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review 2018-12-15 03:23
The Suffragette Scandal (Brother's Sinister #4)
The Suffragette Scandal - Courtney Milan

Frederica "Free" Marshall has been a delight from the first moment she graced a page in this series, and here we get to see the kind of woman she's grown up to be: an investigative reporter running her own newspaper, written by women for women. She takes her fierce spirit with her like a shield as she uncovers injustices and campaigns for women's right to vote.

 

Edward Clark is a scoundrel with a past he'd sooner forget and charm oozing out the wazoo. He's determined to save a friend from the machinations of his brother and is willing to use Free to do it. Only Free doesn't cooperate, even when he mansplains the futility of her goals - and he finds out he's no match for Free. 

 

Once again, Ms Milan finds a couple of protags who are evenly balanced for each other. They're both struggling with their paths in life, but while Edward has succumbed to the dark side of the force, Free embraces the light. She pulls Edward kicking and screaming into the light with her. Of course, he is a scoundrel and isn't telling her everything. Now, all of the books in this series involve a secret of one of MCs or the other, but the truth has always been spilled before anything physical happens. That's not the case here, so that kind of dampened the intimacy here for me. The resolution was also a little too neat and quick. I still really enjoyed this though and watching Edward falling hopefully for Free despite his efforts not to was a treat.

 

There was also a small f/f subplot with Amanda, who we met in The Countess Conspiracy, and an implication of a gay relationship between a couple of minor characters in a "squint and you'll miss it" or maybe even a "YMMV" kind of way.

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text 2018-12-12 17:17
24 Festive Tasks: Door 16 - Human Rights Day, Task 2 (70+ Year Old Characters)
Miss Marple Omnibus Vol. 1 - Agatha Christie
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
The Old Curiosity Shop - Charles Dickens,Norman Page
The Final Solution - Michael Chabon

Admittedly fairly obvious choices, but anyway:

 

1. Miss Marple -- who may or may not have cracked 70 at the beginning of the series (The Murder at the Vicarage, 1930) but is an elderly lady even then and must have been over 90 by the time the last book about her was published, some 46 years later (Sleeping Murder).

2. Allan Karlsson -- the eponymous protagonist of The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared.

3. Little Nell's Grandfather in The Old Curiosity Shop.

 

Honorary mention:

 

Sherlock Holmes -- who has retired and is keeping bees in the South Downs in The Final Solution, which is set in 1944.

 

 

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review 2018-12-02 02:03
Spelled ( #1)
Spelled - Betsy Schow

 

I should've have read this story sooner since I had tons of fun reading it! :D
It has a snotty/privileged heroine who will be confronted throughout the entire book with the consequences of one reckless wish... and one very cumbersome curse.
Luckily for her she will have the aid of two unlikely allies. Honestly at the beginning, they pretty much hate each other guts. So imagine the fun we have reading that! ;)
The writing is filled _ and fueled _ with sarcasm and wit; two of my favorite things. The descriptions are vivid and filled with a wacky imagination.
The characters are interesting. There's even one character who changes heads at discretion! It was hilarious! Really.
The plot is absorbing with non stop action and a bit of romance. So, yes, I pretty much loved it and can't wait to read the follow up.
Let the wacky... ness? continue! :D
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text 2018-11-25 22:02
24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 - Mawlid, Task 4 (Characters Who Made a Career Change)
A Rare Benedictine (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) - Ellis Peters
Poirot: The Complete Battles of Hastings, Vol. 1 - Agatha Christie
Washington Black - Esi Edugyan
Trial and Error (Arcturus Crime Classics) - Anthony Berkeley
The Fabulous Clipjoint - Fredric Brown
Miss Silver Comes to Stay - Patricia Wentworth

1. Brother Cadfael: A career change can hardly get any more radical than going from crusading soldier to herbalist monk (with a sideline of detection).

 

2. Captain Arthur Hastings: From soldier in WWI to London detective (of sorts) to cattle rancher in "the Argentine".

 

3. Washington Black: From child slave on a sugarcane plantation to explorer to painter (supporting himself by working as a delivery boy) to scientist and scientific illustrator -- all in the space of barely 20 years.

 

4. Mr. Lawrence Todhunter: From philantropist and occasional literary columnist to murderer (which btw is not a spoiler -- it's the book's explicit premise).

 

5. Ed Hunter: From printer's apprentice / assistant to amateur detective to "carnie".

 

Special mention:

 

Miss Maud Silver: From governess to private investigator.

 

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text 2018-11-25 18:56
24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 - Bon Om Touk, Task 4 (Moonlighting Book Characters)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Nights At The Circus - Sarah Waters,Angela Carter
The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett

Three moonlighting characters:

 

1. Dr. John Watson:  The good doctor actually has a full-time practice as an MD -- which doesn't stop him from routinely going sleuthing with London's self-declared "only consulting detectivie", however.

 

Since "moonlighting" is built into the character profile of pretty much every amateur detective (and if not into theirs, at the very least into that of their sidekicks), I could probably just go on listing cozy mysteries ... but just to keep it varied, I'll add instead:

 

2. Jack Walser: Journalist by trade, who joins Sophie Fevvers's circus and moonlights there as a clown in order to be able to finish Sophie's biography (and just generally be close to her) in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus.

 

3. Rincewind: Discworld's most hapless wizard, who is pressed into moonlighting as Twoflower's (and his luggage's) tourist guide in Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic.

 

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