Sunday, November 10, 2013

September Reading

55. In The Woods - book 1 in Dublin Murder Squad series
by Tana French
mystery, 2007
Kindle book
finished 9/24/13






I had been advised by old friends who know my reading preferences that this series was probably not for me, and from the little I had read about it, I agreed. So why did I read this? I was wooed by hearing the author on the Diane Rehm show. You may listen to it hereI did alright with this one, but could read only a little of the second in the series, The Likeness without getting thoroughly creeped out. I had been reading on the Kindle and, as you may know, the Kindle is for bedtime reading only for ease of holding 'the book.' I think I'm going to try the paperback and read it downstairs during the daytime. I do want to continue on with these characters, and think I can do it as long as it isn't just before sleep. I was actually dreaming the story on the nights I read it. Impressionable me. :<)

In The Woods features one of my favorite crime novel devices - a case from the past intersecting with a current crime. And this book has a particularly interesting slant in that the detective was actually involved in the earlier one. Three children went into the woods one day twenty years ago and only one, the detective Rob Ryan came out. Weaving memory and facts and personalities in and out of the story, Tana French has written an excellent book. There are twists and turns aplenty, and I was riveted all the way through. Just that Blair-witchy cover is enough to scare one.


54. Someone: A Novel
by Alice McDermott
fiction, 2013
Kindle book
finished 9/22/13



I’ve read that some think this book rather slow and that nothing really happens. Well, that is just my cup of tea. I like the mundane, the quiet, the regular. I found it supremely moving, and I cared so much about Marie, the main character. The book is so beautifully written. If you’d like to know more details, and read a wonderful review you may visit here.


53. Charlie Chan Carries On - book 5 in the Charlie Chan series
by Earl Derr Biggers
mystery, 1930
Kindle book
finished 9/14/13



It is fascinating how many older books take place, at least partially, on board ship. That was the way to travel. If you wanted to go to other places you had to suffer the mal de mer. I had it once on a whale watching field trip and I spent that time in the bathroom throwing up. I’ve never felt so sick. It is an indescribable feeling. In this book Charlie takes a sea voyage to find a criminal. I am so enamored of these mysteries. When I finished, I saw that the 6th book The Keeper of the Keys wasn't available for the Kindle so I ILLed it from the library but didn't get a chance to finish. I just checked Kindle again, and it was there, so I bought it. 


52. Old City Hall - book 1 in the Old City Hall series
by Robert Rotenberg
mystery, 2009
Kindle book
finished 9/8/13


I wrote about this previously. If you'd like to read the book report, you may click on the title.



51. Calamity Town
by Ellery Queen
mystery, 1942
Kindle book
finished 9/2/13



I read this in advance of going to see a live performance of the story. Playwright Joseph Goodrich adapted the book and it was presented in a world premier in the very town in which Ellery Queen set the story, Claremont, New Hampshire. We saw it in a lovely old theatre, at an afternoon performance. We heard of it through a publication which has been mentioned here before, Old-Time Detection. The man who puts it together, Arthur Vidro, both directed and acted in the play which made a lovely experience even more special. Here is the blurb:
The first Ellery Queen novel set in the fictional town of Wrightsville, NH, has now been adapted for the stage by Joseph Goodrich. Set in the early 1940's, the story concerns life in a small New England town and how a crime affects one of the town's leading families. It is a sober drama containing a terrible crime, with one thumb always on the pulse of the town's wavering humanity. Produced by the Off Broad Street Players with full permission of the Ellery Queen estates. Directed by Arthur Vidro. 


I’ve read only a few Ellery Queen books, but each one was erudite and layered. There’s always a lot going on. The story isn’t pleasant to read in that there is a lot of cruelty heaped on people by their former friends. There was a little bit of the feeling of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery; not as vivid or blatant, but nasty nonetheless.

14 comments:

  1. Great books in Sept. I can't read creepy books in bed on my Kindle either...lol i do love them though. Anxious to try Someone myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really love creepy books, but I thought this one was less creepy, more detective crime story. But that second one's premise is weird. Really weird.

      Delete
    2. Yes, The Likeness is strange, but it might be my favorite of all of her books. You just have to be able to suspend disbelief.

      Delete
    3. The bit I read filled me with too much belief! :<)

      Delete
  2. Unusual for me to take a complete pass on anything you review, but In the Woods is definitely not my cuppa. Can't deal with that kind of stuff. On the other hand, the Alice McDermott is perfect.. slow, mundane, moving...my kind of reading (my kind of life). I already have Old City Hall on my Kindle and it's next. (I was finishing a Charles Dickens book I'd never read ...part of my personal challenge ... and also reading the latest Alexander McC-S .....Old City Hall tomorrow (the Precious novels are like reading a comic book, they are great while they last and they read really fast!!!)



    Envious of your seeing that play -- I remember reading a lot of Ellery Queen when I was younger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm trying to think of a book or series or author to compare it to ... maybe a little bit of Peter Robinson? Really not as creepy as the cover. The second one seems quite scary. This one was plain, good crime fiction, and well written.
      I bought all the Rotenberg books in print version.
      I also bought the new Mma Ramotswe. How I love that series.

      Delete
  3. Especially the first and second book on this post sound like something I'd like; they seem to be complete contrasts of each other, which is what I like in my reading experience every now and then.
    I love it that the play was performed in the very place where the original story was set! Seeing the picture of the actors reminds me of how long I have not been to the theatre myself - far too long!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they sure are different one from another! :<)
      Seeing a play live is a wonderful experience. Entirely different from a movie or tv.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like you reached a good compromise with French's book. I listened to In the Woods, but never in the evening or when I couldn't sleep at night. Trying to decide whether to read or listen to The Likeness.

    I hope to read Someone soon. The library hold list is quite long, so not sure whether my name will come up before the end of the year . It sounds like my kind of book, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm waiting to see when I'm brave enough to begin The Likeness. :<)

      Delete
  5. Loved Into the Woods and The Likeness. French's more recent ones have not been as enthralling for me as the first two, but I like that she uses characters from previous books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that too, and from what I've read each one focuses on a different character.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. I know! Arthur was really wonderful in his part. And he looks exactly as I pictured him. :<)

      Delete

I am really going to try and respond to your comments as soon as they come in! Please do come back if you've asked a question.
Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.