A wonderful prezzie in the mailbox.


Staying in the spirit of a A Web-less Life, all I want to say is, I love the Internet. I really do. You meet such awesome people online that you think it a cruel irony that none of them live as close to you as you would like. Or if you’re an optimist you would thank the Web for bringing you in touch with such wonderful people.

This is a gratitude post to say thanks to one such person, and perhaps gloat a bit 😛

My friend Martin over at LikeTheSunShone and Through The Magic Door sent me a wonderful present last week, a package chock-full of Sherlockian heaven! So I just wanted to say, Martin, thank you! What a wonderful soul you are, I really will treasure these. 🙂

Jealous, the rest of you? Well good news is, Martin is selling a library of books online at Ebay-just checked them out myself, an excellent selection of writing books and other non-fiction. So if you want to go take a look, his user name is bragglebone. You’ll find some real gems there!

Enjoy the rest of your week y’all!

NM  🙂

DAY 24 – Book that contained your favourite scene


Yes, I know I’ve been incommunicado for this entire week, and therefore ruined my perfect track record for the 30-day Book challenge. I’m nearly towards the end though so I’ll just get cracking with No. 24- book that contains my favourite scene…

Oh dear. I already spoke about this on DAY 8. I don’t really want to talk about Dracula again so instead I’m changing today’s topic a bit. I decided to compile a Top 5 list of bombshell scenes. Scenes were I slapped myself on the forehead and thought, “Shit! I didn’t see that coming!”

I have to admit that sometimes I marvel at how slow my brain actually is. I’m a sucker for revelations. Whereas many people yawn and claim that a particular movie or book was predictable and they knew or had a feeling all along that so-and-so was the killer, I nearly am always surprised at the twists in the end. This probably explains why I love the mystery genre so much. Even a bad mystery will not disappoint me. Well I never claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed. So here goes…

    NM’s Top 5 Most Surprising Bombshell Book Scenes

*NB. GIVEN THE NATURE OF THIS LIST, THE FOLLOWING DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS!

1. Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling – Harry’s trip into Snape’s past reveals the Potion master’s love for Lily Potter. I was left dumbstruck for a few minutes after reading that scene.

2. Hound of the Baskervilles by AC Doyle – I mentioned my favourite scene from this book on DAY 1. The Man on the Tor was none other than the genius himself.

Why on earth would you put a picture of the killer with the murder weapon on the cover of a mystery novel?

3. Company of Liars by Karen Maitland – I nearly fell of my chair towards the end. I never would have guessed that the narrator was in fact, a woman.

4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – Is that nice British man Lea Teabing the villainous mastermind behind all the chaos? No way dude!

5. Murders on the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe – This was one of those disappointing revelations but still the degree of surprise (or shock) was still very high. I mean, come on, even a genius would not have suspected a big, orange monkey as the killer!

NM 🙂

DAY 20 – Book you have read the most number of times


I sort of have an idea but it’s not like I keep a tally or something. If I really like a book, I do have a tendency to read it again after some time has passed. Therefore there are quite a few books out there that I’ve read at least twice.

Except for the Deathly Hallows, I read all of the Harry Potter books at least twice (I’ve read Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Azkaban 3 times).
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian only got boring for me after my third go.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sign of the Four and Study in Scarlet were both read twice although I think I also attempted Sign of the Four for the third time but eventually got bored with it half-way through.
Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers was also read twice though I’m not sure why I read it again-it’s not one of my favourites.

The book I have borrowed the most times from the library is the Complete Jack The Ripper by Donald Rumbelow, which is a non-fiction book. This might be due partly to the fact that at one time I was writing a Victorian murder story (I thought it was crap, so it lies unfinished) and was using this book as a reference. It’s still a great book anyway and I wouldn’t mind reading it again.

This leaves us with the two books that keep popping up in this Book Challenge.
I read Hound Of the Baskervilles either 3 or 4 times, I can’t remember. My Penguin Classic version of Dracula I read only once but I have read (as I mentioned in another post) a couple of other editions before and my Ladybird Childrens’ version I’ve gone through like a hundred times (although I know that one doesn’t count! ).

So who is the winner here? I’ll let Sherlock and the Count fight it out…

NM 🙂

Day 10 and Day 11 of 30-day Book Challenge


Okay I’m breaking the rules here and including two days in one, for the simple reason that I don’t think a single post for each of the below is necessary.

Book that changed my life?

I thought long and hard about this and the truth is, there is no single book that has changed my life. Every book I have ever read has influenced me or my writing in some way or the other. Unless its absolute crap off course. But then, even The Ghosts of Sleath made an impact on me that was monumental.

Favourite Book from your favourite author?

My answer to this I have already covered in Day 1. Arthur Conan Doyle is my favourite author and it stands to reason that my favourite book of his would be Hound of the Baskervilles.

So its two for the price of one- sometimes a bargain means a compromise in quality. Sorry!

NM 🙂

Ps. for the full list of the 30-day Book Challenge click here.

DAY 07 of 30-day Book Challenge – Book you can quote or recite


There are many different lines that I can quote from many different books. No single book stands out.
If you had asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have stated without hesitation: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Obviously the only reason I knew it so well was because, as part of a Drama assignment in school, I chose Viola’s long monologue to re-enact. Twelfth Night is my favourite Shakespearean play and I really love that soliloquoy but for the life of me, I cannot remember a single word of it now!

I also impressed (or stunned) a friend once, while we both watched Hammer’s version of Dracula with Christopher Lee. Just to be a know-it-all, I recited, with precision timing, a few lines of dialogue seconds before the relevant characters said it themselves. I dare say, I think I scared her more than the movie did.
The one fictional character I love quoting the most however, is off course the Great Detective himself.
My favourite quote ever is on the mechanics of deduction:

Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

I don’t even have to look that up to check if I quoted it properly. It’s etched in my brain.
I’ll leave you with a few other gems from Mr. Sherlock Holmes: Continue reading

DAY 1 – Favourite Book


Day One of the 30-day Book Challenge and it’s an easy one.

My favourite book ever? This masterpiece:

I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan so this book does it for me. From Watson’s accurate but misinterpreted observations, down to the general helplessness of their client and off course the genius of Holmes himself, all the classic elements of the Arthur Conan Doyle short story seem to extend itself in this novella for our prolonged enjoyment.

There is one difference between the short stories and Hound of the Baskervilles however: and that is that one single mouth-watering scene.

We all know Sherlock has a thing for dramatics.
Apart from The Adventure Of the Empty House, never has there been a scene where the Great Detective makes an appearance (or should I say reappearance) that is more exciting, more riveting, more surprising and just downright more awesome than when Watson is hiding out in a stone hut on the Moor that he thinks is being inhabited by an escaped convict and on hearing footsteps, readies himself and his gun for the criminal, only to be greeted by that familiar voice that says,

“It is a lovely evening, my dear Watson, I really think that you will be more comfortable outside than in.”

Absolute magic.