Saturday, October 31, 2015

Middle Sister's October Reads

October has been quite wet out here, and there was plenty of bedtime reading, listening to the rain spattering outside and the wind chimes softly tinkling. Ideal reading weather.

Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet I borrowed this book from the library based solely on its cover, I admit it. The description seemed right up my alley--murder in a small English country town, with a priest as the amateur detective. Well, there was a lot to like. There was a plan of the village on the flypaper (I love a book with maps); there were village eccentrics, some of whom I liked and some of whom were slightly annoying; there were some red herrings. But I didn't like our Anglican priest as much as I thought I would. I found it quite jarring when Reverend Max lectured a family on the apparel o their daughter at services. It added nothing to the plot at all, and just served to rile up my feminist sides. "Men need women to help set the boundaries--not the other way around." Excuse me? Men can't control themselves around a little female flesh? How outdated and infuriating an attitude, and since this was fairly early in the book, it didn't set me up to like him more.I didn't find his romance with Awena believable or realistic, nor his relationships with his bishop or the DCI. His bishop calls him in to counsel him against this investigating he's been doing (this is not the first in the series) and then ends the conversation by telling Max he'd better investigate this murder. At first the bishop is worried because Awena is not Anglican and then he's all for them marrying (of course, he doesn't know that she is essentially Wiccan). Which is it? DCI Cotton is a likable fellow, but the dynamics of their friendship pale beside that between Sidney (an Anglican priest) and Geordie (the DCI) in the Grantchester series. Mac/Cotton's relationship is almost a bromance, if I can steal that word from fan fiction circles. If I read another, it will be for the supporting characters, who were more interesting to me than the main characters.As for the murder mystery, interesting, but not necessarily believable in terms of coincidence. (hardcover)

The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Thyroid Disorders by Mario Shugor Factually accurate but offers nothing to the reader who is looking for advice on handling what appear to be endocrine-related symptoms but whose T4 and other values are within normal range. Little discussion of Hashimoto's disease, which is why I wanted to read it. (Kindle)

Lucia and the Diplomatic Incident by Tim Holt Luciaphiles, rejoice. This short story published originally in the Lucia society bulletin is now available as a Kindle short. The main thrust (that Lucia would read Miss Mapp's mail) was not convincing; my Lucia would not stoop so low, but would have guessed what the contents of the letter were from the return address alone. But it was lovely seeing my favorite characters in a new encounter.

Next month: my book club tackles the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, which is quite long and which I started the third week of October.

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