Sunday, 10 June 2012

Very short post for a warm Sunday...

This will be a very short post, both because I haven't read anything since my last post and because I'm having more dental concerns (yuck!) so don't really feel like writing.  But I reasoned that, as in my post advising people who haven't finished (or read!) their book club selection to attend the meeting anyway, I decided I would write a post about something book-related and hope you'll be patient with me.  I promise better posts to come!

I have been in a reading rut since finishing Daughters Who Walk This Path last Sunday.  It was excellent to the last page and I would highly recommend it as an interesting, not-too-depressing read about a young girl's life in Nigeria and the network of support that exists for women of that culture to help deal with the experiences they may encounter.  I've tried Elizabeth George's next novel in the "Inspector Lynley" series, but no interest.  I tried the book that I selected for our book club meeting in July, my new bookclub with women from my past and present workplaces, but I'd be finished too soon and would have to go back and refresh before the meeting.  I tried a couple of books from the library by authors I have never read before, but they didn't appeal.  So I started reading Peter Robinson's latest novel, the award-winning stand-alone Before the Poison.  I'm loving it!  It's quite different from his "Inspector Banks" series, as they are police procedurals and this novel is more of a ghost story, from what sense I can gather so far.  I haven't read much, but it appears to be about a man who, one year after his wife has passed away, at aged 60, returns to his home near Yorkshire and buys a large old (possibly haunted) house on the Dales.  It has all the elements of a haunted house story, a murderess, windswept location, and isolation - much of the setting and descriptions remind me of one of my favourite books, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.  It also includes articles and accounts which are presented separate from the regular text, including being in a different font - this reminds me of Minette Walters, whose books always include such diversions.  From my recollection, none of Robinson's other novels uses this technique, but it is very effective in this instance, giving the reader a sense of the past and its significance on the present, revealed slowly, in tidbits, much like it would have been revealed to the main character, the new owner of the house.  This novel recently won the Canadian Crime Writer's award (or maybe the Arthur Ellis award?  I'm not sure) - it's definitely an award-winner anyway.  I look forward to enjoying it at a leisurely pace, not rushing through it.


I also finished listening to Rounding the Mark by Andrea Camilleri, narrated by Grover Gardner (my new favourite narrator).  I think I summarized this book in my last post - set on the coast of Italy, Inspector Montalbano finds a body floating next to him as he goes for a swim on the morning he has decided to hand in his resignation.  Needless to say, this begins a new and complex investigation for Montalbano and his eclectic team  of police.  I enjoyed it not only because of the narration, but because it was more of a "cozy" mystery, less graphic than some others.  When I looked up books that are similar to the Paul Adam mystery Paganini's Ghost, this series came up as a possibility, and I can now understand why.  While a bit grittier than Adam's novel, this series shares a small-town European setting, a single, older male investigator and a murder which has taken place off the page.  It does not include grisly details of the murder, and the lifestyles and attitudes of the investigators are almost as important to the reader as the crime.  Of course there is a lovestory in each, also not detailed unnecessarily but clearly important to the story.  It appears that Gardner has narrated many of the novels in Camilleri's series, so I look forward to listening to more in the future (but not too many in a row - I need a bit of variety!)


I actually started listening to an audiobook on Friday called Shades of Blue by Bill Moody.  I know nothing about this novel except that it seems to involve a jazz pianist who has inherited an estate from a reclusive fellow musician in Los Angeles.  I suspect that there will be some sort of mystery involved, and it is written in the noir style, similar to Raymond Chandler and James Cain.  I've listened to just the first half-hour or so, and it's holding my interest so far.  It is also narrated by Gardner, which is probably why I chose to download it.


OK, that's all for tonight.  Here's hoping for a more creative, inspired post next time!


Bye for now!
Julie

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