Archive for April, 2000

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Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman

In books read on April 24, 2000

This book was so slow to get going that I thought that I was going to chuck it. However once it did find its feet after about 100 pages or so I started to enjoy it a lot more and I'll definitely try the second in the series and see if Lippman has got into the swing of things.

Purchased on 28th February 2000.

Death At Bishops Keep by Robin Paige

In books read on April 24, 2000

It rather felt like reading a prequel rather than a real book. We're obviously now set up for a series and have an established cast to go into book two.

I just don't think I care enough to read it :-) The first half was alright, but the development and resolution were neither realistic enough nor comedic enough. I was urging someone on to kill off Jaggers but felt kind of disappointed when she actually did get offed.

Purchased on 29th January 2000.

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Fatal Remedies by Donna Leon

In books read on April 23, 2000

I enjoyed this quite a lot - I should probably have started this series at the beginning too - one of these days I'll learn! The writing, the characters and the setting were all well done. The only thing that I can find to fault was that I found parts of the plot a bit tenuously connected and I feel that some of the stray threads could have been better woven in. Four stars and the TBR pile pushed further skywards..

Purchased on 31st March 2000.

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A Place of Execution by Val McDermid

In books read on April 21, 2000

Abso-bloody-lutely wonderful. The reviewer quoted on the back cover says something along the lines of "McDermid may write better books in the future, but I can't see how." I can only concur - I'm a fan and I was never going to hate it but this was stunning. My scale is in need of recalibration, six point five stars.

(this is a standalone book)

Purchased on 11th April 2000.

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Time to Murder and Create by Lawrence Block

In books read on April 16, 2000

As in SOTF the plot here is a bit obvious, but I enjoyed the book all the same. Another short and sweet read.

Purchased on 31st March 2000.

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Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews

In books read on April 15, 2000

These comments are out of context; I originally made them in an email book group discussion....

I think she was trying to write an out and out humourous book with belly laughs from cover to cover, and I think she failed in that. However I found the book mostly amusing; there were good lines of dialogue and a few images that cracked me up (like when one of the ushers collapses in church and the other pick him up and carry him out "like pall bearers who have misplaced the coffin").

I didn't find the book overly long, but I did think it was too long to sustain the kind of humour the author seemed to be trying for. I'd have preferred to see more of the mystery and less of the slapstick.

The book did seem to drag from around about Eileen's wedding until Samantha's. I think I found the wedding planning more interesting than the actual execution of the weddings. There seemed to be lots of bits with no relevance to the underlying mystery.

Overall, I found it enjoyably smiley.

I thought some topics were treated a bit cursorily, um, like the mystery! Some stuff that could have worked in a darker comedy seemed out of place in this fairly light one, like the calligrapher on a drinking binge, it just didn't seem to fit into the mood of this book.

I think the author probably could have written a more serious book, but she'd have been better suited to a shorter one with some of the more tedious bits missed out and a bit more mystery.

Purchased on 28th February 2000.

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LA Requiem by Robert Crais

In books read on April 9, 2000

This book was nearly every bit as good as I was led to believe. I thought the ending was a bit fabricated but my main complaint is that I now have to go and read the first seven in the series. Grrr!

Purchased on 31st March 2000.

Mandarin Plaid by SJ Rozan

In books read on April 5, 2000

Loved it. I'd heard that it wasn't as good as Concourse but I was delighted to be back in Lydia's head. If this is the worst Rozan can do I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.

(this is book 3 in the lydia chin and bill smith series)

Purchased on 28th February 2000.

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Killing Me Softly by Nicci French

In books read on April 4, 2000

I loved French's first book The Memory Game, but wasn't so impressed by her second. This third book is more a suspense thriller than a murder mystery. It plays psychological games with you again but is still not as good as The Memory Game. Good but not brilliant.

Purchased on 31st March 2000.


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