A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

A Great Reckoning (2016) is the 12th novel in the Inspector Gamache series. …

Well written and engaging.

As usual, a dumb and impossible-to-believe plot.

At the start of the novel, Gamache begins a new position as the head of the Sûreté Academy, where new cadets are trained for the police force.

Of course a murder mystery is presented. Ganache is one of many suspects.

More interesting to me was finally learning the history of the 3 pines in Three Pines. And finding out why the small village is not on any official Quebec maps.

There’s a film based on these books called “Still Life“.

Click PLAY or watch the location for the film on YouTube.

A Midsummer’s Equation by Keigo Higashino

Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as “Detective Galileo“, is speaking at a small coastal town on whether or not to approve an underwater mining operation.

The night after the tense panel discussion, one of the resort’s guests is found dead on the seashore at the base of the local cliffs. The local police at first believe it was a simple accident-that he wandered over the edge while walking on unfamiliar territory in the middle of the night. But when they discover that the victim was a former policeman and that the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, they begin to suspect he was murdered, and his body tossed off the cliff to misdirect the police. …

Amazon

This time the police don’t ask Yukawa for help. But he decides to solve the crime on his own.

As always, there are subtle and surprising twists and turns.

This book was adapted into a film.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

I perfected WORDLE

Instead of doing Wordle online once a day, I downloaded a free app and have now done the challenge thousands of times. It’s relaxing.

I used the same strategy every time:

  1. ADIEU
  2. PORTS

All the vowels — but not “Y”. (I consider going WINGY if it seems a Y might be needed.)

I usually get a good idea of the word at that point. And next guess a word

If not, I go FLOCK or FILCH or FLUKE or some variation.

Most often I can solve it on the 4th guess.

Each time I’ve failed after 6 guesses with the ADIEU / PORTS start I write down the word.

The only words I’ve failed on twice are EERIE AND ENJOY. My brain seems to block words starting with E.

Here are the other words I’ve missed once. Sometimes due to laziness or lack of concentration.

style, humor, raise, relax, kills, maker, visit, maybe, wages, abyss , beard, dikes, years, along, exile, urged, ovary, gaily, gates, media,  shone, cacao, array, robot, gonna, imply, ought, occur, bowed, faces, snoop, eerie, candy, handy, boxer, hedge, stays, outdo, madam, judge, comma, rigid, schwa, grows, hears, hobby, wings, sands, valve, lyric, myths, texts, table

Sparring Partners by John Grisham

Grisham’s 2022 book is actual 3 novellas:

  • “Homecoming” 
  • “Strawberry Moon” 
  • “Sparring Partners”

Great story telling, as always.

I’d say Strawberry Moon is the best insight to Death Row I’ve ever seen.

The “Sparring Partners” Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison.

All good.

Malice by Keigo Higashino

According to the back of this book, Keigo Higashino is the “ bestselling and most widely read novelist in Japan.”

Only SOME of his books have been translated into English, however.

Malice is the first book in the Detective Kaga series.

Famous novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is brutally murdered days before he is relocating from Japan to Vancouver.

He is found in a locked room of his home by his wife and best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi.

Police Detective Kyoichiro Kaga sets out to solve the baffling case, playing cat and mouse with an always present and cunning killer.

It’s slow paced. Thoughtful. Very Japanese.

The murderer is revealed early. Most of the book is Kaga methodically revealing the truth.

Recommended.

In This Bright Future by Peter Grainger

Our hero, D.C. Smith, had a mysterious past.

In the 5th book of the excellent series we learn of his role as a mole for British Intelligence during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Again, it’s Smith’s humour that makes this book so entertaining.

30 years later he returns on a personal holiday after being asked to find where the bones of an IRA friend had been buried.

The family wants closure.

Unfortunately, the IRA twice tried to kill Smith once it was revealed he was a snitch. And decades later there are some who want to finish the job.

Peter Grainger self-published for Amazon Kindle to start. And even today goes unrecognized as one of the top murder mystery authors alive.

Highly recommended.

I NOW own 2 Drones 🤔

In December 2021, I gambled CAD $349 for the low end DJI drone.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it.

As DJI is close to discontinuing — and the latest, greatest replacement costs at least 3x as much — I bought a second one. But this time with the full kit. CAD $592.20 including tax and two year warranty.

In fact, it seems I bought the last Mini SE in Canada. It’s been out of stock on the DJI Canada store ever since.

When one eventually dies, I can use the accessories with the other.

Quality and features are good ’nuff for my YouTube hiking and cycling videos.

Click PLAY or watch a sample on YouTube. Moorecroft Park is my favourite place to drone near Parksville, Vancouver Island. It’s legal and not crowded.

Most important to me with the NEW kit are the 3 batteries plus charger. With my original battery, I now have 4 total which is more than I can imagine using in one day.

Warranty is essential as it’s very easy to crash these things. I’ve crashed about 6 times already, the drone surviving each … SO FAR.

My old Mini SE will be the back-up. I’ll carry both on cycling trips. Just the new combo on hiking adventures.

Click PLAY or watch some samples of my footage on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch a review on YouTube.

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger

During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.

Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover the body of a teenage girl. She wasn’t killed by the storm, however; she’d been bound and tortured before she died. Nearby, underneath a tangle of branches, they also find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. Powerful forces intent on securing the child pursue them to the isolated Northwest Angle …

Amazon

The Northwest Angle is a small piece of the USA completely surrounded by Canada and Lake of the Woods.

Visiting Braga, Portugal

I can’t recall hearing anything about Braga in the past. BUT it’s a very nice & relaxing tourist city. Most of the attractions walkable.

… population of 193,333 …

… an important stop on the Portuguese Way path of the Road of St James. 

The highlight for me was outside town. The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Good Jesus of the Mount.

Traditionally, religious pilgrims climbed 571 steps up the zigzag stairs on their knees. On the way are scenes of the Passion of Christ.

I stayed on my feet.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.