March 7th, 2015


Last Gaudy Guts; Death Phantoms

The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan
A satisfying conclusion that had enough looseness to leave me curious about the spinoff series. Not quite as good as the penultimate book, but endings are hard.

I Don't Hate Your Guts, by Noah Van Sciver
Quirky short comic about being depressed, working at low-wage jobs, and... unexpectedly falling in love. I dug it.
(57, O24)

Death Masks, by Jim Butcher, read by James Marsters (reread, audiobook)
This is the first one of these that I liked the content of better, for rereading it. (I often like the reread better just because Marsters is so lovely to listen to, but that's different.) Many spoileriffic things happen in this volume that are MUCH more interesting now that I know the even MORE spoileriffic things that will happen later in the series, and can see the groundwork being laid.

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers (reread)
I never run out of new things to be most interested in and thoughtful about, while rereading this, and I never *quite* manage to stay in interested-and-thoughtful mode the whole time, instead of getting totally swept up by the story at unpredictable intervals. Which is exactly how it should be.

Phantoms on the Bookshelves, by Jacques Bonnet
A light collection of bibliophilic essays that is just the right admixture of dryly academic and warmly personal. I'll be hanging on to this one, because I'm pretty sure my 50-year-old self will enjoy it every bit as much as I did.
(60, O25)
  • Current Music
    KMRB is stuck on the first two lines of Bastille's Pompeii
Dead Dog Cat


Earlier this week, I finished reading a book by Terry Pratchett called Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook to Travelling Upon the Ankh-Morpork & Sto Plains Hygienic Railway. The book was referred to in a recent Discworld novel, Raising Steam which dealt with the Discworld coping with the onslaught of railroads. There's a bit of amusement here, but it's not an adventure, just a variety of very short pieces about the destinations covered by the fictional railway. Not a book I'd give someone who hasn't read other Discworld novels.

Book 24: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Book 24: The Sleeper and the Spindle.
Author: Story by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell, 2014.
Genre: Fantasy. Re-told Fairy Tales.
Other Details: Hardback. 68 pages.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.

A stunning and magical combination of story-telling and art, which brought together two familiar fairy tales yet with new twists. The artwork is stunning and reminded me in style and delicacy of Alan Lee's work though somewhat edgier. The production values of the hardback edition is very high.

In all a beautiful work and one that I would hope to buy in due course.
smirk by geekilicious

books 22-23

Buried Bones (Bones #2)Buried Bones by Kim Fielding

Murder on the Lake (Inspector Skelgill Investigates, #4)Murder on the Lake by Bruce Beckham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Technically a 3.5 read but I rounded up a little because I'm more lenient on self pubbers because everything is on them. I did win this book from Goodreads in exchange for a review but that in no way affected my review.

I do, however, want to break this into two pieces for the review because I liked the mystery more than the style so let me tackle them separately.

Inspector Daniel Skelgill is not just a homicide detective but also a highly dedicated fisherman. He is out on the titular lake trying to land a monster pike in order to win a massive bet. He is flagged over to Grisholm island by a young girl braving the storm. She takes him to an old estate there where someone has died at an author's retreat. Skelgill learns that publisher, Buckley has died, maybe of a heart attack. Others at the retreat include three other pros, Angela Cutting, wealthy book critic, Dickie Lampray, agent and Sarah Redmond, mystery writer along with wanna-be authors, Lucy Hecate, who flagged him down, Burt Boston, a self-proclaimed SAS agent, Dr Bond, Linda Gray, chef and Bella Mandrake, actress and would-be author.

As he goes back to his boat and get his cell phone (the retreat has no electricity or phones), Skelgill finds his boat has become unmoored and is gone (he suspects someone did it). As the body count rises, Skelgill and his team have to run down all the players in this strange game.

I liked the mystery part and the dialog was good. I will say I didn't think it possible really to solve it fully. I figured out who but you couldn't figure out why since that piece really isn't out there until after the fact.

Now as to style, I have to say the characters weren't that well developed well Skelgill was but not so much his two underlings Jones and Leyton (and I could have done without the vaguely homophobic references to the type of men who drink Earl Grey tea). But this is book four and maybe I'm supposed to know them already.

That aside, it is hard to get to know the characters because of the style of writing which could use...I'm not sure what really. It's a close third person on Skelgill most of the time but it's also distant. It's like the narrator is a step removed from the characters and adds a level of distance to it all. It's also present tense which leads to a lot of awkward phrasings. There's plenty of telling instead of showing which really almost made me knock it back a star but I felt generous tonight. Over all though, I enjoyed it.

View all my reviews