Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From One Extreme to Another

From one extreme to another -- a book I really enjoyed and a series mystery I won't read again. So where to start? How about with the one series I'm finished with?

I enjoy brain candy - cozy mysteries written around subjects I'm interested in like needlework. I hadn't read a Monica Ferris mystery in awhile (having forgotten why I gave them up once before). When I saw Thai Die, I was intrigued -- by the cover and the subject -- Thailand. This is number 12 in the needlework series by Ferris and that is probably the problem. By the time you get to number 12 there just isn't anything new. The characters that I enjoyed in the past were even blah. The editing was horrible and I just plain didn't enjoy this read that took me one day. At least, I spent only one day.


Now Dark Fire: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery by C.J. Sansom is a completely different matter. This historical mystery, set in 1540 was superb, beautiful prose, excellent editing (nothing jumped out at me), an interesting story with interesting characters. YeeeeeeHaaaaaw! A real winner. So good, in fact, that I ordered the others in the series. Mr. Dragon enjoyed it so much, he is currently reading Sansom's stand alone about Spain.

From the back cover: "In 1540 Henry VIII has been on the throne for thirty-one years. Lawyer Matthew Shardlake has been called to help a young girl accused of murder who refuses to speak in her own defense even when threatened with torture. On the verge of losing his case, Shardlake is suddenly granted a reprieve. His benefactor is Thomas Cromwell, the kings' feared vicar general, who offers him two more weeks to investigate further. In exchange, Shardlake must find a lost cache of "Dark Fire", an ancient weapon of mass destruction. What ensues is a page-turning adventure filled with period detail and wonderful characters."

This book won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award for good reason!


missysue said...

brain candy is the best ;o)

did i read your comment right...that you & your husband are fighting a battle with cancer? If so, know that my thoughts & prayers are with you everyday.

love + luck + bliss,
missysue xox

Margo said...

that second book sounds great. I've been disappointed in a few books recently - LONG books - I've finally decided that 100 pages in, I'm going to put it down if I'm not enjoying it. There's too much good stuff out there and not so much time!

Janet said...

I just finished a book that I'm wondering why I wasted my time! It's frustrating to find a book that you think will be interesting and then have it be a dud. At least you enjoyed the second book!!

dosfishes said...

Glad Mr. Dragon is enjoying his reading. I hope all is going well.

If you want to try an interesting mystery, try a book by Henning Mankel. They take place in Sweden
and are suspenseful up till the last page. It might or might not be your cup of tea!

Maria-Thérèse afiori.com said...

WHY oh WHY are there so many poorly edited books? Why won't the hire, for instance, a young(ish) Swedish proofreader to fix them? Why don't people care about language? Why?

Kate T. said...

I've had a couple of books recommended to me (quite highly, in fact), and after reading a bit, have been so disappointed. Thankfully, I've learned to recognize that life is too short to stick with a book that leaves me cold.

That Dark Fire book looks very interesting and I'll be giving that a try. I like mysteries a lot, and to hear that it's well-edited and has beautfiul prose, that piques my interest.



Betsy from Tennessee said...

Glad you like to read, Snap... I'm sure that you are having plenty of time to read these days. Hope hubby is still doing fine...


nonizamboni said...

Veddy interesting! I am always a bit torn about whether I should go beyond page 50 or not. Thanks for the recommendation of Dark Fire. Have you read anything by Peter Hoeg [who wrote Smila's Sense of Snow]? I am finishing up his 'The Quiet Girl' and am glad I hung in there.

Pretty Things said...

I love historical fiction, so I'll add that last one to my To Read list on Goodreads.com!