Searching for something to read on the treadmill — not too demanding, but absorbing enough to sink into for a half hour here and there — I decided a British Library Crime Classic would be a good pick. It’s been a while since I tried Mavis Doriel Hay’s books, so I can’t remember quite how this stacked up, but it was an entertaining enough story. The young people are mostly fun — you can tell they are genuinely good people, even when they’re laughing at their elders or being a little stupid about a police investigation — though I couldn’t entirely tell the difference between Beryl and Betty at times, which got a bit confusing.
Basil, however, was really annoying, oh my gosh. Just stop prevaricating and incriminating yourself and tell the truth, man! And it’s not at all endearing that you lose track of what story you’ve told which person and get into a mess! Gah. He deserved to be in trouble with the police!
In any case, I suspected the murderer early on, though I suspect I have an eye for Golden Age fiction patterns by this point. (And this one fits the pattern to a T; fairly unlikeable person gets killed, unlikeable person did the deed, order is restored at the end…) It worked pretty well, overall, and the clues come together well. Enjoyable!
I’m in the middle of The Mortal Word, by Genevieve Cogman; I was bemoaning the lack of Peregrine Vale in the previous book, and lo and behold, this one’s a murder mystery. Here’s hoping there’s plenty of Vale in this one (though I hope Kai isn’t as relegated to the sidelines as he appears to be here).
I’m also reading Murder Underground, by Mavis Doriel Hay. I can’t remember how I felt about Death on the Cherwell, but Murder Underground is doing okay — even if Basil is a silly ass who would do a lot better by not lying to the detectives!
What have you recently finished reading?
I finished up Meteorite: The Stones From Outer Space That Made Our World, by Tim Gregory. I love non-fiction books of all kinds where you can really feel that the writer loves their subject, and this is one of those. Cosmochemistry isn’t my thing at all, but Gregory’s so excited about it, it made me excited to read.
What will you be reading next?
As usual, I’ve no idea. My wife’s thinking of reading Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston, so maybe I’ll buddy read that with her? Or I’ll get back to something on the Shelf of Abandoned Books… ahem.