Better than the last medieval mystery series I read that started out fairly normal and then just got weird. This stayed within reality and contained n...moreBetter than the last medieval mystery series I read that started out fairly normal and then just got weird. This stayed within reality and contained nice twists. It was nice to see a young woman in a medieval story ready and willing to marry some middle-aged man for a change.(less)
The series continues gently on its way: Mma Makutsi and her fiance buying a bed for their future together, Mma Ramotswe searching for a woman's lost f...moreThe series continues gently on its way: Mma Makutsi and her fiance buying a bed for their future together, Mma Ramotswe searching for a woman's lost family, and Mr. JLB Matekoni looking for a miracle for their adopted daughter. The detectives receive an anonymous letter berating them, and their reactions are differing. Mma Ramotswe takes it to heart. Mma Makutsi seems to view the world more equably with a wedding in her future - that is, until it rains. I really enjoy these books, not so much as mysteries, but as little slices of life, like a round slice of orange held up to the light, softly shining. Mma Ramotswe can make her mistakes, but can stand up to them and make them right again, and continues with almost Solomonic wisdom. (less)
Read the Kindle edition this time, while I was away. The footnotes, while fiddly, are handled well. You click on the link and it sends you to the end...moreRead the Kindle edition this time, while I was away. The footnotes, while fiddly, are handled well. You click on the link and it sends you to the end of the book for the footnote, then press "back" to return to reading. Also have the condensed audiobook read by Tony Robinson. It's a shame his readings of Pratchett's works are condensed because I love his characterizations. There is a problem with some of the lines being too soft to hear if you're listening while driving on the highway in a cheap car and, well, you just miss so much in an abridged story. Someday I hope to acquire the unabridged Nigel Planer version. Planer also does a first-rate job, but the cost of the audiobooks he reads are prohibitive unless you subscribe to audible.com .
This, the first in the Watch series, is a story about bitterness and how we handle it. Captain Vimes funnels his into (or out of) a bottle (or more than just "a" bottle), the spinster Lady Ramekin devotes her life to the care and welfare of pets (of a sort), and the bitterness of the Elucidated Brethren becomes incarnate. Along with Captain Vimes, we meet Carrot Ironfoundersson, the Disc's tallest dwarf, who wouldn't know bitterness (or a metaphor) if it dared to slap him upside his head; Cheeky Nobby Nobbs (the Disc's shortest non-dwarf); and the man with the lucky arrow, Sergeant Colon. We observe the Patrician's peculiar methods of employee motivation and pest control. As usual, Pratchett turns a fairytale inside out. A king is found to save the land from the predations of a dragon, but although the core story doesn't work out the way expected, it does work out to the satisfaction of the reader.
Highly recommended. In fact, it's a million-to-one chance you'll love it. Stands to reason.(less)
This book gets better the more I read it. It also contains one of the funniest lines I've seen in a long time, about Nobby's uncle who was press-gange...moreThis book gets better the more I read it. It also contains one of the funniest lines I've seen in a long time, about Nobby's uncle who was press-ganged. Jingo satirizes war and racial prejudices. Colon's lectures to Nobby should be required reading.(less)
I have revised my rating upward after this second reading. This could be a result of cresting the waves of the fabulous audio version by Nigel Planer...moreI have revised my rating upward after this second reading. This could be a result of cresting the waves of the fabulous audio version by Nigel Planer I listen to all the time, but I love the characters, I love the plot, and it's still funny! I can just picture Frank Langella as Salzella (especially after he played Salieri for so long). The chemistry between Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax really cooks in this one. Ohhh, and the squid on the ceiling! And Greebo! Oh! Oh! Oh! I'd better stop before it gets 5 stars.(less)
**spoiler alert** audiobook version I should have checked out the hardcopy as well, because I got partway through and then just wanted to get it over w...more**spoiler alert** audiobook version I should have checked out the hardcopy as well, because I got partway through and then just wanted to get it over with. There is a lot that's good about this book. It's not often we get to see a Moscow police procedural, or at least I don't. I'm hoping this has given me insights into the Russian character and the current conditions in Russia, but I don't have enough information on the author to vet his depictions. Again, the only problem I have is that it's not my sort of "thing." The characters, while more than two dimensional are drawn with a heavy pen. The reporter is not only Jewish ... but hunchbacked as well. The love interest is a doctor AND has Chernobyl scars. The filmmaker doesn't just make porn, he documents his own gang-rapes (in other words, he's not just pathetic, he's stupid). All this serves to make the narrative more "gritty," I suppose. Setting the mystery in Russia gives the author a chance to explore all those hard-boiled 1950s-type scenes, but with a fresh coat of paint: cell phones, exotic locales, etc. Still, it boils down to people trying to kill the detective, the detective being misunderstood, losing the girl, getting the girl back, losing the girl, the obligatory hellacious family life that made him completely different from both parents (which seems so unlikely). All in all, it was good - but setting up the gun assembling scene? That just killed it. The gun is now on the stage and I was just waiting for it to pay off. Hurry up, Smith, let's just get the gun put together and get it over with. It was pure torture waiting for that. And, bad guy has a gun, why suddenly decided to use a shovel? Why bury someone to come BACK and kill them? I just wanted to bang my head on the dashboard. And he'd been doing so well up to then. (In my mind I drift back to that great scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Jones rolls his eyes and just shoots someone. The story goes that the scene was changed from a whip-duel because Ford was ill, but this was just sooo much better. Shoot them! You have a gun! USE IIIIIIT!) Otherwise, it was pretty good. Reader was okay, but should probably lay off the whiskey and cigarettes.(less)
I'm not sure what I expected from this ... why I expected the solution to this to be any less silly than the premise. It was a light, frothy read, if...moreI'm not sure what I expected from this ... why I expected the solution to this to be any less silly than the premise. It was a light, frothy read, if "light, frothy reads" can have so much blood in them. I realize that the lead character is a vampire detective b-b-b-but this could have been more ... serious. The beginning lead me to believe that vampire thing was going to be merely incidental (or maybeeeeee more a metaphor). Acevedo, I think, is capable of more weighty efforts. He seems quite capable of writing a searing indictment of something. His description of the second Gulf War demonstrates that. Here and there are glimmers of actual opinion, but when you get right down to it, it dissolves into fluff. And that was actually fine for me. I don't enjoy reading Important Fiction. I enjoy Fluff. I whizzed through this book in a very pleasant evening's entertainment.(less)