Archive for May, 2012


The Pit Prop Syndicate

May 29, 2012

I think I’ve explained before how sometimes I find things on my kindle that I have no information about and no memory of downloading. I’ll never know why I downloaded The Pit Prop Syndicate, by Freeman Wills Crofts, I guess. It can’t have been because I’d heard good things about it, that’s for sure.

The thing is, Freeman Wills Crofts was both popular and well thought of in his day, and I cannot imagine how that could have been, because this book is terrible. The characters are wooden and moronic, and the plot is full of that thing where characters speculate wildly and their speculations end up being taken for facts. The worst thing, though, was that Crofts does little more than connect the dots; when protagonist Seymour Merrriman meets Madeleine Coburn in rural France, you know he’s going to fall in love with her, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be convinced of it — and Crofts is singularly unconvincing. Read the rest of this entry ?


The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne

May 25, 2012

I have an enormous backlog of books to review again, but I also have jetlag, and a workday an hour longer than when I last posted, so bear with me. I’m starting with a book about which I have only good things to say. It’s called The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne, it’s by Kathleen Thompson Norris, and it’s a hell of a lot less depressing than the last book of hers I read.

It’s a familiar story — a woman arrives in a new town and proves to be an asset to it and its inhabitants — and one I like a lot. And this version of it is particularly charming. Read the rest of this entry ?