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Shallow Grave (Bill Slider,#7)
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Book Club Selection > September 2019 Value Read - Shallow Grave, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

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message 1: by David (new)

David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
Shallow Grave, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Further fueling her growing international reputation as one of the most talented of the new generation of crime writers, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles offers a Bill Slider mystery set in an exclusive West London neighborhood.When a body is discovered in a trench by the Old Rectory on Cyril Dacre's estate, Slider gets the call and goes to the famous historian's home. There, amid Slider's much-loved grand architecture, he learns that the victim's husband, builder Edward Andrews, had been hired by Dacre's daughter to do some work on the Old Rectory terrace. Did Andrews kill his wife and try to bury her under the repaired stonework? Everyone seems to think so. But Slider knows firsthand that, troubled as the Andrews's marriage was, it's a long way from quarrels to murder.

Filled with characters Slider fans have come to know and love -- the ever-witty Atherton, the colorful London police force, and Slider's complicated lover Joanna -- Shallow Grave is a complex and immensely satisfying mystery.

Discussion Leader - Geraldine Evans


message 2: by David (new)


message 3: by Erunyauve (new)

Erunyauve | 168 comments Just started last night - I'm about 5% in, so far.


message 4: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments I am behind.... need a few days to finish off current read and then I will catch up


message 5: by Erunyauve (new)

Erunyauve | 168 comments Argh - I was looking forward to this, but something strange has happened. I was able to get the sample on Kindle, so it must have been available in the US at that time, but now, it's not. Other books in the series are available on Kindle, but this one isn't, and the paper version is only available via other sellers.

There must be a problem with copyright that the publisher's had to pull it in the US. (The author's web site has a US e-link to the book that leads to a page on Amazon that states it's not currently available for purchase.) Hopefully, they'll get it resolved shortly.


message 6: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments I am 7% in and enjoying the description of Mrs Hammond!!


message 7: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments 70% in and Slider is talking to atherton and one says “...when dealing with people of this CALLIPER”

in Canada we would say “people of the CALIBER”

Difference in countries?


message 8: by Pat (new)

Pat Cody | 114 comments Perhaps not a difference in international word usage, Beth. This book is full of malapropisms that are meant to entertain. One I can't wash out of my mind is when either Slider or Atherton reports to the other that a lemon harangue (scolding) was delivered. I don't know if this is a form of rhyming slang or a relationship-characteristic development between these two characters. A similar characterization is when a senior officer to Slider uses a wrong spoken word in almost every speech.

For me, it's too much of a sometimes well-used writing technique. Either the "clever" exchanges between Slider and Atherton or the mis-speaking by the supervisor would be acceptable, if not over-used. To have both, similar, characterizations in the same book is distracting and finally, to my mind, annoying.


message 9: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments I don’t know but I am finding a lot of what I would call “editing errors” but didn’t notice until about 3/4 way through


message 10: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments There is a whole section of this book full of editing errors including an incomplete sentence!

I enjoyed the book and was surprised at the ending!


message 11: by Erunyauve (new)

Erunyauve | 168 comments Beth wrote: "There is a whole section of this book full of editing errors including an incomplete sentence!

I enjoyed the book and was surprised at the ending!"


I've seen more errors lately in published works - maybe the editing isn't as thorough now that so much is sold as e-books, and they're much easier to correct than print books. Still, this isn't the newest in the series; you'd think they'd have corrected them by now.


message 12: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments Some of the errors made me wonder of the book was written using voice recognition .... Except the computer got it wrong. Demiglot/demigod, calliper/caliber, perjorative/prerogative, milestone/millstone and my favourite ... Carnival knowledge rather than carnal.


message 13: by Pat (new)

Pat Cody | 114 comments Beth, some of these "mistakes" are intentional. Slider and Atherton play on words a great deal as part of their relationship. And one of their supervisors misuses words because he doesn't know the difference; this trait of characterization is often used in fiction.

I didn't think this author's technique worked well in the same book. I found it distracting, though I laughed at the carnival knowledge too!


message 14: by Pat (new)

Pat Cody | 114 comments Beth wrote: "There is a whole section of this book full of editing errors including an incomplete sentence!

I enjoyed the book and was surprised at the ending!"


Incomplete sentences are acceptable writing style in modern literature as are many other sentence structures we aren't comfortable reading. I growl at split infinitives.

You're right that books are rarely as well edited as they were in the days when publishers produced books instead of computer specialists. Every edit costs e-book authors money and they are not required to pay for an edit at all. Publishers in the olden days put manuscripts through at least three major edits. Now we're lucky if the author uses spell check!


message 15: by David (last edited Sep 25, 2019 12:20AM) (new)

David Gooch | 3977 comments Mod
Pat wrote: "Now we're lucky if the author uses spell check!"

There in lies the problem.
What you say is now acceptable in modern literature, shouldn't be.

For me there is very little excuse for bad grammar even in a story. I was taught English by an old school English teacher and time and again he drilled us when marking our work with his little saying........."If it doesn't read right it is invariably because it isn't written right".
I have always found the old dog to be correct.

The comments on all the bad bits of this book, in terms of writing have made me reconsider reading this one.


message 16: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Stewart | 569 comments David wrote: ".The comments on all the bad bits of this book, in terms of writing have made me reconsider reading this one."


No, no! you should read it and see if you think the errors are part of the interaction between the characters, as Pat suggested, or whether they are just horrific editing errors, as I am suggesting.

the fact that the errors are so frequent in just one section of the book makes me lean towards my interpretation (either that, or I just didn't notice them for the first 60% of the book)

Would be interested to know your opinion.


message 17: by Pat (new)

Pat Cody | 114 comments Beth wrote: "David wrote: ".The comments on all the bad bits of this book, in terms of writing have made me reconsider reading this one."


No, no! you should read it and see if you think the errors are part of..."


I agree with Beth, David. Your opinion of the characterization and story would definitely be of interest to many of us! I wonder if the other books in the series also feature malapropisms/mistakes.


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