This is another mystery with a super complicated solution. The culprits had to go to all sorts of lengths in order to commit their crime, and once morThis is another mystery with a super complicated solution. The culprits had to go to all sorts of lengths in order to commit their crime, and once more, this just doesn't sound realistic at all. "Planes, trains and automobiles" could be the subtitle of this intricate construction.
It was an anjoyable read with a good country/town setting and - yet again - a great sidekick. I already liked Desmond Merrion in The secret of High Eldersham and again he was the best. Unfortunately I found the inspector rather dull and obstinate when he just wouldn't give up his pet suspect. But as he was almost a secondary character - strange to say that about the main detective -, I just ignored him most of the time.
I'd love to read more stories with Merrion, but they are rather hard to come by. Too bad!...more
I keep saying the same thing. All the mysteries of the British Library Crime Classics I have read so far have this cozy setting, lovely landscape, typI keep saying the same thing. All the mysteries of the British Library Crime Classics I have read so far have this cozy setting, lovely landscape, typical country people and all that stuff. Absolutely entertaining, if you love that kind of thing.
The Hog's Back Mystery is no exception, but I found the solution to the mystery slightly annyoing, as it was too complicated for my taste. If a mystery plot relies too much on minutes in the timeline I am not buying it anymore. This solution so much depended on exact timing of a couple of people that it was just not realistic any longer. And to be honest, with all the different locations and various murders I completely lost track of who did what regarding which crime.
A nice touch was that when the solution was presented the clues that were given were referenced with page numbers so the reader could actually go back to the exact spot in the book where it was mentioned or revealed. However, reading the story on a Kindle made this bonus pointless as I cannot go back to page 78 - bummer!
All in all, good as far as ambience was concerned, but plot wise I was slightly disappointed. There is a second book by the same author on that list which I will definitely check out to see if it has the same kind of complicated vibe....more
Highly entertaining! The setting is as good as it can possibly be. A secluded village in East Anglia with inhabitants that are more than odd, the throHighly entertaining! The setting is as good as it can possibly be. A secluded village in East Anglia with inhabitants that are more than odd, the through roads are little more than country paths and basically no stranger has ever reason to set foot into it. Strangely enough no vicar this time, but who needs one when you have a cult leader making up for that lack of cleric support?
I liked the characters, Desmond Merrion and his sidekick Newport are very promising. I am not sure if Inspector Young is in the following novels as well but I wouldn't mind. Those two work well together.
The occult angle is explained in a satisfactory way and I found the atmosphere dealing with that part of the story really exciting. The first mention of the wax doll was already doing its job but when it came to Desmond spying on the coven at night I was devouring the pages. Thank God that the leader didn't turn out to be mad (something I was afraid of), but his strange disposition was explained in a credible way.
All in all a very good read that made the time just fly....more
I am usually absolutely oblivious to any clues and any hints as to who is the murderer. Really, I never know beforehand. Exception: this one. After abI am usually absolutely oblivious to any clues and any hints as to who is the murderer. Really, I never know beforehand. Exception: this one. After about half way (and this indicates that every other reader knows after the first chapter) I figured who the killer was and had to wonder what was wrong with the inspector that he couldn't see it. What was going on was obvious.
Nevertheless, this was a very enjoyable read (and for once I was ahead of the police) with great surroundings, typical English countryside atmosphere and a story that kept you interested....more
We are getting thrown into the murder story pretty much at the start of the book as the doctor gets called to the crime scene while having dinner withWe are getting thrown into the murder story pretty much at the start of the book as the doctor gets called to the crime scene while having dinner with the vicar. I very much enjoyed the setting in a Cornish village by the sea, the detailed descriptions that brought all the scenes to life and all the characters involved in the mystery. It was a very comfortable and cosy read, even though there was not much guesswork or sleuthing possible on the reader's side. Not that I am any good at it anyway, but here it was absolutely impossible to know who the culprit was. There were tons of false clues, left behind either on purpose or accidentally, and the detective was in the dark until the very end as well. If it hadn't been for the vicar and his memory the murder might not have been solved at all.
So as far as elaborate plot and sophisticated detecting are concerned "The Cornish Coast Murder" leaves a little to be desired.
Also, be prepared for some outdated views on women. A few delightful examples:
She was distraught [...] and therefore liable to indulge an utterly unreasonable whim. Women are often unreasonable, Inspector. Illogical, too.
...a woman in love was always a foolhardy and unresonable creature. though not devoid [...] of a certain inspired cunning.
We might be unreasonable, but we do know how to trick and deceive people.
The garden is fifteen feet in length. This argues a poor shot. Probably a woman.
Heaven forbid there are poor shots among men. Or women good at shooting.
You just have to take that stuff in stride....more
When I read the prequel to the Embattled series "Embattled Roads" I was really looking forward to the first book, but I was disappointed.
Neither the rWhen I read the prequel to the Embattled series "Embattled Roads" I was really looking forward to the first book, but I was disappointed.
Neither the romance, nor the suspense story worked for me 100%.
Romance: I did not connect with the characters at all. There was a point where I thought, now we're talking, but soon after it went downhill. On John's part tt was basically whining internally about how useless he was in protecting Shannon and on Shannons part tearing up about whatever. The fact that John went from 100% misanthrope (apart from a few people he did still dislike people in general by the end of the book) to a guy who continuously pulled Shannon on his lap was just not believable. Plus, I consider sitting on someone's lap neither particularly sexy, nor heartwarming, nor romantic.
Also there were too many kittens. I don't like pets or children in romance as they are very often used as a sort of catalyst. OK, John strokes kittens like there's no tomorrow, fine. I'm not impressed. It is no voucher for a person's loveable nature or good character that they like pets or stroke kittens.
Suspense: I can't say I am a big fan of stalker stories and don't read a lot of them. So I can't judge whether that angle was done particularly well. But the reason to stalk and threaten in the first place was far fetched and preposterous. John and Shannon made the stalking quite easy, too, at least on one occasion. You would think that knowing that there is a stalker around watching you would make sure you close the blinds on your bedroom window, wouldn't you? The guy with the camera must have had a field day!
I liked the secondary characters, most of all Zeke, and I was looking forward to the second book which is his story. But I am afraid I will have to give it a miss as I have read that there are even more kittens AND a kid in it - and am afraid that will be much too sugary sweet for me to handle....more
**spoiler alert** The mystery was not too bad (even though some solutions were really far-fetched). For example, if you were an actress who was more t**spoiler alert** The mystery was not too bad (even though some solutions were really far-fetched). For example, if you were an actress who was more than eager to marry a prince and who even lied to get to that point, would you postpone your wedding simply because you did not find the right buttons? Not very likely!
The heroine must be the most boring conversation partner ever. To give you an idea here are a few quotes: "I was a button dealer. Buttons were, are, and will always be the only thing I know how to talk about."
"I didn't want to come across as a boring nerd, so I refused to talk about buttons, and that was the only subject I was comfortable talking about."
"You forget, buttons are my business. I think they are the most interesting things in all the world."
Give me a break! This is even worse than the cookie cutter series where life and death revolves around cookie cutters - and that is bad enough already.
As far as buttons go, however, this is all you will be getting. Even though the heroine is the country's top button experts she astonishingly shares very little of her knowledge. She sells them, she organizes them, she picks them up, that's about it.
Another very entertaining book in the series. I loved the theater atmosphere in Paris and Oscar’s excursion to the US.
There are several great scenesAnother very entertaining book in the series. I loved the theater atmosphere in Paris and Oscar’s excursion to the US.
There are several great scenes which allude to Oscar Wilde’s later life (or death) like his visit to Reading gaol, his statement that he hopes his children will never feel the need to change their family name or the talk about Molière’s grave.
“Isn’t Molière buried at Père Lachaise?” I said.
“Oh, now he is, yes, beneath a mighty monument. Now, pilgrims come to kiss his tomb.” My friend chuckled softly and took a sip of wine. “There is no logic to hypocrisy.”
This is a delightful mystery with interesting characters and an intriguing plot. ...more
Good sequel to the candlelight murders. I particularly enjoyed that there are more "celebrities" turning up in this one, for example Bram Stoker and WGood sequel to the candlelight murders. I particularly enjoyed that there are more "celebrities" turning up in this one, for example Bram Stoker and Walter Sickert, who at one point was a suspect for being Jack the Ripper (Particia Cornwell maintains that theory still today).
Again the book is full of quotes and bonmots either by Oscar Wilde or by the author who did a great job "faking" them.