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review 2019-02-04 13:45
Randall is terrible and his family aren't nice either
Behold, Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer

Can we say "obstruction of justice", thought you could. Today this would have got dealt with in a different way (I'd kinda like Randall to meet Peter Grant for a few rounds of debate). Still this is from a different time and a different way of policing.

No-one really misses Dear Old Uncle Gregory when he dies and when it's discovered that it was murder a fractured family find more cracks. The over-confident of his own smarts Randall rubs everyone up the wrong way in order to sit back and watch sparks fly while Inspector Hannasyde tries to discover the truth. The obvious culprit is someone in the family, but who, and why, everyone has a reason but also an alibi.

Then another member dies...

It's an interesting read, a classic period detective story with some horrible people and a hero who could be truly horrible, along with a romance that seemed to come out of no-where. Still the family was well drawn and I found them believable.

 

ETA: The narration wasn't stand-out for me but it didn't detract for me from the story.

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review 2019-01-24 18:43
Strong Poison / Dorothy L. Sayers
Strong Poison - Dorothy L. Sayers

Can Lord Peter Wimsey prove that Harriet Vane is not guilty of murder--or find the real poisoner in time to save her from the gallows?

Impossible, it seems. The Crown's case is watertight. The police are adamant that the right person is on trial. The judge's summing-up is also clear. Harriet Vane is guilty of the killing her lover. And Harriet Vane shall hang.

But the jury disagrees.

 

Change is afoot in the world of Lord Peter Wimsey. People are asking Peter to stay the way he is and it is chilling his soul. Not only does he envision his own altered future, but he sees the societal changes taking place around him, and he knows that change is inevitable.

Enter Harriet Vane. She is an author in the mystery genre, she has lived with a male author without the benefit of matrimony, and she is on trial for that man’s murder. It is said that Harriet is an alter-ego for Dorothy L. Sayers herself. I have a hold on a biography of that wonderful woman at my public library and am eagerly awaiting my chance to investigate! Especially since Harriet proclaims,

”Philip wasn't the sort of man to make a friend of a woman. He wanted devotion. I gave him that. I did, you know. But I couldn't stand being made a fool of. I couldn’t stand being put on probation, like an office-boy, to see if I was good enough to be condescended to. I quite thought he was honest when he said he didn't believe in marriage -- and then it turned out that it was a test, to see whether my devotion was abject enough. Well, it wasn't. I didn't like having matrimony offered as a bad-conduct prize.”


Ms. Sayers writing is divine and methinks she was a force to be reckoned with!

Also shining brightly in this volume are Miss Climpson and Miss Murchison, part of Lord Wimsey’s army of unattached women, whose talents are being put to full use! Whether they are learning to pick locks or staging séances to uncover evidence, they take great pleasure in being underestimated by the stuffed-shirt men who stand in their way.

Sayers is recording the shift that is leveling the social classes, allowing Wimsey to pursue his authoress and his sister to snag her policeman, and the beginnings of the escape of Western society from Victorian values that continues to this day.

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review 2019-01-21 01:19
Srong Collection
The Birds & Other Stories - Daphne du Maurier

There are six stories in this volume and they all work on that eerie maybe-normal-maybe-fantastical/grothesque/horror line.

 

The Birds is excellent at suspense and the daily made unnerving. And it leaves you there.

 

Monte Veritá reads almost like one of those non-Cthulthu's Lovecraftian tales. I really like the beginning, and the maybe-magical-maybe-mundane and expansive tone. The thing is, though, that much like in Lovecraft's writings, I had issues... I don't know, it was not... It felt like it was written by a man trying to be fair-for-his time but still...

 

The Apple Tree was a perfectly done unreliable narrator. He makes you despise the dead woman, but at the same time, you can read between the lines his own "polite" chauvinism, and so you feel for her. And then the layers peel, and oh my. Another that treads the line between the real and the fantastical for disquiet, and it's a gruesome poison study that you can see coming and still...

 

The Little Photographer ... Well, talking about poison-study. Ennui does not make good councilors. A bit of tragedy with some karma.

 

Kiss Me Again, Stranger was the eerie of prototype modern goths with some sauce.

 

The Old Man is interesting because you don't question it.

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text 2019-01-17 15:34
TBR Thursday
Strong Poison - Dorothy L. Sayers
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean
Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked - James Lasdun
You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready? - Lyndsay Green
Lady Slings the Booze - Spider Robinson

So I'm actually almost finished everything on last week's TBR Thursday!  Yay me!

 

I'm really looking forward to Strong Poison, as I keep hearing good things from several of you (and I'm pretty enamoured of Lord Peter anyway).

 

And speaking of hearing from the rest of you, it sounds like very few of the Flat Book Society are too impressed with The Disappearing Spoon.  I'll still give it a shot, since I have it out of the library.

 

Next up is my February RL Book Club selection, Give Me Everything You Have.  I've actually previously read this, but way back in 2013, so this is more a brush-up to allow me to talk about the book with the club ladies.

 

I've also got retirement on my mind.  I'll be taking a 2 day course in February on preparing to retire.  But I remembered a book that I read way back--it was published in 2010 and that's probably when I encountered it.  The author's thesis:  that we concentrate too much on financials and not on the social aspects of retirement.  So I'm going to revisit You Could Live a Long Time, Are You Ready? now that I'm nearer that event to help me get my house in order.

 

Finally, I want to get back on track with my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project and the next book on the list is Lady Slings the Booze.  Sigh!  If you're a big fan of puns, Spider Robinson is the writer for you.  Unfortunately I just find them pun-ishing and I'm not too fond of his version of women either, so thank heavens its a short book.

 

I seem to also be slipping in a number of re-reads of old favourites, so we'll see how much progress I make on this list this week.

 

Looking forward to seeing what all my friends are enjoying too!

 

Have a great weekend!

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text 2019-01-06 22:40
Reading progress update: I've read 241 out of 291 pages.
Strong Poison - Dorothy L. Sayers

so...she’s going to stay in town long enough to use her fake-medium shtick to let Miss Booth know, from “the Beyond”, that that other woman, Mrs Craig, is a fake medium. yes, the world needs more Miss Climpson.

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