My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This volume moves the storyline along and does have a nice dose of angst. Himari is attending school with a young man, Hayato, who everyone is avoiding as being cursed. She quickly learns this is true and also that he knew Aoi as a child. Here is where the angst lies. Aoi has been erased from the memories of everyone who knew him as a child once he became the guardian of Momochi house. Hayato, however, retains the memories of his best friend but hazy and dream like. He’s tearing himself up over it and Himari knows it’s up to her to help him.
The storyline is moving well now and the art is lovely. I don’t read a lot of shojo style manga but I’m enjoying this once.
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Sweet and Deadly by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is one of Harris’s first novels that I’m reading a much later reprint with lots of great sound bites. Um, yeah not so much. To be honest, Harris is always hit and miss for me and I much prefer her urban fantasy to her mysteries. I don’t like Aurora Teagarden at all for example. This one unusual for being a standalone mystery and honestly, it’s boring as all get out.
Catherine Linton is back home in Lowfield, small town Mississippi after the death of her parents several months before. She still owns several of his properties and rents them out. It’s on one of them that she finds Leona, her doctor father’s nurse, beaten to death. Immediately Catherine, a journalist now for the local paper, believes this is somehow related to the car accident death of her parents.
Catherine believes that Sheriff Galton and the other police were wrong about it being a car accident. She believes the car was tampered with but there’s not much proof. She is, of course, drawn in as both a suspect and as a believer in that it is connected to her parents’ death.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t really seem to do much in the way of investigating. It plods along, more interested in hooking her up with her boss who she liked even back in high school (in spite of him being a dozen years older) and talking things out with her renter and coworker, Tom. He lives in the old office which has a buzzer that rings in her house (for patients who might have shown up at night with an emergency, this is played to creepy effect later, probably the best scene in the book).
I’ll give it props for having one of the weirdest motives for a murder (and oddly the clue given to her by her father’s former maid gave me all I needed to solve it, mostly because of my eclectic collection of minutia roaming around in my brain). However, Catherine isn’t a particularly likeable character. First it has to be said that this was published in 1981 (I didn’t realize Harris had been writing so long) so there are some iffy things racially in this, like the multiple toffee and other food references to skin color and the way people of color were treated in the deep south at this time.
Catherine was known as the sphinx in high school because she didn’t talk much. It’s an interesting characterization but having a laconic main character can be rather dull. Catherine definitely seemed dull, boring and judgmental, certainly not a character that’s going to stick with me so I’m glad this isn’t a series because it’s something I wouldn’t pick up book two.
I did have a nice moment of nostalgia though in the descriptions of putting together the newspaper. It reminded me of working on my college paper about five years after this book was published. It’s a completely forgettable book I’m afraid.
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