Comments: 14
Ever been to Urquhart Castle?
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Yes. And had it not been piddling with rain when I was on Loch Ness in August, I might have stepped off the boat for another gander, too. :)
Shame about the rain! It was dry when I was there (both times). I didn't spot any monsters - how about you?
BrokenTune 2 years ago
I had forgotten! Such a jolly looking Nessie!
Re: Urquhart in the book: I wouldn't rule out the tribute idea. The Golden Age writers were great on cross-referencing each other, including and in particular Nicholas Blake -- sometimes they did it expressly, but just as frequently implicitly.

Re: The castle: No rain during my one visit to Loch Ness, but infernal wind and freezing cold (never mind that it was August). And guess what, we, too had Nessie for company on the way ... (and I can prove it!)

How are you enjoying this one so far, BT?
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Tell us more about your Nessie encounter! :D

Re the cross-checking of names, I also winced Wemyss. :D But luckily he didn't turn out to be the same character that he reminded me of.

I've finished the book and thought it was really good fun. The ending didn't work for me, tho. Once the reveal was complete, I lost interest in whatever overlong dissection there was of how the murderer was identified.
Oh, but I liked the school setting.
I agree -- the school setting was really well done; one of the best elements of the book ... and the wrap-up wasn't particularly well done (the reveal didn't work for me, either). Oddly enough, while book 2 is a whole lot more tightly-plotted -- and the reveal, allowing for a certain element of inherently deliberate drama, works better here -- it's the setting of the scene that is the second book's weakest point. (Ostensibly we're gathered for a Christmas party, but absent the snow which actually plays a certain role in the plot there's hardly any Christmas-y feeling at all.)

As for Nessie: Ta-dah ...
(You'll have to highlight the whole link and right-click "open in new tab" to see the image, I'm afraid. And, yes, this is really a photo I took ...)
Wowzas - that's the biggest Nessie I've ever seen!
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Ha! Brilliant!

Re Blake - I also liked the dialogue. It's disheartening to hear there is an absence of Christmas feeling in book 2. The Beast Must Die was rather good...lot's of atmosphere there, mostly angsty but there was a point to it.
True, Blake's dialogue is great even in the first book -- and that, too, is (mostly) even better in book 2. If this was how he progressed, no wonder by book 4 he was head and shoulders above many others. Btw, in an odd parallel with Peter Wimsey, Strangeways also loses many of his excess amounts of quirks from book 1 by the time we get to book 2.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Oh, good. I zoned out of some parts in the first book, muttering "get on with it...".
Yup. Definitely, me too. Sounds like both Blake and Sayers went through a similar learning process.