May 21, 2014

Book Reviewlettes: 4 Mysteries

I've been on a mystery binge lately (thanks in large part to my recent predilection for e-books). Here are my short reviews of what I've been reading.

The Cuckoo's Calling
A decent procedural mystery. I'll give J.K. Rowling points for creating a very likeable main detective. (Sidenote: Cormoran Strike is an awesome name!) But many of her side characters were super cliche. And when I mentioned it on facebook, the profanity bothered some readers. I'll read more in the series, because I'm curious to see if they get better, and because I liked the Cormoran Strike a lot. My rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Oh Hastings. So dense, and yet so full of himself. Poirot: even more full of himself, but at least with reason. It's a typical "house party" type mystery -- the lady of the manor is dead, and one of her guests is indubitably the poisoner. I saw the ending a million miles away... which is possibly because I read it in middle school, or possibly because it was just that obvious. My rating: 3 out of 5 (But this Goodreads rating of it might be the best thing ever.)

Death on the Nile
I thought I remembered whodunnit in this one, but it took me till almost the end to figure out how the person who I thought was guilty could've done it. Exotic locale, interesting mystery, Poirot + Colonel Race investigating, a lot of fun. Plus after reading The Grand Tour: Around the World With the Queen of Mystery (about Christie's travels), I've realized that she's drawing from her own personal experience in books like Death on the Nile, making it an even more pleasurable read. My rating: 4 out of 5

The Good Suicides
Kinda dark and depressing, but completely engrossing. Inspector Hector Salgado is just a great character. And the book was mysterious on a couple of levels. First, Salgado has to decide whether or not three "suicides" by employees of the Allemany Cosmetics Company are in fact suicides. Then, he has to decide who the killer could be, if they are murders. Meanwhile, his wife has been missing (presumed dead) for several months, and the lack of knowledge is making him a little crazy. Add the evocative Barcelona setting, and you've got a great book. My rating: 4 out of 5

Which one would you rather read?

This post contains some of my affiliate links. If you click through that link and buy anything (even if it's not a book!) I'll earn a few cents. Thanks for supporting Quirky Bookworm!