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review 2020-10-12 07:51
The Red Lamp
The Red Lamp - Mary Roberts Rinehart

I knew this was a ghost story, of sorts, so I started it bright and early yesterday morning, and became so engrossed in the story that I almost, almost, finished it last night. leaving nothing but 3 of the last 4 conclusion chapters for me to read today.

 

Mary Roberts Rinehart was an excellent writer; that her genius has been so far forgotten today is a tragedy.  The Red Lamp was originally written in 1925, and putting aside the lack of technology and the beautifully elegant writing that today might be considered a tad verbose, the story holds up perfectly; it would take very little to make this story 'modern'.

 

The Red Lamp is complex to the point of labyrinthine though.  Like the main character, I stumbled through the story in ignorance.  Some of this was by design, as the mc is meant to be a spectator not an active participant in solving the crimes, but some of it was because there was just so much going on and that beautifully elegant writing of Rinehart's made for easy camouflage of any clues.

 

The book is, with the exception of the introductory and final 4 chapters, purely epistemological, with no chapters, just journal entries.  This style doesn't always lend itself to a submersive experience for the reader, but these journal entries are detailed enough that it makes almost no difference from a first person narrative.

 

The ghostly part of the story, in spite of the enormous potential for scarring the spit out of me, were subdued enough that they never raised so much as a hair.  This was a wee bit disappointing, I admit, but it didn't adversely affect the story; they were never the point of the book, it was always about the mysterious killings and there was never doubt that those killings were done by a very corporeal being.

 

All in all, this was an excellent mystery.  I'd recommend this to anyone curious about Golden Age Mysteries who might be hesitant fearing dry or dated story-telling.  While not perfect, The Red Lamp is most assuredly neither dry nor dated.

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review 2020-09-28 06:45
The Original by Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal
The Original - Mary Robinette Kowal,Brandon Sanderson

TITLE:  The Original

 

AUTHORS:  Brandon Sanderson & Mary Robinette Kowal 

 

NARRATOR:  Julia Whelan

_________________________

DESCRIPTION:

"Hugo Award-winning authors Brandon Sanderson and Mary Robinette Kowal team up in this exclusive audio-first production of The Original, a sci-fi thriller set in a world where one woman fights to know her true identity and survive the forces that threaten her very existence.

In the near future, humans choose life - for a price. Injectable nanite technology is the lifeblood that flows through every individual wishing to experience the world through the lens of their own theme. While death from mortal wounds is still possible, life is made easier in a socially liberated society where automation and income equality allow passion pursuits to flourish over traditional work. Renewal stations are provided to every law-abiding citizen for weekly check-ins, which issue life-sustaining repairs in exchange for personal privacy. But what becomes of those who check out, of those who dare to resist immortality and risk being edited under the gaze of an identity-extracting government surveillance system?

When Holly Winseed wakes up in a hospital room, her memory compromised and a new identity imposed on her, a team of government agents wastes no time stating their objective. With intent to infiltrate and defeat the terrorist group ICON, the agents tell Holly that she is now a Provisional Replica and has one week to hunt down and kill her Original for the murder of her husband, Jonathan. If she succeeds, she’ll assume her Original’s place in society. If she fails, her life will end. Holly’s progress is monitored by an assigned contact that feeds her information as she confronts the blank, robotic world around her, discovering that others view life through the theme of their own choosing.

With her newly implanted combat and deduction skills, Holly fends off both attacks by terrorists and doubts about her own trustworthiness as clues lead her to her Original - and to the truth about Jonathan. In the end, one body remains and one walks away. Although questions persist, one thing is certain: Life will never be the same.
"

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REVIEW:

 

An entertaining romp through a possible future world.

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quote 2020-07-24 05:26
“I want you so bad it physically hurts not to touch you.”
Kairos - Mary Calmes

― Kairos by Mary Calmes

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review 2020-07-07 02:24
Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
Savannah Blues - Mary Kay Andrews
SAVANNAH BLUES by Mary Kay Andrews
Okay, yes, it is chick lit. BUT, it is GOOD chick lit. Andrews is my favorite author for when I am mad at the world (don’t ask) and I need a picker-upper. She gives me a good story with interesting characters, some local touches, a lot of romance, a bit of “southern” and good writing with a few laughs on the way to getting the bad guy and having a happy ending.
Weezie, the wronged wife and soon to be divorcee, has been consigned to the “coach house” while hubby lives with wife number two in the “big house”. Best friend, Bebe, comes to the rescue when Weezie is caught standing over the bloody body of wife number two. Bebe brings along the hunky chef of the best restaurant in town who tries to help with interesting results (he must have a great staff because he is rarely at said restaurant).
Lots of fun and skullduggery, a bit of antiquing and home repair, along with many twists and turns in the romance department make this a great read for a quarantine summer.
5 of 5 stars



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review 2020-07-02 02:32
Airs Above the Ground
Airs Above the Ground - Mary Stewart

Not her best work, but a fun read nonetheless.  More a straight up mystery than romantic suspense, and while the plot villain was obvious, Stewart at least had some fun misleading the reader about the plot itself.

 

Aside:  I bought this years ago at a FOTL sale for a dollar; when I finished reading it, I saw that it was published and printed 3 blocks from where I live now.  On its site now sits a 'home improvement store' - Bunnings, the Aussie answer to Home Depot.  A place a spit and swear about every time I have to visit it.  Now, it seems, I have even more reason to dislike it - I'd rather the book publishers were still there.

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