Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Back...

Been reading, just not blogging. Three recent books:

The Black Cat by Martha Grimes
A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin
The God of the Hive by Laurie King

All three were good and well worth reading. Martha Grimes is always amusing and a pleasant, relaxing read that doesn't require intense thought. Richard Jury is there as is Melrose Plant and his well-healed friends in a brief appearance. The setting is London and Buckinghamshire and slightly sad story of young women gone wrong. Shoes are at the heart of it all - aren't they always? Parts of the story verge into a cat and dog mystery, which I despise but this is so light-hearted and Mungo such a cool dog, that it's OK. It's sort of a Police procedural; Richard Jury is a Scotland Yard detective and each book is named for a pub that figures in the action.

Another Mistress of the Art of Death story takes Adelia and Co. back to Sicily but you can't go home again, now can you? The plot of this one is pretty closely tied to the previous one (I think City of Shadow?) where she runs afoul of some bad guys in the forest and has to kill one of them. The setting is 12th century England, France and Sicily as Adelia accompanies King Henry II's 10 year old daughter to her wedding while her own daughter stays with Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Some cool stuff about Richard the Lionhearted, crusades, Cathars. Nicely written and interesting.

God of the Hive.. Best for last really. Also closely tied to the previous one, Language of Bees, where Sherlock Holmes discovers his artist son by Irene Adler and convoluted murder and mayhem ensue.It is now in the 1920's. King's characters are always interesting and she doesn't disappoint with a haunting new character, Robert Goodfellow, as well as the American pilot Javitz, Holmes' granddaughter Estelle, not to mention more from Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock.
King interweaves the original Holmes stories and characters into the story with a lot of amusing winks to real Holmes fans but freshens and updates the whole thing through the eyes of Mary Russell, Holmes' rich, young, scholar and co-detective wife.

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