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Monday, 30 March 2020

Mini reviews #32

Hello from lockdown! Given the gloom and uncertainty of the world around us, I thought that today I'd offer only positive reviews ...

Colour Scheme (1949) by Ngaio Marsh

This enjoyable mystery has all the elements of a good Marsh: waspish characters, colourful setting that bleeds into the plot, a detective in disguise (who really isn’t relevant to the action, but the author hasn’t worked that out), and a really nice concept at its heart. It’s one of those mysteries where everything is relevant, but you only realise that at the end.

An Autobiography (1979) by Agatha Christie

So rich, so funny, so eminently human. Agatha Christie’s autobiography is everything is should be. It’s remarkably candid in so many ways, and if it doesn’t illuminate the writing process, it certainly sheds light on that personal connection an excellent writer cultivates with her readers.

Knives Out (2019) directed by Rhian Johnson

Yes, it is as good as people are saying. How amazing that we can get a blockbuster movie in this day and age directly referencing John Dickson Carr!

Never Have I Ever (2020) by Joshilyn Jackson

A pleasant surprise. Entrancing characters and dialogue meant I read it keenly. This book had been so hyped and offered around so many places for free that I thought it would be … lacking in something. But it’s very, very good. Joshilyn Jackson is not a new author but an established one, turning to crime/suspense for the first time. That probably explains the publicity drive. And the experience pays off. 

The Guest List (2020) by Lucy Foley

The follow up to last year’s The Hunting Party is just as promising. I really enjoyed this, and didn’t guess the ending. The plot revolves around a group of characters and at their heart is Will, a thoroughly horrible person whom all of us can put an irl name (or multiple irl names) to.

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