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review 2018-03-25 17:28
The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
Hollow Man - John Dickson Carr

I am gobsmacked by this book.

 

I don't know where I picked up the notion that Carr wrote noir, but I cracked this book open expecting dames and hardboiled, hard drinking private dicks and speakeasies. It's hard to imagine how I could've been less accurate. The Hollow Man had gothic overtones, oblique references to vampires and supernatural happenings, direct references to the ghost story writer M.R. James, and an extremely snowy, almost Victorian, London atmosphere.

 

In other words, the background stuff was right up my alley.

 

Attach this to not one, but two, miraculous mysteries, and a main character who reminded me strongly of Nero Wolfe, although I can't precisely put my finger on why, and a chapter that waxes eloquent on the locked room mystery and my, oh my, did I enjoy this book. The solution was very well done and - thankfully - did not involve an icicle in any capacity whatsoever.

 

Unfortunately, this book is not available on kindle and appears to be out of print. I picked up my copy on amazon for under ten bucks, but it looks like the edition that I read isn't available for anything less than $90.00 at this time. I would definitely recommend checking it out, if you can find it.

 

"But, if you're going to analyze impossible situations," interrupted Pettis, "why discuss detective fiction?"

 

"Because," said the doctor, frankly, "we're in a detective story, and we don't fool the reader by pretending we're not. Let's not invent elaborate excuses to drag in a discussion of detective stories. Let's candidly glory in the noblest pursuits possible to characters in a book."

 

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text 2018-03-25 03:19
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 224 pages.
Hollow Man - John Dickson Carr

This is not even remotely what I was expecting - for some reason I was convinced that this was sort of a noir-style mystery. I am really liking it - it's got atmospheric gothic overtones!

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review 2018-03-10 20:19
Detective Inspector Roderick Allen Series Book #1
A Man Lay Dead: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #1 - Ngaio Marsh

I've been meaning to try Ngaio Marsh's books for a while so when I came across A Man Lay Dead in my hunt for another country house mystery to read, I figured I could kill two birds with one dagger stone, so to speak. 

In this first book, we're introduced to the star of the series, Detective Inspector Roderick Allen when he's called to the home of Sir Hubert Handesley. Handesley is known for his famous house parties, where all the guests, in keeping with tradition, always play a round of their favorite murder game. But this time though, someone decides to take the murder game to the next level and literally murders one of their fellow players...

It's hard for me to put into words why exactly this wasn't a five star read for me so I'll just say it was the writing style and some of the banter and dialogue. It felt somewhat disjointed at times and I had to read parts over again to make sure I interpreted correctly. It could be because this was the author's first book or it may have just been my adjusting to the conservative British narrative, I dont know....but Detective Inspector Allen's character grew on me and by the end of the book I found I really liked him so I am going to read another book or two in the series and see how I feel about it then.

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review 2018-03-10 09:58
An English Country House Mystery
An English Murder - Cyril Hare

I was in the mood for a good Country House mystery so I decided to read An English Murder by Cyril Hare. The Lord of the manor is ill and bedridden so he decides to invite several family members and close friends to his home at Warbeck Hall for one last Christmas holiday gathering.

 

There's an undercurrent of tension amongst the guests right from the start. They dislike each other for a multitude of reasons- politics, love triangle, racism, classism- you name it.

 

With that said, the characters are really the downfall of this book to me. None of them were very likeable at all which made the book kind of dreary and boring to me. 

 

Also just a heads up, if you are thinking of waiting until Christmas to read as holiday book its really not necessary. This isn't really a festive story and the holiday is only mentioned a couple times, if that.

 

 

 

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review 2018-01-16 03:43
Locked In Silence (Pelican Bay #1) by Sloane Kennedy
Locked in Silence (Pelican Bay, Book 1) - Sloane Kennedy

I really loved this book up until 60%, where I started to feel like the author is trying to inflict as much pain and suffering on the MCs as possible without introducing actual physical torture. Oh, wait, there was that bear! :( Anyway, I would have done just fine with all of that if it wasn't for the finale. Everything, and I mean - e-veh-ry-thing - bent and twisted and in the end righted itself, short of resurrecting dead people. 

And so, while I enjoyed most of the book immensely and even got some perverted satisfaction out of the too-good-to-be-true ending, I can't give it more than 3.5 stars. Which way to go tho, which way to go? 

Ahhh, hell, I did read it well into the night, so - 4 stars in the end.

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