Somellier & Master Taster – Gary Killops

18953059_10155212855547184_4466112519350421392_nMeet Gary Killops, jack of many trades, master of one. Wine. Well, perhaps beer too. I met Gary in another life, back when we were both mere civil servants. In his pursuit of fine wines and robust beers, instead of thieves and burglars, Mister Killops has become a Master Taster and Somellier, accredited by the Niagara College.

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Peppered Justice

32793511Peppered Justice (Cambodia Trilogy Book 2) 
by Mark Bibby JacksonJoe Slater (Illustrator)Kate Burbidge (Editor)Jonny Edbroke (Photographer)

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Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Nov 24, 2017  

 

I took too long to read this book, and forgot a few details along the way so maybe I would have enjoyed it more in other circumstances. It is a good book and the setting is familiar to me, having visited that part of Cambodia.
What I did take from the plot is that politics and policing travel hand in hand, no matter what country you’re in. I liked that the protagonist was no hero, but and honest cop who believed in getting the job done.
The story itself is a descent who-done-it, with enough clues and misdirection to keep you guessing until the end.

For Real This Time

Ben Van Dongen

Blog No. 260

cover-final-smallTuesday the 21st will be quickly upon us and the crime anthology (All These Crooked Streets) will finally be released. It’s been a long, occasionally frustrating road and I am eager for it to be over. More importantly, in the end, I’m quite happy with the book. It is a step up from No Light Tomorrow in almost every way. It’s longer, it’s better written, the layout is better, the deign is more thought out. It really is a pretty nice package and I think people are going to be happy to get their hands on it. I know I’m happy to have a new book to share with people.

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Murder on the Orient Express

imagesI for one, can’t believe that Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express took forty years to bring back to the big screen. The scenery, costumes, and characters in this movie are as colorful as the actors who portray a list of suspects that reminded me of the game “Clue.”

The mustache on the Belgian Detective who investigates a murder on-board is almost as long as the train itself. His powers of observation and deduction take him from passenger to passenger, while he uncovers clues and lies.

The movie moved a bit slow in the middle, but the classic whodunit kept me guessing until the end. I’d seen the movie when I was a kid, but didn’t remember much of it. As entertaining as the flick was, Cathryn and I both give it a 7 out of 10.

Victoria & Abdul

imagesVictoria & Abdul is a (mostly) true story about the unusual friendship of Queen Victoria of England, and an Indian servant named Abdul, who becomes her teacher. It’s a good flick for the big screen, it captures the grandeur of places like Windsor Castle and the Taj Mahal.

The story is set at the turn of the century when India is part of the British Empire. The plot gives us a look at English pomp and pretentiousness first hand. Even the aging Queen admits that all the ridiculous celebrations are killing her. From bowel movements to boredom, Judy Dench gives us an inside look at what it’s like to be at the top of a monarchy.

Unlike other movies that focus on body counts or comic book superheros, Victoria & Abdul is mostly fun and good entertainment. Cathryn rates it an 8 and I a 7 out of 10.

Only The Brave

imagesIf you see this movie you’ll never think of wildfires in the same way again. Ever. We hear about these disasters all the time, but I’m sure most of us have no idea what the firefighters or hotshots who deal with these raging infernos do for a living.

Only The Brave gives us a firsthand look at the job these men do and how it affects their personal lives at home. Like Navy Seals, Hotshots are elite specialty units with the expertise that allows them to be dropped into the middle of out-of-control wildfires in the hope they can save thousands of acres of forest or in some cases, whole towns full of private homes.

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The Foreigner – Jackie Chan

imagesJackie Chan is no stranger to action films, but he is The Foreigner to serious thrillers. I’m not alone in thinking this is one of Chan’s best performances ever. Granted, many of his previous action films were serious, but they had a cheap feel to them, like the old martial arts movies where the voices didn’t match lip movements.

Although the story seems familiar – former military special forces guy seeks revenge for missing or murdered family member, it’s credibility is bolstered by Chan’s humble character. With the exception of one scene where he should have produced a few tears, Jackie’s acting was superb.

Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan plays a believable bad guy who’s involved with the IRA. Jackie may be older and grayer, and his moves may have all been choreographed, but he’s still got the moves. Mr. Chan is still quick as lightning. The movie moves well and is loaded with lots of action. It’s great entertainment – Cathryn got so excited at one point she tried blocking the kung fu punches from her seat.

We both enjoyed the movie and give it a 9 out of 10.