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Old 11-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #14506
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I should have known better ....

But it had been so long .....

And I was sick this weekend and desperately wanted a quick "throw-away" read - preferably a mystery ...

And Marilyn Stasio gave it an OK review in the NYTBR - not a great or even a good review - but an OK one (compared to past entries in the series) ...
And remarked that this entry finally had a plot ....

So, in a delirium of fever I took a chance and bought the latest Patricia Cornwell Scarpetta book "The Bone Bed" ... and read it ...

Well .... it had a plot ... of sorts ... with large parts of it not included in this book.
The first 1/4 of the book read as a series of product placement ads - for everything Apple has ever made, plus coffee/expresso makers, office furniture, clothes, etc. You really began to expect hyperlinks to purchase this stuff.
And lots of cooking - with lists of ingredients ... (do we really need to know that Scarpetta has 2 refrigerators?) (or care?)
The villain was .... odd ... and a really awful stereotype .... with high-tech "toys" and a worn out motive.
The narrative lives inside Scarpetta's head ... which can get quite claustrophobic - since there's barely enough room there for Cornwell .... not to mention Scarpetta.
There was a cameo appearance by a giant sea turtle - one of the most egregious "coincidences" I've ever encountered in fiction - apparently included b/c Cornwell got to touch one in real life.
And the other "usual" side kick characters are sort of there ...
And ....

The final indignity? A happy ending! In a Scarpetta book? A bit unbelievable ....

Long time mystery fans are aware of the decline in quality of the Scarpetta series over time - and Cornwell's attempts to prolong the series (perhaps past its sell-by date) with the addition of high-tech gadgets and forays into experimental psychiatry ... but the old magic of actually solving criminal cases through a spirited blend of old fashioned police work and insights from the victim via a thorough autopsy -- is gone.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:40 PM   #14507
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Too many authors don't know when to let their cash-cows go and find a new set of characters. Sue Grafton is a perfect example. My DW and I read the first several, and enjoyed them a lot. Then the next several, enjoying them less and less. And finally gave it up. Sometimes authors recover, but all too often they seem to just start going through the motions.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:39 PM   #14508
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Too many authors don't know when to let their cash-cows go and find a new set of characters. Sue Grafton is a perfect example. My DW and I read the first several, and enjoyed them a lot. Then the next several, enjoying them less and less. And finally gave it up. Sometimes authors recover, but all too often they seem to just start going through the motions.
Too right! Though the 'Spenser' novels did well all the way through, and Jesse Stone, despite using the same dialog techniques as Spenser, manages to make it as well. Will we be able to say the same for Virgil Flowers? His last time at bat was just a bit not up to par...


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Old 11-05-2012, 07:57 PM   #14509
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I finished The Twelve by Justin Cronin on Friday night. It has one of the best villans ever. I could see some actor having a great time playing Guilder in the movie version. Anyway, it was a corker with lots of surprises.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #14510
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I am reading Heron's Cove by Carla Neggers (a bit of fluff), Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs and I just downloaded The Red House by Mark Haddon for a bookclub.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:57 PM   #14511
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I just downloaded The Red House by Mark Haddon for a bookclub.
Thanks for the heads-up. I loved Haddon's first two novels so I now have this on my wish list.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:03 PM   #14512
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Now I'm reading another indie effort - this time by Scott Haworth. The book is called Heaven 2.0. It's interesting so far.
This was a fun story. It's not brilliant, but I'd give it 3 stars.

The concept is quite interesting, but it suffers from one of those problems - with all the people that could be stuck in a large facility, what's the likelihood of someone stumbling on to not 1, but 3 connected people? Apparently quite high.

Despite the issues with the story, I found it reasonably interesting conceptually and the notion of curing death in the future and extracting people into a facility that contains a man-made Heaven and Hell was definitely enough for me to enjoy the book overall.

Next is another indie effort. The Puppet Maker's Bones by Alisa Tangredi. I'm quite interested in this one as the sample was intriguing. I'm not 100% sure if it's meant to be a horror or fantasy - or both.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:41 AM   #14513
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Which was a quick fun read, but a bit below average for GGs.

Next: F&SF Magazine for November/December 2012, which has just appeared in my Kindle account.
Which was an average to slightly above average issue, but nothing outstanding for me.

Next was a new book just bought in Fictionwise's latest sale: Rogue Program by Darrell Bain
Very readable, in that the story rolls along well, but I found the second half totally implausible.

Just started: Analog SFF, December 2012 by Dell Magazine Authors. Also just bought at 55% off in the current fictionwise sale.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #14514
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Too right! Though the 'Spenser' novels did well all the way through, and Jesse Stone, despite using the same dialog techniques as Spenser, manages to make it as well. Will we be able to say the same for Virgil Flowers? His last time at bat was just a bit not up to par...


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Yes, Parker consistently produced a predictable product of acceptable to good quality. I actually enjoyed all three of his series, though I confess to getting a bit tired of the same basic relationship issues in all three. But then, one has only to look at his personal life to know where all that came from.

I haven't been all that pleased with Flowers as a replacement, but I'll likely give it a bit more of a chance.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:25 PM   #14515
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I'm reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, the November selection for the MobileRead Book Club. Some quotes from the book (click here and scroll down for more) were posted yesterday in the "Notable quotes, excerpts, and profound lines" thread by covingtoncat73, showing what an interesting selection this is.

Had over an hour this morning to read while waiting in the long line to vote. Hooray for ereaders!
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Old 11-07-2012, 05:28 AM   #14516
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Had over an hour this morning to read while waiting in the long line to vote. Hooray for ereaders!
It's insane isn't it? Occasionally I find myself wishing I were stuck in a queue just so I could read.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:20 AM   #14517
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Last night I finished The Racketeer by John Grisham. It was my first Grisham book, I had always been under the impression that his books weren't easy and smooth read but, at least regarding The Racketeer, I was very wrong.

Now I'm about to start Kate Mosse's Citadel, the final book in the Languedoc trilogy. I loved the first book in the series, Labyrinth, but thought the second book, Sepulchre, was okay.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:08 AM   #14518
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Yes, Parker consistently produced a predictable product of acceptable to good quality. I actually enjoyed all three of his series, though I confess to getting a bit tired of the same basic relationship issues in all three. But then, one has only to look at his personal life to know where all that came from.

I haven't been all that pleased with Flowers as a replacement, but I'll likely give it a bit more of a chance.
Parker's reparte in both the Spenser books and the Jesse Stone novels reminds me very much of the old TV show, "I Spy," between Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.

I didn't care much for Sunny Randall. But I do like Virgil Flowers' first few books very much. Just this last one didn't quite measure up. Good, but not great.


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Old 11-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #14519
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I'm reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
How are you liking it??
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:53 AM   #14520
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I'm finding it very interesting.
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