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text 2018-04-18 21:29
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

"They landed, if it could be called a landing, in everyone’s lounge rooms at once at two in the afternoon on a Thursday in late April. One minute the entire planet was planet-ing along, making the best of things, frying eggs or watching Countdown or playing repetitive endorphin-slurping games or whatnot on various devices, and the next there was a seven-foot-tall ultramarine half-flamingo, half-anglerfish thing standing awkwardly on the good rug.

Crystal-crusted bones showed through its feathery chest, and a wet, gelatinous jade flower wobbled on its head like an old woman headed off to church. It stared at every person in the world, intimately and individually, out of big, dark, fringed eyes sparkling with points of pale light, eyes as full of unnameable yearning and vulnerability as any Disney princess’s.

Those not in possession of lounge rooms encountered the newcomer in whatever places were most familiar and intimate to them. Anyone at work had quite a surprise waiting in the break room. Some, absorbed in accounts payable or receivable, absentmindedly hung their suit jackets up on its towering hat rack of a head; its long greenish-ivory neck flushed pink with embarrassment. A slender, glassy proboscis arced up from the center of its avian skull until the weight of the round luminous lamp at its tip bent the whole thing down quail-style between those trusting eyes, where it flickered nervously, its fragile-looking legs poised like a ballet dancer about to give the Giselle of her life. But every Homo sapiens sapiens in the biosphere, at that moment, came face-to-face with the feathered beyond."

 

*gulps* Tomorrow is Thursday. And we're getting to the latter part of April.

 

Should I be reading this so close to bedtime?

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review 2018-04-13 17:51
Ehhh Middling Kinsey Millhone
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

So though I have been re-reading some of the books along with Moonlight Reader, I have not re-did my reviews, I just reblogged them and left it to that. This is my first review for a Kinsey Millhone ABC book since Sue Grafton passed away. I love this series and will be forever sad we will not get to see how she would have ended things with Kinsey in Z. 

 

That said, "H is for Homicide" doesn't work that well. The first part with Kinsey investigating a possible insurance scam while running afoul of a corporate suit that is going to cause her working relationship with California Fidelity Insurance some angst. When Kinsey goes undercover that book fell apart for me. For a minute I thought I was reading a VI Warshawski book since that is the kind of mess that VI would get into.

 

Per usual we have Kinsey starting off the book giving us her vital statistics. She's wrapping up a case in San Diego and heads back to Santa Teresa. Going by her office that is housed in California Fidelity Insurance, she finds the police there working a homicide. She quickly realizes she knows the dead man who is her friend, Parnell Perkins. On top of the homicide, she starts to investigate a possible insurance scam that Parnell had passed onto another adjusted before he died. Kinsey quickly realizes that the woman, Bibianna Diaz, is possibly tied into Parnell's death and is close to someone that Kinsey used to know from her days back on the force. Kinsey goes undercover to see if she can catch the bad guys. 

 

I have a hard time with so many aspects of this book. We have Kinsey talking about being close friends with Parnell though he was never mentioned in prior books (believe me I looked). She is all c'est la vie with her "I don't know what it is" relationship with Robert Dietz. Why she puts herself in danger with running around with Bibianna and the man who is the architect of the insurance scam baffled me. I know that we have Kinsey always talking about taking risks and she loves to lie, but this was a little out there. 


I didn't like the character of Bibianna at all. She was definitely a user. But I also hated the man controlling her, Raymond. As Moonlight said in her review, I have a hard time thinking this man had the brains to put this whole together. He is obsessed with Bibianna and doesn't care that she doesn't want to be with him. There's a terrible scene where Raymond hurts someone close to Bibianna to force her to do what he wants and it's a mess. 

 

The book ran a little cartoony for me. With Kinsey staying close to Bibianna she puts herself in harms way. I didn't really understand why she was doing it, the justifications made no sense.  The flow was all over the place too. When Kinsey goes undercover I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time. 

 

This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader and you can take a look at her full review here,  H is for Homicide

 

Next up, I is for Innocent. 

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text 2018-04-13 17:30
Reading progress update: I've read 320 out of 320 pages.
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

It has been years since I read this book and now I remember why. This was not a good installment of Kinsey at all. The justification that Kinsey takes to stick close to Bibianna was crap. The ending was all kinds of crazy and I would have strangled Kinsey for being my bridesmaid in her terrible all purpose black dress.

 

This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader. Take a look at her review here,  H is for Homicide.

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-13 16:43
H is for Homicide
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

This was definitely not my favorite Kinsey. Don't get me wrong, I still read it in about two hours, because Grafton's writing is just that engaging. But overall, I didn't feel that the story was as strong as some of the other installments.

 

The book begins with the murder of a claims adjuster who has become a friend of Kinsey's. Simultaneously, a corporate asshole is sent out to the Santa Teresa division of the insurance co where Kinsey is co-located to try to figure out why their claims numbers are out of whack. He pretty quickly gets on Kinsey's last nerve (I don't think she has that many nerves to spare, so this takes somewhere in the neighborhood of immediately), so she heads off to work on an investigation of possible insurance fraud by a woman named Bibianna Diaz.

 

This rapidly turns into a total shitshow, with an attempting kidnapping of Bibianna. It turns out, Bibianna was previously engaged to Raymond, the head of a California insurance fraud crime ring involving faked car accidents, staged car accidents, and all kinds of other nonsense. Oh, and murder. When Bibianna broke off the engagement she basically ghosted him. Kinsey gets herself arrested and thrown in jail with Bibianna and ultimately agrees to go "undercover" to try to help the PD make their case against Raymond.

 

Unfortunately, the entire book felt sort of like farce. The Millhone books tend in that direction anyway, but there is usually an undercurrent of seriousness, and characters who are reasonably believable. Pretty much everyone in this book except for Kinsey, and one of the young claims adjusters who asked Kinsey to work on the fraud case, felt like caricatures of people who might exist. 

 

And, guys, Raymond - the villain - was the worst combination of pathetic, annoying, violent, and just flat out gross. He is basically trying to force Bibianna into marrying him, which nearly made me retch. I was wholly unconvinced that he had the brains to run the operation that he was supposedly running. His violence was erratic and often unintelligible. 

 

Anyway, I just wasn't crazy about this one. It was OK, but I'm hoping that the letter "I" is better!

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text 2018-04-12 14:25
Reading progress update: I've read 49 out of 320 pages.
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

Really good so far! Kinsey is looking into an insurance scam and seems to be running afoul of an executive at the insurance company she freelances with.

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