Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Reader Round Up: April


Oh, April–your fickle weather kept me indoors reading instead of being outside weeding. Not necessarily a complaint. Here are the five star reads of the month that kickstarts the beginnings of spring.

Going down the same path of mitigating various dramas in Mitford, this seventh installment touches on a topic not usually addressed: depression among clerics. Father Tim has blown his diabetic diet once again, and this time there are dire consequences.
As always, Karon provides humor in serious situations along with valuable life lessons.

Well-written, and though aimed at middle readers, Grisham presents a plausible story that veers towards drubbing those kids who stray from the straight and narrow. He does bring home the importance of how one wrong choice can have huge consequences. Seventh and perhaps the best in the series, Grisham takes on the bail bond system when one of Theo’s fellow Scouts and classmates becomes inadvertently an accomplice to armed robbery. Basically, Grisham wants his readers to know how flawed the legal system can be at times. The storyline includes the inevitable animal court where Theodore shines as a burgeoning lawyer. The case this time is a flatulent bunny who terrorizes the neighborhood canines.

With a nod to Agatha Christie and more than a couple of winks to the murder mystery industry, Horowitz provides a clever meta fiction that features his ability at creating an engaging storyline.
A plot about a murder mystery that is the core to a story about an actual murder is clever meta fiction indeed.

While it seems as if readers are reading an homage to Agatha Christie they are in truth reading about how a book editor has become a detective trying to solve the murder of the murder mystery writer. Lots of winking going on here.

Horowitz brazenly nods to several mystery writers and even trots out Agatha Christie’s grandson for extra measure. If it weren’t all so obvious it would be irritating to have a murder mystery interrupted at the denouement to become a murder mystery.

Horowitz was obviously having fun.

So much fun that he shamelessly promotes his Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War series. He even takes the time to insert a mild diatribe how real murders aren’t as common or convoluted as novels present them to be.

A reluctant five because it is difficult to ignore that Horowitz is a talented and clever writer and has produced an engaging whodunnit, despite all the winking and nodding going on.
For those who enjoyed Knives Out.

A four plus star

While many readers have expressed negative views of Thomas‘s Sherlock Holmes pastiche, a deeper appreciation of the cavalcade of historical detail can be summoned. Thomas captures the voice of Watson well, Sherlock somewhat. Of the five stories “Peter the Painter” provides as much action and intrigue as “The Hound of Baskerville.”

Read any good books lately? Do tell. Do share.

For all the other books read and reviewed be sure to check out my Good Reads reading challenge.

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2 thoughts on “Reader Round Up: April

  1. Are the Grisham novels appropriate for teens *and* interesting?

    Your mysteries and nods to mystery writers reminds me of a book I read called A Study in Charlotte.

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