The Last Piece by Imogen Clark


This book pulled me in immediately with the realistic dialogue between the three sisters in the beginning. Felicity,  Julia and Lily are texting back and forth about an unexpected and uncharacteristic event.  Their mother, Cecily Nightingale, has up and flown off to Greece on some mysterious trip.  The Nighingales rarely take any holiday away from their Yorkshire home.

Lily and Julia, who are twins, found it amazing Cecily would up and just go anywhere without their father Norman.  They are old homebodies who never do anything out of the ordinary.  When the sisters converge on Norman to ask about their mother he is rather deceptive, other than telling them Cecily is not ill so they needn’t worry.  The women have to wait it out to see what happens when their mother comes home the following week.

Supporting chararacters:

Felicity, the oldest, is married to a scoundrel and has a 4 year old son.  She has a high powered business career and has a very rigid view of life.  I guess if I were married to Richard I’d have an edgy personality as well.

Julia and Lily are twins with an unusual birth story.  Lily arrived weeks early and had a rough start to life while Julia stayed put until her proper birth time.  Therefore, although they are twins and share that special mental connection and personality, they have different birthdates. Julia is a medical doctor and single. Lily is married to Marco and five sons.  She makes everything seem easy and has a lovely personality, quite the contrast to snappy and judgemental Felicity.

We find out why Cecily Nightingale took her mysterious trip about a quarter of the way into the book.  You can figure it out by then and you will see how it impacts all of the family once she returns.  I can’t say without giving spoilers so I’ll save that for Goodreads.

When I got to the end I felt a little let down until I thought about it for a bit.  It seemed abrupt, then I thought of the title.  The Last Piece.  Everything came together, even Norman’s jigsaw puzzle and a family issue.

There was a bit of foodie stuff mentioned such as fish and chips, Jamie Oliver meals, curry, roasted beef dineer and such sweets as black forest gateau and Fat Rascals.  I didn’t know what that was so I looked it up. A fat rascal is a type of cake, similar to a scone or rock cake in both taste and ingredients. It originated in Yorkshire at least as early as the 19th century.

Imogen Clark lives in Yorkshire and has three other novels published

Much thanks to Netgalley for the advanced complimentary copy. I was not compensated for this review and throughly enjoyed this book. Publication date is July 28, 2020. Genre is women’s fictions.

Imogen Clark lives in Yorkshire and has three other novels published.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday


Peter Brook: Landscape Painter

Peter Brook was a landscape painter focusing his art on the Pennines in Yorkshire. The stark beauty of the Yorkshire landscape is captured in his art.  The vast empty countryside shines with beauty and visions of life less complicated these days.

The Pennines is a range of hills and mountains separating the area of Yorkshire from the northwest. Just as I love reading about the Yorkshire Shepherdess and viewing the magnificent scenery in her posts on Twitter, I enjoy looking at Mr. Brooks paintings.  By the way, if anyone knows where I can get a copy of the landscape books for a reasonable price, please contact me.  I have found a copy of the book pictured above but $58 is too steep for my budget these days!

The photos here are credited from the AC Gallery. We don’t own any of Brooks paintings, alas.

I was inspired by Joy for British Isles Friday to share some beauty today. She has posted about virtual museum tours which is ideal for the situation we are all in these days.  Staying home doesn’t mean you can enjoy art and science.  Check out here post HERE.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday.


Gallows View by Peter Robinson

This is the first book I have read by Peter Robinson and I can tell you, I am a fan of his work as well as the main character, Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Happy to see there are 19 in the series (so far).

Robinson’s first book, Gallows View, was written in 1987, but the material is not dated at all. Alan Banks is police detective who lived and worked in London until moving his family to a quiet Yorkshire community. But it isn’t as quiet and laid back as Banks had thought. Right off he is investigating escalating burglaries in the village, a murder and a Peeping Tom. Some of the crimes seem to be related. The burglaries get progressively more violent with one involving a rape.

Robinson fleshes out Alan Banks character so you can emphasize with him. He’s just an ordinary guy…with well honed detective skills and a keen intellect. You can see his ambivalence to give up cigarettes. You can picture the working relationships he has with his boss, Gristhorpe, and with the sergeant who had hoped to get the job Banks is in. He loves his pint, he is attracted to the pretty psychologist (Jenny) assigned to work with him and is completely devoted and faithful to this wife Sandra.

Believable characters, even the “bad guys”, and you are rewarded with a nice tie up of all the crimes. Some of it you can’t see coming until near the end of the book. I like that, when it isn’t so predictable you know all that will happen. I look forward to spending more time with Robinson’s novels.

While he is working Banks is able to stop and enjoy lunches at local pubs. What a nice way to work – stop for a few pints and have a steak and kidney pie for lunch before returning to duty. As I won’t make that particular pie, How about a nice beef, mushroom and leek pie with gravy? Check out my recipe at Squirrel Head Manor.

I am placing this review on Goodreads

More info:
Inspector Banks