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Joined 11 months, 1 week ago

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2022 Reading Goal

83% complete! urbaer has read 10 of 12 books.

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Summer Knight (Paperback, 2011, imusti, Orbit) 4 stars

Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, …

I really do hope that the next book is a little bit more urban and a little less fantasy. While I enjoy the fantasy parts of the series, I think this one almost went too far.

I'm mostly worried about further books needing to up the ante.

Another fine mess

4 stars

The Chronicles of St Mary's seem to always be an easy read and this one is no exception.

And this one goes through the normal romp in the first part (that ends in a fairly big change to a relationship), a perilous foe in the second and then throws in a curve ball for the ending.

And I kind of almost wish that it setup the curve ball in this book and left the curve ball itself for a later book.

But curious to see where it goes.

Elephants Can Remember (Paperback, 1981, Fontana) 2 stars

E-book exclusive extras:1) Christie biographer Charles Osborne's essay on Elephants Can Remember;2) "The Poirots": the …

A Poirot that is too late

2 stars

This is my second read of this one and I had the loose concept of how the murder was done and the key points still in my head from last time I read it.

While it's great to see Adriana Oliver and essentially get some insight into how Agatha herself felt about her work near the end of her life, the writing here isn't as vibrant as her earlier work. What Elephants Can Remember appears to be is taking some of her notes on a story that she was working on and padding it out into a novel by having the various people monologue at either Poirot or Oliver (or each other).

I think even without having read it before, it's very likely that you'll get the jist of the murder about half way through. It's a shame that it's such a poorly written novel as the murder could have …

A Gathering of Shadows (2016, Tor Books) 4 stars

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since …

It's been a little while since I read the first book and so I'm not sure quite how I would have felt about this one straight off the back of the last. I had a lot of "Oh yeah, that was a thing" moments.

This really feels like a season of an anime.... But a lot of it feels like filler. I'll read the last one (a not overly surprising ending but very cliff hangery).

Animals in That Country (2020, Scribe Publications) 3 stars

A interesting but messy and depressing time

3 stars

It was probably a mistake to read a novel about a virus sweeping across the land even at the end of 2021.

This is a rather dark and strange tale and I really struggled to get through it. No one is very likable. In parts it's quite hard to follow, but at times I suspect that it's a choice rather than a failure.

The Thursday Murder Club (2021, Penguin Books) 4 stars


In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet …

A rather cosy little murder

4 stars

In a retirement village, Joyce is asked a question by member (well leader, let's be honest) of the Thursday Murder Club Elizabeth about how long it would take to bleed out from a certain wound. They meet in the jigsaw room every Thursday hence the name. There she meets the tough as nails but heart of gold Ron and the ex-psychologist Ibrahim.

Together they solve cold cases. But when a murder occurs related to their retirement village it uncovers secrets that end up closer to home.

Mechanically the story alternates between Joyce's journal entries and a third person view but it does have a fairly decent pace.

The characters a very likeable and have very distinct approaches, Elizabeth has many contacts and is very observant (with a history that's very hush hush), Ron is rough around the edges, Ibrahim is more for the analysis (and I suppose the little grey …