Sunday, April 22, 2012

More new reads...More Sherlock...Deb Crombie...Amelia Peabody...

Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye (2009) No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie (2012)
Gallows View by Peter Robinson (1990)
Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A compendium by Elizabeth Peters, Kristen Whitbread and Dennis Forbes (2003)

Lyndsay Faye's new and highly acclaimed novel The Gods of Gotham is set in 1840's New York during the early days of the police force in that city. A future read but I wanted to read her 1st novel, Dust and Shadow,  more Sherlockiana (see some of my recent blogs). I read her novel with a map of London and a "Ripperology" website at my side. Her novel is well-researched and enjoyable. It is tightly plotted but as in all of the recent Sherlockiana novels, Downey/Law movies, and the BBC TV series (2nd series airing in the US in May), they are interested in giving Sherlock a lot of emotions, sometimes a wife or girlfriend, and perhaps more physicality than is canonical. Now I need to re-read the originals to see what is or is not canon.

I was looking forward to Deb Crombie's new novel and it did not disappoint. There is a ripping mystery involving rowing, posh Henley rowing clubs, and the power hierarchy and sexism at the Met (London Police). Detectives (and new spouses) Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James must combine work and family life as they try to make a good life for themselves and their children while solving dastardly, complex crimes (try that, Ann Romney!) and navigating the tricky waters of the Yard politics. 

In my last blog, I discussed Peter Robinson's latest Before the Poison. I wanted to read his Inspector Banks series, starting with the first, Gallows View. Since the first, he's written a lot of this series, 20 books or so. In the first, Banks and his family have just moved to small town in Yorkshire, where a peeping Tom, angry local feminists, a gorgeous psychologist, and a nasty sociopathic youth gang lead to all kinds of crime - including murder. The small town is full of interesting characters - like an updated Miss Marple would find in council flats and posh new estates. It's good stuff.

Last, Amelia Peabody's Egypt is a fun companion to Elizabeth Peters' archaeological mysteries set in 1880's to 1920's Egypt. It is great fun reading about the actual investigators like Flinders Petrie and Howard Carter and puts some more meat on the bones of Peters' backstories of Egyptology, fashion, suffrage, and espionage. 

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