Sunday, April 28, 2013

Middle Sister's April 2013 Books

Despite a crazy work schedule and a writing assignment and final exams to grade, I did manage to get four books read this month.

  • Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black The latest in the Aimee Leduc mystery series set in Paris. These are not cosies, with grim stories and gory murders. This one is no different, except that we get to spend a lot of time listening in to Aimee as she struggles with finding out more about her mother while trying to solve the murder of an elderly gentleman whose Modigliani painting has vanished. Was I surprised by who her mother was? No. Did I enjoy the murder and mystery? Partly. Grim murders always depress me, but I enjoy art mysteries, and despite the Lenin-Modigliani connection (I have no idea if such a connection ever existed, but Black creates a realistic connection between the two), I enjoyed this one. Did I enjoy the last page? No. Most definitely not. I don't want to ruin the book for any who might pick it up, but not being a fan of long story arcs and fictional soap operas, the last page ruined an otherwise engrossing book for me. (NetGalley ARC on my Kindle)
  • Death of a Kingfisher by M. C. Beaton Count me among those who will confess to a slight fictional crush on Hamish MacBeth. And while I haven't read all 27 books that preceded this one, you don't have to in order to enjoy these cosy police procedurals (now there's a contradiction in terms) set in a tiny town in Scotland. The murdered bodies were strewn about and quite numerous in this one, and Ms. Beaton is not afraid to let bad children be bad. A visit to Lochdubh is always a pleasant excursion. Well, as long as you're not one of the victims. Two of my favorite in one book--mysteries and birding--of course I enjoyed it. (Audiobook)
  • Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley Yes, I wish I were Flavia de Luce, all grown up. This is the latest in the erudite series starring a chemistry-loving pre-teen English girl, her older sisters (they don't get along) and widowed father (very eccentric), living in a rambling old mansion in 1950s England. This may be the best mystery series to have been published in the past 10 years. Even if you didn't love Nancy Drew as a child (Flavia is no Nancy Drew, trust me), or cosy mysteries, you cannot help but enjoy a series that is so well-written, so finely drawn, so, well, smart. You'll learn a little bit about chemistry, too. Who wouldn't enjoy, sure as shandygaff, the rollicking good time a book with Flavia ensures? (NetGalley ARC on my Kindle)
  • Brush with Death by Karen MacInerney The latest in the Gray Whale Inn mystery series. As usual, Ms. MacInerney's physical descriptions are wonderful--the winter snow and ice numbing the bones, the sparkling clothes worn by one regular character, all are well written and draw the reader in. And she's not afraid to kill off a recurring character, which is refreshing (albeit sad). But my enjoyment of a pleasant-enough story was marred by the terrible Kindle formatting and even worse editing. Missing quotation marks and hyphens, and spaces inserted where they don't belong, pale beside egregious errors like a secondary character whose name changes (Zelda is called Vivian, and it's not a mistake on the part of the speaker); Natalie muses how glad she is she made a spare lasagna the month before that she can serve surprise guests, and the next page muses how glad she is she made a spare lasagna the week before. I've not noticed Midnight Ink Press having this many obvious errors in any of the other books they've published, but when someone who's just reading for fun and escape (like me) notices the mistakes, they have to be prolific and obvious. (NetGalley ARC on my Kindle)

No comments:

Post a Comment