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Currently reading

The Best of Modern Humour
Mordecai Richler
Progress: 46/543 pages
The Long Arm of the Law: Classic Police Stories
Various Authors, Martin Edwards
The First Rule of Survival
Paul Mendelson
Progress: 23/393 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 23 out of 393 pages.

The First Rule of Survival - Paul Mendelson

I think it's going to be a good'un! but...bleak, hard to take, at times. De Vries better stop this depravity.

Thursday Triple-Bill: Dying for an Audience!

 

if you are going to get poisoned, why not do it in front of a crowd. it's a big attention-getter, and for extra fun, they may have a hard time proving it even was poison...and despite scads of people around - on a football field, during Parliament, or during an office celebration just waiting for a party-pooper - you get the last laugh at these idiots, cuz nobody saw anything. well, maybe nobody. maybe a little justice with a last laugh.

 

I've got some overflow on books like these, so with a "quintuple-bill" seeming a bit extreme, I'll deal with people murdered on TV next week, when I'll be back to posting this stuff on Friday (have a great weekend, everybody!).

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 393 pages.

The First Rule of Survival - Paul Mendelson

so far, my favorite Crime & Mystery novel set in South Africa is The Artful Egg; not that I’ve read that many...and I am looking forward to something that is not from the 1980s, but just five years ago.

Reading progress update: I've read 292 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

the new stars of this story: Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan.

 

gonna try and finish this tonight, with hockey games dropping all over the place, in the background. 

NEXT

Reading progress update: I've read 222 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

World War Two and the Riviera...everything becomes very different. next chapter - Chapter 11 - has a comforting title: 'Return of Peace'.

"Before he departed Winston gave a dinner at the Casino for some Dutch friends of Maxine’s, at which he was captivated by a parrot: ‘The most lovely parrot I ever saw...He is a millionaire and keeps a sailor to look after him,’ he wrote. The parrot knew a number of French swear words and party pieces, and kept whispering in his keeper’s ear and then roaring with laughter. He could also miaow like a cat and imitate the sound of drums of a military band, and generally showed off to loud applause. In fact, Winston reported, he brought the house down."

The Riviera Set, by Mary S. Lovell (copyright 2016; quote is from page 163 of the Abacus trade paperback edition, 2017).

"Winston’s good spirits flowered in the hot sun, and Maxine insured that the house revolved around him. He was soon ensconced in the best guest suite, where he was visited each morning by Maxine’s latest pet - a lemur called Kiki, which guests referred to as ‘the monkey’. This little primate, the latest in a long chain of beloved pets of Maxine’s, had the run the of the house the way a cat would have, and while it was charming to see it hanging by its tail from the trees on the terrace, or the glass door leading from the salon, it was a cause of great consternation to some guests, especially when it leapt from the trees to land on the dining table. Female guests were especially nervous of it, and if it nipped anyone with its sharp needle-like teeth Maxine would brush off complaints and call for iodine. Elsie de Wolfe was nipped in a vulnerable spot one day while standing on her head beside the swimming pool."

The Riviera Set, by Mary S. Lovell (copyright 2016; quote is from page 128 of the Abacus trade paperback edition, 2017).

Reading progress update: I've read 146 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

1933-35ish - lots of Winston Churchill, camping out with Maxine Elliott at her little shack (seems to like the terrace with the pool, but wanders off to paint or dictate mountains of correspondence or whatever, if the conversation gets vapid and uninteresting). lots of Winston Churchill is okay with me. and...is there a History book, or Biography, where Ernest Hemingway doesn’t show up?!

Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

wow. Maxine Elliott's lifesaving efforts in Belgium during World War One - just, wow.

 

I've reached the beginning of Part Two, with Maxine discovering the South of France, and knowing she wants to live there, and wants to put something special there.

Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

terrific start. we haven’t quite made it to the Riviera yet, with Maxine Elliott, but she’s been just about everywhere else, met just about everyone else  - people with names like Rothschild, Churchill, Morgan, Duke this, Earl that, and King Edward VII who, sadly, could not keep his May (1910) scheduled social appointment with her, in the room she specially designed for him at Hartsbourne (I wonder if her life would have been different, if history would have been different, if the rendezvous had been achieved).

 

Reading progress update: I've read 46 out of 543 pages.

The Best of Modern Humour - Mordecai Richler

gosh, Wodehouse ruined all other humorists for me. loved revisiting ‘Ukridge’s Accident Syndicate’, laughed out loud several times, at the coffee shop.

 

my next short story will be the last one in Blood on the Tracks, which will be replaced by The Long Arm of the Law (another British Library Crime Classics title, probably featuring some of the same authors).

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 435 pages.

The Riviera Set - 1920-1960: The Golden Years of Glamour and Excess - Mary S. Lovell

some Nonfiction is in order, for me. the gorgeous, enticing cover of this book caught my eye right when my Fiction picks were leaning towards all things French, so I nabbed it...and almost read it after enjoying a Crime novel that happened to have Rita Hayworth on the cover. that seemed like a sign, but I ignored the sign. now I’ll just pick it out of the blue, no signs or omens; it may be my only French-related reading until the Simenon Flemish House Buddy Read (Simenon was Belgian, but...).

Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 543 pages.

The Best of Modern Humour - Mordecai Richler

I didn’t comment on the last few morsels I munched from this collection, because I didn’t find them funny. but I just did the Damon Runyon entry, and I had a fun time with that - my first experience with Runyon, as best as I can recall. next will be what I consider the best of the Ukridge stories from P. G. Wodehouse, so I’m anxious to re-read. oh those golden days when I had fifty unread Wodehouse books left to devour...but this re-read will take me back, a little. Ring Lardner, after Wodehouse, and, like Runyon, that will be uncharted territory, hopefully with rewards.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 186 pages.

The Soul Hit - Charlie Haas

I have no idea what to expect from this, beyond the 1970s record-industry/hit-music angle. it seems there might be some Spy stuff...or not. I do know that after this I’m due for: (a) some longer novels, (b) some Nonfiction.

Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 171 pages.

Alice Payne Arrives (Alice Payne #1) - Kate Heartfield

the time-travel element in this short novel is fascinating. and Alice, Prudence and Jane are great characters. I guess I’ll have to acquire Alice Payne Rides.

 

almost certainly The Soul Hit next, one of my music-themed Mysteries.