Several books that were not so good this month … and one blindingly good one (at the bottom of the page)
The Case of the Nudist Numismatist
by Jack Dearborn (author), Ellen Dearborn (editor)
Another case for American detective Miles Grant, this time he has to solve the disappearance of a very valuable coin. The investigation progresses in an orderly manner, eliminating possibilities in a logical manner.
As usual Miles engages his wife as his sounding board which brings his family situation into the scope of the story. This opens up a family conversation about the rights and wrongs of the naturist life style some members of his family have adopted.
Not great literature but it is a fun read.
Fun 4 Stars
by P.A. Choi (author)
Light fluffy short story about a naked protest on a college campus., from the prolific pen of PA Choi.
Fine if you want to read it.
Short and Signifying Nothing 2 Stars
A Dress the Color of the Sky
by Jennifer Irwin (author)
I wanted to enjoy this book … I didn’t.
There is nothing wrong with the writing. The plot is a little far fetched; a sex addict in therapy, trying to save a relationship with a man who is planning to marry another woman.
The voice didn’t work for me and coupled with the plot issues, I couldn’t read more than a few pages at a time … until I gave up.
NOT FINISHED – No rating
They Rang Up the Police (Inspector Guy Northeast
by Joanna Cannan (author)
This a wonderful little detective story was actually written in 1939 and reflects the social mores of the period.
Out of favour Detective Guy Northeast is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate the disappearance of one member of a household of women, which turns into a country house murder. Before he can make progress he has to overcome the class prejudices of the era.
A rather well crafted book.
Good Read – 4 Stars
Death in Dulwich (The London Murder Mysteries )
by Alice Castle
The main character is a thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane. She has a young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of the rather affluent Dulwich .
She starts a new a job and on her first day her immediate boss is murdered. For some reason she decides that she must be the main suspect and sets to clear her name.
A cozy crime story, pleasant enough if some of the characters are not much more than ciphers. Others I found to be a bit artificial. Read it or not, it isn’t going to change your world.
Cozy Reading 3 Stars
Hide and Seek PARIS-SXM
I picked up the publicity for this book in a resort shop on St Martin, and didn’t get round to reading it for years. Thankfully.
Alternate chapters tell the story from either side of a dysfunctional romance. Dysfunctional because both characters are not who they claim to be. He is an undercover cop. She is on holiday and has created a more colourful persona for the event.
However, I found the double point of view story telling slow and often uninspiring. You know the factual basis of the second of each pair of chapters before you read it, although you might get a better understanding of the motivations and perceptions … it wasn’t enough.
I ended up skipping chunks and the entire last third of the book because to be honest I didn’t care enough about the characters.
NOT FINISHED – No rating
The Man with No Borders: A Novel
by Richard C. Morais (Author)
It is a time of reckoning for José María Álvarez, an aristocratic Spanish banker living in a Swiss village with his American wife. His has led a long and very interesting life, which includes a lot of salmon fishing. Or butchery of salmon by the hundred. Which he sells to hotels four or five days later, ungutted, no refrigeration, in Spain? Just as well it is fiction and an allegory.
That said this is the best book I read this month by a country mile. Well written, imaginative and engaging. You know the ending from the very start of the book. However, the narrative twist and turns like an alpine road, to the left, to the right and the doubling back to where you began, well almost.
I loved Richard C Morais earlier book The Hundred Foot Journey, I think that this is an even better book