Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Salon: Mother’s Day, Books, And Black Ice

Times moves slow for some, fast for others. Either way memories are made as time travels on.
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This Sunday Salon is a perfect time to reflex on memories of books we’ve enjoyed and for many, the person who inspired us to read - our mother. Today is Mother’s Day…so Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Whether you are a mother or not, you inspire others.

My love of books comes from my mother’s passion for them. As far back as I can remember, my mother loved reading and collecting books (another passion I learned from her). She liked all books, but especially mysteries and romance.

She encouraged me to read. In fact, the very first present I received when I was born was a book. Each year we would make special visits to our local library where I would enroll in the annual summer reading program. We would both come home each week with an armload of books to read.

In elementary school, it was my mother who encouraged me to enter my first writing contest. I would learn many months after she passed away that she too enjoyed writing stories. I discovered where she had started a story in a composition book and then put it away. I have no way of knowing when she wrote it as it wasn’t dated.

During the last few years of her life, arthritis made it difficult for her to hold a book. This was in the early days of audio books. The ones that were available to us were from the library in a neighboring county and the selection wasn’t that large. But she was still able to enjoy books and that was all that mattered. She would be thrilled at the vast array of audios available today.

This is another reason I enjoy listening to audio books. With that in mind I’d like to share my thoughts on a fun audio about the early years of a famous detective.

BLACK ICE by Andrew Lane

coverHave you ever wondered what Sherlock Holmes would have been like as a teenager?

Author Andrew Lane tackles that topic in his series, Sherlock Holmes: A New Beginning. In the latest installment in the series, BLACK ICE, young Sherlock has to come to the aid of his older brother, Mycroft.

Narrator James Langton does an excellent job bringing the various characters to life. His vocalization of the diverse accents adds to the story, as does his interruption of the varied ages of the characters. His cadence is most effective in portraying the scale of emotions the characters encounter.

Sherlock and his American tutor, Amyus Crowe, are to meet Mycroft at his club for lunch. But when they arrive, they find Mycroft alone in a room with a dead man. Mycroft, holding a knife, has no memory of what happened.

Sherlock and Crowe work to clear Mycroft of the charges. As the case progresses, Mycroft finds it necessary to travel to Russia to get to the heart of the matter. Taking Sherlock along, the brothers set out on an adventure that will lead them into danger, deceit and secrets.

BLACK ICE is an intriguing story that takes readers/listeners on a roller coaster ride of action. The plot contains twists, turns and red herrings. Just when you reach one conclusion, another element is introduced to change your mind.

Lane has created well-developed, likable characters. He gives us a look at how Sherlock may have developed his detective skills in a plausible manner. Lane keeps the story moving steady with an eye for detail when it comes to the setting and history of the era (1868).

BLACK ICE is the third installment in the Sherlock Holmes: A New Beginning series, but can be read or listened to as a stand alone. References to prior events from the first two books will not leave new readers in the dark. They may, however, spark an interest to see what young Sherlock has already encountered. This series, the first teen series endorsed by the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Estate, gives a fresh look at the famous detective.

BLACK ICE, an outstanding tale of intrigue and deceit, will enthrall you.

Black Ice by Andrew Lane, Book 3 of the Sherlock Holmes: A New Beginning Series, Performed by James Langton, Macmillan Audio, @2013, ISBN: 978-1427229618, Unabridged, 6 Discs, Listening Time: 7.5 Hours

FTC Full Disclosure - This audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope you’re having a great Mother’s Day. Remember to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to the mother in your life, even if you’re not on the best of terms at the moment. Life is too short and you may not get the chance next year. Thanks also for enduring my look back at why I love books and the one who inspired me.

Thanks Mom for introducing me to the wonderful world of books and reading. Love ya and miss ya!


  1. Hi Mason - loved the memories of your mother and the family books, visits to the library and reading, reading, reading - certainly I did masses of that as a child. Now I still do - but must do more ...

    Audio books are a great boon to the elderly, to the blind or hard of sight, and to small children on journeys ...

    Black Ice sounds intriguing .. thanks for letting us know about the Sherlock Holmes: New Beginning series ..

    You too - have a peaceful and happy day - Hilary

    1. Hilary, I too need to get back to the library. It's always so relaxing, it's hard to leave once I get there. I hope you have a pleasant and happy day too.

  2. Happy Mother's Day Mason. Have a good one.

    1. Dru, Happy Mother's Day to you too. Hope it's a beautiful day for you.

  3. Happy Mother's Day, Mason! My love of books comes from my mother, too - in fact, I shared almost the exact same memories about reading and going to the library on my blog today!

  4. Ingrid, Mothers and books do seem to go together. Hope you have a great Mother's Day.

  5. Mason - Happy Mother's Day! It's interesting isn't it how often bookworms like us are inspired by parents. Thanks for sharing the Andrew Lane too. It's certainly a creative take on that iconic character.

    1. Margot, you are so right. We bookworms, for the most part, do have our parents to thank for our passion for books. Hope you have a wonderful and Happy Mother's Day.

  6. Happy Mother's Day, Mason.

  7. Jane, Happy Mother's Day to you as well.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.