Category Archives: ReadersImbibingPeril

Sorcerer to the Crown

Thoughts sorcerer_front mech.indd Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Ace Books 2015, 371 pages


I wanted to read this when Aarti mentioned it. Not sure why exactly, it certainly isn’t my typical read, but I was somehow captivated and knew this would be my first book for #Diversiverse 2015.

I am so glad that I acted on this impulse – I loved it!

I loved it for the vocabulary. See below.

I loved it for the energy, the vivacity.

I loved it for the confounding character of Prunella. She was unique and I loved her power-forward attitude.

I won’t review it – you can read Aarti’s review, or Jenny’s or Olduvai’s.

I want to read the next in the series. Crazy, right? (Long time readers of this blog know that I am usually a one and done (or not at all a fan) on series…) And on that note, I can say that the ending is sufficient as a stand alone book. Whew.

I should probably look for a GIF to do that whew… (and a BIG thank you to Jenny – my favorite GIF-ologist – for the always appreciated assistance: the right-click on image trick worked…)

Maybe not quite the right whew but it is VERY IMPORTANT to me when a series book does NOT end on a crazy annoying cliffhanger. (Patrick Ness I’m looking at you.)

One more cool thing… The Faery King has a lobster courtier.  copleyl But, of course.


Question for those of you all in the know, this book would be an excellent gift for a 14 year old, yes?

And finally, a book connection coincidence link:  and I quote “Since the decision to become a parent is invariably self interested, it is my belief that a parents obligation is to the child, and the child’s obligation is to itself.” –> this reminds me of the issue that irked me in the book I reviewed prior to this one. I LIKE this quote.


VOCAB – I learned a lot in this book. About magic and fantasy terms, mostly. I didn’t note page numbers this time, sorry.

manumit – (a word that shocks me that I don’t know) – release from slavery; set free

demesne – land attached to a mansion; legal possession of land

emolument – the returns arising form office or employment, usually in form of compensation; advantage

lamia – female vampire

cantrip – a witch’s trick

sigil – seal, signet, sign to have occult power

stoichiometry – branch of chemistry dealing with application of laws of definite proportions and conservation of mass/energy

froward – habitually disposed to disobedience

asafetida – the dried fetid gum resin of the root of several west Asian plants; flavor or medicine

theurgy – art of compelling or persuading a god to do or refrain

prolix – using too many words!!!

redound – to have a particular result

bombazine – a silk fabric in twill weave, dyed black

thaumaturgy – the performance of miracles/magic (doh)

dogsbody – a person who is given boring, menial tasks to do.

louche – disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way.

putative – generally considered

dropsical – affected with an accumulation of an excessive amount of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities

bougie – a thin, flexible surgical instrument for exploring or dilating a passage of the body. OR urban dictionary: Aspiring to be a higher class than one is.

beldam – a malicious and ugly woman, especially old,  witch.

dido – perform mischievous tricks or deeds.

gutta percha – a hard, tough thermoplastic substance that is the coagulated latex of certain Malaysian trees

cant – lively, lusty

AND one that my i{Phone app for Merriam-Webster didn’t have (there were more but I didn’t capture)








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Fog Island Mountains

Thoughts fimbymbj Fog Island Mountains by Michelle Bailat-Jones, Tantor Media 2014, 171 pages

Winner of the Christopher Doheny Award.

THREE WORDS:  Evocative, Heart-achy, Powerful

I have admired this author for many years for her insightful reviews, back when she was just another unnamed book blogger (aka Verbivore – Incurable Logophilia) and now award winning author! I always seem to think of “Verbivore” when I come across titles by Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer or Michel Houellebecq; because we have had conversations about these authors I still remember. The power of book blogging! (I still haven’t actually read anything by Houellebecq. FYI)

So, what’s this ABOUT: A man from South Africa, married and living in his wife’s native Japan, has taught English for many years in a small mountain town. When the book opens, he is told that he has cancer of a kind that might take his life much sooner than later. His wife is not with him when this diagnosis is shared by the doctor, who happens to be a friend and English Language Learning student of the man. The fact that his wife is not with him is strange. Where IS she?

Well, let’s just say the wife doesn’t handle a few things at all well and we have the three kids to meet and learn what they are up to, their reactions to their father’s news. And a big BIG storm is about to hit – we must take precautions, we must take care.

Marriage, tragedy, communication, family, grief.

I must say that this book is by far one of the oddest books that I have read and thus is hard to describe. It has a tone and incomparable style. The author is American who lives in Switzerland and translates books from French. I *think* I read that she grew up in Japan? (yes, in the book endnotes she thanks her parents); she truly is a world traveler and has had many multi-cultural experiences. This book demonstrates her worldly view balanced with a very specific setting and culture —  is captivating in its details.

“… and although it is a selfish thing, he knows this, he has always known this, he was not watching old man Inomura, he was reaching inside his own chest and testing the strength of his heartbeat and building up the walls around his eyes that would make it possible for him to witness these deaths, year after year, again and again, and he would not see the person anymore, he would only know his own beat, beat, beat, and feel safe in its strength.”

This book could be eligible as a RIP X read because it has elements of fantasy with retellings of Japanese folklore, specifically of the fox-woman. I knew nothing of these tales so if you do, you’ll likely be in for a real treat. But also know that if you do not know Japanese folklore, you can still be enthralled by Fog Island Mountains.

What’s GOOD: Mood, tone, style, brevity, density. It happens in real-time. Loooooong sentences. The viewpoint is omniscient yet narrated by one of the town citizens. Aha! just WHO is this narrator?

This book is always just a step off balance – it is supposed to be. Occasionally, the reader is brought into the story. There are many diverse and minor characters; their development explorations felt genuine. The storm that hits the island could also a character. It really is a fascinating story-telling.

“Let us give her this moment, let us turn away, because the relief in letting herself cry will be ugly for us to look it, we can step outside the door so as not to hear her whimpering, we can stand here a moment feeling the force of the wind and the sound of the crashing up in the forest, and when she’s ready, it won’t be long, Kanae has always been the stronger one, we can step back inside and see that she has already gotten herself up off the floor, she has dropped Alec’s shoes to the floor and she is dashing through the house to her bedroom.”

Also good, the book has a Glossary of Japanese Words!

What’s NOT so good: The symbolism is over my head; I’ll just say that. I also questioned – and this may be cultural and certainly personal (for me) – a statement (or two)  that parents should love their children more than their spouse. I agree that there are varieties of love but degrees of more or less or in comparison are just in bad taste. There I said it. I found a few sentences quite jolting and it was a theme (a minor theme? – no other review I’ve read even mentions it) but it was evident in more than one place in the text. Perhaps this point alone will pique your interest to read it. It certainly isn’t a flaw but only something I sensed that I disagreed with on a philosophical note.

FINAL thoughts: I am glad to have read this. I congratulate and celebrate with Michelle Bailat-Jones on this stunning debut novel. I love novellas and this one is fabulous, really.

RATING: four slices of Lemon Meringue Pie – though the cover is reminding me of a Dairy Queen Blue Raspberry Mr. Misty Float… fourpie

No mention of pie that I noted. So why Lemon Meringue? I’ll let you guess.

This book has one of those fun coincidence links to H is for Hawk with a scene in the beginning when our narrator rescues and renders aid to a …. a hawk! Cool, right?


Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Anansi Boys

Thoughts abbynga Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Harper Audio 2005, 10’8″

Narrated by the FABULOUS Lenny Henry – awesome job.

For RIP X.

Blurb from

Fat Charlie Nancy is not actually fat. He was fat once but he is definitely not fat now. No, right now Fat Charlie Nancy is angry, confused and more than a little scared — right now his life is spinning out of control, and it is all his dad’s fault.

If his rotter of an estranged father hadn’t dropped dead at a karaoke night, Charlie would still be blissfully unaware that his dad was Anansi the Spider God. He would have no idea that he has a brother called Spider, who is also a god. And there would be no chance that said brother would be trying to take over his life, flat and fiancé, or, to make matters worse, be doing a much better job of it than him. Desperate to reclaim his life, Charlie enlists the help of four more-than-slightly eccentric old ladies and their unique brand of voodoo and between them they unleash a bitter and twisted force to get rid of Spider. But as darkness descends and badness begins is Fat Charlie Nancy going to get his life back in one piece or is he about to enter a whole netherworld of pain?

Such fun and thrilling and yes, safe, to be plunged into the joy and humor of a Gaiman story. He is just delightful. I love his perspectives on people and ordinary things and his creativity to go way beyond ordinary. His writing is delightful.

Rating: Four solid slices of pie. (No noted mention of pie within the book.)


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How About a PIE Post? #iLovePie #SalemAlong


Random Thoughts and Upcoming Events. And PIE.

I made a Figgy Pudding Pie yesterday.

IMG_3164 IMG_3166 It’s a custard over fresh figs that I broiled with evoo, honey and sea salt. The crust turned out great and this is good for me to know because I didn’t follow my typical process of chopping up the butter and freezing it, while also chilling the bowl, the cutter, the flour, etc. I just mixed it, kept it QUICK, and wa la!

It tastes AWESOME. I intend to make this pie every season when I see figs in the grocery store. And then! I am going to see how it turns out with dried figs since those are usually available most anytime. YUM.

I am reading Fog Island Mountains by Michelle Bailat-Jones and it is VERY good. Very unique for me. Lots of mood and atmosphere. Lots of linky connections are sparking lately, too, that I hope I can remember when I get around to posting reviews. These are when you encounter something that reminds you of the last one or two books you’ve read or are reading. Like seeing KANSAS mentioned in Inside the O’Briens after just finishing Wicked where WICHITA popped up. I’m still trying to get to The Life-Changing Magic book but it just doesn’t want to be opened for some reason. I keep moving it from room to room and yet every time I reach for my fiction read instead.

Back to the idea of book-connections; early in FIM, the narrator rescues a hawk!

Speaking of hawks and rescues, I am listening to H is for Hawk and it is a TREMENDOUS experience! Add this to your tbl (to be listened), especially if you enjoy author narrations. Macdonald is excellent. H is for Hawk reminds me that I want to read HHhH. A very different book, I imagine. All about the Hs. Today’s H words are HARMONY, HOPE, HEART, HEALTH, HAPPY, and HA HA! I’m affirming my affirmations each day but going through the alphabet for other positive words to share. Trying to keep that positive self-talk front and center.

October is just around the corner so hurry up and get your edition of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King! We’ll be all a-twittering with #SalemAlong!  Check out Avid Reader’s post on Oct 1 for all the authentic important information. I have requested the print book from the library. Am debating the audiobook – I might use my October Audible credit. I’ve spied it in paperback size at the bookstore for ~$8. Decisions!

Also upcoming in October is #Diversiverse! divers15

I am going to read Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. I also have Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattilo Beals ready. This book is memoir about the integration of Little Rock High School in 1957.

Somebody mentioned that it seems like I’m reading a lot lately but really, I’m only finally getting around to posting reviews of August reads. I think. I don’t think I’m reading more than usual. Of course, I am procrastinating a project or two and for some reason, this always spurs the blogging motivations!

I’ve already read my four books for RIP X and still have the readalong to look forward to!

Finally, I have a blogger meetup tonight and I am very excited. Yes, I’m going to share pie.

Happy FALL.


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RIP to the TENTH

Congratulations to all the RIP-ers who have participated each and every year! I have not but always want to? How’s that for being wicked?

AND on that thought, or coincidentally, . . .

I found myself listening to many Wicked songs from my Broadway Tunes Pandora channel and remarked to somebody that I probably should read Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Honestly, I didn’t even have the book on my tbr at goodreads (a few of  you are shocked knowing how many books ARE on my tbr at goodreads (1528))

and then this somebody person brought me the book to read.

Well, darn.

Since I hadn’t yet pulled The Elegance of the Hedgehog off my shelf to be the next physical book to read, I started Wicked.


This morning, I realized that Wicked would totally count for RIP and so here I am blogging a post about it.

Here’s the badge; it links to the official site and host: rip10500  <– designed by Abigail Larson.

Here is a possible list of other books I may or not read in participation of this grand bookish event:   Wicked, The Secret History (narrated by Donna Tartt), Woman on the Roof by Mignon G. Eberhart, and Salem’s Lot.


And finally,

READ SALEM’s LOT in October with us!  Watch Melissa’s blog for info and thank Trish for the soon to be revealed badge. I think we will be tweeting with hashtag #SalemReadalong?? maybe (to be updated when I know for sure)

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Woman in White

Thoughts   The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Barnes & Noble Classics 2005  (orig 1859-1860), 635 pages

MOTIVATION for READING: I was enticed to read this after reading so many glowing reviews during RIP last year (and likely the year before that.)      I borrowed a print copy from my friend Holly but was caught up in a reading-slowdown in October when I got a puppy to chase after.   Reading went out the window;  I only read 2 books that month!      And then…   I was in Western Kansas with my iPad when I decided to check the free books available for my iBook application.    Hot Diggety – this novel was available.   I somehow found the place I had left off during that slump the month before and this classic was my companion under the bitter end.

LOVED IT!      

Thus, being of lax mind and out of review practice, I will point you to my favorite review of this favorite story.     Chris at BookARama captured it best, in my opinion.     And do seek out the Book Blog Search for many many more.


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Thoughts   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dover Publications 1994 (orig pub’d 1831), 166 pages  (or 9 CDs)

Genre:  Classic?   Horror?!    Challenge:  RIP V.

I was listening to the audio* of this but it was due back to the library before I made it even 2/3 of the way.   I returned it.   I was having trouble focusing on it anyway or I was laughing at all the “WRETCHEDNESS!!!”-esses so floweryly** expressed.

I still own the book so maybe, someday, I’ll pick it up again.   I have this funny feeling that in a class with the right teacher, this would be a fascinating look at ‘humanity.’

DNF = Did Not Finish.

* If you missed my bad poetry review that I wrote awhile back, you didn’t really miss anything.
** What?  Don’t like floweryly?   flowerily?  oh well.   It seems to be the best word I could invent that fit.


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Tis October… or “Livid With the Hue of Death”

An original poem penned (typed?  digitally created?) by yours truly on a late afternoon while wishing I could call and yap about this book to someone:

Between and betwixt
the cartwheeling leaves flee down the street at dusk
on a cruel sharp breeze.
yet bouts of calm sinisterness seem in hiding,
in waiting between breathes to inflict upon the senses.

Oh woe is me, this confusion these horrors!
of listening to the self-important ramblings and prolongations of the start of a story
that is the listening experience
of an audio book
called Frankenstein.


So.   Earlier this afternoon; it’s raining.   I’m on my way to Plymouth Mass to go to the nearest Petco dog-washing station to give Oscar a bit more scrubbing and deskunking and I’m listening in the car, right?   Are you with me?   And I’m only three quarters paying attention wondering if I probably shouldn’t have the cruise-control on since the road is wet and  it’s blowing pretty good and how to get this rambling old dude to just hurry up already about the studies of the ancient silly scholars and just tell me about the creature when my mind must have wandered off and then, I’m listening to …

“I had worked nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body.  For this I had deprived myself of rest and health.  I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”

Um wait.  Just like that?  you study this and that and work in your lab and all the sudden you have a real live IT-thing wake up on you and you’re…    UPSET about it?


I must tell you that when I first began this audio, I had to pop out the CD and make sure I was really listening to Frankenstein.   What’s with the Russia stuff and planning a trip, and expedition to the North Pole?      I was confused.

Why is the year “Seventeen ____ (pause/blank line/dash)” on the correspondence?  Which character is narrating this?

Finally, I figured out that the sailing Captain wasn’t Frankenstein but that they picked up Mr. Frankenstein near death and certainly without chance of survival/rescue, but.

We aren’t really even told the guy is Frankenstein until further in and quite gently ‘dropped in’, in my opinion.

Actually, I’m having fun with the language – all a bit flowery and pretentious to my ears but then I’m not ‘of’ the early 1800’s.   I’m of the late 1900’s.    Groove on, dude.

Have you ever wondered about the word CREATive and the word CREATure?     Interesting, no?   no?

Help me if I begin to start talking like this:    (I almost told my husband when he called just now that)

“Yes, the rain is falling, yet at varying intensities;  I dare say it does not seem to threaten harm to our abode.  Still, do take care when embarking on your journey homeward.”

The narrator of my audio book is Jim Weiss.  He’s good; very dramatic.   He reads lots of classics.

So I play with the forward and retreat or rather the de-advance of the audio to hear what I miss and I get to:

“It was on a dreary night of November, … With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.”

Well DON’T DO IT  if you don’t want to!!!!

And my title?    Don’t you just love the imagery “livid with the hue of death”?  Here’s the full quote on page 35 (yes, I have the book in hand right now, but not while I’m listening in the car, don’t worry.)

“Delighted and surprised, I embrace her, but as I imprinted the first kiss on her lips, they became livid with the hue of death; her features appeared to change, and I thought that I held the corpse of my dead mother in my arms; a shroud enveloped her form , and I saw the grave-worms crawling in the folds of flannel.”

Now if THAT isn’t a R.I.P. worthy quote, I don’t know WHAT is!

Got any creepy-crawly quotes gathered from YOUR RIP experience so far?

And so we begin the month that is October.   Dewey’s Read-a-thon is coming up! (Oct 9) Boston Book Fest is the weekend after that!  

I’m currently reading a library book Lady’s Maid by Margaret Forster which was my BBAW Forgotten Treasure but golly is it long – at 548 pages, hardback, not tiny font but small enough.     Luckily, it is just the right amount of captivating.

My September Summary is SIX books, most for RIP (4), two being for my Real Life Book Club, The Bookies.   No nonfiction.    I think my nonfiction count is down from last year.   I just ordered Hermione Lee’s Virginia Woolf which I want to read to finish up the Women Unbound Challenge, which is winding down (and miserably ignored of late) and due to end on November 30, 2010.    REMIND ME to post something over there…

I’m rather bummed that I didn’t read a Banned Book for this week’s Banned Book Week (whoa – was that redundant?) especially when my niece asked me on Facebook if I did.     Surely some idiots with too much time on their hands banned The Maltese Falcon at some point, right?  But I couldn’t find it on any list during the 10 minutes I searched.   Happy BBW if you are celebrating.

This should give anyone more than enough fodder for something to comment on.   or I’ve overwhelmed you all!    Blog at you next week…


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Neverwhere Audio Experience

Thoughts   Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Harper Audio Unabridged 2007 (orig pub’d 1996), 12 1/2 hours on 10 CDs

Genre:   Fantasy
Challenge:  RIP v
Setting:   London, above and below

“Gaiman is, simply put, a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him.”    – Stephen King

I’m going to stray from my typical review template and just ramble.

I bought the audio because I had that 33% coupon from Borders AND a 10% off above and beyond coupon and thought an audio would be the best deal since I’m usually a bit hesitant to spend the higher prices for audios even though I understand that the costs to produce might be more (plus supply and demand and other such economic considerations?) and this was the only choice in the store that I wanted to ‘read’.

Neverwhere is well-loved so I had already had it on my to-be-read list.  The fact that the author was the voice AND was highly recommended as a terrific voice, I knew that would not be disappointing.

I was not disappointed.   I loved it.

I do think the time to load all the disks onto my Mac and then transferring all to my iPad was a bit disappointing.    I was also disappointed that when one disk concluded and sometimes within chapters on the same disk, it would jump to who-knows-where.   Yes, I was very disappointed by this and wonder if it is something I do wrong in setting it up but I haven’t figured that out yet.    Seriously?   Often I would be listening and not even aware what chapter I was on when it would jump to disk 10 and then I would have to HUNT which chapter was supposed to be next.

But the experience of listening – when in the correct order – was wonderful!   Gaiman is an excellent reader/voice for audio!   He does accents well.   It was very easy to know which character was talking.

I carried my iPad around everywhere.   Everywhere.   Upstairs, downstairs, out to get the mail…    and when I found earpieces to listen privately so it wouldn’t bug my husband, I was able to listen in the car when hub drove!    Yippee!

However, before earpieces (they have a name but my brain won’t retrieve it;   earBUDS?) I was sad that the volume on the iPad was not sufficiently loud enough to listen while driving.   Big bummer.   I realize I could spend another $50+ to get some kind of device that will plug into my car and allow the car’s stereo system to blast it, but I hate to spend money on such stuff.

The story of Neverwhere is fun and enthralling.    I was rooting for Richard Mayhew from the get-go.    Of course, I realized he was going to be just fine.  I’m pretty sure it was the standard story of ‘regular nice guy gets himself thrust into an adventure of magic and other worlds and REAL DANGER and only wants his boring life back and when he gets it, wishes for the exciting crazy life of adventure again’ etc and then some, but it was still very fun.

Someone somewhere said that a good book is enhanced by a terrific narrator and I agree.    Now that I’m days away from listening, I can’t recall all that much of why I liked it so much – thus the 4 pie slice rating – but I would definitely sign up to listen to Gaiman read me another book any day.

I  just need to get better at the technology of listening to an audio book so the experience wasn’t so disruptive.

MORE AUDIO REVIEWS:   OK, I just typed that and went to Fyrefly’s book blog search, entered ‘Neverwhere Audio’ and didn’t get any specific reviews of this particular book.  I found a lot of Graveyard Book and one for Neverwhere and Beyond – which is news to me that there is a sequel, so I’ll just invite anyone to comment with links if they reviewed it.     For a terrific review of the actual book, click this link to Nymeth’s from 2007 which I’m sure was the catalyst for me to figure out who and what this Neil Gaiman dude was all about…

And then when I found out that this is a mini-series?     AND available on Netflix instant-play!?!   Just might watch it tonight…  🙂


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Maltese Falcon and Woman in the Dark

Thoughts   The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Vintage Books, div of Random House 1992 (orig pub’d 1929), 217 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:    for R.I.P. V!   and for Book to Movie Challenge.  And my husband also read The Maltese Falcon; he doesn’t read many books so we are both now looking forward to watching the flick.

FIRST SENTENCE: “Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:    Our Sam Spade, Private Investigator, comes to work one day to find a beautiful woman in his office who wants to hire him.   Trouble, trouble, trouble.    He has to avoid getting arrested (and getting beat up – a lot) while trying to track down the source of the trouble, the lost artifact called The Maltese Falcon.

WHAT’s COOL:   Mr. Hammett writes in an extremely descriptive style with lots and lots of colors.   It really stands out how many times he mentions ‘her jade-colored dress’, ‘her green dress’, ‘the flash of emerald’, etc and then some.     The pace of the action picks up as the story lines unfold – it’s a fun ride.    The dialogue is quite good and I can see that this might have been quite easy to adapt to the big screen.

RATING:    Four slices of pie.


Thoughts   Woman in the Dark by Dashiell Hammett, Thorndike Press Large Print 1990 (orig pub’d 1933) Introduction 1988 Robert B. Parker, 128 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:   More Hammett!    Found this at the Home for the Aged where I volunteer.

FIRST SENTENCE:  “Her right ankle turned under her and she fell.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:   Late one stormy night, a foreign woman escaping her husband?  benefactor?  sugar daddy?    (It’s unclear) happens to knock on the door of a man recently out of prison.  He agrees to help rescue her but it’s all just ‘trouble, trouble, trouble.’   It’s somewhat of a love story, believe it or not.  (I’m not altogether sure about this, either.)

WHAT’s COOL:    Parker’s Intro is a great segue from The Maltese Falcon to this short story.    He describes common threads to all the ‘tough guys’ Hammett uses for his protagonists and he explains how this story was a departure in theme, thus the ‘love story’ component explained.    I would assume if you are a fan of Hammett, this story WITH the Introduction is a must.

But I didn’t like the story.    It didn’t have the frantic “Oh no!  What’s going to happen next?”  suspenseful tension.   And come on, women should not fall in love with the tough guy when he forcibly kisses them.    It’s definitely a book that lacks respect for women; I don’t care what time period it is set in.

RATING:  Two slices of pie.

WORDS:   p.144 of TMF – lathy … = lathlike; long and thin. [I could not, however, find ‘lathlike’ in the dictionary.]

151 of TMF – swart …  =  swarthy or of dark complexion.

******  Both of these books are available in ******


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.