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text 2017-09-23 15:03
Reading progress update: I've read 357 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

Finished; full review to come as part of my next bingo update.  Right now, my head is still too much in a whirl, brimming with the names and information that Edwards has crammed into it.

 

The book's final chapters explore specific topics and methods of narration pioneered by some of the classic crime writers: psychology -- the forerunner of thrillers and suspense novels such as by Minette Walters, and Ruth Rendell in her Barbara Vine identity --, serial killer stories, inverted mysteries (think "Columbo": you know whodunit; rather, the thrill lies in the cat-and-mouse game between the killer and the detective), and irony as a narrative method; as well as taking a look at some writers that, despite having published one successful crime novel, never wrote another (nicknamed "singletons"), as well as at the major early to mid-20th century represetatives of crime fiction in the U.S., on the European continent, and in South America (well, really just Argentina) and Japan; and finally, the books that stylistically built a bridge towards the crime writing of the second half of the 20th century, as well as today.

 

My reading lists culled from the book, for those who are interested, are up to chapter 15 at present:

 

The "100 Books" specifically presented -- and

Other books mentioned:

Part 1: Chapters 1 - 5

Part 2: Chapters 6 & 7

Part 3: Chapters 8 - 10

Part 4: Chapters 11 - 15

 

... with the lists covering the final chapters due to follow once I've caught up on my bingo reviews -- and some real life stuff that is interfering with my reading pleasure at the moment.

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review 2017-09-23 03:38
Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark
Just Take My Heart - Mary Higgins Clark

Click Here for my thoughts on the book. 

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review 2017-09-22 16:42
Stars Behaving Strangely
Noumenon - Marina J. Lostetter

A convoy of ships is sent out to investigate a star with unusual properties. To ensure the success of the mission the crew is selected very carefully for positive character traits, then cloned. The clones are sent out on a journey that for them will last around 200 years but due to the peculiarities of sub dimensional space travel about 2000 years pass on Earth. Obviously things don't go as predicted.

 

The story is less about what the crew find when they reach the star as about societal interaction on the outward and return journeys and the way the crew rearranges itself every time things don't go as planned. As far as that goes it was quite interesting. I personally would have liked to have spent more time at the LQPix, the star of their destination. Also, the ending didn't gel for me. It was obviously done to introduce a sequel but seemed a little forced. On the plus side, I liked what they found when they returned to Earth, that was quite unusual. I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars: most of the concepts are not new and have been done better at one time or another and the author couldn't make the science seem credible for me but as the science was only a small part of the whole that wasn't too much of an issue. The package as a whole however was entertaining and I would definitely buy a sequel.

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text 2017-09-22 11:15
Reading progress update: I've read 219 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

From the chapters covering some of the key locations of classic British mysteries (the countryside, including and especially country manors, as well as London -- of course -- and domestic and international vacation resorts), we've now moved to an exploration of how the various writers used their "original" professional experience in their writing, and how classic mysteries worked when set in the worlds of science, engineering, politics, teaching -- and of course, the world if the professional investigator, the policeman. 

 

I find I am particularly enjoying these chapters; while those dealing with the various geographical settings were a huge enterprise of cramming as many titles into the introductory chapters as possible (with considerable "name recognition" value -- this is, after all, the Golden Age mystery world 101, and you can't possibly read classic British crime fiction without coming across at least a fair share of the novels mentioned in those chapters somewhere or orther eventually) -- now we're back to an analysis as to what exactly made the novels, and their writers and protagonists, tick ... and how it impacted the various storylines.  That, in addition to being introduced to a plethora of new authors to read, was a major draw for me in the initial 5 chapters, too, where the focus was on how the "conventions" and hallmarks of classic British crime fiction were shaped.

 

Now off to working on another "books mentioned" reading list ...

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text 2017-09-22 00:06
Reading progress update: I've read 158 out of 357 pages.
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books - Martin Edwards

Up to the end of chapter 10 now, and we've moved into the territory also covered by Edward's short story anthologies: Serpents in Eden (countryside crimes), Murder at the Manor (country house crimes), Capital Crimes (London mysteries) and Resorting to Murder (detectives solving crimes while on vacation), and finally, Making Fun of Murder (books satirizing the genre -- so far, not also the topic of a short story anthology).

 

I'd been planning to create one single "other books mentioned" list for all five of these chapters, but it turns out Edwards really went overboard on this one ... so I ended up with an 80+ book list just for chapters 6 and 7 (the two countryside chapters):

 

http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/829/martin-edwards-the-story-of-classic-crime-in-100-books-other-books-mentioned-part-2-ch-6-10

 

-- with further lists to be created for the next chapters separately.

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