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27 May 2016

Book Beginnings, Friday 56 & A Ramble - Charlotte MacLeod's The Curse of the Giant Hogweed

As always, Friday 56 (share a blurb from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader
Keep reading after the image for a brief ramble and my "faves of 4s." I know, I already teased this once on Tuesday and then today with two more snippets from the beginning and the 56% mark .... but MacLeod's books are just so dang teasable! 
The Curse of the Giant Hogweed is the fifth book in Charlotte MacLeod's Peter Shandy series and totally unlike anything I have read from MacLeod before -- and I loved it!
Peter is in England with his friends and colleagues, Dan Stott and Tim Ames. They're attending a conference to work on combatting the problem of the giant hogweed which had been overthrowing the countryside and endangering other plants -- and people. While searching for a good drink and a specimen of hogweed the three stop off at an old pub on the Welsh side of the border and ....
Well, now this is where things get a little iffy. Did Peter fall asleep and dream the rest? Did the three actually somehow cross into some portal that landed them in a fairytale-ish medieval Wales? Does the answer really matter? (My answer = nope. Not at all.)
So there are hags and princes and princesses and griffins and magic and hordes of treasure and murder and mayhem and oh-so-much humor. MacLeod is always good for a belly chuckle. At first I thought that I would be miserable with the absence of my beloved viking hunk, President Thorkjeld Svenson. Alas! In the alternate reality that takes up the vast majority of the tale we get young strapping Sir Torchyld who just happens to be the nephew of King Sfyn and madly in love with the beautiful Syglinde (President Svenson's wife in the "real" world is Sieglinde). You really need to read the previous books to really understand what makes this one so delightful as far as character similarities (and differences) go.

Faves on 4s:
4%: Great balls of fire, where was Peter Shandy? Gradually, without his knowing when or how, Peter's feet had moved from ancient oak planking to forest floor.
14%: "...Matilda's penchant was for British authors who wrote about children falling down rabbit holes or stepping into wardrobes and finding themselves henceforth involved with adventures of a nature which at the time seemed to be fantastical. I therefore assumed these to be works of fiction. Now I realize they must have been mere vignettes of local history."
34%: He couldn't help believing in enchantments because he knew they happened. Therefore, he might well be conditioned to believe in enchantments that hadn't really happened at all. The young fellow simply hadn't yet learned to separate the abra from the cadabra.
54%: Torchyld flung his arms around the griffin's neck and wept until the beast began to utter plaintive sqwawks at getting its head soaked.
84%: Daniel Stott, who could make even a page of hog statistics sound impressive, recited several of the more affecting verses from sympathy cards received at the time of his first wife Elizabeth's demise.... The eulogy was well constructed, eloquently delivered, and probably not more inanely inappropriate than most.

15 comments:

  1. The title makes me smile, even while looking at the cover. This is one for me.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

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  2. I'm with Sherry, the title and cover are fun and have me curious:)

    My 56 from Sunborn Rising

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  3. Not a book for me at all, but I'm happy you loved it! Have a great weekend! I'd love for you and your readers to check out mine... http://tinyurl.com/LisaKsBookReviewsTUIB

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    1. This is very much a departure from the series norm. Most of MacLeod's books are straight-up cozies :)

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    2. This is very much a departure from the series norm. Most of MacLeod's books are straight-up cozies :)

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  4. Sounds interesting. I haven't read any of this series. My 56 book is Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs. Happy reading!

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    1. We've enjoyed so many of the same things I think that you might really enjoy it, Kathy!

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  5. That title made me chuckle...lol. Not heard of this author so I need to check out her books. :)

    Stormi
    Friday Meme

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    1. I'm still bummed that I didn't start reading her until after she had passed away. I totally would have stalked her on every social media imaginable!

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  6. I'll have to check out this series! Happy Memorial day long weekend!

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  7. You sound like you really love this book. Such a funny cover. Thanks for sharing. Lovely excerpts and beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Here's my Friday Book.

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    1. The entire series has delightful covers ... well, their mass market paperback reprint covers, anyway :)

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  8. Sounds like a very funny book!

    Thanks for playing along on BBOF, even though I didn't have a Mr. Linky this week!

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  9. This sounds interesting and very different! For some reason I find the cover scary and kinda creepy...lol...here's my Friday meme

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