Archive for January, 2020

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Rope

January 30, 2020

Do you ever read a book and wish the author just cared a little bit more about the things you cared about? Rope, by Holworthy Hall, sounded perfect for me, and it could have been, with a slightly different emphasis. As it is, it’s pretty great.

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The Queen of Farrandale

January 29, 2020

I’ve got a couple of fun reads lined up, and the first one is The Queen of Farrandale, by Clara Louise Burnham. Sometimes browsing the “Older women — Fiction” category on Project Gutenberg pays off.

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The Strange Countess

January 17, 2020

What is there to say about an Edgar Wallace thriller, really? They’re all good in the way his books are good and bad in the way his books are bad.

The Strange Countess¬†focuses on Lois Margaritta Reddle, who is about to leave the lawyer’s office where she works to become secretary to the Countess of Moron. She also has a young man who follows her around–she assumes he’s angling for an introduction–and a mother in prison, although she doesn’t know that until a few chapters in. Someone keeps making attempts on Lois’ life, and the countess and her friend Chauncey Praye are definitely up to no good. The young man turns out to be a detective, who’s interest in Lois isn’t romantic–at first. Then there’s the countess’ son Selwyn, who isn’t as stupid as people think, and Lois’ roommate Lizzy Smith. They remind me a bit of Dolph and Hannah in Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion.

What else do you need to know? Someone shoots a couple of dogs, but offstage, so to speak.

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The Shuttle

January 13, 2020

I’ve been meaning to read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Shuttle for years, but somehow never managed to get there until I got a very compelling email about it from RQ reader Franziska. Yes, I knew it was about an American heiress marrying a titled Englishman, but did I know it featured a competent young woman restoring a crumbling estate, or an abusive husband being defied and punished? I couldn’t have, or I would have read it ages ago. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Year in Books 2019, slightly belated

January 7, 2020

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The Billiard Room Mystery

January 6, 2020

Hi there. My New Year’s resolution is to update regularly again. We’ll see how it goes.Image result for brian flynn the billiard room mystery

Maybe starting with a bad book will make things easier? The Billiard Room, by Brian Flynn, is very bad. It feels like it was written by an alien whose only knowledge of human society was gleaned from other second rate country house mystery novels. Apparently it’s the first of a long series. I wonder if Flynn got any better, but I’m not curious enough to try to find out. Read the rest of this entry ?