Wednesday, September 02, 2009

August Book List

77. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers- (*****) I loved this one!  Probably one of my favorite Lord Peter mysteries.  :)  I loved Lord Peter undercover as Death Bredon.  I loved the family elements added in with Lady Mary and family.  I loved the advertising business and all the characters in it.  What an excellent piece of work this book is. 

78. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey- (*****) Surprisingly just as good as its prequel.  I love these characters!

79.  Easy to Kill by Agatha Christie- (***)  Kind of spooky...  Intelligent, though.  Even though I did find myself thinking "What in the world?  That's got to be the dumbest way to commit murder ever!"  I don't like it when the supposedly "Ingenius" murderer has such dumb plans.  Like replacing the cough syrup with hat paint.  Seriously?  Come on!  How exactly does the murderer KNOW that the victim will wake up in the middle of the night and drink the cough syrup when the prescription was only prescribed that morning?  How does the murderer know that IF the victim wakes up in the middle of the night to drink the cough syrup the victim will be groggy enough to just reach for the bottle without turning on a light?  How does the murderer know that the victim will drink enough of the supposed cough syrup to kill them?  Most people don't drink cough syrup right out of the bottle you know.  Most people turn on a light so they can see what they're doing when they pour the syrup into a tablespoon.  How did the murderer know that the hat paint would kill the victim?  What if it didn't?  What if they didn't drink enough?  What if the victim was only ill enough to need medical attention and when it was discovered that the victim had drunk hat paint instead of cough syrup the victim was alert enough to be able to say for certain that she had placed the COUGH SYRUP next to her bed and NOT the hat paint and that she didn't even own any hat paint let alone use it, but that she had seen for certain that exact same bottle of hat paint sitting on her employers shelf and that in fact her employer was the ONLY person who could possibly have had access to both the hat paint and the cough syrup and was therefore the only person who could have switched them while the victim was asleep. 
And if that's not bad enough... Every other murder in the book is just as "ingeniusly" planned and miraculously
executed successfully.  Pushing a guy off a foot-bridge?  Seriously?  The guy drowns?  I love Agatha Christie, but even she sometimes over-reaches herself in an effort to write something new and different. 

80.  Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix -(*****)  WOW.  Just wow.  Excellent.  I love it when a YA author writes with such depth and the reader can get an education.  Basically, Haddix is exploring the effects of a Totalitarian governnent.  In her fictional world the Government has outlawed any couple to have more than 2 children.  But, what if they have a third child?  Well, according to the government that child's life is illegal.  So, the Government takes measures.  But, suppose you don't want your child murdered by your government?  Suppose you are the third child?  Suppose you could never look out of a window or turn on a light for fear someone was watching?  What if you couldn't even eat at the table with your family because someone might count the shadows through the window shade?  Haddix's characters are extremely easy to love and understand.  I'm looking forward to more installments in this series.  Easy read.  160 some pages.  Couple of hours reading. 

81.  Among the Imposters by Margaret Peterson Haddix- (*****) Second book in the Shadow Children series.  Very good.

82.  Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix- (****) Shadow Children, book 3.  This book followed different characters which always takes me a little time to get used to in a series.  You know... I open the book expecting to hear more about Luke and instead I'm reading about Nina.  Mild disappointment for 5 pages or so.  Then I got into her story.  This one was a bit predictable and while there were other characters I felt like I was only really supposed to be interested in Nina.  So, it was a little closed and not quite as edge-of-your-seat.  Nina isn't as likeable of a character to begin with.  She's the kind of character who's side you're on against your better judgement.  But, I have a feeling this sort of reader/character relationship is exactly what Haddix was going for.  So, in that case...  She did an excellent job! 

83.  April Lady by Georgette Heyer- (***) This book took me forever to get into.  I kept reading and reading and reading and not really feeling exhilerated about it, but by the time I realized I wasn't ever going to feel exhilerated about it I was halfway through the book and (in spite of myself) I wanted to see what happened.  And I confess I had a tiny hope that it might somehow get better.  Or, that the ending would make the dullness of everything else make sense.  Now, don't get me wrong.  There's really nothing wrong with this book.  It's well written.  The characters are extremely well developed and understandable.  It's a period piece and the descriptions were all very vivid and not overdone.  The kind of book where you read it and can see it playing out in your head.  The entire story was not in the least unlikely or unbelievable.  It was just sort of... boring.  At least for me.  I guess it's just not the sort of book I'm used to reading.  If you love Jane Austen and are looking for more books in that vein you might want to give Georgette Heyer a try.  Her books are considered classics.  She wrote some mysteries... I think I'll try some of those.  :)


Merry Jane said...

Your review of Among the Hidden reminds me of The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger.

Have you read them? If so, did you like them?

Rebecca said...

Merrill No, I haven't read those books. I've heard the names though... are they by Lois Lowry? I've read a few of Lowry's books. Should I check out these ones?

Mrs. Imig said...

Wow, last night when I read your list of favourite books off of Facebook to my sister (a more than AVID reader), she said that you should check out Georgette Heyer's mysteries, and then today I read this post! The Grand Sophy is my all-time favourite of her books, followed closely by These Old Shades and Devil's Cub. You are the only other person she's ever known (even through someone else) who has read The Chestry Oak. She loved it, too, and thought you would like Rowan Farm and The Ark by Margot Benary-Isbert, as well. Where in your blog did you talk about getting a copy of The Chestry Oak--I couldn't find it when I looked?

Rebecca said...

I'm definitely going to check out some of Georgette Heyer's mystery novels! I HAVE read The Ark and Rowan Farm and loved those! Hard to find copies of them, though, I think I got them through interlibrary loan.
I found my copy of the Chestry Oak on

Merry Jane said...

mm-hmm! *nods head*

The Giver, especially, is stunning, but the other two that follow in the series are impresive as well...

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