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review 2017-10-19 08:23
Blunt Instrument
A Blunt Instrument - Georgette Heyer

Here's the thing about most Golden Age mysteries:  the puzzle is all.  No matter how witty or clever or brilliant the writing is, it's almost never about the characters themselves, but about the murder mystery puzzle.  Which is, of course, why I read mysteries; I love the puzzle and I love trying to solve it.  But unfortunately, if the reader does solve the murder/puzzle, there's not a lot of characterisation to fall back on; solve the puzzle and the remaining story can be tedious.

 

I solved this one on page 88-89.  I don't think I did anything particularly clever, just that a certain passage hit me a certain way and it all became clear to me.  The only thing I ended up getting wrong was the relation of the murderer to one of the characters and then only because I imagined the murderer to be the wrong age.

 

I didn't dnf, or skip to the end to see if I was correct solely because, when Heyer is 'on' with her writing she is on, and this is one of her better writing efforts, even if the plotting went astray (and I've found out her mysteries were all plotted by her husband).  The story behind the mystery plot is a farce and Heyer thoroughly caricatures everyone except Hannasyde.  The dialog was electric and even though I was thoroughly impatient with Neville at the start, I thought him wildly entertaining by the end.  I wanted to keep reading just to see what he'd say and do next. 

 

So, 2 stars for the plotting because... page 89.  There was never any doubt on my part that I was wrong.  But an extra star because the characters are Heyer at her wittiest and most hilarious.

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text 2017-10-19 03:39
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 118 pages.
The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

Ok, I'll admit it. Part of the reason I skimmed through Pietr le Letton was because I really wanted to crack open this book.

 

Wish me luck with my bedtime reading!

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review 2017-10-19 02:58
Pietr le Letton by Georges Simenon
Pietr Le Letton - Georges Simenon

Series: Maigret #1

 

I admit that I started skimming before the halfway mark but didn't drop it entirely because I wanted to see whether it went anywhere. It sort of did, but I really wasn't impressed by a "mystery" where the supposedly great detective just follows a suspected criminal around because he doesn't have enough on him to arrest him. There was very little detecting going on; it was almost all tailing.

 

Perhaps the series gets better. I'm pretty sure I've read another Maigret that was an ok read but this first book really doesn't want me to pick up any others.

 

At least this book let me reach my French book goal for this year. I need to pick better French books in general, though, because it seems that I rated the majority of my French choices as one-star reads. Ouch.

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text 2017-10-19 02:33
Reading progress update: I've read 233 out of 278 pages.
Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics) - Martin Edwards

I just read two very entertaining stories, that were clever little whodunits considering the extra-thin page-counts on both: 'Razor Edge' by Anthony Berkeley, and 'Holiday Task' by Leo Bruce. shall have to seek out novels by the two of them...though Berkeley I have already read in a longer form and under the name Francis Iles. Helen Simpson next, and I hope her tale can compete with the double-dazzle effect I just had tonight!

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review 2017-10-19 02:04
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place: A ... The Grave's a Fine and Private Place: A Flavia de Luce Novel - Alan Bradley

Flavia is back and I can't get enough of it. She is a little melancholy but who could really blame her. Her life seems to finally go back to normal (well, her normal) when she finds a dead body while on vacation. In a town famous for previous murders Flavia just might end up solving more crimes than attempted too.

 

I was bit wary when I started to read this latest installment based on what had happened in the previous book. I wondered if everything would change. Thankfully for both Flavia and the reader's sake things didn't change all that much. If anything I loved the fact that Flavia and Dogger teamed up to solve the murder. I can't wait to see if they team up more in the future.

 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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