Vera Bleibtreu - Und fuehre uns nicht in Versuchung

Publisher:  Knecht Verlag
ISBN: 978 3782008921
Language: German

My Rating: 2.5/5

A Minister like like Susanne Hertz is not unfamilar with anything human. She knows there are temptations everywhere and she knows the abyss of the human soul. That's what she believes anyway until she discovers a dead corpse while jogging and quicker than she would have liked she's involved in the solving of the murder. (translated from

My thoughts

My Mum gave me the book to read as the story is set in the town I grew up.

The main protagonists are the minister Susanne Hertz and Inspector Tanja Schmidt.

The story itself is interesting but poorly executed. The book starts with Susanne finding a dead body near a little chapel in a small town, but then the story slows down so much, that by page 27 I had already forgotten, what had actually happened. Some of the chapters are very long describing too much personal detail which seemed irrelevant to me. Not to mention that at around page 60 I still didn’t know what the importance of Susanne in the story was. And in the end it seemed to me that the author, a minister herself and living in exactly that same town, wanted to quickly wrap up the story so we only find out who the killer is by sheer coincidence ... although I believe most of the readers will have an inkling of exactly who that person might be more or less half way through the book.

And yes ... I'm not quite sure about the Inspector falling in love at first sight with with this witness thirty years her age ...

The Age 2010 short story competition

The Age short story competition is now accepting entries.
Entries must be no longer than 3000 words and should not have been previously published.

Stories for children are not eligible for this competition. Manuscripts must be typed: double-spaced and on A4 paper.

A separate page should be submitted with the author's name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. No entry form is required.

No more than three stories per person should be submitted.

Faxes or hand written submissions will not be accepted and manuscripts will not be returned.

Send entries to:
The Age Short Story Competition
The Age
Level 2
655 Collins Street

or email

The closing date is October 1, 2010 - 5pm (unfortunately late entries can not be accepted) Winners will be announced in December.

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd winning stories will be published in A2. They will also be published at along with all highly-commended entries.

First prize winner will receive $3000. 2nd prize, $2000, 3rd prize, $1000.

For further information please contact Jason Steger 03 8667 2044 or

Good Luck everyone !

Oscar Wilde - The importance of being Earnest

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 978-1416500421

My rating: 4.5/5

Oscar Wilde's brilliant play makes fun of the English upper classes with light-hearted satire and dazzling humour. It is 1890's England and two young gentlemen are being somewhat limited with the truth. To inject some excitement into their lives, Mr Worthing invents a brother, Earnest, as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind him to pursue the object of his desire, the ravishing Gwendolyn. While across town Algernon Montecrieff decides to take the name Earnest, when visiting Worthing's young ward Cecily. The real fun and confusion begins when the two end up together and their deceptions are in danger of being revealed.  (

My thoughts

The master at work !

This is an extraordinary play which is cleverly written and, profound and beautiful. Oscar Wilde wrote this very funny yet profound play reflecting on status, wealth and marriage in the aristocracy of that time.

It's fun to read and I can only recommend it!

Janet Evanovich - Two for the dough

Publisher: St. Martin Press

ISBN: 978-0-312-94896-4

My rating: 4/5

It's Stephanie Plum, New Jersey's "fugitive apprehension" agent (aka bounty hunter), introduced to the world by Janet Evanovich in the award-winning novel One for the Money.

Now Stephanie's back, armed with attitude -- not to mention stun guns, defense sprays, killer flashlights, and her trusty .38. Stephanie is after a new bail jumper, Kenny Mancuso, a boy from Trenton's burg. He's fresh out of the army, suspiciously wealthy, and he's just shot his best friend.
With her bounty hunter pal Ranger stepping in occasionally to advise her, Stephanie staggers knee deep in corpses and caskets as she traipses through back streets, dark alleys, and funeral parlors.
And nobody knows funeral parlors better than Stephanie's irrepressible Grandma Mazur, a lady whose favorite pastime is grabbing a front-row seat at a neighborhood wake. So Stephanie uses Grandma as a cover to follow leads, but loses control when Grandma warms to the action, packing a cool pistol. Much to the family's chagrin, Stephanie and Granny may soon have the elusive Kenny in their sights.
Fast-talking, slow-handed vice cop Joe Morelli joins in the case, since the prey happens to be his young cousin. And if the assignment calls for an automobile stakeout for two with the woman who puts his libido in overdrive, Morelli's not one to object.
Low on expertise but learning fast, high on resilience, and despite the help she gets from friends and relatives, Stephanie eventually must face the danger alone when embalmed body parts begin to arrive on her doorstep and she's targeted for a nasty death by the most loathsome adversary she's ever encountered. Another case like this and she'll be a real pro.
Two for the Dough is irresistible fun and powerful entertainment from an acclaimed author who is already a national star. (

My thoughts

The second Stephanie Plum book doesn't disappoint. It's great.

Stephanie is out and about again as a bounty hunter and this time her job is to find Kenny Mancuso who is accused of killing his best friend and now has jumped bail. Stephanie is still getting help from mystery man Ranger and cop Joe Morelli. Kenny is Joe's cousin so that's why he's also looking for him .
Grandma Mazur brings the book alive. She helps her granddaughter Stephanie by searching the funeral homes for Kenny - going to the funeral homes is one of her favourite pasttime.

The story is complicated enough to keep the reader engaged, and the action never lets up. If you liked One for the dough, which is slightly better, you will not be disappointed with "Two for the dough". Give it a go !

Sophie Kinsella - Twenties Girl

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 978 - 0385342032

My rating: 4.5 / 5

Lara Linton has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie—a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance—mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family. (

My thoughts

I have to admit that when I was half way through the book I had a big sigh - another of Kinsella's book, but this one is a bit ueber-over the top. Yet, I persisted and I am so glad I did. Once I got to around 2/3 of the book I wasn't able to put it down.

Lara is attending Sadie's funeral - her great-aunt. Lara never really knew her great-aunt Sadie, and nor does the rest of the family. So to no-one's surprise everybody is just wanting to get the funeral over and done with and get back to their busy daily life. Suddenly Lara hears someone looking for her necklace, but nobody else seems to hear it as well. Lara finds out, it's aunt Sadie who cannot rest without her necklace, and finds herself stopping the funeral because of some murder proposterous accusation - and with that it starts weeks of chaos to come for Lara as she tries to cope with the ghost of Sadie in her life, Sadies love for the twenties and Ed.
The end had me literally moved almost to tears. I really liked the book, though it was bit slow at the start. I loved the message Kinsella wants to bring across and I loved the humorous way she's done it. Everyone's got a body that ages, yet that number on the body doesn't necessarily mean that's the age of the person's mind. And to allow myself to copy this part from a different review, because I couldn't say it any better: Also, the message again that I've come across often lately and that is don't discount the elderly. They have stories to tell, they lived in a time we didn't and they love to look back and remember and share. We just have to take the time.

Tally ho Sadie AND THANKS !