Having finished my third epic-length Anthony Trollope novel (the third in the Palliser series), I’m beginning to think I’m not really a fan of Mr. Trollope’s writing style. His novels have wonderfully constructed and carefully developed plots. The characters are well rounded and personable; I feel I know them upon finishing a novel, and therefore

Read Post

“Crime and Punishment,” says Richard Pevear in his introduction, “is a highly unusual mystery novel: the most mystified character in it is the murderer himself.” At first glance, there is no mystery. The answers to “who, what, when, and where” seem self-evident, especially since the murder occurs center stage in the first 80 pages of

Read Post

I had previously seen the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, so I thought I’d revisit it on CD during my opera phase in November. When I listened to the commentary CD for it (produced by the Chicago Lyric Opera), I discovered that the story was originally a novella by Prosper Merimee, so I downloaded the

Read Post

The narrator of Alice Sebold’s first novel, The Lovely Bones, is dead. Meet Susie. Susie Salmon was 14 when she was brutally raped and murdered in a cornfield near her home. Now, as her family recovers and learns to live again, she watches them from her gazebo in her heaven and begins to come to

Read Post

I was looking for a light-hearted mystery to fill the requirement for my library summer reading program, and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King certainly fit the bill. I’m glad I read it. Mary Russell is an astute young woman residing in the World War I British countryside when she meets her neighbor, a retired

Read Post

I’ve been in a short story mood lately. I picked up G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown (a collection of 18 of the 49 stories about Father Brown) when I saw it on a display at the library. I’d read somewhere, maybe on a book blog, that one should read Father Brown because it’s the definitive

Read Post