Thursday, August 18, 2016
Victorian England has vampires and werewolves openly occupying all castes of society, as well as a tiny number of soulless individuals who can temporarily render the paranormal folks human with their touch. Endlessly inventive and clever. Reminded me a bit of the Amelia Peabody mysteries.
Usually I avoid the Mickey Haller books, but I can't pass up a new Harry Bosch. In this case, Harry's irritation with Haller makes him palatable. Haller hires Harry to look into the case of a man wrongly accused of murder, pitting Harry against his former values as well as his former colleagues.
I was blaming myself for not liking this book and having trouble following its story line. Then I read a review that called it a complete "mess" and gave concrete reasons to support that conclusion. And the reviewer was right! It did have a paragraph about the anticipated closing of a library collection that resonated deeply with me: "He'd flight back, like Adele said, though the effort had a Spotted Elk at Wounded Knee feel to it. Whatever the social or economic dynamics that brought about this age of expediency in which no one cared about the things he cared about, they were running at full throttle, hell-bent on destroying the library as he'd known it - not actually tearing it down to the ground brick by brick, but literally and figuratively ripping its guts out."
This started off well, but lost its way, and ended up a muddle. Mary Browning has long-held secrets that she begins to share with a troubled teenager from her writing group. Too many coincidences, too much schmaltz, perhaps one too many narrative streams.
Nick Mason makes a deal with the devil (incarcerated crime lord Darius Cole) to get out of prison early enough to see his daughter grow up. He has his freedom, a posh apartment, and a fake job paying a big paycheck, but he has to do anything Cole requires of him, no questions asked. Fast paced, cleverly written, interesting conflicted characters. I'm looking forward to the next chapter in Nick's second life.
Tannie Maria must transform her cooking column to an advice for the lovelorn column in order to keep her job at the Klein Karoo Gazette. Since she knows about a lot about cooking, but next to nothing about love, she begins a recipes for the lovelorn column. Plus she and the paper's crack reporter have a mystery to solve. Very charming series.