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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-23 09:37
Murder Off Miami
Murder Off Miami - J.G. Links,Dennis Wheatley

Well, after a day preparing for having friends around for dinner yesterday, I wasn't able to get back to this until today.  

 

(Full disclosure: I'm not all that concerned about spoilers here, given the unique nature of the tome and the knowledge that the only other person I know to have a copy of it has already read it - and taken way better notes.)

 

The good news is I was right - I guessed the killer.  The not as good news is that I did it almost immediately.  The entire thing hinged on a false assumption made at the start, around page 15 or so.  If the reader picks up on that false assumption, the rest of the file is really rather extraneous.  In fact, I was more than a little nervous about looking at the solution because I felt like I had to be missing something.  It turns out I was, but only a handful of smaller clues that supported the answer.  I'd have really liked having to rely on those clues; solving the mystery would have been a lot more fun if I'd had to search them out.  As it was, I was so certain about the twist, I didn't look very hard at the evidence.

 

There's one caveat to my gripes though; if I'm being objective (and I try to be), I have to say that this mystery file probably suffers to a greater degree because I've read another - one written later and by another author - first.  That one, File on Fenton and Farr, was far more intricately plotted, and strung the actual clues out far longer, than Murder Off Miami, leaving me tossing theories around until almost the very end.  I got that one right too, but I had to really work for it, and if anything, that's what disappointed me about this one.

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text 2018-04-22 20:58
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

Simply. Loved. It.

 

What is more, there are lots of references to Yoko Ono's musical work, in particular one track that I happen to have at home as a '45, so I took the opportunity to re-listen to some of these gems, which I have not done in quite a while. Such fun.

 

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text 2018-04-22 13:05
Reading progress update: I've read 65%.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

Ok, this has slowed down a bit. Not sure if I needed all the background to the previous Grand Prix events. I get why they complete the picture but for me, they have been the least enjoyable parts of the books so far. 

 

At least, we are now at the event itself. 

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text 2018-04-21 12:05
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

This still has all the potential of a 5-star read:

“We are representatives of Her Majesty’s government and the office of the Prime Minister and Homo sapiens sapiens, goddammit,” spluttered the agents, half out of their seats though the car was still hurtling along. “We should be allowed to choose our own representatives. Our own warriors!”

“I am sorry, dear boys. But this is not a war. It is not about you, nor are you a part of it. Every child in the galaxy learns the truth about politics at their mother’s proboscis. For lo, does not Goguenar’s Third Unkillable Fact tell us:

‘Though any species on any dumb gobworld may develop sentience (the poor bastards), no government ever does’?

Think on it, Mr. Brown. Mr. Price.”

Only meters from the Whitehall car park, Decibel Jones and the roadrunner dissolved into a very pretty swirl of magenta steam that smelled largely of fish and disdain.

 

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text 2018-04-21 11:41
Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 75 pages.
Murder Off Miami - J.G. Links,Dennis Wheatley

I have no idea how  many pages are in this book, as there aren't any page numbers, but I'm up to the point of the blueprint floorplan of the boat.  I'm stopping here for the night because my copy is too fragile to read in bed.  So far, it's only just been determined that a murder has been committed, so there's not a lot of information to go on.  But my first recurring though it is (put behind spoiler tags in case Themis-Athena wants to avoid any influence on her own investigating): 

 

Nobody on that boat knows what Bolitho Blane looks like - are we sure he's the one that's dead, and not the secretary?

(spoiler show)

 

 

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