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review 2017-09-20 09:47
A Cast of Vultures (Samantha Clair, #3)
A Cast of Vultures - Judith Flanders

Flanders delivers again - with the exception of one scene that asked too much suspension of disbelief, I had a great time with this book.

 

Helping a neighbour check on her missing friend, Sam is sucked into a well-intentioned case of B&E, but when that friend turns up dead in an arson-related house fire down the street, Sam can't resist wondering: how does a man who worked with at risk boys, dined with elderly neighbours, and helped squatters negotiate the law end up setting fires and selling drugs?

 

The mystery surrounding all of this is deliciously complex, and even though I correctly picked out the guilty party early, I had no earthly idea why that person was guilty (sometimes it's obvious by the story's construction - the dog that doesn't bark, so to speak), and finding out was fun and a little bit... if not surprising, interesting.  And a little bit sad.  

 

Most of all, I love the scenes that are played out in the publishing house Sam works for - the politics of the job, the editing process (the part that isn't all about the grammar), and the office interactions are all some of my favourite bits.  (Miranda is awesome.)

 

This is one of those cozy mysteries I can recommend without reservation; it's not the fluffy stuff being pumped out in droves; it's smart, funny, real, and highly relatable in just about all aspects (save that scene I mentioned at the beginning).  These are the ones I buy in hardcover - bring on #4!

 

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text 2017-03-12 20:16
Week 9 & 10 of 2017
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime - Judith Flanders
Why I March: Images from the Woman's March Around the World - Abrams Books
The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10) - Brett Helquist,Lemony Snicket,Michael Kupperman
The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11) - Brett Helquist,Lemony Snicket,Michael Kupperman
The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12) - Brett Helquist,Lemony Snicket,Michael Kupperman
The End: Book the Thirteenth (A Series of Unfortunate Events) - Tim Curry,Lemony Snicket

 

And I'm back. My training has been completed, IT finally resolved my issue with logging into my profile on our system (it only took 2 1/2 weeks) so I can now do billing under my own user name, and we're back to 8 hour days, five days a week.

 

Books Read: 6

 

Why I March: I had to make a minor correction here. I previously had written that I had purchased this book from Amazon due to a review written by Grimlock ♥ Vision, but she pointed out in the comments that she hadn't read it yet, though she had written about it. So, I actually have Grimlock ♥ Vision to thank and Stacy Alesi, thank you so much both of you.There are so many powerful images packed into this book: men, women, children, the young, the old all marching for a cause. The royalties go to several nonprofit organizations. 5 stars

 

The Invention of Murder: This is one of my favorite non-fiction books. Judith Flanders walks the reader through some of the more well-known Victorian murders and the public's reaction to them; how people profited from them, how public opinion played a large role in the outcome of the trials, and the influence these murders had in the writings of some well-known authors including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Wilkie Collins. 5 stars

 

The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, The End: And this wrap-ups of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The series itself is, as it's name suggests, rather dark, but book eight, The Slippery Slope, is where it pulls out all the stops. 4 1/2 stars.

 

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review 2016-10-30 06:38
Book Review: The Invention of Murder
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime - Judith Flanders

Book: The Invention of Murder

 

Author: Judith Flanders

 

Genre: Nonfiction/Mystery/History of Murder/Victorian England

 

Summary: Murder in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, with cold-blooded killings transformed into novels, broadsides, ballads, opera, and melodrama - even into puppet shows and performing dog acts. Detective fiction and the new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other - the founders of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens’s Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell. In this meticulously researched and engrossing book, Judith Flanders retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder, both famous and obscure: from Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancee around town by omnibus, to Burke and Hare’s body-snatching business in Edinburgh; from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedy of the murdered Marr family in London’s East End. Through these stories of murder - from the brutal to the pathetic - Flanders builds a rich and multifaceted portrait of Victorian society. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad, and the utterly dangerous, The Invention of Murder is both a mesmerizing tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable. - St. Martin’s Press

 

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review 2016-10-30 05:41
Book Review: The Invention of Murder
The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime - Judith Flanders

Book: The Invention of Murder

 

Author: Judith Flanders

 

Genre: Nonfiction/Mystery/History of Murder/Victorian England

 

Summary: Murder in the nineteenth century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous, with cold-blooded killings transformed into novels, broadsides, ballads, opera, and melodrama - even into puppet shows and performing dog acts. Detective fiction and the new police force developed in parallel, each imitating the other - the founders of Scotland Yard gave rise to Dickens’s Inspector Bucket, the first fictional police detective, who in turn influenced Sherlock Holmes and, ultimately, even P.D. James and Patricia Cornwell. In this meticulously researched and engrossing book, Judith Flanders retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder, both famous and obscure: from Greenacre, who transported his dismembered fiancee around town by omnibus, to Burke and Hare’s body-snatching business in Edinburgh; from the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedy of the murdered Marr family in London’s East End. Through these stories of murder - from the brutal to the pathetic - Flanders builds a rich and multifaceted portrait of Victorian society. With an irresistible cast of swindlers, forgers, and poisoners, the mad, the bad, and the utterly dangerous, The Invention of Murder is both a mesmerizing tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable. - St. Martin’s Press

 

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text 2016-08-02 01:28
July Reading Rehash
As Death Draws Near - Anna Lee Huber
The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones
Design for Dying - Renee Patrick
A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders
Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher
Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music - Tim Lihoreau,Stephen Fry

Even accounting for a handful of short books and one comic, I had a very good month at 24 books read in July.

 

I had one 5-star read this month: As Death Draws Near - Anna Lee Huber  

 

and four 4.5-star reads:

The Curse of Tenth Grave - Darynda Jones 

Design for Dying - Renee Patrick 

A Bed of Scorpions - Judith Flanders 

Dear Committee Members - Julie Schumacher 

 

I didn't rate anything this month below three stars, but my least favourite book this month was Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer and my biggest disappointment was How Not to Be A Dick.  Both because personal expectations interfered with reality, not because the books lacked merit.

 

Most of my reading in May and June was heavy on non-fiction, but this month I've read very little.  This is mainly due to the density of the one non-fiction I did get through: Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music; an excellent, informative read that is quite slow going in spite of the constant stream of humour.

 

Hope everyone is pleased with their July reading and may all your August books be ace!  :)

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