Monday, April 13, 2009

New Books/Old Books

Just finished reading a good Victorian mystery called Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourne. It had a really good first line:
"To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor."
I loved it and it sucked me right in. I would say that the novel moved at a Victorian pace and there was only one kiss that I knew of in the whole book. But it was entertaining enough that I would like to know more about the hero and heroine so I will get the next book in the series, Silent on the Moor. Here is what Publisher's Weekly said about the sequel:
Fans and new readers alike will welcome this sparkling sequel to Raybourn's debut Victorian mystery, Silent in the Grave (2007). Left homeless by fire, wealthy widow Lady Julia Grey has been recuperating in Italy. With Christmas approaching, Julia returns to England, where she joins her large and eccentric family at their equally large and eccentric ancestral estate, a former monastery that retains some monkish ghosts. Nicholas Brisbane, a private enquiry agent with whom Julia has shared both a heated embrace and a stint at detection, is among the holiday houseguests, and to Julia's astonishment Brisbane is in line for a title and engaged. Then a local curate is murdered in the former church sanctuary, and a set of priceless pearls goes missing. Headstrong and clever Julia joins Brisbane in investigating the crimes, deciphering his personal situation in the process. Readers may wish for a bit more romantic development, but the complex mystery, a delightfully odd collection of characters and deft period details produce a rich and funny read.
Sounds good to me.

I also just finished reading Little Doritt by Dickens.
When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother’s seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy’s father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is one of the supreme works of Dickens’s maturity.

Now I am not a big fan of Dickens-I find him to be too emotional. And he waves his emotions around for everyone to see whether they want to or not! But I did love Little Doritt. It was a wonderful stort, I really prefer Anthony Trollope myself.
I just started Mr. Scarborough's Family (1883. It sounds as if it will be a wild story:
Mr Scarborough, wealthy owner of Tretton Park in Staffordshire, is dying. His eldest son and heir Mountjoy has gambled away his inheritance to avaricious money-lenders who hold post-obits to the entire value of the estate. As the story opens, Mr Scarborough astonishes Society by declaring Mountjoy illegitimate. He claims that he only married his wife shortly before the birth of his second (remarkably unattractive) son Augustus, thus making him the real heir. Mountjoy's creditors threaten vain law suits against the estate; and the odious Augustus assumes his place as heir. Meanwhile, Harry Annesley, the son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, is the heir to his foolish uncle Peter Prosper. He is also in love with Mr Scarborough's niece Florence Mountjoy. Florence's mother had always intended her daughter should marry Mountjoy Scarbororough. But Florence has never loved him, and tells him of her affection for Harry. A drunken brawl between the disinherited Mountjoy and Harry in a London street leaves Mountjoy sprawled on the pavement; and next day he disappears.
And more hilarity ensues, as they say. Well this is considered one of Trollope's comic novels so we will see.

Blogger is acting odd and won't let me edit or post pictures so sorry about this post...
Talk to you soon,

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