Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
deirdrebeecher

deirdrebeecher

Joined September 2016

Voracious Reader
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Low stakes, Woodhosian humour, with a well thought out puzzle. Maybe a touch too many characters but if you are in search of a light hearted but not dumb read you can't do better than an Anty Boisjoly mystery.

mabell Oh this sounds fun! 3d
8 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
Pickpick

Pleasantly surprised, I've mainly been reading the mysteries and they are very enjoyable. I think any Christie fan would enjoy these books. For their vintage they are low on classism, sexism and xenophobia. So if you want a cheap kindle stuffer it is well worth buying.

batsy That's good to know! I've been keen to check this out and there's a Christmas-themed one I might start with 😁 5d
6 likes1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
System Collapse | Martha Wells
post image
Pickpick

This is a solid entry into my favourite series, but perhaps an A- rather than A+. Wells is shifting direction on the series and in this book is tying up the threads of the last book and building a launchpad for the next. Necessary work but it results in a book which feels a little laggy in the middle third, feels a little less cosy without most of the Preservation characters. Then the last third kicks into pure Murderbot chaotic fun.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Halloween appropriate mystery with a spooky edge. Has a decent start but then a third in there is very well executed twist which kicks it up a level. It lacked a little on characterisation for me, they were competently written I just wasn't engaged. So when the plot was in the drivers seat it was a fantastic experience, when the characters were carrying it, it lagged a little. A 4 star read for me, I'm sure it will be 5 star for lots of ppl.

review
deirdrebeecher
The Family Ship | Sonja Yoerg
post image
Pickpick

This is an underrated gem. Told from the perspectives of multiple members of the same family from 42 year old Maeve to 6 year old Cyrus. The characters are beautifully crafted with distinct voices, the family dynamics explored in a nuanced and authentic way. While there are some hard moments it is a relatively low stakes book with a fairly straightforward plot. But this is a strong pick for anyone who loves exploration of character.

Anna40 Great review 2mo
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
Miss Pym Disposes | Josephine Tey
Mehso-so

This was a re-read and it was a jarring one. I still think that Tey from a literary stand point is probably one of the best vintage mystery writers. There is an elegance to her writing and storytelling.

But this time what leapt off the page was the eugenic descriptions and classism. Perhaps my original edition had scrubbed the worst of these, or my lazy celtic brain had shunted them to one side, but couldn't escape them this time.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Funny isn't it how a very good book which ends a little flat feels so much worse than an okay book which ends on a high. I thought this would be an automatic 5* and yet somehow it isn't. McMasters is a school for murderers. Cliff, Dulcie and Gemma all have very good reasons for signing up. Plots, characters, writing all great. Feel they got too caught up in making it cozy and tying up all the loose ends. Still recommend as a 4*

julesG I like the cover on this edition. Very fitting. 3mo
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
An Ordinary Wonder | Buki Papillon
post image
Pickpick

I loved it. Accessible for teen readers but adult readers will also get a lot from this too. Orto is intersex and lives in Nigeria, forced to live as a boy and hide his shameful secret, Lori, the girl he is meant to be.

A lot of bad things happen in this book but they are handled with great sensitivity, in a way that is not traumatising to the reader. There is a lot of hope and beauty to balance the negative, with touches of magical realism.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Mehso-so

The frustrating thing is, I like a lot about this book, it could have been very good. I just feel the author really blocked my bond with the characters with his meta-textual commentary. Also he could have pushed the amorality of his characters further, he played it safe there. My Sister the Serial Killer still has no competition in this category.

One for those who read mysteries for the twists and turns, and don't mind a some character weakness.

blurb
deirdrebeecher
post image

I'm 66% through and feel frustrated. There is a lot to like in this book. But the MC is a writer who writes about crime books and he keeps having these little fourth wall breaking, meta textual asides and they keep breaking my flow. I just want to slap him.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

PG Woodehouse is hard to imitate and those who try are usually doomed. So I was very surprised to find myself really enjoying this mystery series which has a distinct Woodehousian feel. A perfect book for turning off your brain and enjoying a comic mystery which is easy but not dumb.

review
deirdrebeecher
Mehso-so

I've seen this conceit executed a lot better. The book has some funny moments and was easy to read. But overall plot and characters were half baked. I still might have given it a soft pick but the way he glides over the care of the comatose body of the MC made me so angry on behalf of carers. That is so much hard work and he treats it like it's nothing.

review
deirdrebeecher
Camp Damascus | Chuck Tingle
post image
Pickpick

I think if you come into this with the right expectations most will enjoy this book. Is it the book of the year, no. But it is an easy to read, enjoyable hero. What elevates it is the perspective on the cruel practice of conversion therapy. Which I think we have gotten used to treating as a joke, because it is so ludicrous. And Chuck reframes that to what it really is for the vulnerable teens who are subjected to it, a horror story. Soft pick.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

This book is about two Early Medieval Queens whose lives read like a fantasy novel. I was very impressed by how this writer pulled together the facts of their lives and the context in such an accessible way. It is an excellent entry point into the Merovingians and a glimpse into how Roman Europe turned into Medieval Europe. A strong pick for anyone who doesn't normally read history but would like to get into it.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Mehso-so

While largely competent, this is missing a dimension and I would say what is missing is charm. There is something lacking in the characterisation and tone which makes Gwinny feel quite Karen. While many of the other characters are just blanks. Which is a problem because community is such an important part of cosy crime. Even the dogs become annoying after a while.

deirdrebeecher Also Gwinny is not penniless, she is cash poor but has inherited her father house in Chelsea and has a flat in Islington with only eight years left on the mortgage. I would love to be that poor. 🙄

5mo
mabell A terrific review! 🤣 5mo
4 likes2 comments
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

This is the UK title of The Last Cuentista. For anyone who enjoys MG fiction this has to be a strong pick. A beautiful book about the power of story. It throws absolutely devastating emotional punches, has a wonderful Latina hero and very well paced adventure. Anyone who loves MG and wants to bawl their eyes out should read this book.

review
deirdrebeecher
Death in High Heels | Christianna Brand
Mehso-so

This is not Brand's best book, but it has a lot to interest a social historian. She is great at exploring the group dynamics of working women and here she focuses on shop girls. Who she shows they are a more interesting group than their vapid stereotype.
She does not deal with her homosexual character as fairly and the homophobia is vile.
Mystery itself is ill-paced and mediocre.

blurb
deirdrebeecher
Obelists at Sea | C. Daly King
post image

Wtf is this shit!
It was recommended in a recent article in the Washington Post on vintage mysteries. But it is a firehose of antisemitism, way beyond the norm in a group of books where antisemitism is already a big problem. And when the attention turns for a time to a non-Jew, an admitted thief, they have no qualms about beating the shit out of him. Then it's back to the antisemitism. Pure Fascism!
There are some books I'm ok with not reissuing.

review
deirdrebeecher
House of Hollow | Krystal Sutherland
post image
Pickpick

I feel the best way to describe this is a a mystery, it is also fantastical horror. But a bit like Stranger Things it leads with mystery and so the horror isn't that scary. It is not high tension/jump scare horror.
Well executed with good characterisation, beautiful description, and an ending that delivers a satisfying emotional wallop. Feels YA but worth an afternoon of anyone's time.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

This book has something for everyone who loves fantasy. It starts with a slow immersion but blossoms into a complex and original story. It doesn't shy away from combat and death, but it is also full of hope and love. I don't have any comps. But it made me feel the way I did reading Suzanne Clarke and NK Jemison for the first time. Oh this writer can WRITE and they are writing something NEW.

review
deirdrebeecher
Witch King | Martha Wells
post image
Mehso-so

I find myself torn. I want my Spec Fic writers to swing for the fences. But while I really enjoy the originality and ambition of the worldbuilding it is too much for a standalone. There were too many characters and important relationships were not given the time to gestate. Now I read the whole thing in a day with ease, so it is not fatally flawed. Just not at the same level as Raksura and Murderbot.

review
deirdrebeecher
Wrong Place, Wrong Time | Gillian McAllister
post image
Pickpick

A really well executed page-turner which delivered it's twists with an emotional punch. There is a time travel device, but it is not at all sci-fi. It not going to force you to use too much of your brain capacity, but it certainly isn't dumbed down either. Just a really good, well balanced, highly entertaining read.
It is miles more interesting than it's very boring cover would make it seem.

review
deirdrebeecher
Death In Captivity | Michael Gilbert
post image
Pickpick

This is an interesting one if you read Vintage books as historical documents. Gilbert was a WWII POW in Italy and he brings the camp and characters vividly to life. It's an entertaining read.

However this book also reminds you that Eugenics was invented by the English, and the way Italian are described made me grit my teeth at the Superiority complex. Also at the Classism, officers had orderlies, even in Prison Camp?!

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Well she's won me over. This is the book where her epistolary style works 100% for me. The mystery is very good I don't want to say a word more than that. But people who love a complex plot will be very happy. I will say that I feel both The Appeal and The Twyford Code had cozy aspects to them. There is nothing cozy about this book, everyone has sharp edges. But it is very well done, original and hugely entertaining.

LiteraryinLawrence Excited that there‘s another one! I‘m planning to read The Twyford Code this month and I liked The Appeal. 9mo
deirdrebeecher 😁@LiteraryinLawrence I think Twyford and Angels are much stronger books than Appeal. Angels from a technical stand point is the best. Twyford has a really engaging MC. But they are much darker, so its all about preferences. 😁 9mo
7 likes2 comments
blurb
deirdrebeecher
post image

I knew I was going to respect this book, but I was worried I wouldn't enjoy it. Once I started reading, several hours just flew by and I'm loving it so far. The Jonathan Strange comp is accurate for style, tone and ambition. Content is uncomfortable but it is supposed to be.

review
deirdrebeecher
Like a Sister | Kellye Garrett
post image
Pickpick

This is a very solid 4 star for me. I was engaged and entertained for most of the book Thought the pace was very well handled, the MC has good complexity to her character. The quality dipped a little when it came to the ending, it was fine, but it wasn't a wow. Half a point off there. There are a couple of minor hindsight plotholes, another half a point off there. But definitely above average and worth a couple of hours of anyone's time.

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Five star writing, five star characterisation, four star plot. This book is crime genre, but the writing is so good that I feel a lot of lit fic fans would also enjoy. I had to read it in chunks because I felt like I was skin grafted to the character and my fear for her would overwhelm me. But at the same time I had to keep going back to it. A slow burn so maybe not for people who like a lot of pace. Everyone else needs to try this book.

4 likes1 stack add
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Mehso-so

They are a good writer, no question, I would never have hated their main character this much if they hadn't crafted him so well. If Morse was French and even more of a narcissist. It evokes the South of France beautifully and develops an interesting cast of characters. But there is a lot more of MC and Ex relationship than there is following clues for the mystery, not a problem unless you hate the character.

CarolynM I really enjoy this series, mostly for the descriptions of Aix-en-Provence and the French way of life. I don‘t love Verlaque, but I don‘t dislike him as much as you😆 11mo
8 likes1 comment
blurb
deirdrebeecher
Bunny | Mona Awad

If any book could have lured me into reading a dark academia book it is would have been this one. I absolutely loved the writing. But I left third level education twenty years ago. The crushes and the cliques and the imposter syndrome are so far in my past that it makes me feel a hundred years old. So I DNF'd.

But a great writer and I'm sure it's a great book and I wish her well in all her endeavours.

review
deirdrebeecher
Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson
post image
Panpan

I am quite surprised by how much I disliked this because Kate Atkinson is a very talented writer. But the mystery plot in particular is very poor. There are way to many characters and we seem to spend most of our time with the least interesting ones. Hope it's her pandemic book and she will return to her usual form.

blurb
deirdrebeecher
I'm Glad My Mom Died | Jennette McCurdy
post image

I honestly think this book will save lives. Jennette's unflinching portrayal of her childhood will help those who haven't yet recognised growing up in emotional chaos is abuse. To name inappropriate touching by females as abuse. To understand the difficulties of recovering from eating disorders, the mental illnesses with the highest death rates. It is clear film and tv need to do a lot more to keep kids safe or avoid using them altogether. Pick

deirdrebeecher Dammit I hate when I accidently blurb a book I mean to review. 1y
14 likes1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book, I love the way she writes. The secondary characters, the world is so beautifully vivid.

But there were some plotting issues for me. I disliked the ending, I felt at times younger Lucrezia didn't mesh with her older self.

But I still devoured it, so a pick.

Also if a Portrait inspires an author's novel, publisher please put a picture of it in the book.
Lucrezia de Medici by Allori

review
deirdrebeecher
Pickpick

Very enjoyable, great characterisation, great worldbuilding, action packed, fresh plotline. Although there are grim aspects to the story, the authors sense of humour and energetic writing style saves it from grimdark. Defo one for those who are enjoying P Djèlí Clark's Cairo books.

Since Ahmed is now doing extremely well as a comic writer it is unlikely we will get to revisit this world anytime soon which is really the only negative.

review
deirdrebeecher
The Three Evangelists | Fred Vargas
post image
Pickpick

I feel like there is a whole layer of witty humour to this book that I am missing because I'm not French. I didn't mind it that, I prefer a book to go over my head than speak down to me. The other thing is that it is heading into vintage territory. Apart from that it is a very engaging, slightly surreal and satisfying mystery. A good option to try for people who might be a little bored with US/UK/Scandi crime novels.

7 likes1 stack add
review
deirdrebeecher
The Grief of Stones | Katherine Addison
post image
Pickpick

Addison is a very good writer and I did enjoy this a lot. But I can't help comparing the Witness books against the Goblin Emperor. And they just lack something, for me. Probably the humour you could always sense in Maia. Thalar is just so depressed. These are escapist books give us a little touch of joy here and there.
Still a strong pick.

review
deirdrebeecher
Sleep Well, My Lady | Kwei Quartey
post image
Pickpick

I feel like this is a Mystery lovers mystery. Everything gets paired back to essentials and it about the puzzle of the crime. Which made it feel very fresh, a modern take on a classic mystery, with a very satisfying ending.

If you like a thriller style, this is not for you.

It did take me a few chapters to acclimatise to the slight structural differences of Ghanaian English, but I've worked harder to understand Scottish novels and I'm Irish!

review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Panpan

I can only hope that this is a blip, that she pushed this book out during some dark days of the pandemic, because I really love Goddard's world. But three quarters of this book has appeared in other work, she has simply switched the POV to Pali. The original material in this book would barely fill a novelette. I feel quite angry about it.

review
deirdrebeecher
The Thirteenth Tale | Diane Setterfield
post image
Pickpick

I feel like it has been a while since I read a really good book and this is really fecking good. Beautifully written at a slow pace that allows for very rich description and atmosphere while not sacrificing tension. The Characters are vivid, even the 'girl listening to the story' is herself an interesting character. Technically it is a country house mystery, but more in the vein of Rebecca or Atonement. Strong pick.

review
deirdrebeecher
Slow Horses | Mick Herron
Mehso-so

I've read three books in this series now, because I have zero executive function at the moment and it's easier to read these than find a series I'll like more. And they are very readable, technically competent, decent plots. But it is an ensemble cast of characters and I am only engaged by one. I keep reading to find out how this one character is getting on while being mildly annoyed by the rest. Also not enjoying the humour.

review
deirdrebeecher
Rubbernecker | Belinda Bauer
post image
Pickpick

Well written, original mystery. But I found myself uneasy with how the autistic MC was portrayed, it was a bit narrow. I wanted to see how autistic ppl viewed it and the below review confirmed my unease. So read for the mystery, with the understanding that this is a limited view of autism. Pick with a caveat.
https://neuroclastic.com/review-of-rubbernecker-by-belinda-bauer-a-novel-with-an...

review
deirdrebeecher
Rubbernecker | Belinda Bauer
post image
Pickpick

Well written, original mystery. But I found myself uneasy with how the autistic MC was portrayed, it was a bit narrow. I wanted to see how autistic ppl viewed it and the below review confirmed my unease. So read for the mystery, with the understanding that this is a limited view of autism. Pick with a caveat.
https://neuroclastic.com/review-of-rubbernecker-by-belinda-bauer-a-novel-with-an...

review
deirdrebeecher
The Ghost of Marlow House | Bobbi Holmes, Anna J McIntyre
post image
Pickpick

Slightly gothic cozy crime, first in a fairly incredibly long series. Perfectly average and I mean that as a huge compliment. Just take me away to average land with an decently written historic murder mystery, some light romance, a missing diamond and emerald necklace. Ok the fact that the MC is attracted to a sexy ghost is a bit weird but I can live with it. Vanilla escapism and that is pretty much what I want in March 2022. 💛 💙

review
deirdrebeecher
Mehso-so

Its a good concept and when Grace is in action it is entertaining. If the writer had trusted her audience (who lets face it bought a book called How to Kill your Family) and just went all out with murdering and wrote an entertaining novella this could have been solid. But no she must also try for social satire and satire is hard and it just comes across as ranting. Then a character comes from nowhere in the last third 😡.
Good start, bad ending.

review
deirdrebeecher
The Twyford Code | Janice Hallett
post image
Pickpick

A Guy Ritchie movie in book form. I liked this more than The Appeal. This one is 90% transcribed voice notes which I thought was crazy but actually really worked. There is an immediacy to it and an intimacy with the character of Steve which is really engaging. But then the ending didn't really work for me. Email, who wants to read emails in our fiction in 2022. I really wish this author would add a bit of prose to the mix. 4 stars.

review
deirdrebeecher
Measure for Murder | Clifford Witting
Panpan

Other Witting books have stood the test of time but I don't think he pulls this one off. The first 18% is one big infodump. Then there is a dramatic twist midway which forces a change of jockeys that I found disconcerting. About 90% of the book is setting up one reason for the murder. Then the murderer reveal fell flat for me.

review
deirdrebeecher
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
post image
Pickpick

I think this might be my favourite ever protagonist/antagonist pairing. But the entire ensemble of characters is excellent. Lots of twisty political shenanigans, lots of gayness, lots of mayhem. By a very skillful and clever writer. Strong pick.

8 likes1 stack add
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

Fast paced and entertaining read about the Gucci family and brand. Who were so incredibly messy. I mean Patrizia is the notorious one, but your half way through the book before her crazy starts to eclipse the generations of crazy preceding her.

Forden does a really good job of explaining the family dynamics as well as making the business side of things understandable for finance morons like me.

Better than the movie by all accounts.

review
deirdrebeecher
The Stranger Diaries | Elly Griffiths
Mehso-so

I found this book quite pedestrian if I'm honest. Readable but uninspiring. It has a habit of jumping into the view of the pov character who has the least at stake in a scene. We observe Claire's pain rather than going through it with her. It also means the tension doesn't build in a satisfying way. The are some well written red herrings, but I found the ending ultimately uninteresting.

jenniferw88 I really enjoyed this one on audio! 2y
7 likes1 comment
review
deirdrebeecher
post image
Pickpick

This is a solid 4 star for me. Good concept, well constructed, eerie atmosphere, good flow. The characterisation felt a little paint by numbers. The exception being Elsa, but she is in the 'past' timeline and we spend most of our time in the 'present'. Everyone in the present is a little obvious for lack of a better description. But not in a way that would make you put the book down. Well worth a read, won't blow your mind.

blurb
deirdrebeecher
Death of My Aunt | C H B Kitchin
post image

This definitely holds up. What distinguishes it from other British Crime Classics is a more realistic approach to the impact of the crime. While the flawed protagonist isn't overly fond of his Aunt. Witnessing her death and the days afterwards cause him a great deal of emotional turmoil, which he attempts to deal with by analyzing the situation. As the mystery unfolds it just proves how futile and unrewarding murder is.