FF: Pounce on a Good Book

Roary Pounces a Good Book!

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.  The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Pearls Before Swine by Margery Allingham.  My library is woefully short on her works in audio, but I own a bunch in print.  This is a mid-late book in the Albert Campion sequence, when WWII has taken the shine off of the Edwardian age.  That transition is the underlying theme of this novel, far more the theme than the ostensible whodunit.

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Audiobook.  Although less well-known than Sherlock Holmes, this is one of those books that keeps getting referenced by other authors.  Great fun and some truly excellent prose.

In Progress:

The Black Dudley Murder by Margery Allingham.  This is the book that introduced Albert Campion as a Bertie Woosterish twit, who might actually not be so twittish.  Allingham had no idea he would become the protagonist of so many future works.

Death On the Air and other Stories by Ngaio Marsh.  Audiobook.  Also includes some non-fiction by her about her own work, and the script for a play.


Still writing on SK4 and enjoying watching Roary make friends with Mei-Ling.

7 Responses to “FF: Pounce on a Good Book”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    Speaking of Bertie Wooster, this week I am reading What Ho, Automata, (Reeves and Worchester Steampunk Mysteries #1-3) by Chris Dolley. The valet, Reeves, is steam powered. It is fun.

    I am also reading The Order War (The Saga of Recluce #4) by L.E. Modesitt Jt. I am having a hard time getting into the story. Perhaps it is because it has been a while since I read book #3.

    I finished Fire Season by You and David Weber. At first I was afraid the story was going to be a rehash of Book 1 but then it swooped off and I really enjoyed it. Now on to Book 3!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Glad Fire Season worked. I shall look for the Steampunk Jeeves and Wooster… Many years ago, there was a Lovecraftian set of stories. At that point, I didn’t really know Jeeves and Wooster and found it confusing. Later, I understood… Always the problem with spinoffs. I think the Recluse books are confusing sometimes because they are a series that centers on location rather than character so continuity can be a challenge.

  2. James Mendur Says:

    I see “The Black Dudley Murder” as kinda like the first “The Pink Panther” movie. It is, in many ways, different from the others, and introduces a character who steals the show and becomes the main character in the sequels.

    Currently Reading:
    I finished the first two and am in the middle of the third Murderbot Diaries novella by Martha Wells. As is pretty typical of modern series, the first book is the best and can be read as a standalone. The later books start to delve into questions from Murderbot’s past, explore the bigger universe, and see the aftermath of its decisions from the first book. It’s still interesting enough to keep going, for now, but not in the “Ooh, I have to finish this tonight because I need to know what happens” way of the first novella.
    Also, now that we’re exploring the past, the universe and the aftermath, there doesn’t seem to be any end to Murderbot’s story; it could keep going as long as Tor is willing to keep paying Wells. The probem I have is, Murderbot’s fatalistic “everything is crap so I try not to care” persona can get wearying as things keep going on, but if it starts caring too much, then it’s no longer the Murderbot we all loved from book one. A trap for ANY character in a series, but when you have a “doom & gloom” protagonist, it’s a particular challenge.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I agree with you on the Allingham, absolutely. And I couldn’t get into even the first Murderbot because of the protag. I’ve been astonished by the enthusiasm for the series because I can do gloom and doom w/o help, thanks.

  3. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    I am a little over half way through Wolf’s Soul and loving it! My Reading Block has been smashed. Thanks again to Firekeeper, Blind Seer and especially the teller of their tales (tails?😉), Jane!
    If I could only find a way to get more sleep or fewer interruptions while I’m awake…

  4. Harried Harry Says:

    I found an old series of stories by Tara K. Harper which starts with Wolfwalker and goes on from there. Different from your stories, Jane, but just as intriguing to read. Others may enjoy them also.

    I haven’t read any steampunk for a long time but I’ll need to find some. A while back (a year or so) I found some and really enjoyed the stories. Great type of writing, with well developed universes and characters. I enjoy books for the characters as much as the universe, but some books I really don’t care to read. Among these are stories about werewolves, zombies, and “creatures from the night”.

    I was going through some of the dozen boxes of books I have currently stored in my shop and came across an old Western by Max Brand. This was one of the original stories written back in 1930 titled “Destry Rides Again”. Compared to other writers of the same era like Zane Gray, the story is somewhat predictable but interesting at times. Personally I much prefer reading a story written by Louis L’Amour since the character development is so much better and the locations are well researched and close to what actually exists.

    I need to go, my two dogs want me to go outside with them. They want to play a bit. Enjoy your weekend, all of you. Be safe.

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