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text 2018-08-15 14:58
Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 192 pages.
Mystery of the Dead Police - Philip MacDonald

a shocking and effective start; I'm already worrying for the safety of all the cops in Farnley!

 

other Mystery novels I have read featuring police as the targets of killers: Cop Hater by Ed McBain, Cop Killer by Tom Philbin, Police by Jo Nesbo, Perfect End by William Marshall.

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review 2018-08-15 14:49
"A Pitying of Doves", by Steve Burrows
A Pitying of Doves: A Birder Murder Mystery - Steve Burrows
A Birder Murder Mystery #2

This neatly constructed series is quite original intertwining avian with the classic whodunit and doing so in an entertaining way. This second book is a smart and absorbing read. With some series you need to read the novels in sequence, here I suggest strongly doing so otherwise you will need to piece the missing parts and back read…..( this is exactly what I have to do)…..

In book 2, we have more bird related murder and mayhem in which the author’s ornithological background shines. Chief Inspector Dominic Jejeune, an avid birder and lead investigator is called out at a gruesome scene at a bird sanctuary where a researcher is found dead beside the body of a senior attaché from the Mexican consulate. You would think this to be a cut and dry investigation but when Powers that Be want to squash any wrongdoing… things turns out not to be that simple……

To enjoy this mystery you need a certain suspension of belief. The story is a tightly woven plot where every twist seemed to relate back to birding. Of course being heavy on bird information I inevitable learn a good deal about doves. I love birds so more information did not bother me but if you do not maybe you should skip this series all together or maybe give it a try; you may change your mind.

The main character Dominic Jejeune is an extremely complex individual with deep secrets. He often ponders on things, what could trouble him so much….well this second story tease us even more by dropping some clues that say little and leaving us wondering if the sequel will reveal more… or not. The story progresses slowly and as it does I was trying hard to pin point the murderer, I never did work out the whodunit….I really thought it was someone else and certainly I am not alone reaching a wrong conclusion….Quite suspense in its own way “ A Pitying of Doves” is a good and entertaining read.
 
 

 

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text 2018-08-15 14:32
Reading progress update: I've read 208 out of 252 pages.
Foreign Bodies - Various Authors,Martin Edwards

ooo-shiver-shiver...'The Cold Night's Clearing', by Keikichi  Osaka was a dark, disturbing - even heartbreaking - little tale.

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review 2018-08-15 04:17
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Sixteen people are invited to the reading of the will of Samuel Westing. This will stipulates that all the potential beneficiaries must play a game. The victor wins Westing's fortune, an estimated 200 million dollars. This game, a gauntlet of sorts, will put the players through bombings, blizzards, burglaries and mental puzzles. 

 

I heard about this book through some of my Booktube acquaintances. Apparently this is a common one for kids to get assigned in school these days? It never came up on my school reading lists but I heard so many rave reviews for this story that I was curious to see what I was missing. 

 

Well, now that I've tried it for myself ... this one is going on my list of "Did everyone else read a different book than me?" because I honestly don't get the hype here. The plot had a few entertaining moments but largely felt like a mess and was often pretty slow to boot, and most of the characters were BORING. To make matters worse for this reader, the ending struck me as aggravatingly pointless.

 

This novel won the Newberry Medal in 1978... but WHY? In the book's intro, Ann Durrell (Raskin's friend and editor) writes that when Raskin was crafting the puzzles for this story, nothing was pre-plotted... she just made things up as she went along! Initially, that sounds impressive... but I don't know, man. Sometimes there's something to be said for taking the time to craft an outline!

 

Personally, I found my curiosity struck more by the person Ellen Raskin rather than her writings, learning the little bio tidbits about her: 

 

*The Westing Game was her last book before she succumbed to a connective tissue disease in 1984 at the age of 56

 

* In addition to being an author, she was also an accomplished graphic artist, designing over one thousand book covers over the course of her career, one notable one being the first edition cover of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time 

 

WrinkleInTimePBA1.jpg

 

 

* In 1960, she married Dennis Flannagan, founding editor of the modern day layout of Scientific American magazine. This was her 2nd marriage.

 

*Raskin was a diehard Schubert fan. "Death and the Maiden" was played at her funeral. 

 

 

What's your take on The Westing Game? Was it a favorite of yours as a child?

 

 

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text 2018-08-15 00:56
Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 192 pages.
Mystery of the Dead Police - Philip MacDonald

considering how much I loved The Polferry Riddle years ago, I’m past due returning to this author.

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