logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: mysteries-thrillers
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-14 19:44
Whose Body? / Dorothy L. Sayers
Whose Body? - Dorothy L. Sayers

The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.

 

I hope that Dorothy Sayers would be pleased that people are still reading her Lord Peter Wimsey series in the 21st century, 50 years after her death. That said, this was very much a “first book” in the series. Lord Peter is very well named, it seems to have started a bit whimsically. Ms. Sayers was obviously finding out who this gentleman was and what he was capable of.

There are regular references to Sherlock Holmes, so Sayers was obviously conversant with Conan Doyle’s creation. Especially in the matter of the criminal’s need to confess and explain what he did and why he did it, something that I am unsure actually happens in real life.

I also found echoes of two of her contemporaries, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse. Lord Peter is an amateur sleuth, like Miss Marple, but he has connections in the police department rather like Hercule Poirot. His relationship with his butler, Bunter, is reminiscent of Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves.

I was very fond of Peter’s mother, the Duchess. She is a wonderfully intelligent & lively woman and I hope that she continues to feature in future installments.

It was an entertaining little book—unfortunately my copy had some major typographical problems. Every time the character “æ” should have appeared in a word, “¾” replaced it, making for some very odd looking words. Things went even further awry close to the end of the book, when Lord Peter speaks with a woman in French. All the accents, circumflexes and cedillas were replaced by symbols and numbers and made the conversation extremely difficult to parse out.

Though not the most scintillating mystery that I’ve ever read, it is better than many. When time permits, I will undoubtedly read further adventures of Lord Peter Wimsey.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-09 02:46
The 12.30 from Croydon (British Library Crime Classics) - Freeman Wills Crofts

What first attracted me to "THE 12.30 FROM CROYDON" was the cover art. On the cover is a teasingly attractive image of a 1930s fixed-gear airliner entering into the landing pattern a few feet above the Isle of Wight. Down below one can see the trappings of a port, docking area, and a ship in the distance. Eagerly, I picked up the novel and began to thumb through it. As advertised, this detective novel (which was originally published in 1934) "is an unconventional yet gripping story of intrigue, betrayal, obsession, justification, and self-delusion."

Rather than a whodunit, "THE 12.30 FROM CROYDON" looks at a murder of a retired businessman on an airliner from the vantage point of the killer, whose motives and mindset he shares with the reader, trying all the while to keep one step ahead of the police and remain free and beyond suspicion.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-06 20:14
Murder on the Orient Express / Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

I am surprised by how easily and quickly Dame Agatha’s books slip by. I can certainly see why this is one of her favoured books, loved by many. It does reveal Hercule Poirot at his best, exercising those little gray cells.

Now my reading of Anne Holt’s 1222 last year makes more sense—is it ever an homage to Christie and the Orient Express!

I can also see where it is nearly impossible for the reader to guess the ending of this one, so Christie – 2, Wanda – 0 so far with my Agatha Christie reading.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-31 20:01
The Fifth Petal
The Fifth Petal: A Novel - Brunonia Barry

The Fifth Petal is the second book in The Lace Reader series.  I really enjoyed the first book, especially with its setting of Salem and the witch history.  This novel is set several years into the future and it features some new characters along with some from the first book.

 

Callie is at the center of this book, having come back to Salem after decades away.  Salem holds a lot of memories for Callie, many of them too horrible to want to revisit.  But coming back forces her to confront her demons, both inside herself and those around her.

 

Like the first novel, the story blends magic, history, and thriller elements to create a rich story.  The characters are so quirky, even if you didn't like them.  The local witch at times seems harmless and at other times the femme fatale.  The romantic hero is one moment the privileged son of wealth, the next passionate about his work.  Callie is a healer, who uses sound and singing bowls as her healing modality.  And there is even a bit of old world feuding that has persevered for centuries, manifesting itself in unexpected ways.

 

I loved the story, but there was a lot going on at times that made it a lot to track.  There really were two major plot lines, that while they overlapped from time to time, could really have been two different stories.  One other thing to love... I loved Towner in the first novel so seeing her character's life now was wonderful.  She was such a tragic character in the first that it was good to see her happy in the second.

 

All in all, a great read!

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12323
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-01-24 19:12
The Lace Reader
The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry

I got the ARC of The Fifth Petal (review coming soon) from NetGalley, not realizing that it was the second novel in the series. So I purchased The Lace Reader. Being fascinated with all things Salem and its witchcraft history, I was really interested to see how it played out in this novel. And I absolutely loved it!

 

There was so much for me to like about the story, not the least of which was the structure. Prefacing each chapter was a snippet from a journal kept by one of the characters, called by the same name as the novel itself. More than just a random passage, they provided moments of foreshadowing for the rest of the book. Interesting, too, was the unique usage of perspective. I have read many books in alternating points of view, but not in this way. Towner’s chapters were all in the first person, while Rafferty’s were in the third. I have never seen the change in person as well as the change of POV. It was an interesting choice that I found I really liked.

 

Sometimes I read a novel that has ties to actual history and I find the ties too weak to be true relationships, skewing the history so much that it might as well be an alternate reality or history. Or the book will feel more like a history book than a novel. I found neither of these things to be true in any way. The nods to history were those that have long since been established, framing a story that was incredibly engrossing. The story was more than the Salem witches hook. It truly was the story of Towner, almost a coming of age, despite the fact that she was already an adult. It is a book filled with sadness, secrets, heartbreak, and fear, but it is also a book of acceptance, understanding, and love.

 

The characters in this novel are extremely varied. From Rafferty, the practical-minded cop with an open mind, to Towner, the tragic and damaged main character. The villain is truly frightening and reprehensible. May is one of those characters that makes you hate her at the same time as you may love her. But together, they create a cast that really drives the story.

 

Overall:  It is not always a happy story, to be sure. There is a lot of pain and sadness. It isn’t always easy to read, with Towner’s story and the flashbacks to her childhood. But it is a beautifully written story. Such a great read!

Source: thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/?p=12490
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?