Sunday, 24 March 2013

Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion

The Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion, by Andrew Delhunty and Shelia Dignen is a reference work that really should grace the shelves of anyone with a passion for, or a professional relationship, with words and language.

Allusions are a colourful way of illustrating points, of getting ideas across and of expanding on the use of our language.

But that allusion that everyone draws on so readily? Where does it come from? Who first coined it as an allusion? Who wrote it or said it in the first place?

This A to Z work is a masterful effort to show the who, why and what of allusions that are often common currency, linguistically speaking, but the origins of which may be uncertain or unknown.

In this brilliantly written and well-researched reference work you will find out all you need to know and some stuff that although you might not have needed to know, you will be better off for knowing!

At £10.99 this Oxford University Press book is a modestly priced ticket to allow you to gain entry to the wonderful world of allusion!

And you will find out that all is not as it seems! For example, "Naughty but Nice" was not originated in the 1970s as part of a campaign to promote cream cakes. Although it was certainly used in this campaign, its real origin was as the title of a music hall song published in 1871!

ISBN 978-0-19-956746-1.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Dreadful Murder. The Mysterious Death of Caroline Luard

This book, The Mysterious Death of Caroline Luard, is by top selling and award winning crime novelist Minette Walters.

However, this book is different to her fictional offerings, as it is the true story of how the callous, brutal murder of an innocent woman caused the community of Ightham to become embroiled in a vile hate campaign against the husband of the victim, Major-General Charles Luard, who, according to vicious rumours,  had callously slain his wife and then played the part of the grieving husband.

How the case remained one of the unsolved (even to this day, 105 years later)  murder cases on the records of Kent Constabulary.

Walters goes back to the basics of the case and examines the statements of the witnesses who were interviewed by the police.

Walters explains why she believes that Charles Luard was innocent of the crime, but she does indicate that she feels the police were wrong to blame a passing vagrant criminal for the murder, she believes that the murder was committed by someone who was local and, probably known to Caroline Luard.

However, Walters explains her reasoning and points out that the tragedy of Mrs Luard's death were to have further, equally tragic outcomes.

The book is part of the innovative Quick Reads series and costs £1.00. To learn more about this series of book you can visit

Saturday, 9 March 2013

That book on Amazon you want to buy. Is it new?

Recently I searched for a certain paperback book on and found what I wanted at £5.96. It was to be part of a Birthday present and I almost had it giftwapped by Amazon but forgot to order this service, having the book delivered to me, instead.

It was a good job that I did not have it giftwrapped because when the book arrived it was in a very poor state with the spine suffering from damage and the photographic section in the middle on the point of detaching itself.

To make matters worse, even though I'd paid £5.96 for the book, on the cover of the book  was a charity shop sticker with the price of £1.50!

I complained and got a refund, which is being processed now, but it has made me wary of ordering further books from