Reading the Detectives discussion

Lament for a Maker (Sir John Appleby, #3)
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Buddy reads > Lament for a Maker by Michael Innes

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Susan | 9641 comments Mod
Originally published in 1938, this is the third in the Inspector Appleby mysteries.

Something is amiss at a remote castle isolated in the Scottish Highlands. Raving recluse Ranald Guthrie, much despised laird of Erchany, has been wandering his halls obsessively reciting an old Scottish poem: Timor mortis conturbat me. Fear of death disturbs me…

In the depths of a howling winter night, Guthrie falls to his death from the tower of his castle.

Inspector Appleby is called in to investigate this deadly accident. Immersing himself in the lonesome world in which Guthrie spent his final days, Appleby must separate dreadful truth from chilling legend to determine what really happened on that terrible night.

Was this truly an accident? Was Guthrie driven mad enough to take his own life? Or does something darker lurk within this gothic castle?

Our discussion will open mid-August. Please refrain from posting spoilers in this thread.

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
The opening chapters of this book are narrated by one of the characters and are in Scottish dialect - I'm still in this section and finding it a bit of a struggle, although the story itself is intriguing. Hoping to get on faster once I get out of this bit! How is anyone else getting on with the dialect?

I'm not bothering to look up every single dialect word that I don't know, but a few are needed for the sense of what's going on. Some are in ordinary dictionaries, but, if any aren't, this site may be useful:

Dictionary of the Scots Language:

I just looked up Laverock which is a lark (the bird.)

Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 696 comments An advantage of reading it on the Kindle is that it will provide an instant translation of some of the words. I have to admit that I find it easier to read than many phonetically spelt dialects - but then, I live just 10 miles from the Border!

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 742 comments The first section was heavy sledding for me! Very glad to have won through to the next narrator, who writes in a much more traditional vein.

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
Thanks for the suggestion, Rosina - I am reading on Kindle Fire but hadn't realised about the instant translations! Very useful.

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
I'm impatient for this opening section to end - I've read 26% of the book now and am still ploughing through Ewan Bell's ramblings. Some bits are quite vivid, but I do agree about the "heavy sledding", Abigail.

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
Now finally finished the opening section - Ewan Bell has laid down his pen! Yippee, hope to get on faster now. :)

Sandy | 2634 comments Mod
Still in that first section, with quite a bit more to go. I think I am getting the gist, but really trying to skim and leave Mr Bell behind.

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
I certainly did get on faster after the Ewan Bell section, and found the book hard to put down from there on in - have now finished. Overall I found it very enjoyable, if wildly eccentric ( would be 4 stars for me, but just knocking off a star for the opening section!)

The setting, with the crumbling Scottish castle and miserly old laird, reminds me of Kidnapped, and also a bit of Cold Comfort Farm!

message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8607 comments Mod
I'm amused to note that, by trying to look up words in the dictionary, I highlighted several random sentences by mistake - and Goodreads is now urging me to "share my highlights and notes"!

Sandy | 2634 comments Mod
I have now finished the second narrator and am enjoying it a lot more. It is getting quite exciting and Appleby should appear eventually!

message 12: by Pamela (last edited Aug 18, 2018 08:58AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pamela (bibliohound) | 334 comments I've spent too long struggling with this first narrator so I'm going to put this one aside for a while and come back to it. I really enjoyed the other three Innes novels I've read, but this is hard work. it's not so much the Scottish terms, it's the story itself where so far nothing has happened except a lot of night time wandering by various people.

Susan | 9641 comments Mod
This is definitely a marmite read, isn't it? I struggled through it, but I finished it with relief and - had it not been a Buddy Read - I would have abandoned it.

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