Jane’s group is for diving into books we were uncertain we would like! I joined her nature and birth date themes too. Those are easy to update at my original posts. This theme entails explanations. Most of what I read is a 300-page investment of time. I read at night and unless I am swept away at a gallop, I read in a few sips; 2 to 3 nights. If I finish three of these, I will be happy. J.G. offers prizes and this forum, for me to dig in.
(1) “Death Of A Cad” Marion C. Beaton 1987
Marion Chesney Beaton is a very popular authoress, whom I collected vastly, including first editions. I treasured Scotland with my spouse in 2009 and maintain a love for the Celtic countries. It is the reason I created “Celtic Coasts“. When I finally read “Death Of A Gossip“, I loathed it! I try to find the good. I loathed it like I seldom loathe other books, in every aspect. My review tactfully itemized. them I waited two years to try this second book, which took even more trouble to obtain that the first.
The update is that I glanced 24 pages into “Death Of A Cad” and still couldn’t bear the writing or external characters. They dominate the first chapters, so even though I still have no skepticism about falling in love with village constable Hamish Macbeth and his case-solving talent; I can’t bear wading through the other garbage. People arguing, the stereotypical aristocratic snobs, Marion still did not quickly introduce the atmosphere of a mystery…. I sighed at the 30 books I must own by this author, flipped a few later pages, and decided the best use of my time is to sell the Hamish series unread.
I *am* willing to try the first Agatha Raisin series. I am worried the writing style I loathe, of pointless description and brawling characters, might be present nonetheless. However I will not dismiss a whole other series. In order to afford the sometimes 200 books Ron & I score in a year, I do a lot of collecting before I try them. I have seldom disliked, to the point of not wishing to read any more, my selections. I have done well since last year, reading a suite of first volumes. I like what I am collecting. I don’t believe in not finishing, so I glanced through this novel’s first several pages as an audit. I do not consider this a “Did not finish”. Please mark this: “Confirmed that is is not for me“!
(02) “The Roman Hat Mystery” Ellery Queen 1929
Mysterious premises are too few, even though they should be easier to drum up! A hidden room or floor, a code, a diary, an artifact or treasure, someone’s past or heritage, a quest… This was a bore to get through and indulgent. Here is another rare case of putting a whole bunch of books by an author out for sale, unread. These New York detectives as stereotyped as they could be, in the crime genre I like least. I expected that of a pioneer in this genre. I have nothing against old times. I love a plethora of literature predating me; grew up on gothic mysteries! I flock to those kinds of oldies.
The men writing these crime cases exemplify the worst of what I dislike. People are berated and handled roughly by police. Richard Queen, the senior, grabbed by the neck a “manservent”, who lived with them since age 19! I recoiled. The denouement had to do with the “stain” of having a small amount of black heritage. This, I excuse for popular opinion of the time. None of the rest is exusable, ever. There are always people who know what is right. https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2QHUJ74EZDXZK/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
(03) “Body Of Evidence” Patricia Cornwall 1991
Her first novel and that of this long Kay Scarpetta series, “Postmortem”, was violent and disturbing. Kathy Reichs was so much worse, I decided to give Patricia another try. With Kathy’s first novel, I barely avoided something I do not do; not finish a book. She is another author I am selling without reading anything more. I peeked at her next introduction and the topic is even more horrific; a well of slain villagers. I fortunately started with Patricia’s less popular trilogy. I liked “Hornet’s Next” much better and loved her writing. It was the main reason I endured “Postmortem” and thought I would continue.
Thankfully sexual assault does not pertain to the story. “Body Of Evidence” much more traditionally focused on case-solving. Although the murder was unfortunately brutal, the book’s tone wasn’t depressing. I was surprised to find Kay moaning about a lost love that occurred long ago when she is independent and respected today but the suspicion of a love interest lent a personal angle that made the threads of this case matter. The police inspector is becoming a friend and we even travel to Florida, which we discover is her home. I think the book was brisker and brighter because we only see one hasty part of an autopsy and seldom enter her workplace. The whole book was about her being a sleuth and Frank Marino helping; with a series of small leads that grow into excellent detecting. I will continue this series I have almost entirely bought! https://www.amazon.ca/review/R3HWM53P9TI0VB/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
Update, January 5, 2018
Even though I targeted three novels for this theme and named others potentially, I got to 150 books this year. I was less keen about some, pushing myself with a good quantity of literature overall that I didn’t name. There was no failure and I tackled three that I named. I dismissed one assuredly and read the other two in earnest. I loved one enough that I enjoy both of Patricia Cornwell’s series. That its background is not only police but an autopsy team is saying something, when I am no fan of crime mysteries! I am bolstered for Jane’s new year, glad she has this unique forum for reporting about books we were unsure we would like and giving them a chance.
Jane requests treat ideas. Who wouldn’t be delighted! Mine are bizarre, modest, and fun.
* I would love to locate “Service For Two” by Kate Kingsbury! However, I have seen Jane’s giveaways, as a winner this new year 2018! After choosing one, I have my eye on Masaru Emoto’s revelations about water, the oldest one first and Kitty Burns Florey’s information about handwriting.
* I love flowers! Whether in pots, or outside everywhere; I love seeds. I offer seeds as one of my prize choices. I have ample Marigolds, cosmoses, bachelor’s buttons, and regular “tall” sunflowers. The giant “Grey Stripe” and other varieties would be lovely and anything not named. I can’t seem to find Poached Egg Plants this year. Thank you! This is generous and fun!
It sounds like you experienced plenty of “dread” but had a good time making the attempt, anyway, and that’s what matters, I would say. Thank you for participating! Sweeteners are on their way!
We will get that silly Kate Kingsbury novel and its sequel at a reasonable price but it seems to be the longest search. Did you find it? I can’t wait to see the blend of the other ideas! Is “The Soul Of The Octopus” being mailed by the Orion publisheers? I am excited wondering how many parcels there are. Thank you for all of this brightness and generousity, in all three of your groups! Happily, Carolyn.
It was a fun reading year for us both. Glad you had success with the challenge. I think all of us love flowers in our ways too.
Some of mine are still in the house and library, lasting as long as they like. :)