Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday's Reads: Murder, Mayhem and a Merry Christmas (maybe)

I know what you're saying..."Merry Christmas? Really? Haven't you heard it's like the fifth day of 2011?"

Yes, yes, and yes (wait, really? already?)

Now, the explanation. I have just finished two books that, coincidentally, had to do with murder around Christmas time. (well not a coincidence exactly since one of the books was A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock..but the other..major coincidence...haha) The two books were the aforementioned A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock by Lydia Adamson and The Demon's Parchment by Jeri Westerson.

A Cat on Jingle Bell Rock (how many more times can I say that?) is a short paperback mystery starring Alice Nestleton who is an actress, cat-sitter and unofficial private detective. She is recruited by one of her old friends to figure out what happened when the yearly donation from an anonymous benefactor doesn't come in to the homeless shelter (he helps runs) in time for (here's where the holiday comes in) their annual Christmas goose feast. (whew, that was a mouthful)

This is number 15 in the series which I didn't know until I looked up on Goodreads. From the inside cover I knew that there were others but had no idea that there was such a big collection. But of course, not surprising since I had never heard of these books before last week. This one was published in 1997 and according to Goodreads the author was still cranking them out way back in 2002. Oh by the way, Lydia Adamson is just a pseudonym for Franklin B. King which I didn't know either. Thanks Goodreads!

It's a fast read, witty and if you're smarter than me probably easy to figure out whodunit.

The Demon's Parchment is also a murder mystery set around Advent. The main character, Crispin Guest, is also a private detective of sorts although here he calls himself a "tracker".  This book is number 3 of The Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series. I haven't read the others. I picked this one up because I told myself that (resolution/goal here) I would start reading books from the "NEW" bookshelf at the library and the cover attracted me plus the whole "medieval noir" got my curiosity going.

So, Crispin Guest is recruited by a doctor, who works for the king, to locate some missing parchments. These parchments may or may not have something to do with the Golem that may or may not be loose in the streets of London and they may or may not have something to do with the murder of young boys that have started.  Overall, I liked was a tad gruesome/disturbing but mixed with a bit of humor as Crispin questions his masculinity (you'll see). One ends up liking this hero-of-sorts as he wrestles with his good and bad sides. I also liked his apprentice Jack whom Crispin rescued from the streets. He's a street-smart street-urchin. 

The author did tend to use a lot of similes some of which made me shake my head a little. There is also a "blog" that Crispin Guest is supposed to be "writing" ( At first, I scoffed and said "well that's a good schtick" but....truth..curiosity got the better of me (again) and I checked it out subscribed to "his" posts. I'll probably end up reading the next book...


disclaimer: I am no way, shape or form a professional book reviewer! stick with me hopefully they will get better. Ha!

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