Lillelara

Lillelara

"A half finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair"
                 - Robert Frobischer (Cloud Atlas)

Review
2 Stars
Cocaine Blues
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher is bored by the London society. When she gets a proposition to do some amateur sleuthing in Australia, she immediately grabs the opportunity and boards a ship to Melbourne.

 

And there she starts her amateur sleuthing, which is fine by me. It´s your typical run-of-the-mill amateur sleuth plot. And the plot isn´t the reason why I have become increasingly more annoyed with every chapter that I have read. That honour belongs to Miss Phryne Fisher herself, but I will come back to that.

 

The very first thing that bugged me about this book were the never-ending descriptions of Phryne´s wardrobe, which I couldn´t care less about. Luckily Greenwood toned down on these description towards the end, but only because Phryne doesn´t wear hardly any clothes in the latter part of the novel. Instead she parades naked in front of a bunch of men, who doesn´t seem to be bothered by her nakedness at all. Kudos to these men, they have more willpower than Phryne has.

 

Because let´s have a look at her encounter with Sasha, her love interest. After the sex he says:

 

“Perhaps you will bear my baby,” commented Sasha. Phryne smiled. Carried away by passion she certainly was, but her diaphragm had been in place since last night.

 

The comment of this guy is gross. I would have kicked him out of bed and showed him the door. But Phryne smiles and she is thinking of sleeping with this douchebag again.

 

And a diaphragm, which has been in her womb for about 12 hours, doesn´t prevent her from getting pregnant. Quite the contrary. A diaphragm, which is used in combination with a spermicidal gel, has a pearl index of 1-20. The pearl index tells you, how many women out of 100 get pregnant while using said protection. Phryne´s diaphragm, which has been inside of her for a couple of hours, must have a pearl index of at least 50. Because there can´t be any spermicide left on that diaphragm, maybe she didn´t use one to begin with. The series contains twenty books and based on Phryne´s lifestyle, she has to become pregnant in book four the latest. But I suppose that doesn´t happen.

 

But of course, Phryne is some sort of wonder woman. If she doesn´t want to get pregnant, she doesn´t get pregnant. Raised in a poor environment, she became rich by inheritance. She knows how to deal with both the poor and the rich people. And there isn´t anything she can´t do. A professional gunman showed her how to use a gun, a professional female racing car driver showed her how to drive a racing car and she is even skilled in the art of street fighting:

 

Although trained in street fighting by apache masters […]

 

Oh please, give me a break. This book is a big pile of garbage and I would claim that Phryne is a Mary Sue of the worst kind. I can´t stand that women.

 

The only thing I liked about this book where the secondary characters. And this is not enough.

Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 175 pages.
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

This book...

 

[Source]

 

A rant is coming your way later in the afternoon.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 40 out of 317 pages.
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

This is one confusing book. In this world the functionality of weapons, military tactics and technologies depend on a calender and if there is a disruption in the calender, stuff doesn´t work properly and everything falls apart. Does Yoon Ha Lee explain how any of this works? No, he doesn´t.

 

The author throws the reader into this alien world without explaining anything. Can I say that Lee is being sloppy in regards to the world building, since he actually doesn´t do any kind of world building at all? Because it feels like sloppy world building.

KYD Green Round: Crime Scene Guess - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara

Five Little Pigs - Agatha Christie 

 

I have read Christie´s excellent Five Little Pigs for the "Orient Express" card.  

 

Task: Read a book written or set between 1920 and 1950.

KYD Green Round: Cause of Death Guess - Team MbD / TA /Lillelara

Every Dead Thing  - John Connolly 

 

A whole bunch of characters are carrying guns and a lot of shooting is taking place in this book. It fits perfectly the "revolver" card.

KYD Green Round: Crime Scene Guess - Team MbD / TA /Lillelara

Murder is Easy - Agatha Christie 

 

Task: Read a book that is considered crime or detective fiction.

 

Yep, Agatha Christie, the queen of crime, most certainly fits the bill.

Review
3 Stars
Murder is Easy
Murder is Easy - Agatha Christie

I´m afraid the story of Luke Fitzwilliam and his search for a mass murderer in the small English village of Wychwood isn´t my favorite Christie.

 

Which is a shame, because the last third of the book and the solution of the murder were really, really good and I enjoyed them immensely. Agatha Christie knows how to mess with her readers.

 

Unfortunately I had to drag through two hundred boring pages before getting to the good stuff, in which Luke is interrogating the residents of Wychwood while falling in love with Bridget for no apparent reason at all. I liked neither of the two main characters and Luke has to be the most moronic police officer ever. Not caring about the characters has made this book a much less enjoyable read than some of Christies other novels.

 

It still was a fun read, despite it not being my favorite mystery by Agatha Christie. But in my opinion Murder is Easy not as good as some of her other books.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 207 out of 320 pages.
Murder is Easy - Agatha Christie

I wonder why Lord Whitfield isn´t on Luke´s suspect list? And why hasn´t Luke considered him just once of being the suspect?

 

Apparently Bridget, the female part of the half-baked lovestory, keeps distracting his thought processes. Not that they are an item just yet. But Luke is in love and honestly, I don´t get why.

Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
Every Dead Thing  - John Connolly

As she touched me, I heard and felt, deep within myself, the blade cutting, grating, separating muscle from joint, flesh from bone, soul from body, the artist working on his canvas; and I felt pain dancing through me, arcing through a fading life like a lightning flash, welling like the notes of a hellish song through the unknown girl in th Louisiana swamp. And in her agony I felt the agony of my own child, my own wife, and I was certain that this was the same man. Even as the pain faded to its last for the girl in the swamp, she was in darkness and I knew he had blinded her before he killed her.

"Who is he?" I said.

She spoke, and in her voice there were four voices: the voices of a wife and daughter, the voice of an old obese woman on a bed in a wine-dark room, and the voice of a nameless girl who died a brutal, lonely death in the mud and water of a Louisiana swamp.

"He is the Travelin´ Man."

 

11% into the book and I´m hooked. This book is dark, creepy, mysterious, brutal and utterly compelling. I have to devote a considerable amount of time to it tomorrow.

KYD Green Round: Cause of Death Guess - Team MbD / TA /Lillelara

 

Aiming for the "run over by a carriage" card for this round. The Miniaturist fulfills two of the tasks: it´s a historical fiction novel and it is written by an English woman author.

KYD Green Round: Victim Guess - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara

The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Kelly Link, Angela Carter

 

The Bloody Chamber is a short story collection, which reimagines fairy tales. So this book fits the task for a book that is set in an imaginary place.

Reading progress update: I've read 424 out of 424 pages.
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

Well, this book was bad in so many ways. Thank god I´m done with it.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 267 out of 424 pages.
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

"A clanking sound outside wakes her."

 

I just realized why I have that nagging feeling that something is not right with the writing. It´s the use of third person present tense. This really bugs me and it feels wrong somehow.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 168 out of 424 pages.
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton

My paperback edition has a lot of praises on the very first pages. And some of these make me wonder, if I´m reading the same books as these people:

 

"It grabs you from the off ... Like nothing you´ve read before" (Glamour)

 

Has this person read any other book in his entire life?

 

 

"In this lushly written debut, it´s as though figures from old Dutch masters come to life ... Feisty yet tender, Nella is a heroine to suit a modern readership" (Rachel Hore, Independent)

 

Nella is a whiny brat and she annoys the heck out of me. 

 

 

"A fabulously gripping read that will appeal to fans of "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "The Goldfinch"... Burton is a genuinely new voice" (Observer)

 

I haven´t read The Goldfinch and yet from what I know about The Goldfinch and based on the one book I have read by Donna Tartt (The Secret History), it seems to me a sacrilige to compare these two authors.

 

 

"A compelling, atrmospheric literary thriller" (Sunday Times)

 

I´m still looking for the thriller part. This is run-of-the-mill historical fiction, nothing more and nothing less.

 

 

"An old-fashioned page-turner, with sudden twists, cliffhangers at the close of every chapter and an absorbingly unfamiliar and rich period setting ... The reader is never allowed to relax for too long before the ground once again shifts under their feet" (Financial Times)

 

I just encountered the first cliffhanger and I suppose the revelation was an okay one. I was not suprised though and I´m still not at the point where I desperately want to know what´s going to happen next.

 

 

So far this is not a bad read, but it´s nothing special either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review
2.5 Stars
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories: 75th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Kelly Link, Angela Carter

This short story collection was not my cup of tea. Angela Carter writing style is flowery, verbose, convoluted, very description-heavy and symbolical, a writing style I don´t particularly like. And to be honest, some of these stories went over my head and I didn´t get a grasp on the feminist overtones that this book apparently has to offer. Instead I was put off by the constant display of sex and power and the repetitiveness of the fairy tales Angela Carter has used for her short stories.

 

I´m still waiting for a short story collection that works for me. This one, unfortunately, didn´t, even though I really liked the story "The Bloody Chamber".

KYD Green Round: Victim Guess - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara

The Fourteenth Letter - Claire Evans 

 

To paraphrase the Red Queen: "Off with his head". This is for Hermiones teeth! (As you can tell, at the moment I´m not a big Snape fan).

 

This book fits all the required tasks. It published after 1990, the last name of the author starts with an E and the female main character of this novel is a morally ambiguous character. As a matter of fact, I liked her a lot.

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Progress: 26/372pages