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A Medicinal Dose of Murder Monday

What I've Finished Reading

I came down with something last Tuesday and spent all day in a cloud of fever, confusion, and thirst, a condition which promoted the extreme coziness of The Red House Mystery from slightly off-putting curiosity to positive good. Antony Gillingham and his Watson are pleasant enough, but not exactly company, so I don't feel bad about forgetting them immediately. It was a fast read that made no demands and provided a tidy solution for a fairly sympathetic killer. In the end, Gillingham saunters off in search of more crimes to solve, because this is the sort of book where no one minds if you do that.

What I'm Reading Now

The Ampersand Papers begins with a situation a little like the one in Possession: Lord Ampersand's dead ancestor is discovered to have Literary Connections from back in the eighteen-odds, and suddenly all these irritating eggheads and women in scarves are trying to get a look at the family records for some reason. Lord Ampersand is a simple soul who just wants to shoot a lot of birds in peace, so he and his son haul all the papers up to the top of a derelict tower in the family castle, throw a bunch of other rubbish in to make it extra discouraging, and invite all the busybodies to climb the rotting outside stairs and poke around if they feel like it. This is meant to keep them off without tantalizing them by further refusals. It might work! Unfortunately, it might also lead to a suspicious-looking death on the premises, which is exactly what the back cover (along with the cover design and Penguin Crime logo) assures me will happen.

What I Plan to Read Next

That's it for the criminal element of my luggage until I get home (unless my resolve crumbles and I pick something up at a bookstore) so maybe nothing for a while!


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 4th, 2016 07:59 am (UTC)
Getting ready to read a set of books...as soon as the library gets them all in, lol!!


Dude. You'll cave...BOOKSTORES...
Jul. 4th, 2016 08:25 am (UTC)
I hope they all arrive TODAY and your week is full of books.

The sad truth is, I have already caved, but I can't actually read Um cadáver na biblioteca or O clube dos negocios estranhos from the beautifully cheap "Os Meistres da Literatura Policial" series because they are in Portuguese. :|
Jul. 4th, 2016 12:25 pm (UTC)
The Ampersands should know that messing up the literary papers like that will just awaken the eggheads' long-smoldering desire to be Indiana Jones. We have to climb a rotting outer stair, you say? Break out the grappling hooks!

Of course, eggheads have little experience with grappling hooks, so no wonder it ends in tragedy.
Jul. 4th, 2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
It does seem like a plan with a lot of potential to backfire. Having to climb some castle-dwelling nutter's rotting staircase and hunt around in a Rapunzel tower full of rubbish may be physically discouraging, but imaginatively? Think of the introductions they could write!

I mean, it would discourage me, but that's just Reason #5001 why I'm not cut out for academia.

Edited at 2016-07-04 02:38 pm (UTC)
Jul. 4th, 2016 01:35 pm (UTC)
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Jul. 4th, 2016 02:31 pm (UTC)
Slow day on Livejournal? Thanks for letting me know, automatic alert system!
Jul. 4th, 2016 02:47 pm (UTC)
I hope the Penguin logo doesn't let you down. I read a review of a history book Amazon yesterday about Joan of Arc complaining about the lack of explicit lesbian action, eh??
Jul. 4th, 2016 02:53 pm (UTC)
I have faith in Penguin Crime!

Did the reviewer explain why they were reading a book on Joan of Arc for their explicit lesbian action? There are other books, after all. Did this book have a misleading cover?

Jul. 5th, 2016 02:04 pm (UTC)
The book is 'The Maid and The Queen' by Nancy Goldstone and the covers I've seen aren't misleading. The blurb makes it exciting:

Joan of Arc, the brave peasant girl who heard the voices of angels and helped restore her king to the throne of France, astonished her contemporaries and continues to fascinate us today. Until now, though, her relationship with Yolande of Aragon, the ambitious and beautiful queen of Sicily mother-in-law to the dauphin has been little known. In a stunning work filled with intrigue, madness, and mysticism, Nancy Goldstone solves the thrilling mystery by showing that if you pry open the Queen's secrets, you will find the Maid's. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, Yolande of Aragon championed the dauphin's cause. As French hopes dimmed, a courageous young woman arrived from the farthest recesses of the kingdom. But how did she gain an audience with a king? Was it only God's hand that moved Joan of Arc or was it also Yolande of Aragon's?"

The reviewer complains: Initially drawn to it by it's tantalizing title. Turning the book around it promised to be a heart pounding read with sentences such as "Was it only gods hand that moved Joan of Arc - or was it also Yolandes of Aragons?" and "if you pry open the queens secrets you will find the maids".

How empty these promises proved to be.

[...] there was never any scene of lesbian fiction. Not even a passage. The experienced and sexy elder queen doesn't even meet the maid in person! The maid on the other hand is far from the slutty and sensual, yet in tune with nature, peasant girl that was advertised.

All in all, Nancy Goldstone has done a fine piece of scholarly work however I think her subject matter is lacking and that the next time she chooses to write a piece of erotic history she finds a better setting for it. Maybe in those greek temples full of virgins, or perhaps a nunnery. That would be hot.

I think the reviewer managed to misunderstand the book's blurb somewhat! Still at least we can buy or not buy in confidence now.
Jul. 5th, 2016 02:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for saving me a trip to Amazon! I'm going to hazard a guess that this is a joke review. Someone saw an opportunity for innuendo and went for it.
Jul. 5th, 2016 03:13 pm (UTC)
I thought they may have written it to get lots of angry comments but nobody bit:)
Jul. 5th, 2016 08:17 am (UTC)
That's it for the criminal element of my luggage

LOl, it sounds as if you're smuggling contraband somewhere!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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