March 11, 2005

Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King

I'm a longtime fan of British mysteries, particularly the traditional British detective type of mystery. The series that begins with this book has turned me into a Sherlock Holmes fan. I know it's a little backwards to become a fan of the original by first becoming a fan of revisionist fiction (or, when we're at home with ourselves, glorified and published fan fiction), but there you have it. That's how I got into it.

More spoilerish type review ahead ...

It's a good exercise in the whole suspension of disbelief idea at first: that Sherlock Holmes would actually take a woman as an apprentice, that he would eventually fall in love with her, and that it is reciprocated by this woman who is about 40 years his junior. I grant that there are relationships between older men and younger women that are intellectually-based. I'm one of those who's dated and been much more comfortable with men ten to sixteen years my superior in age.


Anyway, the book won me over. I put aside all of that disbelief because the writing was good. The historical details were intriguing, the pace was great, and later books in the series are richly detailed. So. Yay. I'm sucked in, and I read every published book in this series within two months of reading this first one. That ought to say something.

Posted by Erin at 2:33 PM

April 2, 2003

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

One of the funniest books in the Stephanie Plum series. This is -- you probably already guessed it since it's a book that I read -- a mystery novel that's part of a larger series. Fortunately they're numbered so they can be read in order by those who aren't so OCD they check publishing dates. I'm firmly in the OCD group, so I've been going through them for a little while; this was a re-read at Adelle's recommendation.

It's a hilarious book that's lightweight and just FUN. There are no pretensions to literary greatness and there's a whole lot of tongue-in-cheekness in these books. I mean, what else could you do when you're writing about a bumbling bounty hunter from Jersey with a penchant for fried chicken, getting her car blown up or otherwise mangled, and men who make her bones melt?

Yep. That's not even bringing Grandma Mazur or Lula into the mix. As an aside, I love these but they seem to appeal primarily to women. I'm not too sure why. Of course, I'm biased toward a novel that talks about the protagonist's crush on a hockey player.

Posted by Erin at 12:59 PM

March 27, 2003

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The book is better than the movie.

Much, much, much better. And you should know that I love the movie. The book just has so much more character to it; there are layers upon layers of author and editorial notes that tell a story of their own. You can't quite distinguish reality from the fiction, and that's one of the points of the book. There's also background and history and context like you wouldn't believe. Ever wondered WHY Fezzik had a holocaust cloak? Read the book.

Just read it. I was lucky enough to read this in high school as an assignment. Part of one of my exams was to write a "reunion scene" for the end of the book - I still think it was one of the best things I ever wrote.

Read it and enjoy.

Posted by Erin at 1:02 PM

March 25, 2003

An Anniversary to Die For by Valerie Wolzien

The continuing mystery adventures of WASPy, rich Susan Henshaw, a housewife in Connecticut. I think Wolzien loves to write this character; Susan seems like a genuinely nice mother, wife, and friend who is involved in her community and just happens to have a LOT of money at her disposal. The money is never a character in the novels -- at least not for Susan. It's an interesting glimpse for me since, while I might be WASPy, I'm not rich, a housewife, or in the Northeast. :-)

That said ... well, it's just another adventure. I had this one figured out pretty early. It says something that I can't even remember the resolution of the novel; it just didn't seem important. It's almost like the murder portion of this mystery novel only had the purpose of serving as framework for the updates in Susan's life. Those updates are one of the aspects I truly enjoy about this series - the characters move through time in a realistic manner. Susan's children were in middle and high school when the series started. Now the youngest is in college and the eldest has graduated and gotten married. I like it when time actually progresses in novels.

Posted by Erin at 1:11 PM