“I am not a middle man. I am a top man,” declared Hercule Poirot with a slight arrogance.
“What are you?”
“I am a detective,” said Hercule Poirot with the modest air of one who says “I am a king.”
Slight arrogance, Agatha? Really?
My distraction has reached a fever point, and I have 4 books on the go right now, so some streamlining needs to happen!
I will probably finish Death on the Nile today. I should've waited to start it, because I could've read it for my first booklikesopoly book, but such is not to be.
Daisy Jones and The Six is my current audiobook, and I am about half finished with it. I'm really enjoying it all of the performances, even if Warren is a flaming douchebag.
I have gotten basically nowhere (I've read about 5 pages) on An Unsuitable Attachment, which was this month's Pymalong book. At this point, I am going to wait for it to fit into a square and just restart it for the game.
I've gone back and forth a few times on what I will read for The Silk Road square and I have finally settled on Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews. I read the first in this trilogy, Red Sparrow, for Summer of Spies 2018, so it makes sense to read this one for Summer of Spies Redux. It's set at least partially in Russia, so it fits the prompt.
5. The Silk Road: Read a book set in any of the 40 countries* along the Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries. *link to list
Book: Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews, set in Russia. (481 pages, worth $5.00).
“It seems all wrong to me—her looking like that. Money and looks—it’s too much! If a girl’s as rich as that she’s no right to be a good-looker as well. And she is a good-looker…Got everything, that girl has. Doesn’t seem fair….”
Chapter 1 is quite a whirlwind of introductions!
I am going to finish Detection bingo this summer, while I play Booklikesopoly!
My remaining are squares are: 1, 2, 14, 17, 19, &21.
Links to the book lists - courtesy of Themis-Athena
The 100 books: The 100 books individually highlighted by the author.
Chapters 1 through 5: (Chapter 1: A New Era Dawns; Chapter 2: The Birth of the Golden Age; Chapter 3: The Great Detectives; Chapter 4: Play Up! Play Up! and Play the Game!; Chapter 5: Miraculous Murders)
Chapters 6 & 7: (Chapter Six: Serpents in Eden; Chapter Seven: Murder at the Manor)
Chapters 8 through 10: (Chapter Eight: Capital Crimes (London mysteries); Chapter Nine: Resorting to Murder (detectives solving crimes while on vacation); Chapter Ten: Making Fun of Murder)
Chapters 11 through 15: (Chapter Eleven: Education, Education, Education; Chapter Twelve: Playing Politics; Chapter Thirteeen: Scientific Enquiries;; Chapter Fourteen: The Long Arm of the Law; Chapter Fifteen: The Justice Game
Chapters 16 through 20: (Chapter 16: Multiplying Murders; Chapter 17: The Psychology of Crime; Chapter 18: Inverted Mysteries; Chapter 19: The Ironists; Chapter 20: Fiction from Fact)
Chapters 21 through 24: (Chapter Twenty-One: Singletons; Chapter Twenty-Two: Across the Atlantic; Chapter Twenty-Three: Cosmopolitan Crimes; ChapterTwenty-Four: The Way Ahead)
As promised, I put together a bingo card for The Detective Club, based on the chapter headings in Martin Edward's The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books.
Each number refers to the relevant chapter in The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books. The images are either a detail from the cover image of a book mentioned in the chapter, with the exception of #3, and I couldn't resist an image of Hercule Poirot for a chapter called The Great Detectives!
I am still reading Empire Grill, although I finished The Invisible Library, which is 328 pages and is therefore worth $6.00! I will be rolling from Main Street #10.
I rolled an 8:
Which puts me on Carsland 18: Read a book that was published in 2006, 2011, 2013 & 2014 or which has a car on the cover.
Since I enjoyed The Eyre Affair so much, and since the next Thursday Next book also has a car on the cover:
I'm about 90% sure that will be my choice!
I stumbled on a sort of a cool thing for people who use GR/amazon & who also use their local public libraries.
I think it only works with the Chrome browser.
It's called the Library Extension, and when you download it onto your browser and identify your library, it adds whether or not the book is available at my library when I view it on GR. It looks like this:
It's live linked to the book in my library, so if I click on the borrow button, it takes me over to the website and asks me to log in to place hold.
It shows up on the amazon book page, as well:
Pretty cool, huh?
This was the second stand-alone by Slaughter that I've read in the last couple of days (actually, I read this one first, but already wrote the other review).
From this experience, I think it's clear that I have a marked preference for her Will Trent series.
This one had a bit of Patty Hearst, Symbionese Liberation Army vibe going out that, again, didn't really work for me. There wasn't really a single likeable character in this book, with the possible exception of one of the male characters whom I can't really further identify without spoiling the book.
It's told with a series of flashbacks between the 1970's and the present, which is intended to build to a sort of a climactic confrontation. It was less violent than Pretty Girls, and didn't include sexual violence, which is less disturbing to me, although there was still a lot of murder and mayhem.
I really do think that Slaughter knows how to tell a really tight and well-plotted mystery, but her books would be stronger if she would dial down the graphic violence and concentrate a little bit more on believability and a little bit less on shocking the reader.
I'm a bit of an outlier with this one here on BL - most of the ratings are quite a bit higher than this one.
I really like Slaughter's Will Trent series, which features a GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigations) detective who is dyslexic and functionally illiterate. This is actually fairly implausible as well - if there is one thing that is absolutely required for detectives, it's competent reading skills. Nonetheless, that bothers me very little in that series because the characters are so engaging.
Pretty Girls is a Slaughter stand-alone - the third that I've read. It is very engaging. In fact, you can use any of those silly review words to describe it: compulsively readable; propulsive action; blah blah blah.
Unfortunately, it is so violent that it is almost unreadable. If you think back to the sexual violence in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, that's what we're talking about here. This is a deal breaker for a lot of people, and I'm not kidding when I say it is violent. Violence really isn't a deal breaker for me, but this book was at the leading edge of what I can even read. On a scale of 1 to 10, the level of sexual violence is this book is 1,532,710. It's that violent.
In addition, though, the real problem that I had with the book was that it is utterly implausible. I have no problem with conspiracies that verge on preposterous, but this one, nope. It strained credulity beyond the breaking point.
I read it in about 3 hours - and it's an over 500 page book - so that tells you that it is gripping. But I didn't really enjoy the process of being gripped.
In addition to playing BL-opoly, I am going to indulge in another espionage summer! I had such a great time last year reading spy fic, and I still have a number of books that I bought for the Summer of Spies that I didn't get around to reading.
Booklikes-opoly is very genre forgiving, as well, as will be clear once the game is officially unveiled. Most of the spaces have a way to fulfill the space that doesn't require a specific genre of book to be read.
London Match by Len Deighton
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John LeCarre
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
Dead Lions by Mick Herron
Dark Star by Alan Furst
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews
I actually did finish this several days ago. This was my second Maigret, and wasn't as good as The Yellow Dog, IMO.
I liked it, but I didn't love it. Maigret's behavior felt somewhat inexplicable to me throughout most of the book, and I felt like the solution to the mystery was fairly pedestrian. The ending of the book was surprising, though, and I'm still not sure what to make of it.
It was interesting - and I do plan to keep reading, but I hope that there are more like The Yellow Dog than there are like The Flemish House!
Peregrinations asked for a version of the board spaces in plain text. I posted it in the Bingo group in the Rules thread, but thought I'd do it here as well, in case it would be helpful to anyone.
1. There is quite literally nothing quite like the feeling of closing the empty locker for the last time with 90 days of freedom stretching into the future.
Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or Middle Grade.
Read a mystery or detective story or a book with the word "who" in the title.
3. However, by the end of the summer, I was usually bored out of my mind, and ready to go back to school (and I'm sure my mom was ready to send me back to school, too).
Read a book set in a school or college, or that is considered a "classic," (using any criteria that you want) or that is frequently banned.
4. One of the highlights of starting a new school year was going shopping for school clothes or supplies
Read a book that was published during the months of May, June or July, or that contains an item that would be used as a school supply or an article of clothing or an accessory pictured on the cover.
5. The Silk Road:
Read a book set in any of the 40 countries* along with the Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.
6. The summer vacation is fun, but if leaving town is just too expensive, the stay-cation can be fun, too.
Read a book set in your home town, state, or country or that you checked out of your local library or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.
7. Most places have a lot of different opportunities for summer fun!
Read a book that has a house on the cover, or that is related to something unique about your community (for example, if your community has a strawberry festival, read a book with strawberries on the cover).
8. Race car: Roll again & hold card to play later; race around the game board to the space of your choosing.
9. And, let's be honest, just not being at work is a vacation in and of itself, and is an opportunity to see some of local amenities, or read & relax!
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library, or a park, or that the authors name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
10. There's nothing like a trip to the beach to start the summer off, and, for readers, half the fun is picking the beach read!
Read a book that appears on any beach reads list or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.
11. There are gorgeous beaches all over the world. My personal favorite beach is in Pacific City, Oregon.
Read a book set in a coastal/beach region that you love, or would love to visit, or a book that has a beach or ocean on the cover.
12. Robot: Roll again & hold card to play later; create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.
13. It's important to get all of your proper accoutrements together for a day at the beach.
Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit or other beachy items on the cover, or that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.
14. The Patagonia Star: Read a book set in Central or South America, or by an author from any country in Central or South America.
15. My husband, Mr. MR, is a big fan of the mountain vacation.
Read a book with a tree (or trees) on the cover, or that is set in a mountain community.
16. For some reason, I associate mountain/forest locations with mystery/suspense books. I think it's all of that deep shade!
Read a book that is a mystery or suspense, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Read a book that is non-fiction or a book with the word "why" in the title.
18. I grew up hiking in the Rocky mountains of Colorado and skiing in the mountains of Idaho and Utah, so mountains are inextricably linked to the Western US in my mind (although many places have even bigger and more impressive mountain ranges).
Read a book that is set in the Western United States (west of the Mississippi) or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is in the Western genre.
19. Spending some lazy days at the lake house sounds like a wonderful summer vacation!
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50% blue, or by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
20.My dog, Jack, is a golden retriever, and he loves the water, which means he loves spending time at lakes.
Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.
21. The cat: Be the cat. Read whatever the hell you want.
22. My mom grew up going to Minnesota, Land of a Thousand Lakes, for her summer vacations.
Read a book with a word that refers to women's roles, such as wife, daughter, mother, mistress or title, such as "Mrs., Miss or Duchess, in the title, or a book that has a strong female lead character.
23. The Cape-to-Cairo Railway
Read a book set on the continent of Africa, or by an author from any African country.
24. BL square.
25. I look forward to the summer blockbuster movie releases every year!
Read a book that has been adapted for a film.
Read a book that is science fiction or a book with the word "how" in the title.
27. In the summer of 1977, my brother and I went to the summer blockbuster that launched four decades of sequels - Star Wars - on a summer road trip.
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a bildungsroman (coming of age tale) or that has a word related to space in the title, such as star, planet, rocket)
GO TO JAIL
28. From Grease to The Summer I Turned Pretty, the summer romance is a staple of screen and page (and the dreams of teenagers everywhere)
Read a book that is identified as romance or chick-lit, or that has a cover that is more than 50% pink.
29. Scottie dog: Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.
30. Romance novels have the prettiest covers, featuring beautiful people, and places, and, often delicious food.
Read a book with fruit or pastries on the cover, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in L-O-V-E.
31. BL square
32. The Nordic Express
Read a book set in one of the Nordic* countries, or by an author from any of those countries.
*Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
33. The summer after I graduated from high school, A group of my friends and I took a European Tour, and London was one of our favorite stops.
Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.
Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.
35. We took the Ferry to France, crossing the English Channel.
Read a book set in Europe, or that was written by an author who was born in a Europe, or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.
36. While we were in Europe, we visited Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Geneva, Rome, Florence, Venice and Barcelona
Read a book that involves travel to Europe, or that has an image of any European city or monument on the cover, or that the letters of the title can spell the name of any European city (or country) that I visited on my trip.