Despite the impression the book cover gives, other than the location the book has *nothing* to do with Elizabeth Bathory. Okay, the villain is an oldeDespite the impression the book cover gives, other than the location the book has *nothing* to do with Elizabeth Bathory. Okay, the villain is an older woman draining young girls of blood, but it's basically just coincidence.
Annja is visiting Elizabeth Bathory's castle, and planning on putting together a segment on the famous killer for her show (preferably before her producer finds out and goes crazy over 'woman who kills beautiful young girls and bathes in their blood to be beautiful'). While there, she finds a nearly dead young woman and gets sucked into the case of a lot of missing girls. This leads her to a study looking a blood lineages in the area.
A lot of the plot points are pretty standard, but all in all, it was a fun read over a sunny weekend....more
I was a little surprised to find out that Agatha Christie's very first novel was also the introduction of one of her most beloved detectives, HerculeI was a little surprised to find out that Agatha Christie's very first novel was also the introduction of one of her most beloved detectives, Hercule Poirot, along with his hapless sometimes-assistant, Arthur Hastings. Hastings is the viewpoint character, allowing the author to point out all the clues without actually explaining why M Poirot considers them important.
This was published shortly after the end of the first world war, and it factors in heavily. Hastings has been returned to England to recover from an undefined injury at the Front. He is convalescing (although he doesn't seem to be suffering from any problems) at the home of a friend from his youth, when the man's recently remarried stepmother is murdered by poison in a room locked from the inside. Whodunnit? (everyone assumes her husband, but her two stepsons have motive as well, as does the daughter-in-law and the female ward) More importantaly *How*dunnit?
Hastings is an amateur detective, thanks to some time spent with a famous Belgian police detective, Hercule Poirot. Poirot, conveniently enough, is staying in the village as part of a group of Belgian refugees (the invasion of Belgium was an early factor in the war). He is called in to investigate, and he is a most peculiar character.
For a first novel, the mystery was well-done, with lots of false trails and red-herrings, complete with a twist at the end. It also establishes the trope of bringing everyone together at the end so that the detective can outline the mystery and reveal the killer and how they did it.
I won't say that this was a fantastic mystery, but for a first novel, and one first published nearly a century ago, it does hold up well (although there were a few spots that had me puzzled until I interpreted how the phrase used has changed over time, and what it originally meant)
The audiobook was read by the actor best known for playing Hercule Poirot, and he does an excellent job with all the characters. ...more
I spent most of last week sicker than a dog that's eaten something it shouldn't have, and this book ended up being the perfect read for that. It enterI spent most of last week sicker than a dog that's eaten something it shouldn't have, and this book ended up being the perfect read for that. It entertained without requiring much mind power, since medication left me kind of out of it.
Basically, Humboldt Squid get even more aggressive that they really are and start attacking and killing people along the California coastline. A drunken diver (grieving a dead wife, of course), a squid expert (beautiful and female, of course) and a Hispanic cop (brother of the dead wife and target of prejudice, of course) have to figure out what is going on and what to do.
Other that the diver and the scientist, pretty much every character with a name will die gruesomely (but not the dog, of course). It's very plot by number, and read like a SyFy channel original movie (right down to the miraculous ending... or is it?).
When I did some checking, though, I was surprised to find that the intensely creepy squid are pretty accurately described (teeth in the suckers on the tentacles? ick). All the author had to do was make them a tiny bit larger and a little more aggressive, mainly by introducing a fictional parasite. It made the scenario almost believable.
Nothing special, but good enough that I'll probably read the sequel when it comes out this summer....more