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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-03-31 14:17
Yes -- Still a Favorite
Miss Silver Comes to Stay - Patricia Wentworth,Diana Bishop

I'm getting to the point where I'm beginning to revisit "Miss Silver" books because I've read almost all the books in the series at least once.  (There are only some five or so books left that I've yet to read for the first time.)  So I figured, I might just as well start my rereads with the very first "Miss Silver" book I ever read, even before Tigus got us all hooked on the entire series, to see how my first impressions hold up now that I've encountered Maudie a good many times.  And I'm happy to say that yes, this is definitely still a favorite installment.


Some quick comments:


* Miss Silver should have brought cough drops on her visit to her friend.  I mean, we all know those little meaningful coughs are an indelible part of her character, but jeez, she really can't open her mouth without beginning virtually every statement with one of them here.


* There are no less than two professionals who should have recused themselves from having anything to do with the matter (one of them on multiple grounds, at least one of which they're openly discussing, albeit not under the headline of a conflict of interests).  The story wouldn't be what it is without them (and their conflict), so obviously recusal can't enter into things from a writerly point of view, but I'd still at least have liked to at least see it addressed for what it is -- especially in light of the very active part that one of these persons takes in the action, which would be uncalled-for even under normal circumstances and is plainly inexcusable from a professional perspective here.  For however much I otherwise like the book, this is one of the reasons I'm withholding a higher rating.


* I love the fact that this book, for once, doesn't focus on Wentworth's panoply of young protagonists (strong and independent, TSTL, or otherwise), but rather, on middle-aged people.  There are a few twenty-somethings as well, but they are decidedly less interesting (and with one exception, also less important) than the real MCs, who are all in their 40s or above.  I wish Wentworth had focused on that age group in a few more of her books; she did it really well.  (I love the way how she creates characters anyway, but this book contains some of her strongest yet.)


* The plotting is rather well done here, too; similar to the way in which Agatha Christie might have done it, in fact.

(And to those who would accuse Wentworth of dropping the solution deus-ex-machina-style, having revisited the book I'll respond that there actually are enough clues spread throughout the book to allow you to at the very least form a suspicion as to the "who", "why", and "how", if not actually solve the case, applying the same sort of logic that Miss Silver does.  This is all the more true as, even though Wentworth applies a technique similar to Christie's, she does so somewhat less dexterously than Christie, so while it's very obvious which conflicts she is interested in and why she presents the story the way she does, not every reader will necessarily be taken in entirely.)

(spoiler show)


* Frank Abbott still remains my favorite policeman in the series.  Randal March is nice enough, but no dice compared to Frank -- whom even the profoundest respect for Miss Silver won't stop from making fun of her every so often.


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review 2020-03-29 00:30
Another fun weekend buddy read
The Case Is Closed - Patricia Wentworth

I think I enjoyed this even more the second time around. Miss Silver was largely absent, which is a bit of a bummer, so there wasn't as much coughing in this one as might have been expected, but I really liked Hilary. She's loyal and feisty, and Henry will be more bearable after she knocks him off his high horse a few more times. Or at least, that's what I'm telling myself.


I do like Wentworth's lighthearted romantic sensibility. 

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text 2020-03-28 23:16
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Case Is Closed - Patricia Wentworth

Ok, I had a hunch about some of the developments, but I'm not sure what to make of the last 20% of the book.

I didn't enjoy them anywhere near as much as the first 80%.

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text 2020-03-28 20:17
Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
The Case Is Closed - Patricia Wentworth

Yeah, so this happened: I set out to make dinner but couldn't quite set the book aside. At all. 

So, what was going to be potato salad is now ... mash, because, no the potatoes definitely overcooked.


Let that be a lesson, fellow readers: Do not read AND cook anything that depends on timing or doesn't go "ping" and switch off by itself.


Anyway,...I now have wine. (Check out the label! I could not resist. It's tasty, too.)


As for the book, I LOVE IT!!


I was so hooked on Hilary's adventure that all I could think was "This is what The 39 Steps should have been like!"


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text 2020-03-28 19:58
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
The Case Is Closed - Patricia Wentworth

Seldom have I seen such unanimity on the odiousness of a character as the updates are showing directed towards Henry. I'd feel sorry for him if I, too, didn't find him utterly awful. Will he be redeemed by the end of the book? I really can't remember.


No Miss Silver yet.


I actually am finding the mystery quite intriguing, though. I've read enough of these in a short time that I can't remember whodunit or how it happened. I have a bit of a recollection, but I can't put it all together. 


I'm also reading The Burning Room by Connelly at the same time - alternating from hour to hour. And I've made a list of about a hundred ten to fifteen minute projects and I''m trying to do five or six of them a day (drawers to declutter, cabinets to empty & wipe out, etc). This morning I pulled everything out of corner cabinet with a pair of lazy susans that had some spills on it ages ago that I never bothered to clean up - I just took them out of service. I decided to clean them and put them back into service as my pantry, storing my rice, dried beans, etc. 


Next up I have four small drawers in my craft room that I don't even open because they are full of junk. Time to go through them & get rid of the stuff related to crafts I don't do any more and put them back into a full rotation as storage. That's the project for this afternoon.

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