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text 2018-09-22 15:25
Reading progress update: I've read 169 out of 299 pages.
Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers

"You are too easily surprised," said Mr Towkington. "Many words have no legal meaning. Others have a legal meaning very unlike their ordinary meaning. For example, the word "daffy-down-dilly". It is a criminal libel to call a lawyer a daffy-down-dilly. Ha! Yes, I advice you never to do such a thing. No, I certainly advise you never to do it. [...]"


Anyone else tempted to try this word on a British lawyer? Well, I looked the meaning of it up and it might be best to leave it be.


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text 2018-09-22 13:49
Reading progress update: I've read 129 out of 299 pages.
Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers

He unfolded the letter, which was written in Miss Climpson´s old-fashioned flowing hand, and ornamented with such a variety of underlinings and exclamation marks as to look like an exercise in musical notation.

"Oh, lord!" said Parker.

"Yes, it´s worse than usual, isn´t it? - it must be of desperate importance. Luckily it´s comparatively short."


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text 2018-09-22 11:03
Reading progress update: I've read 85 out of 299 pages.
Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers

Miss Climpson´s letters to Lord Peter are a hoot:


This Miss Clara was evidently rather a "character", as my dear father used to call it. In her day she was considered very "advanced" and not quite nice (!) because she refused several good offers, cut her hair SHORT (!!) and set up in business for herself as a HORSE-BREEDER!!! Of course, nowadays, nobody would would think anything of it, but then the old lady - or young lady as she was when she embarked on this revolutionary proceeding - was quite a PIONEER.


I totally adore her writing-style.


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review 2018-09-22 08:39
The Wicked Baron by Mary Lancaster
The Wicked Baron - Mary Lancaster

Gillyflower "Gillie" Muir is straddling a line. She needs to host card parties at her home, a mere six months after her father's death, or risk destitution. On the other hand, she's ostracized by the "good" women of the little town of Blackhaven, including a countess, because of those parties. It looks like no one truly knows what is looks like to have to earn a living. And then an enigmatic stranger enters Gillie's dull and dreary life.

David Keath, the tenth Baron of Wickenden, is bored and tired of his persona of the Wicked Baron. So he decides to come to the coastal town of Blackhaven partly as a favor to his ex-mistress and partly to relieve his boredom. Little does he know the "hussy" that's supposedly bewitched his ex-mistress's son, is as far removed from a gaming-den temptress as she could possibly be...And that he will end up bewitched in the end. But first, he has to save Gillie from her various messes...And then from the one he put her in.

This was a cute, funny, quirky little story that certainly would've deserved a higher rating if it wasn't for the fact it didn't seem it took itself very seriously.

I loved the heroine. She was a genuinely good person, thinking of everybody else first (even the Wicked Baron) but herself and when she loved, she loved fully, without reservations, and was willing to do anything first to save the man she loved and then to keep him.
The Wicked Baron, on the other hand, needed some marinating time to ingratiate himself. He always seemed to have an ulterior motive for all he did. Even after the original ulterior motive was known, there still seemed like there was something brewing in his head, and he pretty much remained an enigma for the entire story and even at the end. I actually more scenes told from his point of view, since his feelings for Gillie seemed rather rushed and out-of-the-blue.

The rest of the cast provided a nice little backdrop for these two protagonists, from the brawny servant, to the slightly deaf aunt, the seemingly flighty brother, the earnest pretender for Gillie's hand, the dragon-y matron, the good-natured count and his sisters...They were a quirky bunch and they worked both inside the story and to compliment the two protagonists.

Then there were the various sub-plots. The romance was as quirky as the rest of it, sweet from the heroine's part, slightly hole-y from the hero's part (it felt like there were scenes missing, to connect the appropriate dots and believe what we were presented). The suspense seemed added more as an afterthought than an actual sub-plot in order to push Gillie and Wickenden together and once more, there appeared to be something missing. Why was Wickenden on the beach that night when the traitors were captured? Did he come to Blackhaven for that as well, or did he just tag along for the fun of it? Also, what happened to the traitors afterward?
This wasn't the only hole in the plot, or a loose end. We never got to learn the truth about the Spanish woman, for example. Was she who she claimed to be or just someone seeking a better life? Why didn't Kit make a bigger fuss that night on the road? Supposedly, Gillie made him see reason, but we didn't see that scene at all, etc.

There were bits and pieces missing throughout the story; scenes or mere sentences to bring it all together and make everything make sense in the end. Hence the quirkiness. Not only in the cast of characters, but in the story itself.

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text 2018-09-22 07:33
Reading progress update: I've read 66 out of 299 pages.
Unnatural Death - Dorothy L. Sayers

"Oh, gods of the wine-flask and the board, how long? how long? - it is a ham sandwich. Goth, but not an ordinary one. Never did it see Lyons´s kitchen, or the counter of the multiple store or the delicatessen shop in the back street. The pig that was sacrificed to make this dainty tit bit fattened in no dull style, never knew the daily ration of pig wash or the not unmixed rapture of the domestic garbage-pail. Observe the hard texture, the deep brownish tint of the lean; the rich fat, yellow as a Chinaman´s cheek; the dark spot where the black treacle cure has soaked in, to make a dish fit to lure Zeus from Olympus. And tell me, man of no discrimination and worthy to be fed on boiled cod all year round, tell me how it comes that your little waitress and her railway clerk came down to Epping Forest to regale themselves on sandwiches made from coalblack, treacle-cured Bradenham ham, which long ago ran as a young wild boar about the woodlands, till death translated it to an incorruptible and more glorious body? I may add that it costs about 3s. a pound uncooked - an argument which you will allow to be weighty."


Leave it to Sir Peter to have a drama queen moment about a ham sandwich. Poor Parker. I like to think that he is rolling with his eyes precisely at this moment.


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