My Favorite White Whale

December 5, 2013 at 3:05 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Harbinger of EvilTitle: Harbinger of Evil

Author: Meb Bryant

Genre: Crime Fiction/ Mystery

Length: 248 pages

I met Meb Bryant at her book signing at Half Price Books Humble in October.  She’s a lovely lady, sweet, professional, wonderful conversationalist.  She left with me a signed copy of her book to review for my blog.

I feel terrible that somehow the book ended up in my manager’s stash cube in the warehouse at the store (how completely unprofessional of me).  Yes,  a little bit terrible because I feel like I should have gotten a review ready for the author sooner – but mostly selfishly terrible because I denied myself this reading experience for two whole months! Words of wisdom, don’t do that… read Meb Bryant’s work NOW.

Between Dutton sending me Elizabeth George’s latest work, a very full Halloween month of book signings, and the general mood of my year – I’ve read a lot of crime fiction this year.  A lot more than usual, anyway, I think.  Bryant’s crime work is the best of 2013 – no exaggeration – and I’ve read some really good ones.  John Oehler is excellent, Elizabeth George always nails character development, Pamela Triolo has a grip on a genre all her own (healthcare mysteries with a registered nurse solving the mysteries), but Meb Bryant blew me away.

I adore Richard Mobey, aka Mobey Dick, he’s my favorite white whale.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him, watching him build relationships with the other characters in the novel, witnessing his snotty banter, and finally experiencing him unravel the mystery and put all the puzzle pieces together.

I love the back drop of the novel, there’s no exaggeration with the tagline: New York Crime Meets New Orleans Voodoo.  In all my reading history, this is my favorite ‘voodoo’ piece.   I can’t think of a better novel set in the French Quarter.

If I had my way Detective Richard Mobey would have a series longer than Inspector Lynley’s, but I have a feeling I won’t be getting my way.

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Continuing Adventures With Papa Poirot

March 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , )

Title: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery

Length: 194 pages

Buy a Copy

I do believe that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is my favorite Christie yet, despite the departure fromHastings.  The whole scenario is nothing short of clever, and Christie should be praised for the fun little twist of an idea.  Of course, I won’t share that idea here, because that would spoil all the fun for fresh readers.

Just go into it knowing you will discover not just the necessary murder, but secret marriages, bastard children, private meetings after dark, moving furniture, missing money, and a curious puzzle involving the color of one’s boots.

Poirot is his usual, spunky and immodest self, proclaiming, “What one does not tell to Papa Poirot he finds out.”  Indeed, M. Poirot, indeed, and here you’ve done it again.  I love that little man!

For those new to my blog, I am reading through Christie’s Crime Collection in 23-24 months, starting this most recent January/ February with the intention of finishing the 23rd volume (there are three books per volume in my collection) sometime in November/December of 2013.  Feel free to join me:

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Hercule Poirot, mon ami

February 12, 2012 at 1:16 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

Welcome back to my blog, Mes Amis! I have finished yet another book in the Hercule Poirot series, and just as she has done in the rest, Christie has brought a small smile to my face.

Hercule Poirot by Ceska Soda

Poirot Investigates has a bit of a different structure than the previous Poirot books.  In this one, Captain Hastings narrates multiple mysteries in a series of short stories, rather than following one in a full length novel.  Ironically, the format of Poirot Investigates would have lent itself to easier read aloud evenings by the fire, but I got greedy and read it all by myself!

As with every detective hero, Poirot manages to be cleverer and more astute than everyone with whom he comes in contact.  He sees every clue and teases us with it, not telling us what it means until the end.  He manages to be both exasperating and adorable, Hastings (and the reader) often want to wring his neck and simultaneously shake his hand while he lectures his younger ally on the use of his “little grey cells” in his brain.  In the finale of one adventure,Hastings exclaims: “Poirot was right. He always is, confound him!”

I think my favorite thing about him is how often he toots his own horn.  He has no sense of modesty and is constantly talking of himself in the third person, proclaiming his greatness and intelligence.  When not speaking in the third person about how happy people will be to see the arrival of the “The Great Hercule Poirot” he’s is busy saying things like:

“I, who have undoubtedly the finest brain in Europe at present, can afford to be magnanimous!”

One would call him pompous, but with his short, round stature and that twinkle in his green eyes, how can you hate him? In fact, if he were real, I’d hope that he would call me ‘mon ami.’

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