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Murder and Rumors of Murder Monday

What I've Finished Reading

The House by the River totally fulfilled all its promises and delivered a suspenseful but ultimately pretty harmless good time. Alison and the undercover detective dig up the Darke patriarch's secret racket, the earl and his daughter realize that they are only being courted as extra protection against scandal if the big insurance scheme fails and back away quickly, Alison's mysteriously deserting husband [spoiler!]turns out to have a wife somewhere or other whom he thought was dead but is really alive, so Alison's fake marriage is invalid and she is free to marry Noel Darke, who has spent a lot of the book unconscious. Also, the mad brother isn't really mad; he just found out about the family business so Pere Darke and his confederates bullied him into doubting his senses. Now that the game is up, he's going to make a full recovery!. Oh, and in the very last paragraph there's a ghost.

Florence Warden is described on this book as "England's Anna Katherine Green," which reminds me that I was supposed to look for something by Anna Katherine Green.

What I'm Reading Now

The first few chapters of The Murder at the Vicarage are perfection itself. This is the first appearance of Miss Jane Marple, whom the vicar-narrator's young wife calls "the worst cat in the village."

"And she always knows every single thing that happens -- and draws the worst inferences from it."

Griselda, as I have said, is much younger than I am. At my time of life, one knows that the worst is usually true.

Everyone's got a secret, but no one's been murdered yet. That state of relative grace is obviously not going to last much longer.

Still reading Murder Up My Sleeve, which is . . . interesting. Gardner's mild cinema-serial pulpiness isn't really my style, and it seems the price you pay for a racially diverse cast of characters in 1937 is that whenever there is a disagreement, all the characters will start talking about the "nature of [their] race." But it moves a lot faster than The Case of the Careless Kitten and the convolutions of the plot are reasonably enjoyable instead of tiring. Philosopher-sleuth Terry Clane's "Oriental" powers of concentration feel very comic-bookish to me, but the comic books probably got them from stuff like this.

What I Plan to Read Next

Either Tana French or more Christie, depending on whether the library has The Seven Dials Mystery. Maybe something else.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
lost_spook
Jan. 16th, 2017 05:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, and in the very last paragraph there's a ghost.

Clearly, this sort of thing is the reason I will need an e-reader one day. :-)

I had to re-read The Murder at the Vicarage for Yuletide, and it is a delight, pretty much, I think. I hadn't read it for a while and was almost surprised, because it had partly been over-written in my head by a stage production of it I saw. It was good, except for the fact that the person playing Griselda was projecting her voice rather more than the provincial theatre warranted, which is off-putting. (It also confuses me, because in the play there is a lovely bit where Miss Marple suddenly confesses to the murder, which - probably not a huge spoiler - doesn't happen in the book.) But I had forgotten that I liked Griselda and Len as much as Julian and Bunch. She does some nice vicarage couples. Her vicars don't seem to be into strangling, happily. (I also watched the BBC version: not as good as the book, but Paul Eddington was Len, which is excellent, obv.)

I've never read any Tana French or Erle Stanley Gardner.
evelyn_b
Jan. 16th, 2017 06:06 pm (UTC)
It's just a joy to read. Griselda and Len are super charming so far. And the great theme of Miss Marple, "you young people are so innocent" is already in full flower. <3

"I know, dear Mr. Clement, that there are many ways we prefer to look at things. But one must actually take facts as they are, must one not?"

Tana French is, so far as I can gather, a Serious Sad Crime Writer who will break my heart, which I don't know that I want exactly. But she is also supposed to be good and her books are set in contemporary Dublin, which I have some interest in. So we'll see. Erle Stanley Gardner is. . . interesting.
chez_jae
Jan. 21st, 2017 03:11 am (UTC)
It's no fun if there's no ghost until the last paragraph.

:D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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