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Ringing In the New Murder Monday

What I Bought While Staying With my Family

Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin, a tiny, super-pulpy-looking book called The Angry Amazons by Carter Brown, and a beautiful 1966 hardcover edition of Ngaio Marsh's Death at the Dolphin under its even more beautifully ridiculous American title, Killer Dolphin -- only it's this muted beige and grey avant-garde cover design with no caps, so the title is rendered: ngaio marsh, killer dolphin -- a waifish Left Bank whisper.

Also, one of my brothers gave me The Daughter of Time, in the sincere hope that I hadn't read it yet, and my other brother gave me back the two Sayers books I had lent him earlier this year, one with its cover newly missing. So it was a Very Merry Murdermas at the House of B..

What I've Just Finished Reading

When we left for the airport on the 23rd, I was almost finished with The Cuckoo's Calling but had to abandon it (it was a sturdy library hardcover and wouldn't fit into my luggage). The first thing I did when I got back on Saturday was to read the last three chapters. They did not disappoint: the reveal is not a shocker, structurally speaking, but the reveal scene was beautifully cathartic and had some well-paced surprises of its own, plus the best and most ridiculous possible way for Robin to learn about Strike's prosthesis after he spends four hundred pages stupidly and stubbornly trying to hide it from her, plus an excellent epilogue that introduces, at the last minute, a brand-new sharply drawn character who tugs the entire story into a new shape. This was an immensely enjoyable mystery, Cormoran Strike is an ideal detective along every axis of fictional detective virtue, and I can't wait to read the next one.

What I'm Reading Now

The Complete Novels of Dashiell Hammett was also left behind due to bulk. I decided to start with The Maltese Falcon because I've already seen the movie. Hammett wastes absolutely no time and it's fascinating. Everyone is described in cartoonish terms, but the overall effect is not cartoonish -- it's more like the narrator is just a fraction too high to be trusted with a narrative, but is putting forth a tremendous amount of effort to maintain.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
lost_spook
Jan. 4th, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC)
That is a sadly restrained killer dolphin indeed, but I'm glad it's a nice copy! :-)
evelyn_b
Jan. 5th, 2016 03:58 am (UTC)
It's like the title was SO EXCITING they had to marshal all their powers of typography to keep it clamped down to manageable excitement levels!

I might take a picture to show to everyone.
lost_spook
Jan. 5th, 2016 09:46 am (UTC)
LOL!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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