*Book Review* The Oxford Murders

The Oxford Murders 

By Guillermo Martinez

My best friends and I went on a trip to Oxford for Christmas, it is a beautiful place and was a wonderful shopping experience. Whilst there, obviously I stopped into the Waterstones for a couple of books, I couldn’t resist really. It was huge and filled with all my favourite things.

Whilst there I saw a copy of The Oxford Murders and as I was in Oxford, I thought why not? And I am so glad I did.

So over the Easter weekend, we went away with family for a special trip which I will update you all about later, but we had lots of adults around to help with the children, which meant I got to read to my hearts content.

F529101B-7CE9-429B-95E2-324302691258.jpg

A young Argentinian maths scholar has recently moved to Oxford. What he hoped would be a quiet time to finish up his graduate studies, soon turns into a mathematical murder mystery.

A sensation in Argentina and in the UK – Guillermo Martinez writes with a flair for the dramatic and mathematical ease – he easily kept me on the edge of my seat. I think myself a bit of a murder mystery aficionado, I thought I had the murderer pegged from relatively early on, but as with any good mystery, and adding the element of mathematical intrigue, I was actually still second guessing myself right to the end.

Our young Argentinian finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry when he finds his landlady dead in her house, alongside a mathematical clue which suggest it may the start of a serial killer. A well known mathematician is called upon for his expertise or he is a suspect. With a wealth of guilty looking people, suspicious characters and well if I am honest a whole cast of likely suspects. As I began reading, and the book took its mathematical turn, I found I started suspecting everyone.

From the protagonists lover – a nurse working in the local hospital – whom I thought was a little too interested in the case for my liking, to the poor father of a child who needed a lung transplant – whom was going a little crazy waiting for a donor, to everyone else he met along his way. I also recently had a a bit if a binge read of a couple of stories with unreliable narrators, so even our Argentinian grad student didn’t make it out of my sleuthing.

I love a story that can make me think I have a theory and then make me change my mind sixteen times before the end of the story. If I could easily guess who did it or why they did it straight away, it doesn’t make for a very interesting read. I second guessed myself all the way through. I won’t spoil it by saying if my theories proved correct in the end, you should check it out for yourself. It is a very worthwhile read.

The characters are relatable and likeable, the story keep the flow and kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall, the story is well worth a read and as its a relatively short novel, it would be a good introduction to a crime mystery for anyone looking for a short easy read that will pull in to the mystery.

A short but sweet review for a short but exhilarating story.

★⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5 stars. A wonderful story in a beautiful back drop, well worth a read.

Games Night in The House of Butterflies

The kids and I probably spend too much time on our iPads and phones. I am not too fussed as I do believe technology is just going to be something normal in the future and I like my phone for social media, pinterest and my blog as much as my kids love youtube, netflix and lego games, but I don’t ever want them to think playing on computers, iPads, phones etc is their everything. As a family, we love adventures, being outdoors and doing silly things, and I don’t want technology to take that away. I am trying to find a happy medium. But as I love my technology, I can’t complain too much! But in my quest to get them to appreciate more than just technology, I am always trying to find fun things we can do as a family.

So we have turned to games night, every now and then I would like all technology to be turned off and to turn to board games, card games, quizzes and anything else we can do on games night to keep us entertained for an evening.

You may have seen some of my pictures on social media from a few weeks ago, we had an amazing first games night. We started off with a quick lesson in rock n roll as me and mum reminisced about Happy Days (the tv show) and jiving and The Fonz! It was a brilliant way to start off games night, all having a go swinging and dancing around the living room.

Unless you have been in a hole and haven’t seen my a thousand and one updates, you will know I have become a little obsessed with a Korean Pop Band – BTS. No excuses or reasons, I just love them. They snuck up on me last year, and my love has slowly grown and now I am not ashamed to admit I am a huge fan. Its really fun getting into something again, and feeling young and excited! Even if I am fangirling, ever so slightly! I don’t care! I am loving life!

Inspiration for this evenings game night was from BTS. I had been watching episodes of Run BTS, which is like a variety show but just amongst BTS members rather than  lots of different people. They challenge each other and partake in fun little activities, quizzes and challenges. Its really fun, enjoyable and as a fan it is fun to watch. So my inspiration for some of the games in our Games Night came from these episodes.

I wanted me and the kids to have some old fashioned fun, playing board or card games and joining in challenges and just having a bit of fun. Tonights games were all sort of minute to win inspired games.

As it was BTS inspired, we all took a starting selfie with a favourite pose!

IMG_4612.jpg

Monkey went with a “whoops – what have I done” face! Still adorable!

IMG_4616.jpg

Poppet loves a bit of Sugar and V (from BTS) and went with V’s signature “V” and her version of gummy smile like her heroes! A cutie pie and adorable whatever she is doing.

img_4618.jpg

I went with a firm fan favourite of finger hearts! I think I am pretty adorable and I am rocking my JHope Jumper! Most comfortable jumper ever!

And finally…. I even got Mamma to pull a pose!

IMG_4620.jpgCheck out her “V” pose! I have almost converted her to a fully fledged BTS fan and proud of it!

We had a variety of games and activities planned and we got scores for who did things fastest, tallest etc.

Fastest to build a cup tower and take it back down

Cheerio Chopstick Game

Big lovers of chopsticks in our house and we are always trying to up our chopstick skills, so what better way than by seeing who can move the most amount of cheerios from one bowl to another using chopsticks. We had different varieties of chopsticks, Poppet used quite a hard pair but still did amazingly well!

We also had a a stack a penny challenge and a Chinese whispers of sorts. We were supposed to end on a playing card castle challenge, but I was the only one that could do it. So the kids just cheered me on as I built a card castle.

IMG_4640.jpg

The final results were in…. games night was officially a success! The kids and I had lots of fun. We all had a go at a new games and tried our hardest. We had no moaning about being bored, and no one asked for their iPads and we all had a tremendous amount  of fun!

IMG_4641
Column one – Me Column two – Mamma Column three – Monkey Column four – Poppet

I won followed by Monkey, Poppet and Mamma! We had no arguments, and no upsets! Our first game night was a success! We cannot wait for the next one. If you have any suggestions for games/challenges please do drop me a comment! Let me know if you have a games night! Or if you want to share any stories, it’d be lovely to hear them.

We have been practising UNO and top trumps ready for our next games night  – it will be a card day challenge!