21. The Saint of Dragons by Jason HIghtman. 349 pages.
Simon Saint George has never known his parents, only the remote boarding school he's lived at all his life, so when two men turn up in the same day, both claiming to be his father, Simon is more than a little confused. And then one of them kidnaps him and he learns he is the last of a line of Knights who dedicate themselves to battling evil dragons….
Not a bad story but the author talks down to his intended audience rather more than I think he needs to. A reasonable fantasy adventure for young readers but it lacks that spark that would make it really special.
22. The Hamlet Trap by Kate Wilhelm. 234 pages.
I read on of Wilhelm's SF novels last year and really liked it, so I had a hunt on Bookmooch for her other books. This was the only one I found and it turned out to be a murder mystery set in a theatrical community in a small town in Oregon.
It's labelled as a "A Charlie Meiklejohn and Constance Liedl Mystery" but those characters don't appear until more than a third of the way through the book. It's a perfectly acceptable stylistic device of course, but not one I care for - I prefer to follow the detective(s) as they reconstruct events and work from the same amount of information that they have.
Some elements of the mystery seemed glaringly obvious to me, but that's probably because I've read a fair few detective stories and there are only so many ways the plots can believably go.
Not a bad book, but not as good as The Killing Thing which I read last year.