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BOOK REVIEWS

Some suggestions for gifts or holiday reading………

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Review:-

DOUBLE AGENT CELERY

By Carolinda Witt

Reviewed by Anne Morjanoff

5 December 2017

 In search of the truth in 2008, the quest turned out to be immensely frustrating, resulting in confusion and heartbreak.  With great determination Carolinda Witt persisted, pursuing any lead, even flying from Australia to distant locations to track down those who knew, or thought they knew, the truth. She has likely surpassed most family history explorations, as her story has culminated in an incredibly colourful and accurate documentation of military history, with the twisting and weaving of any great spy thriller.  Outwitting the enemy is one thing, but convoluted personal meanderings of fraud, subterfuge and indiscretions add to this intriguing expose.

With the revelation of many aliases, her grandfather, a British spy, mostly skipped ahead of the law, but sometimes fell afoul of it.  It seemed though, with his charismatic personality, his ability for deception and his mental acuity, that his destiny as a double agent was assured.  England in WWII can now belatedly praise his efforts, although his scattered family are still coming to terms with previously hidden trickery. 

Double Agent Celery, as he was known by Britain’s MI5 took huge risks to infiltrate enemy territory, and had to rely on his own ingenuity and skills to survive, not only personally, but by maintaining his role as a double cross agent, when the welfare of so many were at stake. Who to trust?  He was forced to put his faith in a tangled web of those who befriended him, who encouraged him; the enemy inquisitors who enticed and coerced him, all along having to confront the possibility of betrayal, reprisals and double cross at any time.  He had to use his infamous powers of persuasion and subterfuge to gather the intelligence he’d been sent to obtain.

Walter Dicketts (aka Double Agent Celery) was also a disreputable rogue, albeit a charming one, in his personal life.  His marriages, liaisons and dalliances, so well hidden then, have now been revealed, to the consternation of his descendants.  During the recent book launch at the Marlborough Pub in Richmond, UK (where Celery was originally recruited in 1940 by Britain’s first double agent, Arthur Owens), author, Carolinda Witt and other Dicketts descendants gathered to cement their unforeseen and extraordinary family connections.  They examined the ramifications and complexity of the bizarre life of their enigmatic relative, interpreting his roles of intrigue and espionage, as well as the perplexing issues of their genetic relationships to each other.  This concluded many years gathering evidence from public records, official notifications and newspaper accounts, as well as individual mementos and searches. 

Historic war-time records have revealed much about the nefarious activities of Double Agent Celery – who has been hailed as MI5’s crooked hero.  The astonishing truth, Carolinda discovered, is stranger than fiction. 

 This has been a truly absorbing read with Carolinda demonstrating just how much can be achieved with such whole-hearted perseverance

 DOUBLE AGENT CELERY

Published by Pen & Sword

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Double-Agent-Celery-Hardback/p/14046

N.B. Carolinda Witt will be a guest on RadioOutThere in 2018.   B.E.

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Some gift ideas or just good holiday reading….Barry Eaton’s Picks.

The Little Book of Kindness by Bernadette Russell.

A book full of ideas and tips explaining how we can “be the change” as Mahatma Gandhi once famously said to bring a little thought and kindness into our troubled world. How to be kind to those who you love, those that you work with, to strangers, the environment and above all to yourself. Easy to read with lots of food for thought.

Published by Hachette.

The Mindfulness Bible by Patrizia Collard

Mindfulness has become a buzz word in recent years, although it is far from being a new concept. The benefits of living in the moment go back to the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who said that to be at peace one needs to live in the present. This is a handy publication that looks at the whole story of mindfulness from its roots through to current influences in 21st century living. It contains the guidance necessary to embrace this state and the obligatory techniques to help the uninitiated to attain this state of mind. A good stocking filler.

Published by Godfield

The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

More and more people are discovering the wonderful power of crystals in everything from healing to dealing with stress  and even protection from modern aspects of our 21st century lifestyle such as wi-fi and other emissions that surround us daily. The Crystal Bible is now one of the most popular crystal reference guides, having sold more than a million copies. Over 200 crystals are included by Judy Hall who has over 35  years of experience in this field. Well written, with very helpful information, the illustrations complete a very concise reference book.

Published by Godfield

The Angel Bible by Hazel Raven

This guide to angel wisdom completes a very charming trio of publications. It embraces information ranging from “What are Angels”? to sensing their presence, working with them and includes a full angel directory, covering Guardian Angels, Angels of Enoch, and a list of angels associated with the major religions and belief systems. It is a very comprehensive book  which also makes reference to the elemental kingdom, and the three spheres where angels reside. Some helpful meditations, and angelic healing techniques are included in this charming book.

Published by Godfield

For those looking for some excellent works of fiction…

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

If like me you enjoy historical novels, then A Column of Fire ticks all the boxes. Set in the turbulent times of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first, Ken Follett weaves a tale combining the events of the time with some very colourful fictional characters. From the religious hatred of the Catholics and the emerging Protestant religion in England and France, to the legendary war between England and Spain when the Spanish Armada was defeated and a Catholic uprising put down in England, this is a story that had me enthralled. The religious violence and bigotry of the times can’t help but make me think of the current situation in the Middle East. How many people have been killed and lives destroyed by religious fanatics and greedy power brokers? Will we ever learn from the past, or is it our destiny as human beings to sacrifice peace and harmony for the hatred and bloody violence of fundamentalist beliefs? Ken Follett is one of the best authors of historical fiction that I have come across so far… this is an absorbing read and his colourful characters and intricate plots make history come alive.  I highly recommend it as great holiday enjoyment.

Published by Pan Macmillan.

 

One Response to “BOOK REVIEWS”

  1. on 06 Dec 2017 at 5:22 am Dick Tudhope (Nee Dicketts)

    Liked it immensely – journalese of the highest order, making it very readable indeed…AYE, DICK T.

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