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Miscallaneous Overdue Reviews

There's no rhyme or reason, I'm just late on these. Or about to be.

The Murder Room, Michael Capuzzo

Read this for my book club, and boy howdy was this book ever written by a man!

The Murder Room purports to be a history of the Vidocq Society, a group of law enforcement officials who gather every month to discuss (and sometimes solve) cold cases. Now, it sort of is that, but it's far more of a biography-ish of the society's three founders, William Fleisher, Frank Bender, and Richard Walter. And even then it's more of the latter two than Fleisher, which I think is sad because I want to know more about Fleisher, but he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry.

Anyway. The Murder Room is a good idea, but it's so sloppily written it's hard to find the actual good in it. The structure is deeply confusing, zipping back and forth in time, jumping from case to case before giving the resolution, and then randomly jumping back to a previous case to give the solution. It's also pretty purple writing, that builds up the characters to an extent that they couldn't possibly live up to. Finally, everyone in the book is so arrogant, so absolutely certain that they are right, that it made me a little leery of their conclusions. I mean, how can they be so sure? There's always an element of guess.

Oh, and it annoyed me how often Bender's affairs were referred to as adultery. His wife and his primary girlfriend both knew and approved of all of them. That's not cheating, that's an open relationship. Sheesh.

Anyway, I can't really recommend this book. It needed about three more passes with an editor before being published. Alas, this is the result.

Fuck Fascists Factor: 1--fascists have no problems. It's very white and male.

George, Alex Gino

Ah, a much cuter book that I enjoyed much more. George is the story of a young trans girl trying to come to terms with herself and come out to her family and friends. And... it's really sweet?? I just. She's bullied a bit, but not particularly for being trans. The only time she's outright assaulted, it's immediately dealt with by the superiors. And George is just so cute in herself. She's uncertain and scared, but she reaches out-- to her friend, to her brother-- and she is not rebuffed.

Her fashion show (and overall friendship, but especially that scene) with her friend Kelly is just so sweet and amazing, incidentally. I choked up.

This book is aimed at elementary school kids, so it's a fast and simple read. Definitely recommended.

Fuck Fascists Factor: 5--fascists will froth at the mouth. It's about a trans girl! And it has a happy ending! Fuck you guys.

The Cater Street Hangman, Anne Perry

Aaaaand we're back to things I didn't like. *sigh*

The Cater Street Hangman is the first in Anne Perry's long-running series about Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, a married couple--he's a policeman, she's aristocratic, they fight crime. It's kind of my catnip, right? See my fondness for The Thin Man, and Phryne Fisher (the show, anyway), and the Daisy Dalrymple series. I expected I would like this, if not love it, since I'm kind of uncertain about Anne Perry in general.

Yeah, not so much. The pacing is really weird, slow, slow, slow and then BAM over. The entire book is spent mostly inside the heads of Charlotte, her sister Emily, and their mother Caroline, and yet I don't feel I know anyone? It's like Perry did a lot of research into Victorian England, and proceeded to put these paper dolls in it, moving them around to suit her research rather than the characters themselves. Also, Charlotte and Thomas sort of fell in love over, like, five pages? It wasn't nearly enough for me, it was so sudden. Actually, I didn't really believe anyone's feelings. It was like every character had to bend around the plot.

It felt just unhappy and unconvincing. I can't recommend this at all.

Fuck Fascists Factor: 2--fascists have slight problems. Women have minds and lives and exist as people, and poor people need help and aren't poor because they're bad, but see the spoiler below.


Also the villain was basically a psycho repressed lesbian and I am Not Okay with that.


This entry is crossposted at http://bookblather.dreamwidth.org/419733.html. Please comment over there if possible.


Kat Reads Anything She Bloody Well Wants To

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