Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read

What I've been reading recently:

The Losers Vol 3 Trifecta
By Andy Diggle, Jock, Nick Dragotta, Ale Garza
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Paperback 168 pages (Graphic novel)
ISBN 13: 9781401204891 ISBN 10: 1401204899

I bought this one in Edinburgh, and read it a couple of weekends ago, so it's not as fresh in my mind as it could have been. The first half is a fun caper, as the gang continue to look for Max, while the second half is the back story to how the guys got together in the first place (some of which was used for the start of the movie). Now to get hold of Vol 4...

School Days at Chatsworth
By Nancie Park
Publisher: Derbyshire Countryside Ltd
Published: 21 November 2003 (First Published 1986)
Paperback 122 pages
ISBN 13: 9780851001173 ISBN 10: 0851001173

This one was borrowed from my parents for the purpose of novel research. In 1939 the buildings of Penrhos College in Colwyn Bay were commandeered by the Ministry of Food, and the staff and pupils of the girls' boarding school were evacuated to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. This memoir was written by one of those pupils following her return visit to Chatsworth as part of the school's centenary celebrations. The book is heavily illustrated with photographs and some artwork from the both time periods, and contains some fascinating snippets about both school life and the house itself. Very informative indeed.

The Flesh Tailor (Wesley Peterson Crime Series)
By Kate Ellis
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Published: 05 August 2010
Format: Paperback 384 pages
ISBN 13: 9780749953065 ISBN 10: 0749953063

When Dr James Dalcott is shot dead in his cottage it looks very much like an execution. And as DI Wesley Peterson begins piecing together the victim's life, he finds that the well-liked country doctor has been harbouring strange and dramatic family secrets. Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson has discovered a number of skeletons in nearby Tailors Court that bear marks of dissection and might be linked to tales of body snatching by a rogue physician in the sixteenth century. But when Neil finds the bones of a child buried with a 1930s coin, the investigation takes a sinister turn. Who were the children evacuated to Tailors Court during World War II? And where are they now? When a link is established between the wartime evacuees and Dr Dalcott's death, Wesley is faced with his most challenging case yet.

This is the 14th Wesley Peterson story, and it follows the same format as the previous books: Wesley investigates a recent crime, while his friend Neil unearths a historical mystery which parallels it, or is linked in some way. This time the two are more closely linked than normal, and Wesley's case has strong links to a possible crime that happened nearly 70 years previously (the point at which it ceases being as much of a matter for him to investigate).

There were some aspects of the story I liked a lot: we see more of Wesley's sister, Maritia, although not enough of the rest of his family. There are hints that the complex personal lives of the other team members are progressing from the events of previous books. The cultural differences between the two fictional towns of Tradmouth and Neston continue to provide comic relief.

On the other hand, I felt that two aspects could have been handled better: the contract research organisation carrying out clinical trials and sharing buildings with a private surgical clinic, and the trans* character who exists mainly for spoilery reasons. Slightly disappointing, but not enough to put me off the author's next releases.

The Unfinished Clue
By Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Cornerstone
Published: 04 January 2007
Format: Paperback 320 pages
ISBN 13: 9780099493730 ISBN 10: 009949373X

The stabbing of irascible General Sir Arthur Billington-Smith fails to stir up grief in anyone - least of all his family, which is no wonder considering the way he had treated them all during the fateful weekend. He had disinherited his son, humiliated his wife, refused to help his financially stricken nephew and made no secret of his loathing for his son's fiancee, a cabaret dancer. Inspector, Harding picks his way through a mass of familial discontent to find the culprit - and find much more besides.

This one was a library request, following a rec from julesjones. Originally published in 1933, and contemporary to that time, it has aged well. One or two of the characters express opinions that would be surprising today, but not in a way that would seem particularly problematic to us. There are red herrings aplenty, although I had an idea who had done it and why from early on: I just guessed wrongly at the identity they were hiding behind. I think I'll read some more of her crime novels when I get the chance.

Having a library within cycling distance of the Day Job is turning out to be very handy indeed.
Tags: print books, reviews
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