Tuesday 5 July 2011

Tuesday evening post...

I'm not sure why I decided to post tonight instead of tomorrow morning, but sometimes change is good.

I finished reading A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George on Monday.  I've watched all the Inspector Lynley episodes on DVD from the library, and have really enjoyed them.  I've also listened to at least one of George's novels, Careless in Red, as a downloaded audiobook.  I may have even read one of her novels in the past, although I don't think it was this one.  I have to say, when I first found out that she was not British, but was born and raised in America and currently lives in California, I nearly fell off my chair.  And now, having read her first novel in the Inspector Lynley series (and her first novel ever), written in 1988, I must say, she's "more British than the Brits", to use a well-worn phrase.  I've read a number of British mystery writers, such as Peter Robinson, Ruth Rendell, Minette Walters, Ian Rankin (oops, he's Scottish!) and Mark Billlingham, and I think Elizabeth George portrays the British people and the British lifestyle convincingly in her novels (at least they are convincing to this non-British reader).  I enjoyed her over-the-top portrayal of the American tourists in A Great Deliverance, Hank and Jo Jo (I can't recall their surname), I think they're from Texas.  They are funny and stereotypical, but they offer some comic relief in an otherwise dark novel that is filled with tension and explores disturbing themes.  I will definitely read the next one in the series, Payment in Blood, if I can get my hands on a copy.  I think I may undertake to collect them all in paperback and read them in order, which is what I finally did with Peter Robinson's mysteries.  George has 16 in this series so far, with another expected out sometime next year.   

I'd love to one day write about the differences between British mysteries and American mysteries (and they are definitely different!), but I'm not prepared for that type of exploration and comparison tonight.  For now, I'll sign off with a recommendation:  if you're planning to start reading a mystery series that's new for you, start with the first one in the series, just to get the context.  After that, you could probably safely skip around a bit if you don't want to read them all in order, but be prepared then to encounter characters that you may not be familiar with.  Best case scenario, you'd read them in order, which is generally the way they were written and so they portray the characters and any character development in the way it occurred in the author's mind.

Bye for now!

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