Mysteries, mysteries, and not very satisfying.
Deborah Crombie, Necessary as Blood
-- the balance between mystery plot and character development is a fine one, but this went a bit further onto the 'ohh the troubles we have' side than I wanted. This is no.13 of the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series that I'd only read no.2 of, and all their family entanglements were not, actually, all that rivetting to me.
Christie, Lord Edgware Dies
-- now this is a classic Christie mystery, and it twists as masterfully as any of Christie's more famous ones. But it's also as bloodless as Christie usually is, something I wouldn't have said when I was younger. But in my youth there were only this kind of clever whodunnit, and we hadn't quite got into the kitchen sink school of mystery, so I never noticed the two-dimensionality.
Stephen Booth, Black Dog
-- back to kitchen sink, imperfect heroes, personal problems, and all that jazz. First in the Cooper and Fry series, and if I'd started with this one I probably wouldn't have read the rest of the series.
Ellis Peters, The Will and the Deed
-- an early Peters and I skimmed large chunks of it. I'd have thought it an early work but no, written in middle age and after she'd started the Felse books. Again a classic whodunnit set-up: a bunch of English people stranded in the German (Austrian) mountains with a one of them a killer. Again, twists and turns, but with the limited number of suspects one has a good chance of guessing whodunnit.
The Peters was one of three books I got for a loonie each on Sunday. The seemingly most promising of the lot, which starts with Arthur Conan Doyle and Lloyd George at a seance, turned out to be unreadable. The Peters was barely respectable, so now I have a Michael Innes, speaking of bloodless and two-dimensional Englishmen. But it goes down well enough. They're called 'cozies' for a reason, and at least Innes' Appleby, who is already married, will not be falling in love with a woman he's only known for two days as in the Christie and the Peters.
Only I do so wish for Peter Grant's voice just now, as a corrective.
Maybe I should go for something more substantial and read Eco's Baudino that I started last winter. Maybe I should go for some consolation reading like Night Watch or a Tiffany Aching. Maybe I should reread the last two Aaronovitches because, well, Peter.