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Reviews 2008 > Jan2008 - Reviews

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message 1: by Corona (last edited Jan 01, 2008 03:43PM) (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
January 2008 reads are:
Book 1 - DEATH IN DUBLIN – 16th in series
Police Procedural-Peter McGarr-Ireland-Contemporary
Bartholomew Gill
Book 2 - ARTISTS IN CRIME – 6th in series
Police Procedural-Inspector Roderick Alleyn-England-1930s
Ngaio Marsh
Book 3 - RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY – 1st in series
Legal Mystery-Horace Rumpole-England-Contemporary
John Mortimer


message 2: by Chris (new)

Chris Hunt I listened to Rumpole and the Reign of Terror last month. I have never been a big Rumpole fan, but I used to watch the series.
In this book, Rumpole gets involved with the subject of Terrorism.
Horace does a good bit of grousing against the government walking all over the Magna Carta and so forth.
The part that really caught my interest was his relationship with his wife Hilda "she who must be obeyed". Hilda is busily writing her memoirs on a laptop in the back room during the time the story takes place. While he defends an accused terrorist she thinks he is all wrong. In fact, she and Rumpole are on the opposite side of every issue.
She is also conducting a flirtation with a judge who is on the case Rumpole is working on.
The juxtaposition of Hilda's thoughts with those of Rumpole made the story enjoyable for me. More so than the mystery.
I thought I would share this book, since it is the closest I came to reading one of the picks for this month. :)




message 3: by Corona (last edited Jan 09, 2008 09:49PM) (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
DEATH IN DUBLIN - Reviews
Charlotte - G+ - Charlotte found the book irritating and gripping. The characters were irritating; they were a bit overboard and did some stupid things. But the story was definitely gripping and kept her reading. It is a perfect airplane book.
Jen - VG+ - I really enjoyed this novel. The complexity was wonderful; I never really felt like I had the entire mystery figured out – every time I’d start to think I knew the answers, Gill would throw a wrench in the plot. I enjoy plots that aren’t predictable. Peter is a bit of an anomaly for detectives in that he isn’t a cowboy. So many police and private detectives are loners with few ties and little trust in other people. Peter has strong ties to his family and his staff. Then Sweeny was his antithesis. No trust, not even in supposed family members. No ties to anyone; a complete loner who is ruled by vengeance and money. I also really liked the character of Orla Bannon. She’s a strong, complex fun female character. She starts to lean toward stereotypes, but as soon as you try to peg her that way, she leans the other way. The two small areas that I didn’t care so much for were the fact that almost every female character addressed in the novel was sexualized in some way. So much attention was given to their physical appearance and whether or not that was an “attractive” appearance. The male characters aren’t presented that way. The other detail was Kara Kennedy’s involvement in the crime. The last three books I’ve read, the protagonist becomes intimately involved with the “criminal.” It’s almost to the point where you know the person will be guilty if they sleep with the protagonist. I would have liked for her to either have been innocent of everything or to have not become involved with Peter. But, that’s just a minor thing.
Linda - - Linda hasn't read too far into the book but likes it so far, particularly the detective. This book is her favorite for this month, partly because it is a police procedural, which she enjoys.
LJ - G - I have a real problem with male protagonists who start out by saying how devastated the still are at the loss of their lover/wife, and how long it’s been since they’ve been intimate with a woman, and then promptly leap into bed with someone or, in this case, two someone's. It starts the whole thing off on such a false, insincere note for me. That aside, I loved the setting and learning more about Dublin , Trinity College and the Book of Kells. The villains were fairly obvious and there was plenty of violence. it was a good enough read but, as it is the last, or next to last, of the series, I doubt I’ll go back and read the prior books.
Nancy - G+ - Nancy was reading this and an Ed McBain book at the same time, so this one really suffered by comparison. One irritation was that Orla, the journalist character's main thing is ferreting out information yet she missed a critical connection. She found the book very violent and didn't particularly like the characters. Counter this with McBain where she really wanted to know more about each of the characters.


message 4: by Corona (last edited Jan 09, 2008 09:49PM) (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
ARTISTS IN CRIME - Reviews
Charlotte - G+ - Charlotte enjoyed the book but found it slow to get into and easy to put down and pick up again. She particularly enjoyed that the story was about artists as her husband is one. It was a leisurely read.
Libby - - She has just barely started it and was thrown by the some of the Briticisms. But she is enjoying it and intends to finish it.
Linda - VG - Linda read Dead In the Wood which was set in New Zealand, which was interesting and about an MP found dead impressed into a bale of her wool. This is not her favorite style of mystery but she did enjoy it very much. She particularly liked the characterization of the victim as described by the other characters and particularly liked Roderick Alleyn.
LJ - G+ - I enjoy reading books set in the Golden Age between the Wars. To me, it's always interesting to see the difference in relationships, society, and vocabulary. Rather than viewing a book as being "dated," I view it as a look at a not-so-distant past time. I also enjoyed this particular book as it is the beginning of the relationship between Alleyn and Troy , but enjoyed the relationships of all the characters and loved Alleyn’s mother. The mystery is classic; a large cast of suspects, many with quite good motives for having committed the murder and then watching the police sort out the clues. Although the clues are there for the reader to solve the crime, I missed one for the solution to the twist. The characters are well developed and much of the action is dialogue driven, which I enjoyed. I find Ngaio Marsh always a pleasure to read.
Nancy - OK - She had never read Marsh before. She found the book very British and reminiscent of Dorothy L. Sayers. She thought she would like it more, and isn't sure why she didn't.


message 5: by Corona (last edited Jan 10, 2008 09:47AM) (new)

Corona (signorarivera) | 65 comments Mod
RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY - Reviews

Chris - - I listened to Rumpole and the Reign of Terror last month. I have never been a big Rumpole fan, but I used to watch the series. In this book, rumpole gets involved with the subject of Terrorism. Horace does a good bit of grousing against the government walking all over the Magna Carta and so forth. the part that really caught my interest was his relationship with his wife Hilda; "she who much be obeyed." Hilda is busily writing her memoirs on a laptop in the back room during the time the story takes place. While he defends an accused terrorist, she thinks he is all wrong. In fact, she and Rumpole are on the opposite side of the issue. She is also conducting a flirtation with a judge, who is on the case Rumpole is working. the juxtaposition of Hilda's thoughts with those of Rumpole's made the story enjoyable for me.
Libby - OK - Libby enjoyed the introduction almost more than the three stories she raid. All the stories were very similar and not really mysteries, but more about Rumpole's life as a barrister.
Linda - G - Linda read Rumpole and the Reign of Terror. Rumpole is a luddite (anti-technology). She appreciated Rumpole's take on the affect of the fear of terrorism. She didn't particularly like the characters of either Rumpole or his wife, although she thought the book was well written. The characters are well drawn, but not enjoyable.
LJ - G - Rumpole is the consummate English character; he’s lord of his courtroom but serf to his wife in his home. The sobriquet of “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is amusing the first couple references but wears thin quickly, although it suits the character. However, I enjoyed the character and the supporting characters around him. I thoroughly enjoyed his penchant for quotations, particularly those of Wordsworth. The stories were entertaining. I like British humor. The hardest part for me is that they were short stories, of which I’m not a particular fan, so there’s less character development, arc and dimension. I enjoyed the book, but I actually like the television series better.
Nancy - OK - It was too cute for her. She didn't like that Rumpole didn't respect his wife and that he considers himself "crafty." She thought the humor passed her by.
Jen - OK - This one took me a little longer to get through. I didn’t find it as intriguing as Death. I also had a hard time with the humor. Some of it was chuckle-worthy, but mostly I found myself groaning or rolling my eyes thinking “do professional people seriously act like this? How absurd.” The “She Who Must Be Obeyed” line was cute the first couple times it was used, but I was tired of it by the final story.
  Each of the short stories was rather predictable. There was not really any build up to a climax. You essentially knew what the outcome was going to be. Even with the story about the couple writing notes to each other. It wasn’t hard to figure out the son was writing the notes. And while you knew he would ultimately end up dancing with his wife in the final story, it was a cute ending.
  Rumpole struck me as a curmudgeon, full of self-pity. He’s also a rather flat character. He makes little change throughout the stories. Even the attempt to change by buying a new hat showed him remaining the same character. He seems to resent others’ success even though he makes no attempt to change his own station. And his son Nick seemed to be following in his footsteps; even his wife seemed to be a carbon-copy of his mother. I didn’t really catch on to why Rumpole would refer to himself in third person every once in awhile. There didn’t seem to be a regular pattern to it or a significant effect. That was a bit odd. The first time he did that I became a little confused and wondered if I’d missed something.
  I did really enjoy the character of Phyllida Trant. She was rather dynamic. She started out naïve and gullible, and by the final story she was attuned to the other men in the office.


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