Posts tagged with mysteries

Apr 5 2018

I don't know about strangEST, but strange, sure.

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Crimereads recently posted a list of "Fiction's 10 Strangest Crimes". I'm not sure I agree with their choices (most of which sound like they fall obnoxiously close to "...and it was all in his head!" territory), but it serves as a reminder that I do want to read Tana French's The Likeness...

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Feb 6 2018

A workable theory

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Atlas Obscura recently posted an article about the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, which we have written about before. It has long been regarded as gibberish, but Grzegorz Kondrak, a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, thinks he might have cracked the code...

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Sep 14 2017

Yeah, but... (Part II)

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There's been an update on the recent literary scandal surrounding the publication of Lani Sarem's Handbook For Mortals, which recently rocketed to the top of the YA bestseller lists via some seemingly questionable sales practices. While...

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Sep 5 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Midnight Riot, by Ben Aaronovitch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Midnight Riot, the first book in Ben Aaronovitch's PC Peter Grant series. While you're (no doubt breathlessly) awaiting our review, I recommend reading this post about the controversy surrounding the original US cover art, which has since been replaced with the artwork featured here. Nice call, publishers...

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Aug 29 2017

Yeah, but...

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Well, this is a mystery: Pajiba has recently posted an in-depth look at the latest New York Times YA bestseller, an extremely dorky-looking novel called Handbook For Mortals, by Lani Sarem. There's a lot that doesn't make sense about this book's meteoric rise...

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Aug 23 2017

Not impressed.

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The trailer is out for the BBC's adaptation of J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling. I did not realize the main character's name is "Cormoran Strike". That does not sound like a real character; that sounds like a military excercise...

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Jul 25 2017

Women in refrigerators (or snow, in this case)

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The trailer is out for the upcoming film adaptation of Jo Nesbo's The Snowman. I have a policy of avoiding movies with trailers that start off with an attractive young woman being chased through a dark/snowy/isolated landscape by an unseen assailant*, so...

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Jul 17 2017

Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey

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I picked up Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception in hopes that it would be an improvement on Avon's True Romance line, a short-lived attempt to write Regency romance novels for teens. I found the Avon books to be amusing but flimsy (even by romance novel standards), but assumed that Anstey's book—with its eye-catching cover and breathless promotional quotes—would be more impressive. Sadly, I was wrong...

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Jul 17 2017

Weekly Book Giveaway: Duels and Deception, by Cindy Anstey

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This week's Book Giveaway is Cindy Anstey's Duels and Deception. There's a promotional quote on the back that claims Anstey's writing is "BETTER than Georgette Heyer", which is, uh, high praise, to say the least. Personally, I'd be satisfied to find something that's better than Avon's short-lived attempt at producing Regency romances for teens...

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Jun 29 2017

"Tartan noir"

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Pajiba recently posted an essay by Kayleigh Donaldson called "There’s Been a Murder: Reading Scottish Crime Novels as an Actual Scottish Person". I suspect there's some emotional crossover between Scottish crime novels and other stories set in countries with notoriously terrible weather, but...

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Dec 13 2016

Envious Casca, by Georgette Heyer

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If you find Georgette Heyer's best-known romance novels, to borrow a phrase from Jane Austen, rather too light and bright and sparkling, her mysteries are considerably nastier. Heyer had a gift for creating caustic, almost misanthropic characters, and nowhere is this displayed to better effect than in the pages of Envious Casca, her 1941 locked-room whodunit...

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Dec 13 2016

Holiday Book Giveaway: Envious Casca/The Christmas Party, by Georgette Heyer

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Today's Book Giveaway is Georgette Heyer's Envious Casca, possibly my favorite country-house mystery of all time. Please note: Sourcebooks has recently reprinted this novel as A Christmas Party. I sympathize with any publisher's desire to get their hands on some of that sweet Christmas-book money (who doesn't want to read about murdering relatives during the holidays?), but...

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Nov 7 2016

Bad Blood, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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Bad Blood is the fourth and final book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Naturals series. Once again, Barnes has delivered a briskly-paced thriller seemingly tailor-made for a CW adaptation. (Seriously, the fact that this series isn't already on my TV is bewildering to me.)

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Aug 24 2016

I can promise a glowing review!

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According to NPR, the mysterious, never-successfully-translated 15th-century document known as the Voynich Manuscript is going to be published in replica for the first time. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of publishing run that leads to them sending me a review copy...

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Nov 16 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: These Shallow Graves, by Jennifer Donnelly

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jennifer Donnelly's These Shallow Graves. Somewhat to my chagrin, it seems that this is not a book about zombie prom-goers*, but instead a combination of "dark mystery" and historically-accurate depiction of the Gilded Age. A full review will follow shortly...

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Sep 28 2015

Devoted in Death, by J.D. Robb

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Devoted in Death is the 41st installment of J.D. Robb's futuristic mystery/suspense “In Death” series, and—unsurprisingly—things are getting pretty damn stale. There are a couple of nice moments in this book, but 99% of it is the literary equivalent of a filler episode...

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Sep 6 2015

Devoted in Death, by J.D. Robb

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Devoted in Death is the 41st installment of J.D. Robb's futuristic mystery/suspense “In Death” series, and—unsurprisingly—things are getting pretty damn stale. There are a couple of nice moments in this book, but 99% of it is the literary equivalent of a filler episode...

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Jun 25 2015

No, thank you.

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My mother still hasn't recovered from seeing Gone Girl, so I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear that there's another Gillian Flynn adaptation coming down the pike, and this one might be even grosser. The trailer is out for Dark Places...

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Jun 22 2015

And Then Everything Unraveled, by Jennifer Sturman

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I feel like I've been complaining about this a lot recently, but seriously, authors: if your book is a series installment, you need to make that clear from the start. I really liked Jennifer Sturman's debut YA novel And Then Everything Unraveled, but I was not best pleased to discover that it was only half of a story...

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Jun 22 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: And Then Everything Unraveled, by Jennifer Sturman

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This week's Book Giveaway is Jennifer Sturman's 2009 novel And Then Everything Unraveled, which comes highly recommended by Meg Cabot, who claims "Jennifer Sturman's YA debut is a delight. You'll love [the heroine], and watching her come unraveled is pure fun." I'm putting my trust in you, Meg. Our review will follow shortly...

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Jun 15 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Flirting in Italian, by Lauren Henderson

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After staring long and hard at the book I meant to review today (Laurell K. Hamilton's Dead Ice), I decided to skip it favor of something else. Anything else. I just can't face Laurell this early in the week, particularly not when the book in question seems to kick off on an exceptionally disgusting note, even for her...

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Jun 8 2015

Snow White Must Die, by Nele Neuhaus

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I'm not a big mystery reader, but I like to periodically give the genre a shot, just to make sure I'm not missing out on something awesome. My latest attempt was Nele Neuhaus's internationally best-selling novel Snow White Must Die. While I found it readable enough, it's definitely not the book that's going to convert me into a hardcore mystery fan...

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Jun 8 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Snow White Must Die, by Nele Neuhaus

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This week's Book Giveaway is the best-selling yet grim-looking German novel Snow White Must Die, written by Nele Neuhaus and translated by Steven Murray. I have no idea if I'll enjoy reading it, but I give the author massive props for choosing such an eye-catching and memorable title...

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Jun 1 2015

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, by Natalie Standiford

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Natalie Standiford's Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters seems like it's one of the many trashy thrillers out there about wealthy, pretty kids behaving badly, but the plot summary and glossy cover art are misleading. I'm not sure what I could compare this story to, but it's definitely no Gossip Girl rip-off...

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May 18 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis

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This week's Book Giveaway is Stewart Lewis's The Secret Ingredient, which I suspect will hone pretty closely to the tone and style of his first book, You Have Seven Messages. I was underwhelmed by Messages, but...

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May 11 2015

Day Shift, by Charlaine Harris

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This is going to sound a little strange, but I mean it as a compliment: Charlaine Harris's Midnight, Texas novels are a delightful opportunity to indulge in benign nosiness. Her characters are still only half-developed (at most), but the odd, disjointed peeks she offers into their lives makes me feel like I've had an opportunity to eavesdrop on the private conversations...

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Feb 4 2015

Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell, by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

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When I reviewed the first Veronica Mars novel, I had several minor complaints: the story felt like fanfiction, there were too many needless cameos from the TV series, and the authors failed to take advantage of the longer format to create a subtle, well-paced mystery. Some of these problems are resolved in the second book in the series...

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Feb 3 2015

The Casual Vacancy approaches

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The trailer is out for the BBC's upcoming TV adaptation of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. At first glance, it doesn't seem to have much in common with her Harry Potter series (apart from the presence of Michael Gambon, of course), but I think I can already see some of Rowling's fondness for obsessive detail and slightly exaggerated characterization...

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Dec 16 2014

Rowling on TV

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According to NPR, the BBC is planning to adapt two more of J.K. Rowling's novels for television: The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm. Rowling wrote both books under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, and...

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Dec 10 2014

Bad Machinery: The Case of the Simple Soul, by John Allison

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First up: I know this cover was decided on long before I complained about the overly cutesy packaging featured on the previous two volumes in this series, but I'm taking credit for this eye-popping image anyway. Thanks, Oni Press! And don't worry: that little arsonist is adorable. I'm sure the kids will still want to read alllll about her...

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