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review 2018-04-13 17:51
Ehhh Middling Kinsey Millhone
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

So though I have been re-reading some of the books along with Moonlight Reader, I have not re-did my reviews, I just reblogged them and left it to that. This is my first review for a Kinsey Millhone ABC book since Sue Grafton passed away. I love this series and will be forever sad we will not get to see how she would have ended things with Kinsey in Z. 


That said, "H is for Homicide" doesn't work that well. The first part with Kinsey investigating a possible insurance scam while running afoul of a corporate suit that is going to cause her working relationship with California Fidelity Insurance some angst. When Kinsey goes undercover that book fell apart for me. For a minute I thought I was reading a VI Warshawski book since that is the kind of mess that VI would get into.


Per usual we have Kinsey starting off the book giving us her vital statistics. She's wrapping up a case in San Diego and heads back to Santa Teresa. Going by her office that is housed in California Fidelity Insurance, she finds the police there working a homicide. She quickly realizes she knows the dead man who is her friend, Parnell Perkins. On top of the homicide, she starts to investigate a possible insurance scam that Parnell had passed onto another adjusted before he died. Kinsey quickly realizes that the woman, Bibianna Diaz, is possibly tied into Parnell's death and is close to someone that Kinsey used to know from her days back on the force. Kinsey goes undercover to see if she can catch the bad guys. 


I have a hard time with so many aspects of this book. We have Kinsey talking about being close friends with Parnell though he was never mentioned in prior books (believe me I looked). She is all c'est la vie with her "I don't know what it is" relationship with Robert Dietz. Why she puts herself in danger with running around with Bibianna and the man who is the architect of the insurance scam baffled me. I know that we have Kinsey always talking about taking risks and she loves to lie, but this was a little out there. 

I didn't like the character of Bibianna at all. She was definitely a user. But I also hated the man controlling her, Raymond. As Moonlight said in her review, I have a hard time thinking this man had the brains to put this whole together. He is obsessed with Bibianna and doesn't care that she doesn't want to be with him. There's a terrible scene where Raymond hurts someone close to Bibianna to force her to do what he wants and it's a mess. 


The book ran a little cartoony for me. With Kinsey staying close to Bibianna she puts herself in harms way. I didn't really understand why she was doing it, the justifications made no sense.  The flow was all over the place too. When Kinsey goes undercover I found myself rolling my eyes a lot of the time. 


This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader and you can take a look at her full review here,  H is for Homicide


Next up, I is for Innocent. 

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text 2018-04-13 17:30
Reading progress update: I've read 320 out of 320 pages.
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

It has been years since I read this book and now I remember why. This was not a good installment of Kinsey at all. The justification that Kinsey takes to stick close to Bibianna was crap. The ending was all kinds of crazy and I would have strangled Kinsey for being my bridesmaid in her terrible all purpose black dress.


This was a buddy read with Moonlight Reader. Take a look at her review here,  H is for Homicide.




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text 2018-04-12 14:25
Reading progress update: I've read 49 out of 320 pages.
"H" is for Homicide - Sue Grafton

Really good so far! Kinsey is looking into an insurance scam and seems to be running afoul of an executive at the insurance company she freelances with.

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review 2018-04-04 22:39
Review: The Tea Master and the Detective
The Tea Master and the Detective - Aliette de Bodard

I ordered one of the limited edition hardcovers, even though it was stupid expensive for a novella, and I have no regrets. The book (the actual physical object) is lovely. The material covering the boards is a sort of sparkly antique copper and the end paper is a lovely, textured orange. Together they form a lush wrapper for a gorgeous set of pages. 


The ebook gets either the same gorgeous cover or another that is so very cool I kind of wish I had the painting. Here's the Hardcover and US ebook cover (and an alternate cover by the same artist). And the worldwide ebook cover is here, but doesn't appear on the artist's website yet.


 But enough about how pretty it is. This is also a very good read. A gender swapped Sherlock teams up with a tea-brewing spaceship Watson to solve a murder. If that sounds like a fun time, this will work for you. The prose is solid throughout and lovely in some places. I hope there are more of these. Not just more stories in the Xuya Universe setting, but more with these two characters.

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review 2018-04-02 16:41
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
The Tea Master and the Detective - Aliette de Bodard

This novella is being touted as being a story with a female Sherlock Holmes with a mindship (starship with bio-engineered human interface at its core) as her Watson. It's not quite that blatant, but the comparison is apt. Long Chau is an arrogant consulting detective who self medicates. The Shadow's Child is contracted to provide a service and helps her with her case.


I loved how the novella forces the reader to get dumped in headfirst, and I thought the worldbuilding was well done. This story does take place in the Xuya universe with a futuristic Vietnamese-influenced Empire but reading the other stories in that universe isn't necessary. There was also humour and banter in the exchanges between the mindship and Long Chau and the other characters.


The only downer (and what negated the need for me to dither about whether to give this five stars) is an error that I'm going to lay at the publisher's proofreaders' and editors' feet: the confusion of "to deduct" with "to deduce" when it comes to deductions.

Long Chau shook her head. “I deducted based on available information. Not the same.”
The Shadow’s Child said, stubbornly, “Tell me why.”
“See if you can deduct it,” Long Chau said, as she headed inside. Her tone made it clear she didn’t expect
The Shadow’s Child to manage that.



Otherwise it was a great quick read, and I hope we get to see more adventures with Long Chau and The Shadow's Child.


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