The number of books I have read fell this month, down from my average of four to just two. I guess I did read several terrible eBooks that I will not be writing about, but as far as real, worth thinking about books go, I only managed two. Anyone who has been following my monthly posts won’t be surprised by what book they are, since both are from authors I have been reading a lot this year. One was another Maisie Dobbs books, Messenger of Truth and the other was a Japser Fforde book, The Big Over Easy, the first of his Nursery Crimes series. Next month is not going to be much better, as it was more crap with again only a few real worthwhile titles in the mix. Still, I think I will easily make my goal of fifty for the year.
Messenger of Truth
The fourth Maisie Dobbs book has her investigating the apparently accidental death of an artist. While I am still enjoying the setting of this series, I am starting to care less for the characters. It feels like there is desire for forward movement with the characters, but that gets in the way of the mystery and not enough time is devoted to them for there to be any progress, but too much is spent of them for me to feel satisfied with how little there is. I still like the mysteries, though. Also, I am willing to concede that some of my frustration my come from reading the first books at such a rapid pace. Maybe they are better with a little time in between.
The mystery in this one is about art and family, and it all of the eventual dead ends feel like possible solutions instead of space fillers until it is time for the mystery to be solved. Despite my complaints about the unsatisfactory state of the character development, there are several big things that happen to Maisie and Billy in this volume. Billy especially get his family more fleshed out. This series continues to be good enough that I intend to keep reading it, but I am still not going to be shouting many praises
The Big Over Easy
This is the first of the Nursery Crimes series, where the denizens of nursery rhymes populate the world of crime noir. It is an interesting set up, and Fforde infuses it with the same wit that is the hallmark of his Thursday Next series. Still, I found myself not enjoying this one as much. I think it comes down to the fact that I have more affection for the classic literature that makes up the in jokes of Thursday Next than I do for nursery rhymes. That being said, I expect this book is more accessible for others since the nursery rhymes are better known.
The Big Over Easy follows Detective Jack Spratt as he investigates the death of Humpty Dumpty. Once he is put back together again, it is apparent that he did not die from the fall, but was shot. So Jack must unravel a plot that involves nearly the entire town and most of your favorite nursery rhymes. I found it slow to get going, but it really picked up steam in near the end as the pieces start falling into place. I do love how Fforde has woven the simple rhymes together to make a somewhat believable world for them to occupy. This book does not rate quite as high as the Thursday Next series, but it has done nothing to diminish my faith in Fforde as a writer.