Tuesday, July 14, 2020

WWW.WEDNESDAY

WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here


1. What are you currently reading? Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt. Defense attorney Andy Carpenter is my kinda guy -- he loves baseball, dogs, and lost causes. He also has a smart mouth. So even if I wasn't enjoying the mystery, I'd probably enjoy this book.

 
But I am enjoying the mystery. Why did Andy's father -- a legendary prosecutor -- insist Andy take on the appeal of a man he put on death row? Poor Andy will never know, because his father dies suddenly ... and more family secrets are revealed.

There's a lot at stake for Andy: emotionally, professionally and physically. His sense of humor not only makes us cheer for him, it makes the tension easier to take. So far, this is a highly entertaining read.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory. Disclosure: I hate hot, humid weather, and that's why I reached for this book. I wanted to read about Christmastime, bracing winds and the need for hot tea and fireplaces. On that level, this book really delivered. However, it let me down in other areas.

It has a fun chick-lit premise. Vivian, a 50-something Bay area social worker, is whisked away to London for Christmas week. Her adult daughter gets a dream assignment with the Royal Family and brings mom along so they won't be apart on Christmas. While her daughter is hard at work, Vivian enjoys a lovely little holiday romance. However, after Christmas, neither Vivian nor her new love interest, Malcolm, are able to just let it go.
       
Where this fell apart for me was in the depictions of Vivian and Malcolm. Even though they traded narration duties, chapter by chapter, I never felt I knew them. They each had fascinating occupations (she's a social worker in a hospital, helping families in crisis; he's personal secretary/advisor to the Queen herself in matters of Parliament), but all we really know of their jobs is that she loves her and he's frustrated by his. Not enough.

A smaller but equally annoying point: After New Year's, when an ocean and a continent separate them, they communicate by post cards. Nice, romantic and perfectly in keeping with people in their 50s who might feel they spend too damn much time with their email accounts. But here's the thing: I send postcards, too. No one on earth could handwrite such long messages on the back of postcards. Such sloppiness took me out of the action, over and over again, through the end of the story when I really wanted to be engaged.

In short: It's a three-star premise with a two-star execution. If you go into it with managed expectations, and take it for what it is, you may enjoy it.

3.  What will you read next? Maybe a biography. Or another mystery. My TBR pile is stacked dauntingly high with both.  

 

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry Royal Holiday didn't work for you! I've always wanted to read holiday stories but never really found one that caught my interest. Happy reading!

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  2. Royal Holiday caught my eye: Bay Area social worker traveling with an adult daughter. I think it will resonate with me. Thanks for sharing, and here's MY WWW POST

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  3. I've seen Royal Holiday bounced around and I'm sorry it was such a disappointing read for you. At least you have your mysteries to look forward to :D

    Here's my WWW Wednesday post.

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