The Ever-Running Man by Marcia Muller

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Every few books in this series Muller likes to dig into the lives of one or two of the regular (or at semi-regular and familiar) characters from the series. She juggles it all up and we end up with character development too as everything moves on just like things do in the real world. This approach to changing the series works really well for me.

This time it’s Hy Ripinsky and his business partners, the slightly shady Renshaw and Kessell, who run a big security firm who are getting the McCone investigative treatment.

Marcia Muller would have to write a truly dreadful book for me to think it was bad, but even accounting for bias towards a favoured author I’m glad to say that this is still quality mystery writing with no sign of deteriorating.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 16th July 2007.

The Art of Detection by Laurie R King

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I’ve been wanting King to write a new book featuring Kate Martinelli for years. It looks like I read the last one at the end of 2000. I was wondering if she’d given up on the series. Though actually when I saw this book was coming out I felt a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a Mary Russell book as I’ve been enjoying that series too. You can’t please me :-)

Anyway, this book turned out to be a bit of both. Mary Russell doesn’t feature but King has put her Sherlock Holmes & Conan Doyle knowledge to work as the victim in this mystery is a rather obsessive Holmes fan & collector.

It’s nice to meet up with old friends. Pretty good.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.

Underground London by Stephen Smith

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A fascinating tour around all kinds of things to be found under London: sewers, tube tunnels, Roman remains, wine cellars, flood defences, to name but a few. Of course the author’s really after the truth about secret government tunnels and the like as well. All really interesting – there were a few chapters I cracked open thinking “hmm, not very exciting” but even if the locations weren’t great the author got some decent stories out of them.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.

The Forgotten Island by Sasha Troyan

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Eleven year old Helen spends the summer holidaying on an Italian island with her parents and thirteen year old sister Lea. The story examines the relationship between the sisters and Lea’s disappearance. I thought the story and atmosphere were sound but found the writing a bit self conciously literary in places and a bit repetitive sometimes. Overall a pleasant little read though.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

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The story centres around George, newly retired and going a bit nuts. Most of the reviews I’ve half read say that the story is a family comedy based around mental illness, blah, blah, blah. From my point of view they look like a pretty normal family and George is at many times saner than the rest of his family. (This is probably casting aspersions on my family, never mind.) I liked the family a lot – they come to life in three dimensions. The comic element worked for me too and I’m not really a huge fan of funny books, it definitely wasn’t “let’s laugh at the crazy people” which would have turned me off. The ending could be seen as a bit too “happy ever after” but you know it doesn’t work like that.

Good one all round.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.

The Masks of Darkness by Patricia Hall

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Nothing wrong with this book really; quite an interesting plot based around a murder in a small Yorkshire town 20 years ago with possibly linked happenings in the present day too. Cast of decent characters. It just didn’t really set my imagination on fire. I wanted to read on and figure out the plot but I didn’t really care about it much.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

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Loved this. It’s very short, only 166 pages before you start accounting for the three or four blank pages between each of the five chapters, but it’s the right length to tell the story. Any longer and it would have been a different book. The story all takes place on Edward and Florence’s wedding night though the narrative takes in what happens before and after too.


More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Borrowed.