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text 2018-10-20 16:04
Halloween Bingo - Southern Gothic
Houses of Stone - Barbara Michaels

I started this re-read a few weeks ago in anticipation of a buddy read that kind of fizzled.  Hey, it happens.

 

My objective was to solve the last lingering puzzle - for me - that a dozen readings had left unsolved. 

 

The same had happened with Michaels' Be Buried in the Rain. I must have read it ten times or more before I finally found the missing clue that answered the last question.

 

Houses of Stone retains its secret.  

 

I've read most of Michaels' gothics, and I have to say they're hit or miss with me.  Houses of Stone, despite many readings, is pretty much a hit.  It has its problems, and there's still the issue of one unsolved mystery, but I enjoy the story and I enjoy the characters.

 

Professor Karen Holloway has come into possession of a mysterious 19th century manuscript of a novel by an unidentified woman author.  The physical manuscript is damaged and missing some pages, but Karen has staked her academic reputation on both deciphering the fading script and identifying the author.

 

Her partner in adventure is Professor Margaret "Peggy" Finneyfrock, one of my favorite sidekick/mastermind characters of all time.  This story would be nothing without her.

 

The rest of the supporting characters are great, too.  Michaels isn't afraid to poke a little fun at the stereotype of romantic hero, but she doesn't rob him of all his dignity either.  She does, however, strip away the polite facades of many other stereotypes and does so with almost fiendish glee.

 

Set in the Virginia Tidewater region, this fits the Southern Gothic Halloween Bingo square.

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text 2018-10-20 02:37
Reading progress update: I've read 163 out of 296 pages.
The Stone Boy - Sophie Loubière

Elsa isn’t so likeable any more; she’s kind of creeping me out.

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text 2018-10-20 00:00
Reading progress update: I've read 136 out of 296 pages.
The Stone Boy - Sophie Loubière

well this is a good one, very enjoyable, tough to put down and all that. Elsa reminds me just a bit of Wentworth’s Miss Silver - which means I like her...and if she were Maudie, I would expect her to rescue the so-called “stone boy” who seems to be living a very uncertain existence in the house across the road. but, I’m not sure Elsa is seeing what’s actually there, so this seems more like Rear Window turning into The Conversation (both cool movies), than anything Miss Silver cleaned up.

 

this novel actually ends at page 254, with some kind of excerpt from another author’s work starting on page 255; so, I’m pretty far along!

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text 2018-10-19 14:55
Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 296 pages.
The Stone Boy - Sophie Loubière

at first, the book was racing through many years, to give a quickie look at Madame P.'s early life, then into middle-age, before finally settling down and focusing on her life as a 71-year-old, returning to the family home after many years, ups, and downs. with nothing to do on a Sunday, she starts watching her neighbors...

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text 2018-10-19 01:05
Reading progress update: I've read 2 out of 296 pages.
The Stone Boy - Sophie Loubière

50 Women Novelists in a Row: Book 12!

 

another book I would never have known existed, except for the “recommended reading” guide called Euro Noir...which, in my opinion, isn’t as formatted for easy use as its companion, Brit Noir. I won’t go into the differences between the two books, but it’s easier, with the way Brit Noir is set up, to flip to a page and spot titles of recommended novels by the authors showcased. but I have learned to love Euro Noir anyway, because it puts me onto so many authors I have never heard of, with more and more of them getting translated into English.

 

meanwhile, The Stone Boy sounds wonderful; an elderly woman becomes concerned for the health and welfare of a small boy...while people around her, and him(?), are bent on convincing her he doesn’t really exist.

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