January 2, 2011 |
The Charming Quirks of Others An Isabel Dalhousie Novel Alexander McCall Smith Pantheon: 256 pp., $24.95 When writing or reading mysteries, my touchstone has always been a quote by early 20th century novelist Charles Chesnutt: "The greatest mystery is the human heart. " And while some would argue that there must be a vicious crime (the more heinous the better) to enliven a mystery, Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and other contemporary cozies have proved that crimes need not be punishable by death to provide a satisfying read.
March 17, 2014 |
Clarissa Dickson Wright, the star of BBC's "Two Fat Ladies," has died. Christened Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright, the television cook and author passed away Saturday in Edinburgh, Scotland, at 66 of an undisclosed illness. Her television partner, Jennifer Paterson, the other Fat Lady, died of lung cancer in 1999 at 71 during the production of the series' fourth season. Neither woman was the sort to trade a long life for one poor in cream, butter or animal fat. Wright, who was also a guilded butcher and accredited cricket umpire, began her adult life as England's youngest barrister.
April 21, 1991
In his fine article, James Hill refers to rail as being the crowning achievement of Victorian England but laments "British trains today lumber along, and the service is nonchalant at best." For the last 16 years, Intercity High Speed trains have been "lumbering along" at speeds up to 125 m.p.h. between London and Edinburgh, Bath and Bristol, to name just a few cities. And in May, British Rail will introduce the newest generation of high-speed trains on the London-to-Edinburgh route.
December 26, 1987 |
Two young Scotsmen were killed while skiing on a slope near Val d'Isere in the area's first ski fatalities of the season, police said. The victims, identified Thursday as Alan Webb and Stephan Bottrill, both 18, of Edinburgh, were fatally injured when they skied over a rock barrier and fell about 700 feet.
June 14, 1987 |
A picture-post card sunset on the stormy Northumberland coast: Bamburgh Castle's brooding towers jutting up from the rocky headland, a stark silhouette against the fire-gold sky and threatening clouds. In the dramatic twilight, fishing trawlers make their way toward this tiny port on the British coast, great flocks of sea gulls wheeling in their wake. On the darkening skyline to the east are the Farne Islands and the North Sea.
October 22, 1989
Barbara Malone's article ("It's the Finest Choir Music You've Never Heard," Oct. 15) gave me shivers and goose pimples as I reminisced about similar experiences in Britain's great cathedrals. Visitors can also hear fine music at lunchtime in many such venues, especially during summer when visiting choirs from other countries give recitals. Last summer, the San Louis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble was one such choir singing in St. Giles (Edinburgh), Ripon, Norwich, Lincoln, Ely and Durham cathedrals.