diony: (Default)
I am on to the third of Antonia Fraser's mysteries (A Splash of Red), and this one looks like it might be an actual mystery in which the protagonist investigates the mysterious happenings, rather than the second which was really a 1960s gothic set on a Scottish island, or the first which started off looking like a mystery and then stalled out because Jemima Shore simply would not actually investigate anything... or believe that a murder had happened... or generally behave in the ways necessary for the genre. I suppose one might see it as a fascinating experiment in what happens when one's protagonist resolutely refuses to engage in genre tropes, but I thought it made for a poor novel. Ms. Shore, sadly, did much better in the gothic, where she ignored the menace of the strange old house she found herself in, got involved with the brooding handsome man with a hawk-like profile, and then fainted dead away at a strategic moment. It is enough to make me throw up my hands and go read Amanda Cross, except the third really is growing on me a little; we will see if she manages to write either an actual mystery, or if not that something in a genre I am interested in reading. So far we have a female author whose work is being compared to Alison Lurie, and the protagonist is reading Nadine Gordimer, so I am hoping for intertextuality -- which I will miss, not having read either of those authors, but still, it would really be a step in the right direction.

Up next: Well, the same things as last time, since rather than reading any of them I am continuing to read Fraser. How did I get to be nearly forty without realising that I am incredibly stubborn? Answer comes there none. At least I am no longer willing to waste my time; I did skip large chunks of the first book, and skimmed a healthy portion of the second. (Yes, I might have just stopped, but there kept being little moments of grace, and I do like her history so much, I want to give her every chance.)
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Cera

February 2014

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