The very first of Agatha Christie’s detective stories, Mysterious Affair at Styles was a breath of fresh air – air scented with ancient country mansions, rich but foolish old ladies, a rogues gallery of extended family, poison, wills, minute yet vital clues, and, of course, an intelligent detective to bring it all together. Continue reading
It might seem that to pen a review of literary titaness Jane Austen’s best-known (and possibly best-loved) novel would be presumptuous.
Nevertheless, I shall proceed to gild the lily and explain why, when I finally crossed its threshold several years ago, I found it worthy of every adulation ever laid at its door. Continue reading
Junk Food for Zombie Lovers
This book is like mind candy for the science fiction apocalypse lover. Zombies – quick, coordinated, and flesh-eating – mixed with aliens – small, big-eyed and green – and robots for a wild, active romp thru cliché and disaster-tales.
If only the violence weren’t so medically accurate…and if only the author had learned that “series” is not code for “serial”. Continue reading
Three Things to Think On This “Holiday Season”
Charles Dickens’ original story of rich, cantankerous, “Bah-Humbug” Scrooge, the ghosts of Christmas, and the joy of celebration is available on Project Gutenberg and on Amazon as free ebooks (or as an audiobook!), so there’s no barrier to enjoying this classic tale.
As I read Dickens’ version of the story, three things jumped out at me. Continue reading
Science. Darkness. Vigilante justice.
Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens allegedly said, “A classic is a book which everyone praises, yet nobody reads.” The inverse is equally applicable, in that a book which everyone is forced to read in high-school English is not, for that reason, a good book.
Published in 1886, A Study in Scarlet is the first story about Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. It introduces the world-famous champion of logic, the private “consulting detective” who specializes in solving sensational cases while patronizing the dumbstruck narrator, Dr. Watson. Continue reading
Human beings are curious creatures, subject to passions of love and hatred, extremes of pride and compassion. A Double Barrelled Detective Story expresses this with curious – yet characteristic – Mark Twain humor.
In-depth characterization, thoughtful Christianity, and an authentic teenage voice help set this story apart from the other books about lost children and teens finding their way. Continue reading
Quiet, Unassuming Read
Made in Yorkshire: 1964 is exactly what the title says: a story of the life of one boy (Richard Warren) in Ledder Bridge, Yorkshire in 1964. Quiet, yet engaging, it’s a gentle read that nevertheless touches harsh things. Continue reading
The works of G.A. Henty formed a staple of my childhood literary diet, and When London Burned is one of my favorites. Although Henty’s works are strongly formulaic, there’s no denying his formula’s power to create engrossing, rollicking adventures with an undercurrent of history. Continue reading