Archive for October 6th, 2009

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The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

October 6, 2009

Fergus Hume’s Mystery of a Hansom Cab was hugely popular in, like, 1887, but I’m not quite sure why. I mean, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was, sure, but I felt like Hume’s attempts at misdirection were more important to him than the integrity of the plot. Trying to figure out the solution isn’t a huge part of reading mystery novels, for me, but I like to at least have the option, and I think lying to the reader is the ultimate sin a mystery writer can commit.

Also, the crime wasn’t that exciting. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Her Kingdom

October 6, 2009

Objectively, I’m pretty sure that Her Kingdom, by Amy Le Feuvre, is a terrible book. But it’s also old and fat and printed on thick, soft paper, and really nice to curl up on the couch with when the weather is beginning to get cool.

Anstice Barrett’s father has just died, leaving her almost penniless. She goes to her elderly cousin Lucy for advice, and Lucy tells her to marry Justin Holme, who is a bitter widower with three uncontrollable children. This is a totally ridiculous idea, made more so by the fact that Justin is only home about two months out of each year, that his house is in a very rural area, and also that Justin hates women. It’s so ridiculous that the only reason Amy Le Feuvre can come up with to have Anstice accept the offer is to that she’s haunted by a dream of drowning children. Or something. Read the rest of this entry ?