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Old 05-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #9274
ATDrake
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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For a change of pace, now reading mystery w/history again. Finished The Seventh Sinner, 1st in Elizabeth Peters' Jacqueline Kirby, Sardonic Librarian Lady series.

A little slower to start and longer to build than I was expecting, based on the pace of Die For Love, 3rd in the series which I really enjoyed. Kind of like Borrower of the Night in the Vicky Bliss series, where the series is still finding its footing in the first book and reads a bit more generically than the following volumes.

Still, a fairly good amateur sleuth mystery taking place among a circle of close friends who are in denial that one of them could be the murderer, and a clever and hard to figure out whodunnit with well-planted see-how-you-weren't-paying-attention clues.

Only objection I have is to the motivation being chalked up in part to mental derangement, since I feel that tends to be overused as an easy out; why can't the murderer just be a clever self-justifying conscience-ignoring manipulative fill-in-the-blank who shamelessly takes advantage of their trusting fellow human beings for personal gain instead?

Mildly recommended, as it's not particularly distinctive in terms of the series "voice", which is much better established in the 2nd book The Murders of Richard III, which I'm reading as my dry-weather paperback in between Roberta Gellis' historical romance* The Dragon and the Rose, about Henry Tudor's maneuvers to wrest England from Richard†, which is making for an interesting compare and contrast.

* Actually more of a mildly romantic historical, which suits me just fine, being normally a no-romo.

† Amazingly, this is being sold by Baen's Webscription, of all places rather than the usual outlets which handle Gellis' non-fantasy romances and no, it does not involve elves secretly helping Henry to the throne nor are there any actual dragons in the story, though there may be actual roses.

Last edited by ATDrake; 05-07-2011 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Punctuation.
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