Author Topic: Mystery Corner ~ 2  (Read 491151 times)

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8440 on: April 20, 2017, 02:59:35 PM »

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Some of farjeon's books are 99 cents on kindle, so I bought one to try.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8441 on: April 20, 2017, 04:04:22 PM »
Like father, like son. Like his father, J. Jefferson was also a prodigious writer of crime and mysteries. He may even have surpassed his father in the number of books he wrote. According to Wikipedia, Dorothy Sayers admired his work. Some of his books have been reissued within the last four years. It might be fun to compare writing style between father and son.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8442 on: April 21, 2017, 05:46:48 PM »
Here he is: J. Jefferson Farjeon

https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/j.-jefferson-farjeon/

I started a book by his father. I like the leisurely, wry tone, but it looks like it will take a while for the plot to develop.

Life was much slower back then! A young friend was complaining to me about how slow the sport of baseball is, and I hear they are looking for ways to speed it up. Listening to games always reminds me of my childhood: lazy summer afternoons, drinking lemonade and listening to "the game" on the radio.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8443 on: April 22, 2017, 05:25:46 AM »
Well, JoanK, I don't remember all those commercials that they've added to the televised game. They make the game seem slower if not actually making them slower. I can imagine some game official (and this goes for football too) telling the teams to slow things down so that the advertisers can get all their commercials aired. I used to watch baseball, but it got too slow. Maybe it is us that speeded up rather than the game slowing down.

I agree with your assessment of the plot being slow. Samuel Boyd...[/] is beginning to make me think, "get on with it, for heaven's sake". The conversation always seems to "beat around the bush", lots of allusions to things, but nothing direct, crucial bits of information not being said. It must be a Victorian thing. Very immodest or impolite to be direct, especially in matters of the heart. It's a wonder that more things were not misunderstood if they spoke the way they wrote.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8444 on: April 25, 2017, 08:24:03 AM »
I just finished reading a book (The Bookman's Tale by Charles Lovett) which is about an Antiquarian bookseller who is trying to track down a Victorian watercolor artist who painted a portrait of a woman who looks like his dead wife. He wants to know who the artist is and how his wife (for whom he is still grieving) came to be painted 100 years before she lived. Wrapped up in all of this is another mystery, which becomes the prime focus, in which a supposed original copy of a book in which Shakespeare wrote notes in the margins having used it as a basis for A Winter's Tale. Both are intertwined. There is also a general overview of restoration of books and bookbinding.

The scenes are mostly in North Carolina and England (Kingham, where the author lives part of the year). Charlie Lovett is himself an avid book collector and a member of Grolier's Club which is mentioned n the book. I had never heard of the club before, only knowing Grolier as a publisher of encyclopedias. Their Book of Knowledge set was a favorite of mine when I was young, as was the accompanying set, Lands and Peoples. The Grolier's Club:  http://www.grolierclub.org/

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8445 on: April 29, 2017, 10:14:28 AM »
I've finished Samuel Boyd...  What a long book. The outcome was fairly predictable but the paths to getting there were twisty. I thought the book more melodramatic than Vendetta: A Story of One Forgotten by Marie Corelli. Corelli was often cited for being melodramatic. It might have been there, but I saw no mention of it regarding Farjeon's works.

Now I am just starting The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It's the second of his Library of Forgotten Books series (Shadow of the Wind was the first). Once again the setting is Barcelona. It begins with a young, aspiring writer who works for a newspaper. I haven't finished the first chapter yet, but I am already sucked in.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8446 on: May 04, 2017, 02:34:20 PM »
the Bookman's Tale sounds lovely. I'll see if I can get it cheap.

On baseball, I always have my kindle in hand, mute the TV, and read during commercials. Sometimes, I read during the game, too, with the sound low, and look up when I hear the crack of a bat or crowd noise. my cable TV has a classical music station, and sometimes, I flip over to that during commercials. Only problem: it's difficult to judge when to turn back.

I'm the world's expert at avoiding commercials! It's my favorite indoor sport.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8447 on: May 04, 2017, 02:45:03 PM »
Promising, but disappointing find: "Who Killed willie Lincoln?" (I've returned it to the library and FF doesn't have it: I've forgotten the author. But I don't recommend it anyway. Interesting premise: Willie is Lincoln's young son who died while he was president, shattering both his parents. this book imagines that he was murdered: narrated by a young advisor of Lincoln's who "solves the crime." based on research into Lincoln's household, it gives a picture thereof. Mrs. L's seamstress is a character: I have her biography in my TBR pile.

Unfortunately, the writing is boring. I could barely get through the book.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8448 on: May 04, 2017, 02:51:45 PM »
Amendment to my previous post. The Zafon series is Cemetery of Forgotten Books (not Library of...).

I am now about a third of the way through The Angel's Game. I've gotten past "the good deed that has not gone unpunished" and feeling some sympathy for the main character/narrator. However, the Gothic spookiness has kicked in, and with it, I perceive the beginnings of a shift in fortunes as well as a shift in personality. I am enjoying this as much as I did Shadow of the Wind.

The connections between the two books are the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere, the bookseller. BTW, I discovered that Lucia Graves, Robert Graves daughter, is the English translator.

Hi Joan. You were posting as I was typing. It's a shame about the Lincoln book. It is not something I would be interested in even if it were good, though. I hope you find another more to your liking very soon.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8449 on: May 06, 2017, 06:34:49 AM »
I finished The Angel's Game last late last night. All I can say is that if you like Gothic Horror or super creepy stories, this is a good one. The ending was a little surprising and interesting. Shadow of the Wind was only mildly creepy in comparison to this one. Although The Angel's Game is the second in the series, it is set previous to Shadow of the Wind. I don't recall that anything carries over to Wind except for the secret library and Daniel Sempere and his bookstore, which leaves me wondering about David Martin (the narrator of Angel's) and his "boss" Andreas Corelli. I don't think they were a feature in Shadow.

Annie

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8450 on: May 06, 2017, 09:47:46 AM »
Frybabe, What was the name of the book about the lady who started the little traveling library? You recommended it in the library?
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8451 on: May 06, 2017, 12:05:40 PM »
It's Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley. The Haunted Bookshop is a sequel; I haven't read that yet. Parnassus was Morley's first novel. Haunted follows pretty much follows up on the guy who sold the traveling book shop in Parnassus. Morley was another Pennsylvanian "what done good".

Oh, yes, and you can find both for free on Project Gutenberg.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8452 on: May 11, 2017, 04:58:43 PM »
I just picked up Carlos Ruiz Zafon's last book of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, called The Prisoner of Heaven. As before, the story is independent but some of the characters, the Sempere Bookstore and the Library of Forgotten Books are recurring.

Although this book is the last of a series, I plan on reading other of Zafon's works. He is on my personal list of memorable writers and a non-SciFi favorite.

Frybabe

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8453 on: May 14, 2017, 12:36:51 PM »
Yesterday I did a marathon read to finish Prisoner of Heaven. At reading the first few pages, I said to myself, "What the heck is this?" It doesn't have the Gothic flavor of the other two. What it does do is tie the loose threads of the other two books, especially The Angel's Game, together and produces a plausible explanation for David Martin's behavior, for the death of  Daniel Sempere's mother, and stirs a seed of revenge in Daniel's mind. Although the hype says the books are free standing and can be read in any order, it is for those aforementioned reasons I recommend reading it last. Warning, the books do jump around in time a bit.

Overall, the three books cover the span of time from 1938 to 1960, at least three generations of Sempere's, and a few of their customers and acquaintances. The time period covers WWII, the end of the Spanish Civil War and, of course, Franco's suppressive and abusive regime. Except for Prisoner of Heaven, which does include some of the abuses of power, the books focus on the lives of people just trying to get by in hard times.

JoanK

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Re: Mystery Corner ~ 2
« Reply #8454 on: May 25, 2017, 02:56:29 PM »
Here he is:

https://www.fantasticfiction.com/z/carlos-ruiz-zafon/

Sounds very interesting.  know very little about that period in Spain, or the lives of the people.