Monday, 16 June 2014

Book Review: Murder at the Laurels by Lesley Cookman (Libby Sarjeant #2)

Murder at the LaurelsMurder at the Laurels by Lesley Cookman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I want to get into the 'twee murder mystery' frame of mind I always pick up Lesley Cookman. Her characters are likeable and funny, but also verging on caricature.
The plot for Murder at the Laurels is very traditional. Libby's friend Fran has an estranged aunt via marriage, who promptly cops it, leaving a small number of suspects. Aunt Eleanor lives in a care home, and immediately the owner of the home and two nurses are considered 'in on it'.
Having worked in a care home I was concerned at how care assistants would be portrayed. We don't have a good 'rap' in the media but I was pleasantly surprised by Cookman characters.
I was easily drawn in to the story, and I felt for the characters. Also, I didn't work out who the murderer was. Suspicion changed from person to person as the story progressed.
The reason that I only gave this three stars is because I missed the theatrical side of the story. The last novel was set heavily in the local theatre and I enjoyed that because of my own experiences at amateur theatre. However, it looks like the next one will take place at a pantomime, so I look forward to reading more of this series.

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

School of Rock...10 years on!

While browsing for choir material for September (yes, I am trying to be THAT organised) I suddenly had a brainwave. When I was in secondary school, my friends and I had varying levels of musical talent. From what I remember Stu played keyboards, Dan played guitar, Hannah was an excellent drummer and the Jess' were bass and guitar respectively. Singing was my only claim to UCTC fame, and organising, I was generally good at that. One of our collective ideas was to perform at the end of the school year (something that didn't happen incidentally), a selection of school related songs. The setlist was: Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus, What I Go To School For by Busted and School of Rock from the movie of the same name.

I had last done 'rock' as a choir subject in the 2012/2013 academic year, and seeing as any children that were in choir then, were leaving this summer, I had a brand new selection of minds to mould and introduce to Queen, Bon Jovi and Journey.

The School of Rock song popped back into my head easily enough. With a few clicks I was watching the original video on YouTube. My brain instantly adapted the song for choir. I could see the kids really 'rocking out'. With our recent fund raising event we could even splash out on some inflatable guitars and top hats.

Then with a few more clicks I found this, and felt about 100. This is a reunion video of Jack Black and the kids from School of Rock, a ten year reunion video. The 'kids' are now my age, if not a little older, they've barely changed. and they still make fantastic music together. So enjoy this little trip down memory lane and look out for a performance coming to you local primary school!