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Cats Literature Reviews

June 2021 and Mid-Year Reading Recap

Sigh.  Well, I think posting a monthly (and even half-year) reading recap a full three weeks into the next month has to be some sort of record, even for me, but here we are.  And I admit that at this point I’d even been contemplating holding off another week so as to combine this with […]

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Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Five Red Herrings

Dorothy L. Sayers is occasionally accused of having gotten too caught up in her research for a given book; and the two mysteries that routinely come up in this context are The Nine Tailors (bell ringing, published in 1934) and, well, The Five Red Herrings (1931), which, although chiefly concerned with fishing and painting, also […]

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Literature Reblogs Reviews

Georgette Heyer: Duplicate Death

This is the penultimate of Georgette Heyer’s Inspector Hemingway mysteries, and while in other books Hemingway and his former boss, D.I. Hannasyde — as whose sergeant Hemingway appears in the first four novels of the eight-book arc — occasionally make reference to previous cases they’ve been involved in, outside of the fact that the four […]

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Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds of Witness

June being Dorothy L. Sayers’s birthday, a revisit of her books was in the cards anyway — and speaking of which, the topic of this year’s summer reading project pretty quickly also determined which books I would be picking: Clouds of Witness, where card sharping is a key plot element, and The Five Red Herrings, […]

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Literature Reviews

John Steinbeck: The Moon Is Down

My final venture into John Steinbeck’s oeuvre in the context of the (Dead) Authors in Residence challenge, and once more I found confirmation of everything that made me a fan of Steinbeck’s all the way back in my teens: vision and prescience of judgment, exquisitely fine characterization and, perhaps most of all, infinitely great humanity. […]

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Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

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Literature Reviews

Graeme Kent: Devil-Devil

This book (and series) had been on my radar ever since I first started to put together reading lists for my Around the World project.  A mystery set in the Solomon Islands, with a Lau policeman as one of the major characters — and set in the time period immediately prior to the end of […]

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Literature Reviews

Graeme Kent: One Blood

My experience with book 1 of the Ben Kella and Sister Conchita series was encouraging enough to move on straight away to the second book, which started vigorously enough with the death (murder?) of an American tourist — or was he? — in the tiny church of the Gizo Island mission where Sister Conchita has […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Mystery of the Blue Train

Agatha Christie hated this book.  While she was trying to write it, her little daughter kept distracting her and demanding her attention.  The plot is not an original idea but, for the first time (of what would eventually be multiple repeat occasions), she had chosen to expand an idea first used years earlier in a […]

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Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: Murder Included

Joanna Cannan was chiefly known, until her death in 1961, for three types of books: her novels examining British interwar society, the mysteries she published from the early 1930s onwards, and her pony books for young readers.  A keen horsewoman herself, Cannan passed her love of all things equine on to her daughters Josephine, Diana […]

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Literature Reviews

Joanna Cannan: They Rang Up the Police

They Rang Up the Police was Joanna Cannan’s first-ever mystery.  It is one of only two books featuring Inspector Guy Northeast, an investigator forming, as indicated in my review of Murder Included, the polar opposite of that book’s D.I. Price: Of humble rural origin, Northeast is the perpetual, quintessential outsider in Scotland Yard; he is […]

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Literature Reviews

Ursula K. Le Guin: Lavinia

The final six books of Vergil‘s Aeneid (half the epic’s length, until its abrupt and arguably premature ending) deal with Aeneas’s arrival in Latium and the hostilities ensuing after the Latian king, obeying a prophecy, promises his only daughter Lavinia’s hand to the Trojan warrior.  Now, this being a heroic epos setting out to chronicle […]

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Literature Reviews

Martha Grimes: The Man With a Load of Mischief

Until not so very long ago, Martha Grimes’s Richard Jury series used to be one of my standard “go to” mystery series; it had everything that I’m looking for: well-constructed puzzles, great characters and settings, snappy dialogue, and plenty of sardonic humor.  (Also, if you thought that Elizabeth George was the first American novelist to […]

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Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes

My May 2021 reading included one totally predictable binge: It’s Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth month, and I still had the complete Sherlock Holmes Canon as read by Stephen Fry that I’d acquired long ago sitting in my Audible app, waiting for the perfect moment to indulge … well, I figured this was it.  However, I […]

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Literature Reviews

Martha Grimes: The Old Fox Deceiv’d

The Old Fox Deceiv’d was the first-ever book by Martha Grimes that I read, and whatever other details of its contents I subsequently forgot, it opens with an image that instantly grabbed me and stayed in my mind as vividly as when I first read it decades ago, and it’s in fact the one pictured […]

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Literature Reviews

Ann Cleeves: Red Bones

Ann Cleeves’s Shetland series became a “go-to” series for me, whenever I am looking for a profoundly atmospheric (preferably Scottish) setting, with its very first book, Raven Black.  Needless to say, I’m also a huge fan of the TV series starring Douglas Henshall as the series’s protagonist, Jimmy Perez; never mind that in the books […]

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Literature Reviews

Val McDermid: Still Life

After Ann Cleeves’s Red Bones, another May 2021 armchair visit to Scotland; though this time to Edinburgh — with brief but significant excursions to the English Midlands, Ireland and Paris, that is.  (France yet again, too — after I had already read Agatha Christie’s Mystery of the Blue Train, Georges Simenon’s Maigret’s Holiday, and Arthur […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

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Literature Reviews

Michael Jecks: The Chapel of Bones

I was in sore need of something more substantial after my foray into Georgette Heyer’s version of Regency England, and Michael Jecks is one of the authors on whom I’ve long been able to rely in order for this sort of thing — and fortunately, he came through for me yet again.  The Chapel of […]

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Cats Literature Reviews

Ursula K. Le Guin: No Time to Spare

Ursula K. Le Guin is an author I’ve only started to discover very recently.  I knew that she fought hard against the qualification as a genre (sci-fi / fantasy / speculative fiction) author; and she has always had all my support to the extent that “genre” is used as synonymous with “less worthy” (or, as […]

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