very, very impressed with 'The Mystery of the Green Room' by Pierre Very - probably among the cleverest, and one of the most entertaining, stories of the lot - but I will flag it as giving away much of the contents and trickery of The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux; it functions as a sort of tribute to that more famous Locked Room puzzle. in a way, I'm glad I hadn't read the Leroux masterpiece already, because anyone who has probably has a better chance of sussing out the finale of 'The Mystery of the Green Room'. and, I must say, I'm now kind of interested in seeking out Yellow Room, because it is obviously going to be a delight...if a good read slightly Spoiled...
only two tales left for me in this collection - because after 'Green Room', I knocked off 'Kippers' by John Flanders; it was a smart move to follow the Pierre Very story, with its emphasis on a puzzle, with 'Kippers' which was enjoyable in a completely different, and fairly nasty, way.
next is a story called 'The Lipstick and the Teacup', by a Dutch writer who apparently was a pioneer of Dutch Crime-writing: Havank. I made a point of reading two modern Dutch Crime writers recently - Saskia Noort and Esther Verhoef - both of which I enjoyed, though I'm still seeking a Dutch Crime writer who gets a full 4 or 5 stars for her/his effort (I have faith, based on experience so far).
An excellent riff on fairy tales. I'm not actually sure what to say about it beyond that. If you've read any of the discworld books, this one won't disappoint you.
I listened to the audiobook, and Nigel Planer did an excellent job, though I disliked his Magrat and Ella choices; his voices for them both made them sound dull and stupid. On the other hand, I've also listened to other Pratchett books narrated by Celia Imrie and I really disliked her Granny Weatherwax voice; Planer gets Granny just right - she's the crone without hurting your ear drums.
The plays on words are always my favorite part of Pratchett books and Witches Abroad did not disappoint (Emberella = Cinderella). I also loved the we finally saw Granny's magic in a very decisive show; I hope it won't be the only time we see it.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Upfront, it's pure fiction; other than the artists' names, their work, and the broad strokes of accomplishment, it's made up out of whole cloth.
This is the part I had issues with, I guess. I don't know enough about Degas, Cassatt, Morisot and Manet, with the result that I feel like this book has unfairly coloured my impressions of them as people. I'm going to forever be guarding against mixing up this story with the reality of 4 of the most talented impressionist painters who've yet lived.
But if you're able to keep fact and fiction seperate, this is a heartfelt, well-written story about people who might have taken the wrong turn at the fork in the road of life. It's slow-paced, but always interesting; I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a fast read. The end also has a high probability of making readers misty eyed of not weeping outright. Oliveira is very talented at creating a sympathetic anti-hero; one that you want to hug as much as you want to smack.
At some point though, I'm going to have to follow this up with more information about these artists and their real lives so I don't every accidentally try to pass off as fact the imaginations of Oliveira's mind.