Reviews–Kite Runner and Messenger of Truth

The Kite Runner The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s as good as everyone says.  I hated it to end, I wanted to keep reading. Gripping style, beautiful story…and doesn’t purport to explain or fix Afghanistan either.   Loved it.

It’s a must read.

For everyone.

And for fun…

Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Novel (Maisie Dobbs Novels) Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Either Winspear is getting better or I’m just getting used to her writing, but I found this book to be the most compelling Maisie Dobbs books to date. As always, interesting mystery, solid historical context, and deep development of character. I miss Maurice from earlier books, but enjoy that Maisie is growing up and out and no longer needs her mentor. The ominous rumblings from Germany and Hitler are also intriguing and I can’t help but hope the novels move toward WWII with continued development of Maisie’s character and abilities. I now recommend the Maisie Dobbs series.

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Murder by Decree by Robert Weverka

Murder by Decree Murder by Decree by Robert Weverka

My rating: 2/5 stars

A few months ago, I started reading collections of Sherlock Holmes stories written by authors other than Arther Conan Doyle. Many are fun, but some are too formulaic–a bit too many “It’s elementary Watson”s and such. This, a novel adapted from some 1970s movie, is one of the latter. Watson is a bumbling idiot (and of course narrowly avoids being murdered), Holmes is sneering (and much too late to do any good), and the whole social order is in danger (only this time it’s the socialists instead of the anarchists). Plus, it adds nothing to the intrigues of the actual Jack the Ripper murders. Sigh, you’d think if they were going to combine one of history’s most fascinating unsolved crimes with one of fiction’s best detectives they would have actually made it interesting!

Well, it did pass 2 hours at least.

The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters

The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5) The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters

Still enjoying this series. The tendency of the heroes to get rescued by their (growing) son is a bit irritating, but the language, puzzles, and atmosphere are still lovely.

Oh, and did I mention the heroine is a tough, capable, rational, intellectual woman in her middle years?  Of COURSE I love it! 🙂

Regional Reading: North Africa and Christie

Haven’t added much to my book reviews as I just finished A Traveler’s History of North Africa–a very dense but very good history of the whole region.

A Traveller's History of North Africa (Traveller's History) A Traveller’s History of North Africa by Barnaby Rogerson

rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a well-researched and detailed history of (surprise surprise) North Africa. A bit dry, but so informative it should be a reference book. Plus he sourced “Lords of the Atlas” one of my favorites about the Moroccan Berbers of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

For quick refreshment after the Traveler’s History, I picked up Christie’s They Came to Baghdad.

They Came to Baghdad They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie

rating: 3 of 5 stars

More of a spy thriller than a mystery. Not quite classic Agatha, but still a fun read with lots of twists and turns. Doesn’t hurt that it’s set (mostly) in Baghdad, great sense of what the colonial life used to be. Could use a character list though, we get introduced to lots of people in short succession and it’s easy to lose track of which is who. Good read, but I don’t need to own it.

BTW, I tried to read “A Girls Guide to Kissing Frogs” but couldn’t get past the third or forth chapter–banal and vapid.  Now I’m digging into Good Faith–as of page 13 it’s readable but I’m not yet hooked.

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