A.C.E. Mini Reviews

The title of this most means nothing. Or almost nothing. Other than that I have finished books by authors whose surnames begin with A, C and E in the past few weeks and I’m never going to get around to writing full reviews of any of them.

Ellery Adams’ MURDER IN THE PAPERBACK PARLOR is the second in this prolific, cosy author’s series set in a fictional place called Storyton Hall (located in Virginia if I recall correctly). It is a luxury hotel which caters to book lovers. In this outing there is a romance readers convention being held at the Hall and one of the authors is murdered. I love the setting (why doesn’t this exist in the real world?) and the characters are a fun mix. Several of the key players have an important, secret job guarding one of the world’s most amazing libraries which adds a nice element to the books (though I’m not convinced they’re on the right track with their keeping certain publications locked away for being too dangerous, sounds awfully like book banning to me). Adams writes well and doesn’t talk down to her readers. I reviewed the first in this series more thoroughly.

Agatha Christie’s SPARKLING CYANIDE in audio format, narrated by Hugh Fraser was most enjoyable. I imagine I’ve read the print version at some stage though as it doesn’t feature one of her better known protagonists so perhaps not. I didn’t remember the story anyway. It concerns the apparent suicide of the young wife of a somewhat stodgy businessman. Some time after her death he becomes convinced that her death, which occurred while the couple were dining and dancing with friends, was not as self-inflicted as it appeared. The characters are well drawn and they are all given believable motives for wanting the woman dead, though it would have been nice if at least one of them wasn’t to do with being madly in love. Hugh Fraser is a top notch narrator.

Elizabeth Edmondson’s A MAN OF SOME REPUTE in audio format as narrated by Michael Page was enjoyable to listen to but even a day after finishing I could barely recall its most salient details. It’s a historical mystery set in post-war Britain. The hero is Hugo Hawksworth, an intelligence officer who is wounded enough that he has to take a desk job. He’s also got a young sister (or niece?) to look after as her (his too?) parents are dead. He’s staying at a Castle from which the Earl who should be in charge of the place disappeared without trace some years earlier. Early on a skeleton is discovered and, assuming it is the Earl, Hugo and a couple of other trustworthy chums try to unravel matters. I finished this over a week ago now and couldn’t tell you the resolution if you tortured me for it (not that I anticipate you doing that) so I’m afraid I must assign this to the perfectly readable but largely forgettable class of book.


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2 Responses to A.C.E. Mini Reviews

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Glad to hear that that Agatha Christie was narrated by Hugh Fraser, Bernadette. He’s very, very good at that. And I need to read some Ellery Adams; thus far it’s been a case of ‘on the radar but not actually on the TBR yet.’ I need to change that.


  2. I like Sparkling Cyanide very much, IMO much under-rated Christie. It sounds like the other two can pass me by.


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