It was a couple dozen pages in that I knew I was in trouble. This Queen "mystery" is an unfortunate one where it's clear the author's knew the endingIt was a couple dozen pages in that I knew I was in trouble. This Queen "mystery" is an unfortunate one where it's clear the author's knew the ending and then forced the poor constructed story.
There really is no excuse for how bad this is. Something happens very early that the Queen character would never have missed. Of course, that oversight was what the authors had to use to continue the story. Then a series of characters act as if police procedure is determined by the public. Again all to build the story. The worse part is that it's do damned obvious. How did the duo, known as Ellery Queen, let this happen. Why did an editor not flag it. Sounds like an issue of speeding a contracted book out.
If you can view this more as a fairy tale, which isn't hard once into the contents, then this book has some very distinct characters. Queen et al of the regular cast are written per usual with the exception that they are otherwise entirely inept in this book.
This really comes down to the horrible , obvious ending that is written as if Queen was a brilliant genius. Certainly this is the worse book I've read in the series.
Nevertheless, if all could be ignored, the writing is good...
Bottom line: i don't recommend this book. 3 out of ten points....more
This was a great deal of fun! I love Ellery Queen and having this unorthodox way of presenting a Sherlock Holmes story within a Queen tale made a QueeThis was a great deal of fun! I love Ellery Queen and having this unorthodox way of presenting a Sherlock Holmes story within a Queen tale made a Queen book all the more fun! There is a bit of awkwardness about it all, but quite a change of pace for a Queen novel.
Apparently there were three authors involved. The two cousins who masquerade as Queen and the another who wrote the Holmes part of the book. The styles are obviously very different, but also well reflect the change of time period and location, as it should.
Seems to me the representation of the Holmes character gallery is extremely well done. The Queen characters are handled as the Queen characters are always.
Setting is far better rendered on the Holmes side. You can well feel the foggy, dreary setting.
I have not seen the film the book is based on, thought that is neither here nor there. The book story stand on it's own without outside influence of other depictions.
Bottom line: i recommend this book. 7 of 10 points....more
I love the characters of this book! Johnny Fletcher and his pal Sam are two whose adventures I'll to track down more of! Why is it so hard for contempI love the characters of this book! Johnny Fletcher and his pal Sam are two whose adventures I'll to track down more of! Why is it so hard for contemporary writers to create such distinct characters????
Gruber does a crackerjack job of presenting these two ne'er-do-wells as their unorthodox methods of survival propel them into a murder investigation. Past that Gruber's efforts are more rocky. The whole setup is way to easy. Little complexity to the core story. The few diversions are, for some reason, far too inflated. The ending is short changed by some rather shoddy writing.
Nevertheless, the entire book is great fun and I really enjoyed it.
Bottom line: I recommend this book. 6 out of ten stars....more
Brad Taylor whips up a doozy in this third in his Pike Logan series. Though this is another save the world adventure story, this one has many angles aBrad Taylor whips up a doozy in this third in his Pike Logan series. Though this is another save the world adventure story, this one has many angles and characters involved in an overlapping narrative where everybody has all kinds of problems. Here's the rare book of it's kind where nothing goes smoothly. Making this an exciting thriller that deserves the adjectives more than most.
I marvel at the work Taylor had to do to have so much going on with so many and keeping it all straight enough to make a readable and entertaining book. The writing is very good and most of the settings are typically described for a thriller.
The weakest part are the characters, including the main one, Logan. Helpful are the names and nicknames. Though there's a bit of confusion involving alternate names through parts of the book. Otherwise distinction is slim and descriptions slimmer. Most are illustrated involving their might and muscle. One key character is very well written and described. There's a lot of emotional background included and not enough of the physical to make most of the characters whole.
Still, it's a great book, story-wise.
Bottom Line: i recommend it. 7 out of 10 points....more
The genre of choice by Collins should have him as one of my favorite writers. However, I have had a clunky time trying to embrace his novels. This oneThe genre of choice by Collins should have him as one of my favorite writers. However, I have had a clunky time trying to embrace his novels. This one is better than some I've read, though not as good as it could be.
It's the writing that bugs me. Though the characters are mostly well drawn, the overall story is clunky. I've had similar trouble with other Collins books. It's as if he is writing sections of the story and, after it's tacked together, the seams are still showing. This is particularly true as the story is resolved at the end.
I should add that I've never seen the television program.
About the Florida setting: Collins clearly has little knowledge of Florida and used other resources to enhance the story. There's one point where he is pointing out something, that now slips my memory,involving the area of Dade County and it's obvious that he pulled that from something like an encyclopedia because he entirely ignored the larger picture of what has been going on in Dade County. The set piece that sets off the rest of the book involves someone running to the scene. How that is described would be pretty impossible if you knew the area of Miami Beach. All of this does not effect my rating of the book, just wishing for better accuracy.
Big kudos to Collins for not draping a backdrop of the book of a realtor's fantasy of sunshine and palm trees. Bulk majority of Florida authors, who don't know the state, do this and often ruins the book for me.
Bottom line: I don't recommend this book. 4 of ten points....more
There is so little written that entirely encompasses northwest Orange County and here's one of the few books that attempts to cover it. The Apopka HisThere is so little written that entirely encompasses northwest Orange County and here's one of the few books that attempts to cover it. The Apopka Historical Society took this project on and the best source to gather images and history to do it. It is constrained by the limits Arcadia typically has for their massive series of photo histories. However, the Apopka Historical Society dropped the ball despite the opportunity.
The book opens with a nod of making use of Jerrell Shofner's book as a main backbone for research. Seems that would lead to an outstanding presentation. What ends up happening is to mush self observance by the Society in putting the book together.
The book is full of the typical layout of an Arcadia book, with history generally covered from the 1800 to present. I wish they had paid more attention to Shofner's attention to detail and historical layout. Instead all is way too simply brushed over. So mush that could have been written isn't and there are way too many winks and nods to inside jokes apparently presented.
It's nice to know that the Apopka Historical Society knows itself so well to pepper the book with secret messages to others, but I would have hoped that there was more a drive to present the history as much as possible and less about self awareness.
That leads to the worse part of this book - The last 4th of the book is full of very recent photographs about those living, at the time of publication, and simple sentences of who they are. How on earth is former State Senator Henry Land only written about in a way i just did in this sentence without listing his accomplishments in office and so much else he and the Land family did is lost to me.
This really falls on Arcadia that lets folks publish pretty much whatever they want with little to no involvement due to the cheap reproduction involved. An editor could have flagged the problems.
There are good photos and some memorabilia shown and that is the only real benefit of this book. For that I bring this up to two stars. Otherwise...
Bottom line: I do not recommend this book. 2 of 10 points.