I’m a fan of cozy mysteries and this series set in Botswana , written by a Scottish man with a black female narrator are not only delightful but a ter...moreI’m a fan of cozy mysteries and this series set in Botswana , written by a Scottish man with a black female narrator are not only delightful but a terrific study in terms of point of view and voice, not to mention an exploration of culture.(less)
I love the way McCall Smith captures a fundamental simplicity and good will in Botswana society in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. This inst...moreI love the way McCall Smith captures a fundamental simplicity and good will in Botswana society in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. This installment, however, drags a little too much for my tastes and was not as tightly woven as previous segments. However, the book ties up a loose end from the earlier books and definitely lives up to the metaphor in the title in what I assume is an authentic African manner. If the next installment picks up a bit, this one might be regarded as one of those low ebbs in the flow of life and the series. I'll let you know.(less)
This is the best of Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan novels among the four I've read. I was impressed with depth of research that was involved in the...moreThis is the best of Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan novels among the four I've read. I was impressed with depth of research that was involved in the writing from the means by which an airplane might crash to the historic rituals connected with cannibalism. I've always used these books as interludes between more serious reading but this time I was delighted with the serious work that went into the writing.(less)
Blinded by the Light reminded me of the old game of Clue that we used to play when we were kids. It's a mystery in which there are a bunch of people i...moreBlinded by the Light reminded me of the old game of Clue that we used to play when we were kids. It's a mystery in which there are a bunch of people in the same room (or cabin in this case) who don't really know each other and a murder is committed. Who did it and what's the motive? There's no doubt that Morgan Hunt understands the elements of mystery and pulls them all together to make a reader continually question "who done it?" In this book, Hunt also adds some very interesting details, like setting the book in an art project: the Lightening Field, and having a character who is the museum curator of Area 51, a questionable segment of the desert that could be the landing site of aliens but is more likely a secret toxic waste dump. And then there is an optician who works on prosthetic eye pieces. A side story involves a budding romance with a rabbi who is working on a gene project to unit the Israelis and the Palestinians. Add to these a setting that spreads from the New Mexico Desert to San Diego beaches and it is clear that Hunt is adept with voluminous accurate detail. But therein lies the rub, at least for this reader. There was simply too much external miscellany to complicate the tale and not nearly enough psychological. Tess Camillo is a character who is full of witticisms, some times to an annoying extreme even though a consistent trait of her character. While the pacing of the book was a bit slow and the detail and witticism a bit much, I nevertheless read straight through with the typical curiosity aroused by a good mystery.(less)
Mysteries have long been recreational reading for me. About every fourth or fifth book, I read is a mystery sandwiched in between literary best seller...moreMysteries have long been recreational reading for me. About every fourth or fifth book, I read is a mystery sandwiched in between literary best sellers and stellar non-fiction. I've been meaning to get around to Patricia Cornwall and had picked up a few of her books at yard sales, but I was waiting until I found the first book in her Kay Scarpetta series before I dove in. Postmortem won numerous awards when it came out in 1990 including the Edgar and the Anthony awards.
For the first 100 or so pages, I was not overly impressed. As a fan of Kathy Reichs, I felt that Cornwall was not as good but then I realized that Reichs' first book came out 10 years after Cornwall's first Scarpetta book. Put in that historical perspective, I understood that she was the antecedent who set the stage for writers like Reichs. There are other historical aspects of this book that make it fun. For instance there are no cell phones AND the use of the computer was infantile compared to now and Cornwall does a terrific job of employing computers as part of the mystery with a degree of sophistication that was likely unprecedented at the time.
Postmortem is definitely a page turner that kept me up late two nights reading. I'll be reading more of Cornwall in part to see her influence on later mystery writers. (less)
When ever my life gets out-of-control busy, I turn to reading mysteries for bed time escape. My method of mystery reading involves finding a writer I...moreWhen ever my life gets out-of-control busy, I turn to reading mysteries for bed time escape. My method of mystery reading involves finding a writer I enjoy and reading all of her/his books from the first published. This is the 5th in Reichs' Temperance Brennan series. Admittedly, I'm getting pretty familiar with her plot pattern, but the books still do the trick as escape reading. She usually employs some effective social/political focal point around which to construct the plot, in this case Mayan genocide in Guatemala in the 1990s and stem cell research at the turn of the century. It's an interesting combo that she weaves rather well. Also, it's fun to watch a romantic sub-plot evolve over the course of these 5 books. Reichs puts together an enjoyable story.(less)