Started rereading The Death of the Necromancer because I remember nothing about it after a dozen years only it's supposed to be AU Moriarty and Adler heroes against a Holmes antagonist. And again, it may be, but... Martha Wells has this in common with Barbara Hambly: they write a water-colour prose I find very hard to read. No taste, no flavour, no distinguishing features, and it comes between me and the action and the characters and the buildings and the weather and the clothes and the everything. I suppose I should try skimming, but there's enough detail to make meI think 'this allows me to *see* what's going on'- seeing is pretty important to me if there's no characteristic voice; only I still can't see properly what's being described. As in, this ought to work but it doesn't, and I'm still not sure why.
(I dropped Fu Manchu's universal conspiracies and dug out Red Land, Black Land instead to read about Petrie at Sakkara: and the dust jacket disintegrated under my touch, like flowers in a Pharaoh's tomb.)