back now after a few days in washington d.c. with all of the pomp and circumstances of a georgetown university graduation. much has not changed. for example, still can not figure out how to enlarge this font.
plus louise penny still writes a good novel of chief inspector armand gamache's ability to solve yet another murder in three pines, canada. i realized part way through that i had read the novel A Fatal Grace some time ago, which gave me time to admire ms. penny's style. please refer to an earlier review, but if you don't want to bother, take my word for it. all of the characters that have inhabited three pines in the past are still there. this novel does ask a little more of the reader in the way of accepting coincidences, but it is fine. it was published in 2006 by st. martin's and is 334 pages.
Death at the Alma Mater (A St. Just Mystery) makes good airplane reading. author g. m. malliet speaks (in various interviews) of her admiration for agatha christie. maillet is a worthy follower. i hope i am, too. this novel is not as clever as the first in her series Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery), a novel that is a good satire as well as a good mystery. this one, the third in the series, is more of a good cozy mystery. malliet still uses satire, but not in a way that takes a broad look at the whole genre; she saves her satire for various characters. these characters meet at st. michaels college, cambridge, for a fund-raising weekend. one of them, lexy durant, is found strangled to death at the boathouse. everyone else is suspect. you will enjoy joining sergeant garwin fear, detective chief inspector arthur st. just, dr. malenfant, and st. justs' girlfriend, portia de'ath, in solving this murder. it was published this year by midnight ink and is 283 pages.
i have just started The Broken Teaglass: A Novel by emily arsenault. i know i should wait until i have more to say, but the novel is so darn clever in its first 100 pages that i'm afraid ms. arsenault will not be able to keep up the pace, and i want to say how much i like it while i still do! it is extraordinarily witty. booklist says it is for 'word nerds.' perhaps. it's really for anyone who admires verbal, literary, and/or intellectual dexterity. barzak, who writes a blurb, says it reminds her of a. s. byatt's Possession. i loved that novel too. pick it up for a very good read -- so far.
The Damnation of Theron Ware: Or, Illumination (Classic Reprint) is not a mystery novel. it was written by harold frederic in the 1890s. if you are interested in the school of american realism you will find this a good read and a good illustration of the genre. it might be interesting, too, to anyone studying american culture as it is set in a small town brimming over with small time religion of the 19th century. poor theron. he is given a poor ministry, and his life goes downhill from there. but this is an american novel of the period. in the great american tradition, if things aren't good where you are, head west. so, it will not spoil the novel for potential readers to know that he and his faithful wife head for seattle at the end. i gave publication info and other details on a previous blog.