WWW Wednesday – May 6, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Soul MusicI’m just over a hundred pages into Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, the 16th novel in the Discworld series, which I started over the weekend. I’m excited to finally dig into the third Death novel, though disappointingly he is once again sharing the spotlight with others. Well, mildly disappointing. I just really like him. It’s partly about his granddaughter Susan too, so in her discovering her connection with him and the memories she’s forgotten, it is very much about him even when he’s not on the page. The anthropomorphic personification actively dealing with grief over the deaths of his daughter and son-in-law has me most interested, though, so I hope there’s a good amount of that. Not sure how I feel about all the rock music stuff yet. It’s the odd man out in a trio of plot lines.


Recently Finished

The Strings of MurderOver the weekend I finished reading The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel, the first book in the Frey & McGray series of mystery novels. I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. It was an entertaining read much of the time, and when the characters are actively engaged with trying to solve the mystery I was pretty invested, but they were both just so exaggerated as characters. The writing leaned into their “odd couple” roles to a fault, and it just got grating by the end. I may need some assurances that these characteristics are dialed back in further books if I’m going to continue this series. I liked the book enough that I’m still curious, but we’ll see. I posted a full review on Monday, which you can check out here.


Reading Next

The Rise of SkywalkerI still haven’t made up my mind about what to move on to from my to-read list for the year, but I have made a resolution to read the novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson, which I purchased a copy of on Star Wars day. Since I don’t want it to cut into getting through my list, I’ve decided to make sure I commit free time I would otherwise spend on hobbies like video games or TV shows to reading this book. Though it didn’t stick the landing in a lot of ways, I still really liked the film and want to learn the finer details that were for some reason left on the cutting-room floor.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

The Strings of Murder

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel is a 2015 mystery novel, the first in the “Frey & McGray” series of books. Set in 1880s, the story follows Ian Frey, an inspector for London’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). After a series of personal disgraces largely outside of his control, Frey is sent by Scotland Yard to Edinburgh, Scotland, where they fear a copycat Jack the Ripper has made his first murder. With the Ripper still eluding apprehension in London, the pressure is on to solve the case quickly and quietly. This will not be easy however, as the violinist victim was somehow butchered in his own sealed bedroom, after taking all of the keys inside with him. There’s no clear evidence of how the murderer got in or out, and the presence of occult symbols at the crime scene only serves to excite the interest of Adolphus “Nine-Nails” McGray, the head of the paranormal subdivision leading the investigation, much to Frey’s chagrin.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – April 29, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

The Strings of MurderI’m still in the midst of The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel, just a little over halfway through. I’ve warmed to the book some more since last week, though admittedly it has more to do with how much the mystery has captured by interest, rather than the characters. They’re still their trope-y selves: Frey is a prim jerk with a conscience and McGray is boorish yet intelligent. I’m still waiting for the penny to drop on them learning to like one another. I find I’m most interested in how much the novel will commit to it’s implied supernatural elements. Frey is the perspective character and sees it all as nonsense, whereas McGray is a believer, so I wonder if it will be debunked, left vague so neither loses, or if Frey’s worldview will be turned upside down.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week. That’s what I get for neglecting comic book volumes. My Goodreads challenge has suffered a tad too. I’ll have to fix that.


Reading Next

Soul MusicWhile a potential comic book read is a flurry of possibilities, I still have the adamant intention to pick up Soul Music by Terry Pratchett as the next novel I read. That will get me halfway through the Discworld novels I’ve allotted for the year. After that, I’m not certain what I will pull from my to-read list for 2020, but I’ve narrowed it down to Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith or White Tears by Hari Kunzru. The former is a nonfiction look into the intelligence of cephalopods, especially octopuses, and the latter is a novel centred around music that is partly ghost story, partly murder mystery. I don’t remember a lot about the second book, to be honest, but I’d like to keep it that way. I guess I’ll have to see which I’m in the mood for when the time comes, at any rate.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – April 22, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

The Strings of MurderOver the weekend I started reading The Strings of Murder, a locked-room mystery by Oscar de Muriel set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late Victorian era. I’m finding my impressions to be a lot more mixed than is normal for me. On the one hand, I am enjoying reading it; the writing style is fun and easy to get into and I’ve made surprising progress considering my usual pace as of late. I really like the setting too, which highlights the dirtier sides of the era. On the other hand, I’ve not completely invested in the duo of characters yet, inspectors Frey and McGray. They’re a fairly trope-y duo, the typical sort of odd couple, and I’ve found them a tad forced so far. I’ve been steadily warming to them, but I feel like after nearly 150 pages I should well be beyond that.


Recently Finished

The Crocodile HunterOn Sunday I finished reading The Crocodile Hunter by Steve & Terri Irwin, making it officially my second reread of the year (a rarity for me). Reflecting on it all, it’s kind of surprising to me how the actual Crocodile Hunter show is treated as more happenstance than the focus of the book, considering the title. It is, appropriately, much more concerned with sharing the nitty gritty of how Steve performs crocodile capture and relocation, alongside the more personal history of the authors. You really do get a clear sense of just how passionate they are about wildlife. I considered writing a review, but decided not to. I’m happy to share here, but beyond that this reread was more for me, I suppose.


Reading Next

I mean to focus more on my to-read list for the year, and in that vein I think I’m going to crack open Soul Music by Terry Pratchett next, the 16th Discworld novel. I feel a little guilty falling back to this typical fictional haunt for me so soon, but it’s the next book in the Death sub-series. Who could honestly resist?

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – April 15, 2020

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

The Crocodile HunterI’m still in the middle of reading The Crocodile Hunter by Steve & Terri Irwin. I’m really enjoying it, but I wish I’d been faster about getting it finished. Some other things took precedent, which slowed my reading down. Oh well, here we are. I got surprisingly emotional during the last few chapters written by Terri, talking about how she met Steve. This was of course written before his untimely passing, so knowing what the future holds for the authors made some things retroactively sad. This book seems written for an easy reading experience, so it’s actually got me wanting to check out other books written about the Irwins that go into more detail.


Recently Finished

Age of Reptiles Ancient EgyptiansOver the weekend I did manage to read through Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians by Ricardo Delgado. It was a much shorter reading experience from the omnibus, telling only one story throughout. I enjoyed it quite a bit; the art is fantastic and packed with small details. There are accompanying essays about how Delgado was influenced by old Westerns and Samurai movies when writing this story and the influence is easy to see. I was most interested in how he utilized the herd of sauropods in the story, giving them a more active role rather than being the usual big, lumbering herbivores that are often terrorized by predators. I’m sad to see that there aren’t any more of these books at the moment. I hope Delgado plans create more.


Reading Next

The Strings of MurderSince I’ve been so indecisive about what to read next, I’m just going to push myself to read something unfamiliar to me on my list: The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. All I can recall is that it’s the first in a series of fairly standalone mysteries, this one being a locked room mystery about a violinist murdered in his home. I keep saying I want to check out more mysteries, it’s time to make good. I was tempted to start reading Different Seasons by Stephen King, but I got paranoid that I have too many authors I keep going back to every year.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.