Posts filed under ‘Mystery’
All I needed were three keywords in combination—Vintage Elizabeth Peters! Fairies! A mystery!—and I had to read this book. The Love Talker, a stand-alone Peters mystery of an era with Legend in Green Velvet, The Copenhagen Connection, and the early Vicky Bliss books, flits between genres as Ms. Peters attempts to meld her usual style (i.e. a mystery featuring a sassy and put-upon heroine accompanied on her adventures by a outwardly crude or abhorrent or otherwise snooty young man with whom she eventually finds true love) with that of a psychological thriller. (more…)
in the land of Eng.
Characters we remember
fondly, now remade.
abound, while Wickhams remain
In the first flush of excitement at being out of graduate school, I read a good deal of unabashedly fluffy stuff this past autumn. I’ll be posting reviewlets of these books for the next few weeks.
Extraordinary. All through Iain Pears’ The Instance of the Fingerpost, that word kept flashing through my excited and engaged mind as I tried to unwind all his cleverly tangled plot-lines and characters. This was the most original and interesting novel I’ve read in a very long time and really can’t be called “fluffy,” as my Autumn Reading header has it. This book is the opposite of fluffy: it’s erudite, mind-boggling (in the best possible way), and startlingly, unbelievably, extraordinarily good. I wish every book I read could be as good as this one. (more…)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula follow-up The Jewel of the Seven Stars is best-billed as a supernatural Egyptomaniacal Victorian novel. It’s almost unbelievable the lengths to which Stoker went in his novel to make it fit, with blazing accuracy at all points, into all three of those categories. (more…)
Imagine my excitement when Daphne Uviller’s follow-up to 2009′s Super in the City, Hotel No Tell, finally arrived in my mailbox, fresh from the States, this Wednesday! Ms. Uviller’s writing has been growing on me since Super, so I was in quite the state of anticipation by the time Hotel finally made its way across the pond to me.
Hotel picks up about three years after the end of Super and features the same cast of characters (as well as some new additions) led by the plucky and totally awesome Zephyr Zuckerman. She may be clumsy, nosy, and in need of a support group to get her dressed in the morning, but Zephyr is also, perhaps because of the above traits, extremely relatable and huge fun to be around. Despite her ineptitude at detective work (her new job in Hotel), you still root for her the entire way and desperately hope that everything from the novel’s central mystery to her love life will work out. And because Ms. Uviller is a fan of neatly tied-up endings, I am happy to report that it all does. (more…)
As I mentioned previously, there is a time and a place for fluffy reading. I admit to you that I’ve been drawn to it lately because all my other reading is so stiff and academic, but I’m learning that not all fluff is necessarily good fluff.
On the two ends of the fluff spectrum (if you will), there are those marvelous pieces of ridiculousness that smirk at their own fluffiness and, opposite them, there are the dreadfully earnest ones who don’t seem to even be aware of any fluffiness let alone their own. Somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, and unfortunately leaning on the “dreadfully earnest” end, is Sepulchre by Kate Mosse. (more…)
Sometimes you just need something fluffy. You read it quickly, you enjoy whatever unexpected plot points and creativity the author has utilized, and you finish it feeling like you accomplished something: you completed reading a novel. It’s been a while for me, so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Mr. Jim Butcher for his White Night. It was quick, it was magical, it involved non-sparkly vampires (although I have to deduct points for having them at all), and it had some darn funny dialogue. What else could you want? (more…)
I have a little Ado Annie thing for Arturo Pérez-Reverte since I am evidently incapable of not reading his books no matter how unfulfilling they almost always are for me. Well this week I was intoxicated by checking out a new library and somehow stumbled onto The Flanders Panel by Mr. Pérez-Reverte. And, man, am I glad I did. (more…)
Like Corey, I am in the midst of moving. Through the harrowing process of deciding which books get to make the move with me, which stay at my parents’ house and which get listed on Amazon, I came across a small book with an intriguing title: Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman.*
I had picked this book up in a used bookstore maybe a year ago, but had never managed to find the time for it. The protagonists’ silly names were reason enough to at least skim the story, but my interest was piqued after I read the back cover.
The main story is that A. J. Raffles and his old school friend Bunny Manders (oddly identified as “Danvers” in my copy) maintain the lifestyle expected of Victorian gentleman by robbing their neighbors blind. Raffles also plays cricket and Bunny writes, but these occupations do not pay very well — at least not well enough to keep the men in brandy and Sullivan cigars. (more…)
The most appropriate word to use when describing anthropologist Kathy Reichs’ Déjà Dead is “gripping.” And it’s true. I could not put it down. Unfortunately, I mean this in the “I’m so terrified I can’t go to sleep and oh dear god I just want this to be over NOW” sense of the word. (more…)