More Cotterill- The Merry Misogynist: which is better than dour North England or Scottish-set mysteries in that it tells me what happened in Laos after the Vietnamese war, which I didn't know at all.
Janie Chang, Three Souls, large bits of which I skimmed in (I assume) the way people do who don't read every word, because civil war China with Japan in the offing is not a nice time.
Chang writes, "The family stories and anecdotes my parents shared with me during my childhood have been the primary sources for Three Souls Leiyin's character was inspired by my grandmother, whose ambitions might have been fulfilled had she been born just a decade later. Baizhen s a more sympathetic version of my grandfather, and Hanchin is loosely based on my grandmother's first cousin Qu Quibai. At one time Qu was de facto leader of the Chinese Communist party; he met the same fate as Hanchin."
For all that, it's a very domestic story. Also it has that same oddity as The Ghost Bride of people dreaming real events in their past or ordinary everyday events that might happen. Even though half my dreams at least take place in a daycare, it's never *my* daycare even when it purports to be. Are there people who never dream strange at all?
The next Dr. Siri which involves unpleasantnesses with the Khmer Rouge.
Edward Carey, Heap House. Someone talked about it ages back, I put it on hold at the library, and then activated the hold to see what the thing is like now that I've forgotten the who and why and when of the first reference. Oogey and unpleasant and vaguely Gormenghastly is what it is: though not as unpleasant as Gormenghast in its social assumptions, thank god. Also not the most cheerful book to be reading during a dark spell; and it's the first of a trilogy.
Two more Dr Siris and then I'll quit.
I think a bracing dose of Holmes pastiche is called for here, or something non-fictional.