Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta novels were something of a guilty pleasure for me during the '90s. Enjoyable and addictive page-turner crime thrillers wPatricia Cornwell's Scarpetta novels were something of a guilty pleasure for me during the '90s. Enjoyable and addictive page-turner crime thrillers with a generous helping of pathology and forensic science detail, which appealed to my otherwise dormant inner science geek.
But by this stage in the series - Cause of Death is the 7th Kay Scarpetta novel - Cornwell had well and truly lost the plot, both figuratively and literally.
At her best, Cornwell had always written rather plodding, uninventive prose, but as the series progressed any pretence at literary merit flew out of the window along with her dictionary. And the plots managed the seemingly impossible feat of becoming both formulaic and at the same time ludicrously outlandish and unbelievable.
While it might be true that writing series genre fiction is by its nature inherently formulaic, I'm not sure the formula should be quite so transparent and simplistic as it is here and in the subsequent Scarpetta novels.
Paul Sheldon's "No. 1 fan", Annie Wilkes, might have kidnapped the author in Misery in order to ensure that he didn't kill off his heroine, Misery Chastain, and thus end the series, but I'd be willing to bet that even the most ardent of Cornwell's fans would be more inclined to hold her hostage in order to prevent her from churning out any more of this bilge.
If you're new to reading Cornwell my advice would be to start with her first novel, Postmortem, read the series in chronological order and stop while the going is still reasonably good. And whatever you do, don't touch the Judy Hammer/Andy Brazil books (Hornet's Nest, Southern Cross etc.) with a ten foot barge pole.
Unfortunately for me, a fondness for Scarpetta's unfeasibly sexy FBI/ATF agent lesbian niece, Lucy Farinelli, has kept me plodding doggedly through the novels well after their prime. But now, thanks to a timely intervention in the form of Lucy's rather out of character sexual preference U-turn, even I've been freed from my addiction to this tosh....more
Acerbic, rapier-sharp wit and clever word play at its absolute best.
I can't wait to read a book so egregious that it warrants the use of Parker's wittAcerbic, rapier-sharp wit and clever word play at its absolute best.
I can't wait to read a book so egregious that it warrants the use of Parker's witticism, "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force" in my review.
If, like Parker, your motto is, "If you haven't got a good word to say about anyone, come sit here by me" then you'll surely love the witty put-downs, sharp one-liners and cleverly crafted gags contained within her collected articles, reviews and poems....more
Calling this illustrated lesbian sex guide "The Lesbian Kama Sutra" was, in my opinion, raising expectations to a level that unfortunately the guide dCalling this illustrated lesbian sex guide "The Lesbian Kama Sutra" was, in my opinion, raising expectations to a level that unfortunately the guide doesn't live up to, and merely inviting unfavourable comparisons.
I really liked the fact that the guide's illustrations included an eclectic range of works of art depicting sex between women through the centuries, but I often found the black and white pencil drawings of sexual positions unintentionally hilarious rather than erotic. (Although that might say more about me, than the illustrations themselves. *g*)
And I found the first 50 or so pages in which lesbianism was discussed in a cultural and social context a little superfluous in what purports to be a sex manual.
If you've ever wondered what lesbians do in bed, then this book will satisfy your curiosity. But if you're looking for a lesbian version of 'The Joy of Sex', or hoping to become a lesbian 'sexpert', then my advice would be to look elsewhere....more