07 February 2011

January's Fiction

I read the second book in a series first. I try not to do that, but in spite of it, I really enjoyed the story.  It was recommended to me by a friend at Sisters In Crime. (http://www.sistersincrime.org/)

A Monstrous Regiment of Women, by Laurie B. King was set in Oxford, London, and the countryside town where the main character Mary Russell has rooms or homes. It is just after World War I and young men have become scarce and those who made it back ravaged by the war. Mary becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding a charismatic feminist mystic. I enjoyed the depictions of a "church" that is obviously something more, a movement. It's interesting to see what church metaphors carry over for people. I enjoyed the historical time period and love things set in London in that era. One of the more original hooks for this series of books is that Mary's good friend is a mostly retired Sherlock Holmes who befriended her after her parent's were killed. The author has worked hard and seems to get Holmes exactly right even though he is a more peripheral character.

The Art of Deception by Ridley Pearson was a suspense book with some of his main characters that appear in many books - various players in a detective squad in Seattle. I have not followed this series in order at all and just seem to randomly stumble on these books, but always enjoy them. The characters are well rounded and Pearson seems in just a paragraph sketch here and there to add depth without ever drawing you away from the plot. The plots involved missing or killed women and lead to a former Seattle that has been buried since 100 years ago when the city was raised up higher. A whole network of neighborhoods still exist underground and vagrants and a criminal have found them. It's a good setting to add to what is a police procedural book with added suspense. I'm considering trying to break this book down. A local Sisters In Crime chapter has been doing a book clinic where they analyze parts of a book and what the pieces do. I have not gotten to attend one of these but I'm intrigued. I so enjoy Pearson's style and his turns of phrase or an upended noun that becomes a verb that I think this would be a good book to analyze. I need to figure out how to go about that analysis.

PS For those who read this on my blog rather than facebook, I decided to put the url so that the other readers could see it when it moves to facebook rather than a direct link.

1 comment:

  1. It's a challenge to work a well-known character into a story without butchering some aspect of the character that the author doesn't understand. It's impressive if King was able to do that with a character as precise and intelligent as Sherlock Holmes.