Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm a Happy Camper! (Seaside, OR)

Small signs of Spring!  It has been some crazy weather with rain, wind, freezing cold, and sunshine.....that is in a 24-hour time frame.  Yesterday afternoon, a cold wind blew away the rain clouds and gave us a little sunshine.  This morning, we woke to frozen water pipes, but now the sun is out and it is suppose to get around 60 degrees.  I'm surprised the cats are not begging to go outside.  Shhh!  We'll let them out soon.
Hounds of Autumn by Heather Blackwood
You don't have to be a Steampunk fan to enjoy this murder mystery.

This is my first Steampunk cozy murder mystery and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I don’t know a lot about Steampunk except that I enjoy viewing their costumes and artwork online.  This story is perfect for a beginner.  It has just enough Victorian advanced technology to give it an interesting spin to the story but it is not overwhelming with “techno talk”.

The main character is a female inventor – Chloe.  She and her husband Ambrose are traveling from London to the moors to spend a month with his sister's family while Chloe visits with their neighbor who happens to be Chloe’s inventor/friend by correspondence.  But, Chloe never gets to meet her friend because it is her body that is discovered on the moors and the leading suspect is the victim’s mechanical dog.  Chloe and Ambrose are soon searching for the answers only to end up with more questions. 

My favorite character is Chloe’s invention – a mechanical cat named Giles.  He is made by a human and has gears for his insides, but he also has a lot of ‘Catitude’ that had me laughing out loud a couple of times.  There is one scene when he attacks a lady’s hat and feathers are flying causing chaos between the hat’s owner, Giles, and Chloe that had me thinking this sounds so familiar….doesn't it, Hitch?  Yep, Giles reminded me a lot of Hitch with his little, I mean adventures.
Who me?
What I loved the most about this book was how Ambrose and Chloe interacted with each other.  Their comfortable love is filled with respect and admiration for each other.  A look across the table, the touching of hands, and knowing what each other is thinking makes for a nice change from most authors who feel their characters need to get a little too physical to show their love.

Another thing is how Ms. Blackwood addresses the Victorian attitude towards women through their love for each other.  Chloe is not one for being the typical Victorian lady by spending her days reading poems and doing needlework.  Ambrose is a widower and a long-time friend to Chloe’s family.  After watching Chloe’s family struggle with their finances for several years, Ambrose suggests a marriage agreement.  Being very independent, Chloe adds her own terms to the agreement:  to be able to read whatever she wants and to keep working on her inventions.  Ambrose especially feels a need to be be a buffer by protecting Chloe’s more independent thinking from the stifling Victorian society’s attitudes.  Lots of twists and surprises…oh, and I would keep a box of tissues nearby too.

I looked online for other books with a similar theme, but so far nothing jumps out except for a time travel series by the same author.  I have them on my wish list.  In the meantime, I downloaded “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “The Hound of Baskervilles”.

On The Cutting Board
Here's a sneak peek of my new Happy Campers.  I'm having fun designing some new embroidery designs and different color combinations.
All right!  Enough chit-chat.....back to the cutting board.  I just thought of a different design.
Happy Quilting!


  1. It does sound like a good read! Maybe Hitch is working part-time as a model. Your little campers must be very popular ... and no two alike!

  2. Hi Sandy. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. I must admit I'm struggling to find time and inspiration to blog at the moment. I think it's the time of year. Good to hear your weather is improving. Love the photo of Dusty and your happy campers are looking fab! Xx

  3. They are so cute. I need to do one of our fifth wheel.

    Hope you are well. Had a shot in hip for,bursitis. Waiting for relief. Getting older isn't for sissies. Lucy is snuggling with me. So comforting.


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