24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Book:
Read a book that is set in Japan or featuring Japanese characters; or read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.
I’m claiming the audiobook I listened to yesterday and the day before, Deborah Crombie’s Dreaming of the Bones, as my book for Japanese Culture Day (academic setting: Cambridge University).
This is not a highly original story, and there’s a bit too much exposition for my taste at the beginning; also, the wannabe-creepy flashbacks via the first victim’s letters (from the 1960s) didn’t do much for me — and there’s a blatant direct steal in the back story from a Miss Marple mystery — but overall I ended up liking it much more than I’d expected after the first couple of chapters: Chiefly for the characters, who were very well drawn (particularly so, the key supporting characters) and the Cambridge and Grantchester atmosphere; as well as for one particular storyline involving a 12 year old boy. It’s not the first book in Crombie’s Kinkaid / Jones series, but it’s one that finds them at a key point in their relationship and the back story is reasonably well told, so it didn’t feel like coming to the series without any prior knowledge (as I did) was a major disadvantage. Others might rate it lower than I ended up doing, though (I hovered between 3 1/2 and 4 stars and ultimately decided to be generous for the boy’s and the supporting characters’ sake, whom I rather liked).