Even Stranger by Marilyn Messik

“I thought I’d knocked him out, but in a flash he’d turned on to all fours and was crawling swiftly, spider-like, back towards us. He still held the knife, so I set fire to the handle. The wood flamed and he hissed in pain but didn’t let go. It was all turning rather awkward.”

Having first met Stella as a child in Relatively Strange we now encounter her once again as an adult in the early 70s in Even Stranger. She is trying hard not to stand out by keeping her powers hidden as much as possible. From book one we know she can fly (though it’s more difficult when you’re bigger), move objects and use her mind to read other people’s. Following a series of unremarkable and often unsuccessful jobs, she decides to start her own service business. Whatever you need doing Stella will do it – from typing and research to picking up children and house sitting dogs (more of the latter later).

It’s been six years since her debacle with a group of people with similar abilities including the Peacock sisters, Gloria, Ed and Hamlet (a giant dog) plus Sam who they rescued from a dangerous government research facility looking into children with psi powers. Stella is aided in her new venture by her eccentric 83 year old aunt Kitty and Brenda who is employed to help them. There is also a snooty Borzoi (whom she acquired from a recently deceased client). I said there would be another dog. In this book Stella pits her wits and powers against three different foes and puts herself in danger as a result. Oh yes and there’s a new romance!! And creepy dolls.

It’s yet again a fabulous roller-coaster ride. Please don’t try to rationalise her powers – this is psi-fi and you need accept them from day one or you’ll be disappointed. I love Stella and her family and can’t wait for book three.

Not quite what we are used to

I know this has nothing to do with creative writing or poetry or anything else appropriate to this blog, but I just had to mention it. Yesterday my husband and I took our two Jack Russells to a local companion dog show called ‘A Dog’s Day Out’.

They (the dogs that is) were suitably badly behaved as only Jack Russells can be, but I still registered Pancake, hoping to enter her in the Best Biscuit Catcher category or something equally silly. Pancake is the undisputed champion terrier racer in the nearby village of Cowley, but then that’s an event where yapping, snarling and snapping are positively encouraged.

Then the call came for the Best Veteran over 10 years old so I thought, what the heck, I’ll put Cookie in as she’s nearly 11. The judge said she had good ears, good coat, good teeth, did I clean them regularly etc. No I said, the vet does it from time to time. What a shock I had when she won! A rosette bigger than her head (bigger than my head almost) and a packet of lamb and rice nibbles.

Eventually Pancake disgraced herself in the Prettiest Bitch class by snarling at another terrier and pulling some fur out of a fluffy puppy’s nose. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon apologising.