Good Reading : February 2004
(GoodReading) 41 (readers'reviews) Here's a selection of some of the reviews you sent in to us. Keep them coming to: firstname.lastname@example.org Hot Relationships How to Have One The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro The Summer That Never Was Tracey Cox Bantam $27.95 Reviewed by Tricia Eban HarperCollins $29.95 Reviewed by Dorothy Wilkes Lothian Books $14.95 Reviewed by Fotini Dangiris Pan Macmillan $18.95 Reviewed by Alison Taylor The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro is a sweeping, vibrant story of a man who was a charlatan spiri- tualist and/or mystic healer who practised freemasonry. The 'Count' was bor n Giuseppe Balsamo in Paler mo in 1743 in a poor neighbour- hood and died in prison in 1795. In the intervening years he mar ried Serafina, met Casanova and came to the notice of Catherine of Russia who was worried about his type of freemasonry. He and Serafina also became embroiled in a swindle concerning a diamond necklace allegedly belonging to Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI. Cagliostro was also a healer dispensing free pills and potions to the poor of the many coun- tries where he and Serafina lived briefly.They would even- tually come to the notice of the authorities and have to quickly move on. Iain McCalman has written a detailed account of an extra- ordinary life. Tracey Cox, author of Hot Sex, explains how to find and establish a meaningful relationship with someone of the opposite or same sex. No questions are unan- swered. Nothing is left to the imagination. Step by step the reader is guided through every conceivable landmine in the quest for lifetime love as opposed to short-term lust. Quizzes to test one's self- esteem, secrets of the confi- dent and successful are divulged and goals defined. Lists are suggested to keep, periodically update and check to see if the current partner scores at least 70 per cent in the desirability ratings. The long journey from yearningly single to satisfied lover is clear- ly signposted. Revelations are riveting. The text is enlighten- ing for those in long-term partnerships or marriages who don't feel connected and have no idea why. It's also a mine of informa- tion for romance writers. Zen Shiatsu practitioner David Bell's gentle push in the right direction results in an enjoyable little book. He com- bines humour, compassion and insight in his simple text and accompanying illustrations. Love Matters is a unique and thoughtful pick-me-up for readers suffering from heart- ache, and also for those who hesitate to trust and follow their heart. But it will especial- ly be appreciated by readers who have suffered from heart- break. Bell's clever caricatures echo an underlying meaning quite familiar to readers more the wiser about lessons learned in love. Love Matters can be passed around to friends, or held close at hand as a con- stant little reminder of what truly matters to the heart. Iain McCalman Love Matters David Bell Peter Robinson My introduction to Peter Robinson came from reading an extract of The Summer That Never Was in GR and I was literally 'blown away' by this author. What a great storyteller. This is the 13th book in the Inspector Banks series; Alan Banks, the protagonist, is a strong, well-rounded charac- ter who continues to develop with each book. In the mid-1960s, 14-year- old Graham Marshall, a friend of the young Alan Banks, dis- appears without a trace. When his body is found buried in a field, Banks joins forces with DI Michelle Hart to solve the riddle of his disappearance and murder, only to receive a beat- ing for his trouble. To complicate matters, a teenage boy, son of local celebrities, disappears and turns up dead. This is an excellent crime novel from an author who deserves far more recognition.