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One good turn : a jolly murder mystery / Kate Atkinson.

By: Atkinson, Kate.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Atkinson, Kate. Jackson Brodie: 2.Publisher: London : Doubleday, 2006Description: 396 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780552771054.Subject(s): Witnesses -- Fiction | Private investigators -- Fiction | Brodie, Jackson (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | Fate and fatalism -- Fiction | Interpersonal relations -- Fiction | Edinburgh (Scotland) -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction.DDC classification: 823.914 Review: "It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident that changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect."--BOOK JACKET.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

What is the real world? Does it exist, or is it merely a means of keeping another reality at bay?

Not the End of the World is Kate Atkinson's first collection of short stories. Playful and profound, they explore the world we think we know whilst offering a vision of another world which lurks just beneath the surface of our consciousness, a world where the myths we have banished from our lives are startlingly present and where imagination has the power to transform reality.

From Charlene and Trudi, obsessively making lists while bombs explode softly in the streets outside, to gormless Eddie, maniacal cataloguer of fish, and Meredith Zane who may just have discovered the secret to eternal life, each of these stories shows that when the worlds of material existence and imagination collide, anything is possible.

"It is summer, it is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident that changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect."--BOOK JACKET.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

1 CHARLINE AND TRUDI GO SHOPPING I want,' Charlene said to Trudi, 'to buy my mother a birthday present.' 'OK,' Trudi said. 'Something I can put in the post. Something that won't break.' Trudi thought about some of the things you could put in the post that might break: A crystal decanter. A fingernail. An egg. A heart. A Crown Derby teapot. A promise. A mirrored-glass globe in which nothing but the sky is reflected. 'How about a scarf?' she suggested. 'In velvet dévoré. I love that word. Dévoré.' Charlene and Trudi were in a food hall as vast as a small city. It smelt of chocolate and ripe cheese and raw meaty bacon but most of the food was too expensive to buy and some of it didn't look real. They wandered along an avenue of honey. 'I could buy a jar of honey,' Trudi said. 'You could,' Charlene agreed. There was plenty of honey to choose from. There was lavender honey and rosemary honey, acacia and orange blossom and mysterious manuka. Butter-yellow honey from Tuscan sunflowers and thick, anaemic honey from English clover. There were huge jars like ancient amphorae and neat spinster-sized pots. There were jars of cut-comb honey that looked like seeded amber. There was organic honey from lush South American rainforests and there was honey squeezed from parsimonious Scottish heather on windswept moorlands. Bees the world over had been bamboozled out of their bounty so that Trudi could have a choice, but she had already lost interest. 'You could buy her soap,' Trudi said. 'Soap wouldn't break. Expensive soap. Made from oatmeal and buttermilk or goat's milk and vanilla pods from . . . wherever vanilla pods come from.' 'Mauritius. Mainly,' Charlene said. 'If you say so. Soap for which ten thousand violet petals have been crushed and distilled to provide one drop of oil. Or soap scented with the zest of a hundred bittersweet oranges.' 'I'm hungry. I could buy an orange,' Charlene said. 'You could. Seville or Moroccan?' 'Moorish,' Charlene said dreamily. 'I would like to visit a Moorish palace. The Alhambra. That's an exotic word. That's the most exotic word I can think of, offhand. Alhambra.' 'Xanadu,' Trudi said. 'That's exotic. A pleasure dome. Imagine having your own pleasure dome. You could call it Pleasureland. Isn't there a Pleasureland in Scarborough?' 'Arbroath,' Charlene said gloomily. 'With shady walks through cool gardens,' Trudi said, 'where the air is perfumed with attar of roses.' 'And fountains and courtyards,' Charlene said. 'Fountains that run with nectar. And courtyards full of peacocks and nightingales and larks. And swans. And gold and silver fish swimming in the fountains. And huge blue and white marbled carp.' They were walking down a street of teas. They were lost. 'Who would think there were so many different teas in the world?' Trudi mused. 'Chrysanthemum tea, White Peony, Jade Peak, Oriental Beauty Oolong, Green Gunpowder, Golden Needle, Hubei Silver Tip, Drum Mountain White Cloud, Dragon's Breath tea -- do you think it tastes of dragon's breath? What do you think dragon's breath tastes like?' 'Foul, I expect,' Charlene said. 'And all day long,' she continued, 'in the pleasure dome-' 'Pleasureland,' Trudi corrected. 'Pleasureland. We would eat melon and figs and scented white peaches and Turkish Delight and candied rose petals.' 'And drink raspberry sherbet and tequila and Canadian ice wine,' Trudi enthused. 'I should go,' Charlene said. She had failed to recover her spirits since the mention of Arbroath. 'I've got an article to write.' Charlene was a journalist with a bridal magazine. 'Ten Things To Consider Before You Say "I Do".' 'Saying "I Don't"?' Trudi suggested. 'Abracadabra,' Charlene murmured to herself as she crossed against the traffic in the rain, 'that's an exotic word.' Somewhere in the distance a bomb exploded softly. It had been raining for weeks. There were no taxis outside the radio station. Charlene was worried that she was developing a crush on the man who searched her handbag in the reception at the radio station. 'I know he's quite short,' she said to Trudi, 'but he's sort of manly.' 'I once went out with a short man,' Trudi said. 'I never realized just how short he was until after I'd left him.' There were no taxis at the rank. There were no taxis dropping anyone off at the radio station. Trudi frowned. 'When did you last see a taxi?' Charlene and Trudi ran from the radio station, ran from the rain, past the sandbags lining the streets, into the warm, dispassionate space of the nearest hotel and sat in the smoky lounge and ordered tea. 'I think he's ex-military or something.' 'Who?' 'The man who searches the bags at the radio station.' A waitress brought them weak green tea. They sipped their tea daintily -- an adverb dictated by the awkward handles of the cups. 'I've always wanted to go out with a man in a uniform,' Trudi said. 'A fireman,' Charlene suggested. 'Mm,' Trudi said thoughtfully. 'Or a policeman,' Charlene said. 'But not a constable.' 'No, not a constable,' Charlene agreed. 'An inspector.' 'An army captain,' Trudi said, 'or maybe a naval helicopter pilot.' The weak green tea was bitter. 'This could be Dragon's Breath tea, for all we know,' Trudi said. 'Do you think it is? Dragon's breath?' There was no air in the hotel. Two large, middle-aged women were eating scones with quiet determination. A well-known journalist was seducing a girl who was too young. Two very old men were speaking in low pleasant tones to each other about music and ancient wars. 'Thermopylae,' the men murmured. 'Aegospotami, Cumae. The "Dissonant Quartet".' 'I really want a cat,' Trudi said. 'You can't keep a cat in town,' Charlene said. 'You can't keep a cat down?' 'You can't keep a cat in town .' 'You can.' 'You need something small like a rodent,' Charlene said. 'A capybara's a rodent, it's not small.' 'A hamster,' Charlene said, 'a gerbil, a small white mouse.' 'I don't want a rodent. Of any size. I want a cat. Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty. If you say something five times you always get it.' 'You made that up,' Charlene said. 'True,' Trudi admitted. 'I'd like something more unusual,' Charlene said. 'A kangaroo. A reindeer or an otter. A talking bird or a singing fish.' 'A singing fish?' 'A singing fish. A fish that sings and has a magic ring in its stomach. A huge carp that is caught in a fishpond -- usually at a royal court somewhere -- and cooked and served at the table and when you bite into the fish you find a magic ring. And the magic ring will lead you to the man who will love you. Or the small white mouse which is the disguise of the man who will love you.' 'That would be a rodent then.' 'Failing that,' Charlene continued, ignoring Trudi, 'I would like a cat as big as a man.' 'A cat as big as a man?' Trudi frowned, trying to picture a man-sized cat. 'Yes. Imagine if men had fur.' 'I think I'd rather not.' The waitress asked them if they wanted more of the weak green tea. 'For myself,' the waitress said, uninvited, 'I prefer dogs.' Charlene and Trudi swooned with delight at the idea of dogs. 'Oh God,' Trudi said, overcome by all the breeds of dog in the world, 'a German Shepherd, a Golden Retriever, a Great Dane, a Borzoi -- what a great word -- a St Bernard, a Scottie, a Westie, a Yorkie. An Austrian Pinscher, a Belgian Griffon, a Kromfohrlanders. The Glen of Imaal Terrier, the Manchester, Norwich, English Toy, Staffordshire, Bedlington - all terriers also. The Kai, the Podengo Portugueso Medio, the Porcelaine and the Spanish Greyhound. The Bloodhound, the Lurcher, the Dunker, the Catahoula Leopard Dog, the Hungarian Vizsla, the Lancashire Heeler and the Giant German Spitz!' 'Or a mongrel called Buster or Spike,' Charlene said. The waitress cleared away their tea things. 'Money, money, money, money, money,' she whispered to herself as she bumped open the door to the kitchen with her hip. The electricity failed and everyone was suddenly very quiet. No one had realized how dark the rain had made the afternoon. Excerpted from Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

The characters in most of these stories are as bleak and staid as Atkinson's portrayal of the Scottish landscape. The women in particular seem to emerge out of nowhere and end up not much further along, though listeners will still find themselves briefly caught up in their lives. As the tales, read by Geraldine James, mount one on another, there is slight movement toward death or abandonment, often under unusual (and somewhat contrived) circumstances, as if these lives were doomed from the start. Characters reappear briefly and unexpectedly in other stories though not with enough regularity to make interconnected lives central to the collection's structure. While the writing is excellent, and one has to admire the author's ability to build on so very little, if you're not paying attention you could suddenly find yourself in the middle of another story. Atkinson's debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the prestigious Whitbread Award, so she should have a loyal following in America as well as Great Britain.-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with Soho Weekly News, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Atkinson, who began her career with Behind the Scenes at the Museum, a Whitbread Book of the Year, and enjoyed good reviews for two more novels, now gathers together this suite of comparatively loosely connected stories. Atkinson's work has grown increasingly diffuse; her most recent book, Emotionally Weird, was printed in three fonts, representing separate strings of narrative. This collection takes that conceit without the typesetting extravagance one step further, opening and closing on two women who seem to tell one another the intervening tales. Atkinson's Scheherazades, singletons of indeterminate age named Charlene and Trudi, appear first in "a food hall as vast as a small city," and by the book's end which may or may not be the end of the world they're starving to death in a squalid, freezing flat in what feels like an apocalyptic present. In the women's restless imaginations, readers meet more than one girlfriend (in different stories, and each unbeknownst to the other) of a man named Hawk; a gaggle of perfect-toothed American Zane sisters; and a governess who may or may not be a goddess. Some of Atkinson's devices a giant cat who impregnates a woman with kittens, an evil twin who gets to have all the fun make for stories as simple as fables, but some, like the nanny goddess and the virtuoso, multiple-voiced "Dissonance," are sharp and memorable, full of astutely observed family dynamics. While not as intense or as unified as Atkinson's full-length work, this is a sharp and wholly original collection. (Dec. 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Although they don't carry quite the emotional weight of George Saunders' brilliant stories ( CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, 1996), Atkinson's exceptionally entertaining tales display the same wild inventiveness. Sometimes the same characters and images (she is especially fond of wolf-skin gloves and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) recur in the 12 stories collected here, which, in the main, feature delightfully witty people marshaling their resources to confront a world that often disappoints. In Unseen Translation, a nanny who resembles a Marine Corps Mary Poppins spirits eight-year-old Arthur away from his wealthy, neglectful parents. In the more somber Sheer Big Waste of Love, Addison Fox, whose mother was a prostitute, carries with him the memory of being violently rejected by his wealthy father; however, an encounter with the man's legitimate children makes him realize things could have been much worse. Other titles feature people coping with the end of the world by going shopping and a woman killed in a car wreck who finds she is invisible, housebound, and addicted to Oprah. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Twelve debut stories from Whitbread winner Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum, 1996) are unparalleled in deftness but in their depth less compelling. Characters from one tale are sometimes referred to in another--as with Meredith Zane, whose aunt Nanci Zane married a Briton (in the 1970s) and then died during dentistry ("The Bodies Vest"), causing her own dentist father, back in California, to shoot himself. Earlier in the volume but later in time, Meredith ("Transparent Fiction") is 25 and living with a wannabe scriptwriter in London. When Meredith twitches the cape from the shoulders of a famous producer's wife, the aging lady turns to dust. Ovid-like metamorphoses appeal to Atkinson, who prefaces the stories with Latin passages, even Greek, allusions that tend to make the stories seem the more minor. A prolixity of cuteness and verve can give energy but can also cloy ("Meredith, Baxter, and Wilson--which sounded like a firm of lawyers--were all girls, as were the endlessly confusing Taylor, Tyler, Skyler, and Sky"). The pieces are nothing, though, if not capable in their details, as in "Tunnel of Fish," about a young deaf boy's fantasies, or "Unseen Translation," about a likably strident nanny who seeks to rescue her charges from the "ordinary." More familiar still is "Temporal Anomaly," about an Edinburgh woman who hovers, watching her family's reactions after she "dies" in a car wreck. In "Wedding Favors," a divorced mother is alone after her last child leaves for college, while in "The Cat Lover," a woman's pet grows huge and she gets pregnant by him. Opening and closing the volume are twin stories, the first about futuristic threats to the world ("Charlene and Trudi Go Shopping"), the other ("Pleasureland") about its end. In both, the characters rattle off lists of things to do, eat, and buy in another Ovid-like device that, here, just seems minimizing and affected. Stories, on balance, that appear above all to love the sound of their own voices. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.