What woman of mystery are you reading now?
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Currently, I'm reading Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh, and quite enjoying it. I've only read a few of Marsh's books so far. From the few books of hers that I've read, I like this one the best. It's a good Christmas mystery, with a touch of gothic, a touch of cozy, even a touch of whimsy, and a very interesting cast of would-be villians and murderers.
Your Ngaio Marsh sounds like an excellent choice for this time of year.
>4 pointercat:..I am getting ready to start reading that series as soon as I finish the next book I plan to read..Glad to see you recommend them as I was debating whether to read them or return them to the library..I'll think I'll stick with them.
I'm currently starting Jacqueline Winspear's latest Maisie Dobbs novel, Elegy for Eddie. Also on deck is P.D. James's The Private Patient.
I recently read Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn, which does tend to slide towards romance and forget about the msytery on occasion. I did enjoy the romance side of it all (Lady Julia Grey is a great indulgence of mine, I feel like I should be eating bon bons while reading these books), and it was a shame that the mystery was sidelined, because it was actually really rather good.
And now I'm reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice, which I'm enjoying mightily. I was thinking of going on to Maisie Dobbs (I've got the second to hand somewhere) but a friend just returned Death Comes to Pemberley which she enjoyed so I might read that next. (Most reviews have been a bit iffy, but I love the concept.)
I did go on to read Death Comes to Pemberley and apart from some cheeky sparkle early on, it's definitely no Jane Austen. It was actually quite plodding, which isn't the PD James I've read previously (not a lot, true, but I was still surprised). I think it's going to have to fall into the "disappointing" basket for me.
It was curious that James was quite preoccupied with the servants and the lower classes, something that Austen never really discussed. Or at any rate, not at that level. I didn't find it fascinating to read about, but I thought it was interesting that James found that more interesting than the upper class chatter. And we get much more from Darcy's point of view than in Pride and Prejudice, he's more the major character than Lizzie is.
And a major plot hole (? or at any rate something quite unexplained): MINOR SPOILER ALERT why was Lydia never called to the witness stand? Surely she could verify and explain a thing or two (or five). Women were allowed to testify, as we got the innkeeper's wife. But, apart from a shrieking hysterical scene to kick the whole thing off, and the occasional annoying scene as she demonstrates her brattish ways, she's really sidelined when she should have been much more involved.
This was my choice for Tanzania in the Commonwealth challenge. I gave it 4 stars.
Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye
A great old-fashioned whodunnit in the style of Christie. The plot is a bit far-fetched but the resulting mystery is very entertaining and there is even a dash of romance. In deciding who committed the crimes, I changed my mind so often that I picked just about all the characters at one point or another. However, that just meant that I was right if only for a short time. I enjoyed the descriptions of Zanzibar, now a region of Tanzania. I loved the polite language and hammy plot of a mystery written in 1959 when people played music on a gramophone, women wore stockings even in hot climates, and the journey from London to Nairobi by air took more that 24 hours.
The author had a longing to see Zanzibar after hearing a popular song in the fifties - said to be "Stowaway" by Barbara Lyon - that has the refrain "Then I'll go sailing far - off to Zanzibar". She eventually managed to visit the island when her husband's regiment was diverted to Kenya and she joined him there. All of M.M. Kaye's books were set in places she visited or lived in as an army wife.