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Search tags: 50-crimes-of-summer
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review 2017-07-03 00:38
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde

That was a wild, wild romp.


I have been meaning to dive into the Thursday Next series for years, and finally decided to take the plunge after MBD's review of the most recent installment in the series. I've read all of Fforde's Chronicles of Kazam, so I am familiar with his unique style, but even so, nothing really prepared me for this book.


Fforde dropped me directly into the world, with a minimum of exposition and almost no info-dumping. It isn't necessarily easy to figure out all of what is going on with the Spec Ops, and he seems to want his readers to be off-balance since he constantly throws curveballs into the narrative.


I do love books about books, though, so the premise of this series is just so delicious. And Fforde must be one of the most well-read writers currently working, because the book is plock full o'references to classic literature. The references to Shakespeare and the controversy as to the true identity of the playwright alone were voluminous and fascinating. About midway through the book I started highlighting the literary references, and then I found this GR list of all of the books mentioned in the Thursday Next series.


Poor Mr. Quaverly. Lost forever from the pages of Martin Chuzzlewit, a book which I am now going to have to read. I loved the conceit with the ending of Jane Eyre, as well. 


I'm midway through another detective story, so I'm not going to start book two until I finish that one, but I found The Eyre Affair engaging enough that I definitely want to continue with the series! And even though this isn't technically a mystery, I'm counting it as one of the 50 crimes of summer!

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review 2017-06-28 17:25
The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart

I read this as a buddy read, but went on vacation at about the halfway point. My hotel wifi was pretty worthless, so I wasn't able to login while I was Disneylanding - and Disneyland isn't really a place for internet activity, in any case, because by the time I'd get back to my room, I was so exhausted that I sort of just collapsed into bed!


Anyway, I quite liked this fun mystery. There is a lot going on, and I found the main character to be a hoot. She has very little instinct for self-preservation, and is a bit bumbling, but is also funny and brave and loyal. I did figure out some of the elements and had a pretty good idea of the solution before the reveal, but the complicated plotting was well-done. 


Mary Roberts Rinehart is sometimes referred to as an American Agatha Christie, but this book didn't read like Agatha to me, nor did the other book by her that I've read, The Window at the White Cat. Something about her writing style is peculiarly American, and there are hard-boiled qualities to it - she's not noir, but she is also not cozy.


A lot of Rinehart's books are in the public domain. My kindle version of The Circular Staircase only set me back $.99 - for readers who enjoy vintage mysteries, I'd recommend giving her a try.

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