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text 2017-09-23 00:48
Reading progress update: I've read 38 out of 498 pages.
The Alienist - Caleb Carr

I'm reading this one for the serial/spree killer square, which will get me a BINGO once it's filled and called! 

 

I read this book years ago, right around publication in 1994. At that time, I read a lot of crime/mystery fiction, but very little historical mystery. This was one of the books that really changed that, along with Anne Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, which I also picked up at around this time.

 

My memory is that I really liked the book, and really enjoyed the atmospheric turn of the century New York setting, but that it was quite graphic. Memory says this is a four to four and a half star read - it will be interesting to see how it holds up to my current reading preferences!

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review 2017-09-22 19:53
The Crime at the Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
The Crime at Black Dudley - Margery Allingham

I read this one for Country House Murder, and it is a good example of that particular type of mystery. It would also work for Murder Most Foul and Amateur Sleuth

 

The Crime at the Black Dudley is designated as the first of the Albert Campion mysteries, but as others have noted, his appearance is pretty minimal. The main character is Dr. George Abbershaw, who seems to be at Black Dudley primarily to cement his relationship with the adorable Meggie. 

 

Shades of The Big Four, Abbershaw and his friends seem to have stumbled into some sort of an inexplicable criminal gang conspiracy involving a German man who is referred to as the Hun, who plans to set the place on fire and burn them up with it. The plot is bizarre, convoluted and somewhat incomprehensible. No one seems to be able to figure out why Campion is there or who invited him. 

 

I am going to reserve judgment on Allingham and her detective, since I don't think that this book is a particularly good example of her work. As a country house mystery, it was just all right, no where near as good as The Mysterious Affair at Styles or Peril at End House. As a detective, Campion isn't flattered by comparison to Poirot and his leetle grey cells or Peter Wimsey and the fabulous Bunter. 

 

The next book in the Campion series is Mystery Mile, but I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off digging deeper into the series. Martin Edwards mentioned Traitor's Purse & The Case of the Late Pig in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books, and I've heard good things about The Tiger In The Smoke, so I'm thinking of trying one of those the next time I give Campion a try.

 

 

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text 2017-09-21 14:20
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll) - Tami Hoag

I ended up only liking two characters (Wendy and Tommy) both kids. The adults in this book were terrible, and one of the kids was a sociopath. I don't think the book hung together very well and the ending was weird. 

 

I know that I read these books backwards (I started with book #3 and then read book #2 this year) but besides the books taking place in the 1980s they are nothing to write home about.


The sexism and misogyny at play with a lot of the characters was surprising. There was a stereotypical gay best friend that had me cringing inside. Also, I don't think this character (Frannie) even shows up in the second book.

 

At one point Detective Mendez asks if one of the victims is involved in risky behavior. Apparently going to bars = risky behavior.

 

I can't even get all hot and bothered about this though cause the book was boring. It was a lot of going back and forth and the FBI profiler (Vince) being a horn dog to the school teacher (Anne). And I am still baffled she was even interested in him. And we had Vince acting inappropriately towards one woman who dared to be mean to Anne. It was just gross. There's a line about him being primeval in that moment and wanting to protect his mate and I just rolled my eyes.  

 

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review 2017-09-21 05:21
Murder Past Due
Murder Past Due - Miranda James

From the comments I've been getting, quite a few of you have read this book so I'll keep it brief. 

 

Murder Past Due follows library archivist/amateur sleuth Charlie Harris and his trusty sidekick Diesel as they try to solve the mystery of the murdered mystery writer. Trouble is, Godfrey Priest is disliked by the majority of people in town and the suspect list just seems to keep growing. Can he solve the crime before his young boarder, Justin, is wrongfully arrested? Will Diesel ever get the head pats he so desperately wants?!!!

 

Silliness aside, I really liked this one. It's probably the most solid cozy mystery I've read. The plot was focused and there were a lot of clues leading throughout the story. It was a lot of fun to read and see what surprising twist lay ahead. The who-done-it made sense and didn't feel cheap at all. Overall this is just a really nice, really solid mystery. 

 

Diesel is, of course, my favorite character. In my opinion he's the best character in the book. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. On the one hand, should a cat really be outshining all the other characters? On the other hand, is it possible for a cat NOT to outshine everyone else?

 

My biggest critique is sometimes the dialogue, specifically the character's speech patterns, drove me nuts sometimes. For example, the way Justin called his mom "Mama" every time. Just felt weird for an eighteen year old to do. I speed read through Peter's scenes because I just couldn't stand the way he talked. I give James credit for really giving her characters unique voices, I just wish she made it more realistic because it did get very obnoxious. 

 

Final rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars, amended from the 4 stars earlier. It's a great book, little cheesy, but it has a cat and is just really cute. 

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text 2017-09-21 02:33
Reading progress update: I've read 45%.
Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll) - Tami Hoag

What is happening in this book right now??

 

“She’s got spunk, sticking up for her kids. I like that,” he said. 

He looked at Mendez out the corner of his eye. “Have you asked her out?” 

Mendez startled at the question. “What? No! I’m in the middle of a case.” 

Vince shrugged. “A guy’s gotta eat.”

“I just met her yesterday.”

“So? I just met her an hour ago.” Mendez stared at him.

“You asked her out? She’s young enough to be your daughter!”

“Yeah,” he said, grinning. “But she isn’t.”

“I can’t believe you asked her out! In the middle of all of that, you asked her out.”

 

Ughhhhhhhhh! Women are being kidnapped, tortured, and murdered but yeah let's ask someone out in an inappropriate manner. Lord.

 

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