Showing posts with label Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mysteries. Show all posts

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Quick Rundown of my Christie Kicks Feelings

 Day ONE


What’s going on with me attempting to read Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles?  I’m 28 pages into the book and find myself uninterested.  Two things are occurring to me:

1. Given that Christie pretty much created every mystery trope, the reading is feeling rote (see what I did there).  I don't think it's necessarily the book, per se.  But the mood generated from the experience feels rote–I guess that's the word for it.  Here I was attempting to officially take on a Christie novel.  Yet, I've read so many mysteries and am so late to her that I'm bored with the template presented here.  I already know what is about to happen in Styles, not necessarily who will do it.  This leads me to my other problem…

2. Christie's characters are flat.  Now I experienced this realization before when attempting to read her first Miss Marple book before abandoning it.  Nevertheless, I thought I would get over this in Christie's first Hercule Poirot book.  Nah, man.  These characters are flat, 2D, and uninteresting.  Another problem I have, which is usual with me with any type of book, is the lack of illustrations behind characters, scenes, settings, everything.  There is no color here.  Just automatons are doing their master's bidding.  Heck, my reading of the first two Sherlock Holmes novels came close, but at least Holmes and Watson had character.  That's it, Christie's characters lack character... well… let’s just say dept.

So what shall I do next?  Mmmmmm.  I think I’m going to give myself more pages.

 

Day TWO


So, I managed to scoot up closer to the table and read up to fifty pages and found my interest in the book drastically improved.  Between the first 28 pages until now, the actual death has occurred and what an exciting scene it provided.  All the bells and whistles that tickle my mystery-loving fancy are on full display.  I am now on board.  I am now interested.  The death scene and Poirot's character/personality finally taking stage broke from the initial stale taste the book was giving me.  I am still not engaged with Christie's light writing style; as matter-of-fact, her style makes me hungry for some more of P. D. James's work.  I kept glancing at one of my shelves, wondering would it be appropriate to plug in another Adam Dalgleish book after The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  P. D. James is undoubtedly an evolution of Christie with both her literary style and emphasis on characters.  I stress characters.  James does character.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Leavenworth Case Quickie


I had to plot down my thoughts on Goodreads after finishing this book.  Very quick, very simply.  

"One of the elements of crime fiction/mystery novels that appeal to me most is how well the author can capture and capsulate what led to the resolution. Specifically with the confession of the culprit. WHY he/she committed the crime as well as HOW it was done walked backwards for the reader is HYPER important to me. It can ruin the entire experience when taken lightly by the author. A culprit's position is equally as important as the victim's. Anyway, The Leavenworth Case was the absolute BEST example of how I believe it can be done. I was about to throw four stars on it until Green stationed a whole chapter featuring the culprit's voice. She illuminated not only the machinations of the crime and why it was committed, through the killer's own flawed and backwards reasoning. But also how the individual's past left the susceptibility to have become a killer in the first place. So enthralled by it, I gave the book another star. :)"

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

FINALLYYYYY! An Update on Marcia Muller's Next Sharon McCone Mystery

Soooooo, y'all know I take the time every other day to look for new releases from authors I love.  And nothing is more punishing than waiting years between releases.  So I thought Marcia Muller was done with her Sharon McCone P.I. mystery series, after 2018's release of The Breakers.  Low-key... I was panicking a little about the woman and whether or not she was coming back.  You know, given how we lost Grafton four years ago.  Grafton's passing was the reason I buckled down in 2018 and read through the entirety of Muller's McCone series.  And, hell, I finished the series excited for more.  Sooooooooo, here we are YEARS later (and at the tail end of this craziness of 2020) with the announcement of the next Sharon McCone mystery.  I, naturally, just hate to wait until August for it.  UGH!  Anyway, I and many Muller readers finally got our answer in McCone's 35th case, Ice and Stone.


"Private investigator Sharon McCone goes undercover to investigate the murders of two indigenous women in remote Northern California in this gripping, atmospheric mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

When two women are brutally murdered in northern California, their deaths are the latest atrocities in a surge of violence targeting indigenous women in the area. Despite all evidence to the contrary, local officials rule the deaths isolated incidents, and they soon join the ranks of other unsolved homicides, quickly forgotten by law enforcement.

Private Investigator Sharon McCone knows better, and so does the organization known as Crimes Against Indigenous Sisters, who hires Sharon to go undercover in Eiwok county, a tiny region on the mountainous Oregon border, to uncover the murderer.

In an isolated cabin in the freezing, treacherous woods, Sharon must unravel a mystery that is rooted in ignorance, profound hatred, and vengeance -- before another victim is claimed."

Amazon affiliate link below:


Me heading to the bookstore come August 10th, 2021:





Thursday, December 10, 2020

UPDATED: 2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

1st BOOK SHELF

*Updated notes as of December 2020


I’m making this list because I’m tired of myself starting a new series, while having a series I already need to read hanging around my shelves.  


This list will be used to help me stay focused!  Other genres in-between will come as well.

Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown


Book #13: Cat’s Eyewitness

Book #14: Sour Puss

Book #15: Puss N’ Choots

Book #16: The Perrfect Murder

(The rest of the series I’ll check out from the library)


*Got absolutely NOWHERE here.  Very unfortunate, considering this was once a beloved cozy series of mine.  I honestly think I just grew out of it.


John Le’ Carre Smiley Spy Series


Book #3 The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold

Book #4 The Looking Glass War

Stand-Alone: A Small Town in Germany (This’ll be my first read)


*Didn’t get anywhere with Le’Carre.  I started to read his stand-alone, The Little Drummer Girl, back in August.  Unfortunately, I got distracted with other reads.  Specifically that of Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mystery series.  In that, I took on books 4-8 and made progress there instead.  I also made progress in Margaret Maron’s series.  So there’s that! 

Suzanne Arruda’s Cameron Del African Series


It is vital that I finish this series this year.  I only have five books left to read.  The last two I’ll have to order.  Nevertheless, I must finish this series in 2020.


Book# 3: The Serpent’s Daughter

✅Book #4: The Leopard’s Prey

✅Book #5: Treasure of the Golden Cheetah

(I have to order the following two for my personal library.  Will not do until I’m done with BOOK #5)

✅Book #6: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace

✅Book#7: Devil Dance


*OFFICIALLY DONE AS OF OCTOBER 2020.  I buckled down and knocked this series out.  I enjoyed finishing it the whole way, too.  I will say the 7th and final book, Devil Dance, was self-published.  Not that this was necessarily a factor, but the quality of the series dipped here.  There was a five year break between books 6 and 7, and I suspect the author didn’t have the same editor as previous.  Nevertheless, I completed the series.  Going to miss Jade del Cameron and her adventures. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

FauxCast ~ CHOP IT UP: Goldenboy by Michael Nava (Henry Rios Mystery #2)

Been a while, huh?  I read this book back in March–as a part of #MarchMysteryMadness–and recorded this soon after.  I guess I just held on to this recording as one proceeds to tackle other areas of one's life amid... well... we know what's going on these days.  With that said, this recording is completely unedited.  Normally I try to clean things up for you guys.  This time I'm trying to get my mojo back first.  LOL.  

Anyway, enjoy!   I also hope you're all well.  Staying safe and motivated.  And refusing to give up on whatever you're reaching to achieve.



Saturday, December 21, 2019

Crime and Poetry Detour ~ MAKE IT MAKE SENSE

THIS IS THE BOOK...


THESE ARE A FEW OF THE STRANGE MOMENTS...



Wellllll, she did discover the body.  She did see the scarf wrapped around the body's neck.  I mean... AFTER ALL.  Like, what the hell did she think?  The thought that the guy strangled himself really crossed her mind?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

FOLLOW IT UP ~ Shades of Earl Grey by Laura Childs

"Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is finally invited to a social event that she doesn’t have to cater—but there’s more than champagne bubbling… 

Theo is mingling with the cream of Charleston society at the engagement soiree of the season. But as they eagerly await the dazzling young couple’s arrival—the groom meets with a freak accident. The exquisite wedding ring—a family heirloom from the crown of Marie Antoinette—is mysteriously missing.

Theodosia suspects that trouble is brewing. But when she goes to the authorities, they treat her like she’s been reading tea leaves—and that’s the surest way to put Theodosia’s kettle on the boil…"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is a bit of disappointment in writing this post. Why? Well, I found the third book in Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mystery series, Shades of Earl Grey, uneventful and "gray". Earlier this year I did a video describing how I adored the series. I especially adored Childs’ red-headed amateur sleuth and tea shop owner, Theodosia Browning. Theodosia came across as the quiet type of character. She seemed reserved and soft-spoken. While standing as a determined type of character. I could see myself getting attached to her, as well as her murder mystery excursions down the road. You see, I gravitate towards the cozy sleuth who harbors a bold and witty and coy personality. Theodosia was the opposite, but she was cool. I adored my time with her within the first two books of the series.

Then came the third book, Shades of Earl Grey. Afterwards, my enthusiasm for Theodosia “regressed” a bit.

THE NOT-SO MURDER MYSTERY

But first things first–the actual story/murder mystery. So Shades of Earl Grey does contain a murder. And it's no doubt a murder of the wrong-place-wrong-time variety. Yet the book isn't about said death, per se. Instead the story orbits around the jewel-stealing, heist-plotting contrivances of a small-town cat burglar. This left some of the suspecting characters, as well as his or her various failings in connection to the victim, elsewhere. The need to care about the majority of the story seemed removed to me, as the focus wasn't on the victim (as in the dead one and not the victims of burglary, of course). This lacking may or may not be part of my eventual disillusionment with Theodosia from this entry. Either way these events need notice.

So back to my original point about Theodosia herself…

Friday, November 29, 2019

2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

Hi, folks.  I wrote this list in Google Docs and just wanted to share it.  I have GOT to get these series under control.  With that said, while I won't say this listing is "tentative" I will stretch around when needed.  This is from just one single shelf–out of four.  I also want to focus on this list to see what's going to stick around and what isn't. 
2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List
1st BOOK SHELF
I’m making this list because I’m tired of myself starting a new series, while having series I already need to read hanging around my shelves.  
This list will be used to help me stay focused!  Other genres in-between will come as well.
Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown
Book #13: Cat’s Eyewitness
Book #14: Sour Puss
Book #15: Puss N’ Choots
Book #16: The Perrfect Murder
(The rest of the series I’ll check out from the library)
John Le’ Carre Smiley Spy Series
Book #3 The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold
Book #4 The Looking Glass War
Stand-Alone: A Small Town in Germany (This’ll be my first read)
Suzanne Arruda’s Cameron Del African Series
It is vital that I finish this series this year.  I only have five books left to read.  The last two I’ll have to order.  Nevertheless, I must finish this series in 2020.
Book# 3: The Serpent’s Daughter
Book #4: The Leopard’s Prey
Book #5: Treasure of the Golden Cheetah
(I have to order the following two for my personal library.  Will not do until I’m done with BOOK #5)
Book #6: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace
Book#7: Devil Dance
Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley Series
Book #3: Well-Schooled in Murder
I have to either order or check out the following books in this series.  I’m still in limbo about my approach with this series.  Maybe after I wrap up a few other series will I come back to this one.
Nikki Bakker’s Virginia Kelly Series
(Will be completed with these three books)
Book #2: The Lavender House
Book #3: The Long Goodbye
Book #4: The Ultimate Exit Strategy
Charlotte Carter’s Nanette Hayes Series
(Will be completed with these two books)
Book #2: Rhode Island Read
Book #3: Drumsticks
Tanya Huff’s Torin Kerr Series
(Will be completed with these three books)
Book #1: An Ancient Peace
Book #2: A Peace Divided
Book #3: The Privilege of Peace
Tony Hillerman’s Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee Series
(Really excited to continue forward in this series.  I will not buy the following 3-book collection UNTIL I finished the one I currently am up-to-date with)
Book #4: People of Darkness
Book #5: The Dark Wind
Book #6: The Ghostway
Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody Series
This is probably going to take the longest.  I have all the remaining books in this series, and they’re all long-winded reads.  But, if able, maybe I can finish this series in 2020.  It’s possible with nine books left.  One or two books a month, perhaps?
Book #13: Lord of the Silent
Book #14: The Golden One
Book #15: Children of the Storm
Book #16: Guardian of the Horizon
Book #17: The Serpent on the Crown
Book #18: Tomb of the Golden Bird
Book #19: A River in the Sky
Book #20: The Painted Queen
I will focus on these series for the time being.  That is before starting any new series.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CHOP IT UP: The Little Death by Michael Nava (Henry Dios Mystery #1)

Published in 1986, The Little Death is the first book in Michael Nava’s Henry Rio legal mystery series. Henry Rios is a gay, Latino public defender based out of San Jose. At the opening of The Little Death he acquires a case involving of a young socialite named Hugh Paris. Hugh has found himself arrested for being under the influenced of PCP as well as in possession of it. Which turned into an arrest and battery of an officer situation for him. During Rio’s prodding toward building Hugh's case, the two become lovers. Until Huge turns up dead underneath a bridge.
A budding companionship soured by death; with a few bizarre family-related clues in hand, Rio begins to question Hugh's death. And it's here where Rio unravels dark, generation-long secrets surrounding Hugh's family. These secrets involve the wealth and control behind the patriarchal governing of the Paris family. With, of course, many resulting family murders to unbury.

The character of Henry Rios is a direct reflection of the author, Michael Nava, himself. Both identify as gay. Both are Latino. And both are attorneys. All three landed me this book into my "trust" box. I knew the author was going to give it to me straight (no pun intended) from all three angles. Yet, the glowing reason I wanted to read this book was because of the gay lead element in a mystery series.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

50 Pages a Day Keep the Good Reading... I Don't Know What Goes Here...


What’s on my reading plate after abandoning half of my October TBR?


"When V.I. Warshawski gets word that her close friend and mentor Lotty Herschel’s nephew has become a murder suspect, the legendary detective will do everything to save him. The cops found Felix Herschel’s name and phone number on the unknown victim’s remains, but Felix insists he doesn’t know why. Soon Vic discovers that the dead man was obsessed with Middle Eastern archaeology—the first clue in a bewildering case. 
But the trouble multiplies when Vic’s long-lost niece, Reno, goes missing. Reno is harboring a secret that may cost her her life. V.I. can hear the clock ticking on her niece’s safety and is frantic in her efforts to find her. She won’t leave any stone unturned until these very personal cases are cleared—a complex investigation that will entangle the Russian mob, ISIS backers, rogue ICE agents, a nefarious corporation preying on the poor, and a shady network of stock scams and stolen antiquities stretching from Chicago to the East Indies and the Middle East."

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