okay, it’s like this, folks (he explained sheepishly): my gimmicky new reading plan is to read a pair of books that can be linked in some way - let’s say two books set in Paris, or two books with the same word in the title, or two books with something similar in their plot synopses. whatever. so, with this in mind, I was going to go to The Cask, and have an author’s-first-novel double-bill, launched with Sayers’ Whose Body?.
but how can I not change my mind...and do - are you ready for this? - two books in a row with a bathtub on the cover! if I had picked a different Maigret novel out at the bookstore over the weekend, this wouldn’t be happening (and goodness knows, I changed my mind fifty times). I didn’t mean to suddenly have two ‘bathtub covers’ handy, but I think it would be rash not to have a much sillier double-bill than something boringly logical, like “two first novels”.
I do reserve the right to read one random book in between each book forming a double-bill...but it just seems wrong to put something between the two bathtubs. so I reserve the right to do a random read, not part of a pairing, in between pairings (following all this? silly enough for you? does not the bathtub double-bill make it so?).
I’ve got two Mystery novels lined up in which paintings figure into the plot, so that may be my next double-bill (neither book has a toilet on the cover, so even if I accidentally acquire a book with a toilet on the cover, it will not cause any rashly necessary substitutions similar to what we are enduring now). logic should prevail, every now and then...we’ll see.
enjoyable, but a bit dated in specific ways - this is a 1923 British Mystery novel featuring a Jewish financier who has gone missing, and may have been murdered...so some characters talk like they are in London, in 1923. I haven’t cringed or become outraged - but, yeah, uh, the times, the times, thank goodness things are not as overtly tolerated; you can’t just...say shit and everyone nods.
okay, I like the Mystery. I have a theory - and I have read that this is not that tough a Mystery to figure out, which means there is that much more of a chance I’m right, than usual.
Wimsey was instantly appealing, if a bit over-Wimsey ( isn’t he always, though?).
Ride A Pale Horse, by Helen MacInnes (copyright 1984; quote is from pages 183-184 of the Titan Books trade paperback edition, July 2013).
I’m skipping The Widow for now (poor Widow...sorry), and going to Sayers. this does not feel completely wrong, or misguided.
if this is an example of one of MacInnes’ bad books...I guess I’m safe approaching any of them, because I continue to have a fun time with Ride A Pale Horse.
an unsettling episode at the airport in Rome leads to even stranger developments in Karen's life, including a secret rendezvous at the Church of the Capuchin Monks.
continues to be a more engaging read than I was expecting, based on reviews. not spectacular, but thank goodness it does not drag at all.
this isn’t so bad - I was expecting a lot worse (though there is still plenty of time to turn into the rumoured confusing mess). it’s more Torn Curtain than North By Northwest...but I prefer Notorious over both of those, anyway! and this sure ain’t Notorious.
my first thought is that this is probably going to run longer than it should; and yet, all the scenes seem to have moved the plot forward at a decent pace, and have been necessary scenes. if this all goes wrong, it will happen in noticeable fashion - I’ll suddenly be bored, and know it in my guts- and I’ll pass the word along. as of now, things have been going okay. globetrotting: Prague, Vienna, the US, Rome looming - so I like that. I always do, in a Spy novel.
I'm enjoying it - but I am hearkening back to the reviews that said "don't be fooled by the enticing beginning, the book becomes a muddle of frenzied activity without much sense", and variations on that sort of assessment. but I like it so far. I think I have a basic fondness for even weak Spy books, if they have at least some tension to them. still, Agent In Place was fabulous, so it'll be a pity if this follow-up for me is truly terrible - and I'll have to pick an earlier book by the author next time, like Above Suspicion or The Venetian Affair.
this Maigret novel, and then for sure that Helen MacInnes novel I keep avoiding. no, really - it’s for sure, this time.
the police look into Frank Dwyer's troubled past, and surmise they may be looking for someone named "Eve". the case has gotten strange, from their point of view. I think there may be another murder, another letter of the alphabet left at the scene, and I think E-V-E will become E-V-E-N. as in getting even. but of course I don't know.