks to Etheldreda founding a monastery here back in the 7th century A.D. which led to a Saxon, then Norman, then post Norman church. What we see today in Ely is a composite of various centuries of additions and subtracts, including major additions in the roof of the nave and the spectacular octagonal lantern which distinguishes this cathedral from … [Read more...]

The Cambridge Chronicles: Part Four

imm6

There are in fact many educational institutions in Cambridge, including a huge number of foreign language schools. People come to Cambridge to learn English, particularly in the summer. Then there are the Evangelical institutions like the famous study centre--- Tyndale House on Selwyn Gardens. Here are a couple of pictures---Several of the scholars at Tyndale House do in fact do special teaching for Cambridge U. On top of that there are Anglican training schools in Cambridge … [Read more...]

The Cambridge Chronicles: Part Three

cam6

It has been said that Cambridge is the place where British eccentricity goes to die or at least where the odd get even. I can well believe it. There are a lot of wild and wacky, interesting and strange things, and people in Cambridge. Take for example the clock above. Yes, that is a clock with a gigantic bug on it, moving the seasons along. Some eccentric man agreed to donate pots of money to a particular Cambridge institution provided they would install and display this Oriental clock of … [Read more...]

Despicable Me 2—- Less Despicable, More Me

des2a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwXbtZXjbVESequels are usually not equals of the first go around with a particular kind of movie, but sometimes you get a surprise. Despicable Me 2 is not as original as the first film of the series, but it is just as much fun, and just as lovable. Gru, no longer a villain, now runs a jam making company. But alas, the jam is not very good, and his right hand man (played by Russell Brand) Dr. Nefario is tired of not doing any devilish deeds.While the … [Read more...]

A Ride Through History—- In Honor of the Fourth

saratoga

Time and again people have asked how I learned how to write and when it all began. In cleaning out my mother's house I found a hand-written essay of mine from elementary school days at Northwood Elementary in the early 1960s, perhaps when I was eleven or twelve, though there is no date on the paper. In other words, this is a story I wrote at least fifty years ago.I do not claim this is a great story or great literature, but it provides some clues about the gift of writing God gave me from … [Read more...]

The Rankin Files— Fleshmarket Close

rebus

Fleshmarket Close is the fifteen John Rebus adventure, but it does not match up to the very high standard Ian Rankin had set himself from about Black and Blue onwards. Here is a summary of the plot from the Amazon listing of the book..."An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme: a racist attack, or something else entirely? Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems: his old police station has closed for business, and his masters would rather he retire … [Read more...]

The Cambridge Chronicles: Part Two

camb6

When most people think of Cambridge, they think of the University, and of it's most famous college King's College and perhaps if they are musically inclined, the King's College choir boys. They think of the ornate front entrance or the view across the stream from the backs (see above). These days, they don't so often think of which King we are talking about... though his statue stands in the high wall outside the perimeter of said college---Yes that's him alright.... Henry VIII (cue … [Read more...]

The Cambridge Chronicles: The Globe

globe13

For those of us who are nuts about Shakespeare, a trip to the new Globe Theatre (not so new any more since they were constructing it in 1997) is a must. On a beautiful, blue sky day, my good friend Richard Bauckham and I took a trip down from Cambridge to the bustling metropolis that is London to accomplish two things: 1) see a Mid Summer Night's Dream at the Globe, and 2) have dinner with one of my favorite writers of historical fiction--- P.C. also known as Paul Doherty. This day went so … [Read more...]


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