Robertgreaves ROOTs His Way Through 2021, Part Deux

Discussão2021 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Robertgreaves ROOTs His Way Through 2021, Part Deux

Set 28, 2021, 9:22 pm

Part 1 was here

My revised target for 2021 is 84 ROOTs. At the moment all books I own are ROOTs and any books I obtain after today will become ROOTs in January 2022.

My ROOTs as of today consist of 30 treebooks and 137 ebooks, making a total of 167 ROOTs, down from 177 ROOTs this time last year. The big drop was in treebooks, for which we can blame/thank Covid since I have had more time to read over the last year and no big Christmas/New Year splurge.

Since ebooks are always available and always tempting I am as usual going to limit myself:

1. 2 books as a reward for each kg I lose;
2. next in a series (if I am up to date on the 8 books per month needed to reach my goal);
3. bookclub/reading group books.

Set 29, 2021, 4:47 am

Happy new thread, Robert

Set 29, 2021, 5:28 am

>2 connie53: Thank you, Connie

Set 29, 2021, 11:18 am

Good luck the rest of the way. I always enjoy seeing what you're reading.

Set 29, 2021, 3:29 pm

I've heard good things about Black Tudors, so will be interested in your review when you get to that one. I enjoy your pithy reviews very much!

Set 29, 2021, 7:28 pm

Happy new thread! I read Alias Grace over 10 years ago and really need to read it again.

Set 29, 2021, 8:48 pm

>4 rocketjk: >5 Jackie_K: >6 rabbitprincess: Thank you for dropping by, Jerry, Jackie, and RP

Set 29, 2021, 8:54 pm


In honour of the occasion, I am starting my No. 128, The Hurricane Party by Klas Östergren, translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally. This is my seventy-seventh ROOT for 2021

Set 30, 2021, 3:31 am

Happy new thread, Robert, and many good books!

Set 30, 2021, 3:50 am

>9 MissWatson: Thanks for dropping by MissWatson

Set 30, 2021, 4:20 am

Possible reading for October:

Out 1, 2021, 10:27 pm

Starting my No. 129, The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Hurricane Party:

An ex-insurance claim investigator seeks justice in a post-apocalyptic society ruled by the Clan, whose behaviour and personalities are patterned after the Norse gods.

I enjoyed it and I would probably have done so even more if I'd known more about Norse mythology because I suspect there were some parallels I was missing.

Out 2, 2021, 2:41 pm

You are doing great, Robert!

Out 5, 2021, 2:49 am

Starting my No. 130, The Blood Pit by Kate Ellis. This ebook is my seventy-eighth ROOT for 2021. It fits the AlphaKIT and the MysteryKIT.

My review of The Land of Laughs:

Thomas Abbey decides to write a biography of his favourite author from his childhood and visits the town where the writer lived, where there are very odd goings-on going on.

I don't remember what led me to put this on my wishlist. The last third was a bit weird in a mildly interesting way, but even so there was nothing that really grabbed my attention.

Out 6, 2021, 10:15 am

Starting my No. 131, the next in the series, A Perfect Death. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Blood Pit:

Are the anonymous letters Neil's getting connected with the grisly deaths Wesley and the other Tradmouth detectives are investigating?

Although I eliminated the too obvious suspect from my mind early on, it didn't get me much further forward. Another great inter-twining of past and present, though I would have liked an author's note at the end telling us more about seyney/seyne houses.

Out 7, 2021, 7:57 pm

Starting my No. 132, the next in the series, The Flesh Tailor. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of A Perfect Death:

While the Petersons are on holiday in the South of France, Wesley is asked by someone he knew at uni to check up on the guy's girlfriend when he gets back to Devon. When he does get back, Wesley's focus is on a body burnt alive in a field due to be developed into a housing estate.

Twisty fun but there were some interesting tangents that weren't followed up which I would have liked to have seen developed.

Out 8, 2021, 9:30 pm

Starting my No. 133, the next in the series, The Jackal Man. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Flesh Tailor:

A doctor setting out to have dinner at Wesley's sister's is murdered. Neil investigates some skeletons found while some electricity cables are being laid to assess whether they are of interest to archaeologists or to the police.

As a story it all came together satisfactorily, but I was disappointed by the killer's identity.

Out 9, 2021, 1:08 pm

LOL. I came here with the link in your previous thread, but that takes me to the English version of LT. So I searched for your thread just to see I was here before.

Great reading, Robert.

Out 10, 2021, 9:07 am

Starting my No. 134, The Last Human by Zack Jordan. This is my seventy-ninth ROOT for 2021 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 31. It fits the AlphKIT and the SFFKIT.

My review of The Jackal Man:

Somebody tries to garotte a young woman walking home from the pub but is interrupted. The next victim is killed and eviscerated as if preparing her body for mummification. A third victim is found. Can Wesley and the team catch the killer before a fourth victim dies in what may be a re-creation of a case from a hundred years ago?

Well, officially I got it wrong, but the epilogue seems to suggest I might still be right after all.

Out 12, 2021, 5:56 am

Starting my No. 135, An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie. This is my eightieth ROOT for 2021 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 30.

My review of the The Last Human:

Sarya the Daughter, the last human of the title, is being brought up by Shenya the Widow, a praying mantis type alien, until a visitor to the space station where they live encourages Sarya to go on a quest for her own people, to find out what happened to them and why.

The opening, told from Shenya's point of view, and the ending are great but most of the middle is just a mess with it not being clear who is who much of the time.

Out 12, 2021, 6:15 am

>20 Robertgreaves: I've got An African in Greenland on my wishlist, have heard really good things about it - hope you enjoy it!

Out 16, 2021, 9:00 am

Starting my No. 136, The Unwilling Vestal by Edward Lucas White. This ebook is my eighty-first ROOT for 2021. I am reading it now for my online reading group.

My review of An African in Greenland:

After an illness caused by a fall from a tree, Tété-Michel Kpomassie's father pledges him as an apprentice to the python cult priestess in Togo. Tété-Michel runs away from home in 1957 aged 16, determined to go to Greenland as a country devoid of trees and pythons. Eight years later he arrives there and explores the country looking for locals still living a traditional way of life unaffected by colonialism and modernity.

Beautifully descriptive of both Togo and Greenland and the local cultures.

Out 17, 2021, 11:59 pm

Starting my No. 137 13 Tales to Give You Night Terrors edited by Troy H. Gardner and Joshua Winning. This ebook is my eighty-second ROOT for 2021. I am reading it for the GenreCAT.

My review of The Unwilling Vestal:

Since there are no other eligible candidates, Brinnaria agrees, albeit unwillingly, to serve as a Vestal Virgin for the next 30 years and the novel is the story of her time in office.

The author doesn't seem to have quite got the hang of writing historical fiction and often addresses the reader directly to explain social and cultural matters by comparison to early 20th century equivalents. This bumps the reader out of the story quite a bit.

The romantic element is also rather disconcerting. Brinnaria is 9 when the story opens but is apparently mature enough mentally and physically to pass for 18 and she already has a love interest, Almo, who agrees to wait for her which he does but not very patiently. Quite honestly, in the end the ordeal by sieve seems the most natural and reasonable incident in the book.

Having said, all that if one can suspend belief enough, the book is actually very readable and enjoyable. I'm not sure how many stars to give it as complete nonsense but an enjoyable read.

Out 19, 2021, 7:40 am

Starting my No. 138, Boy Meets Hamster by Birdie Milano. This ebook is my eighty-third ROOT for 2021. I am reading it now for the AlphaKIT.

My review of 13 Tales To Give You Night Terrors:

A mixed bag, some genuinely creepy and some I couldn't be bothered working out what was supposed to be going on so wasn't creeped out at all.

Out 20, 2021, 3:29 am

Starting my No. 139, the sequel, Boy Meets Ghoul. This book is my eighty-fourth ROOT and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 30.

My review of Boy Meets Hamster:

On holiday with his family and his best friend Kayla, 14-year-old Dylan Kershaw is hoping for a holiday romance and his first kiss. Maybe with the boy in the next caravan.

Sweet and very, very funny - but perhaps my sense of humour hasn't advanced much since I was that age. I wish I'd been able to read it then.

Out 20, 2021, 9:24 am

>25 Robertgreaves: Oh that sounds lovely, I'm going to add it to the wishlist!

Out 20, 2021, 9:46 am

>26 Jackie_K: Hope you enjoy it when/if you get round to it.

Out 21, 2021, 10:57 pm

Starting my No. 140, A Warning in Blood by Joseph R. G. DeMarco. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the GenreCAT and SFFKIT.

My review of Boy Meets Ghoul:

Dylan goes to a football camp in Manchester with his family and Kayla in tow. But Leo has a mysterious dance gig and doesn't seem to have any time for Dylan, the boy from school who Dylan has had a crush on for years has finally noticed his existence, and the coach in charge of the football camp seems to have taken a real dislike to Dylan.

Just as funny and sweet as in the first book.

Out 23, 2021, 7:20 pm

Starting my No. 141, "A Battle in Blood" (no touchstone), the next in the series.

My review of A Warning in Blood:

Somebody is making children into vampires (a change their minds and bodies cannot handle). Is it random cruelty or is it part of an attempt to destabilise vampire society and create a war between humans and vampires? Dru, the Prime Inquisitor of the Protectorate investigates.

A great story that kept me turning the pages and set in a world I want to know more about. Half a star deducted for some annoying typos.

Out 25, 2021, 10:09 pm

Starting my No. 142, From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty. This audiobook is not a ROOT. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of "A Battle in Blood" (no touchstone):

The Protectorate is dissolving into factions as Cynnea stages a coup. But who is the power behind her? And how does the prophecy of The One Who Will Happen fit in?

A disappointment compared to the first book. Quite apart from the typos getting even more frequent, the book felt rather slow with a lot of padding as if the author was determined to make a trilogy when he only really had enough material for a duology. Will I read the next one when it comes out? Probably, if it is the final volume, but not if the story is going to be stretched out even more. OTOH I would read more single volume stories set in the same universe.

Out 26, 2021, 10:23 am

Starting my No. 143, What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch. This treebook is not a ROOT but brings the treebook TBR shelf to 29.

Out 27, 2021, 4:07 am

Hi Robert. Congrats on reaching your ROOT total.

Out 27, 2021, 4:13 am

Thank you, Connie. I hope you enjoyed your break

Out 28, 2021, 1:04 am

Starting my No. 144, The Jewels of Aptor by Samuel R. Delany. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of What Abigail Did That Summer:

Abigail Kamara investigates the disappearance of teenagers on Hampstead Heath who reappear with no memory of where they've been.

This novella adds some interesting background to the Rivers of London world and its inhabitants but the actual story isn't that engrossing. Slightly irritating that the maps show "Vale of Heath" and the text says "Vale of Health".

Editado: Out 29, 2021, 9:59 am

Starting my No. 145, My Fairy Godmother Is A Drag Queen by David Clawson. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The Jewels of Aptor:

In a post apocalyptic world Geo, Urson, Iimmi, and Snake are tasked by the incarnate goddess Argo with rescuing her sister from the temple of Hama on the island of Aptor.

Fairly run of the mill. There wasn't anything actually bad about it, but it didn't really grab my interest either.

Out 30, 2021, 9:32 pm

Starting my No. 146 The Hurtle of Hell by Simon Edge. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of My Fairy Godmother Is A Drag Queen:

Cinderella is Chris, living in New York with his stepmother, stepsister and stepbrother. Prince Charming duly returns the shoe after the ball about a third of the way through the book and then life starts to get really complicated. Who is JJ Kennerly really interested in anyway? Chris or his definitely not ugly stepsister?

I didn't actually LOL but it was pretty funny. A good light read.

Out 31, 2021, 5:02 am

Possible reading for November:

Out 31, 2021, 7:08 pm

Starting my No. 147, The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. This is my eighty-fifth ROOT and brings the treebook shelf to 28.

My review of The Hurtle of Hell:

After a near-death experience in which Stefano Cartwright sees the eye of God watching him, he starts to worry about whether he might be heading for Hell if he continues living as he currently does.

Stefano's story could have been interesting but then the author made up his own bizarre far from omniscient creator figure who comes down to Earth looking for the hominid who he saw looking at him. Tosh.

Nov 4, 2021, 12:04 am

Starting my No. 148, To Be Taught If Fortunate by Becky Chambers. This ebook is my eighty-sixth ROOT for 2021. I am reading it now for the AlphaKIT and the SFFKIT.

Nov 4, 2021, 8:16 pm

Currently reading my No. 149, The Seep by Chana Porter. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the GenreCAT and the SFKIT.

Also reading as my insomnia book my No. 150 Tales from the Folly by Ben Aaronovitch. This treebook is not a ROOT but fits the GenreCAT, the AlphaKIT, and the SFKIT.

My review of To Be Taught if Fortunate:

Ariadne O'Neill and her shipmates are exploring the four planets orbiting a red dwarf when they make a remarkable discovery.

The planets are fascinatingly different from each other and I hugely enjoyed these strange new worlds and the explorers' efforts to have the minimum possible impact on each one. I must admit I found the major discovery at the end of the book and the way it changed their decision about what to do next a bit of an anti-climax.

Nov 5, 2021, 9:40 pm

Starting my No. 151, Still Me by Jojo Moyes. This is my eighty-seventh ROOT for 2021 and brings the treebook TBR shelf to 26.

My review of The Seep:

An alien intelligence takes over the Earth, offering humans immortality and the ability to heal and transform bodies. But at what cost to what makes them human?

It's an interesting premise but the author didn't make a good job of integrating world-building, characterisation, and a story in the novella that was the core of this book, and I found it rather a slog to get through. The accompanying short story re-telling some of the events from another character's viewpoint, where the world-building had already been done, was much more readable.

Nov 7, 2021, 8:30 pm

My review of Still Me:

Louisa works for a very wealthy family in NY but can her relationship with Ambulance Sam stand the strain of living so far apart?

Pleasant enough but it suffered from my memories of the events in the 2nd book being rather vague apart from the introduction of Lily as a character.

Nov 8, 2021, 11:37 pm

Starting my 152, A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett. This is my eighty-eighth ROOT for 2021. I am reading it now for the AlphaKIT, SFFKIT, and GenreCAT, though I do not expect to finish it this month as I keeping it for bouts of insomnia.

My review of Tales From the Folly:

A collection of short stories set in the Rivers of London universe. Enjoyable but I think I am going to have to read the whole series again to fit them in properly in mind.

Nov 12, 2021, 4:59 am

Starting my No. 153, A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody. This ebook is my eighty-ninth ROOT for 2021. I am reading it for the MysteryKIT and AlphaKIT.

Nov 13, 2021, 6:59 pm

Starting my No. 154, the next in the series, Murder on A Summer's Day. This ebook is not a ROOT. It still fits the MysteryKIT and AlphaKIT.

My review of A Woman Unknown:

Everett Runcie, banker and brother of a baron, is found dead in a hotel bed, strangled. Unfortunately the woman he was with was not his wife and she has disappeared. Kate is investigating why the wife of a client keeps disappearing for a day or two at a time. Are the two cases linked?

A good installment in this series with an unexpected but satisfying resolution of the cases and in Kate's personal life.

Nov 15, 2021, 3:00 am

Starting my No. 155, Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter. This ebook is not a ROOT but I am reading it now for my book club.

My review of Murder on a Summer's Day:

An Indian Maharajah visits the Yorkshire estate of the Duke of Devonshire to go hunting. His horse comes back without him in the evening and the next day one of the grooms who had accompanied him in the morning is found drowned in the river. Kate Shackleton is asked to investigate on behalf of the Government.

A good twisty tale. The author has a way of making even minor characters come alive so that the reader wonders what happened to them after the events in the novel.

Nov 19, 2021, 7:36 am

Starting my No. 157, The New Sonia Wayward by Michael Innes. This ebook is not a ROOT.

I have also read my No. 156, Hare Sitting Up, also by Michael Innes. This ebook was my ninetieth ROOT for 2021. My review:

Appleby tells a headmaster of a prep school that his twin brother, a top scientist working on defense against biological warfare, has gone missing and persuades the headmaster to impersonate his brother till he can be found.

This all seemed a repeat of some of the Buchanesque earlier books till about half way through it went off in its own direction, but all in all not one of his best.

Nov 20, 2021, 4:50 am

Starting my 158, My Life As An Experiment by A. J. Jacobs. This audiobook is not a ROOT.

Nov 20, 2021, 7:04 pm

My review of Pieces of Her:

When Andy (Andrea) and her mother are caught up in a shooting incident at a local diner, Andy is forced to go on the run as a mysterious "they" close in on them both.

The novel has two timelines, one in the 1980s and one in the late 2010s (i.e., pre-pandemic). The first section for each timeline is very exciting and tense though the remainder of the book doesn't always manage to keep the excitement and tension at the same level. I would like to have seen how the rather passive follower in the 1980s developed into the fierce ninja-like 21st century figure.

Nov 22, 2021, 1:35 am

Starting my No. 159, Silence Observed, another book by Michael Innes. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of The New Sonia Wayward:

When Sonia Wayward suddenly dies on a yachting holiday, her husband pitches her overboard and takes over writing her novels, their main source of income. Unfortunately, pretending she is alive and still writing leaves him open to blackmail as a possible murderer.

Mrs. Gotlop's cocktail party halfway through the book was the funniest thing in this comedy-suspense novel. I had read it before but I didn't really remember till quite near the end.

Nov 23, 2021, 3:57 am

Starting my No. 160, the next Appleby book, A Connoisseur's Case. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Silence Observed:

If the forgeries of a master-forger become collectible, is it worth faking them? Apparently so. But who would have thought it would lead to murder? Fortunately, Sir John Appleby is on the case.

The thoroughly enjoyable erudite lunacy of Michael Innes at his best is on show here.

Nov 23, 2021, 4:34 am

"enjoyable erudite lunacy" sounds wonderfully appealing. Glad you had a dollop to hand!

Nov 24, 2021, 9:05 am

Starting my No. 161, The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. This ebook is my ninetieth ROOT for 2021 and fits the AlphaKIT and the GenreCAT.

My review of A Connoisseur's Case:

While Sir John and Lady Appleby are walking back to her uncle's along a canal path, they find a body in one of the locks, with its head bashed in. The victim had only just returned after 15 years in America, so who would want to murder him and why?

The Ravens can always be counted on to lend even more whimsy and lunacy to the proceedings.

Nov 26, 2021, 7:49 pm

Starting my No. 162, The Throne of Caesar by Steven Saylor. This ebook is not a ROOT. I am reading it now for my online reading group.

Nov 29, 2021, 5:13 am

Starting my No. 163, Murder in Pug's Parlour by Amy Myers. This ebook is my ninety-first ROOT for 2021. I am reading it now for the MysteryKIT.

My review of The Years of Rice and Salt:

How would history have turned out differently if the Black Death had wiped out 99% of the population of Europe rather than a third?

I can recognise that this is something of a tour de force, but after 170-odd pages I have to say it's not for me. DNF

Nov 30, 2021, 7:56 am

Starting my No. 164, Cruel Habitations by Kate Charles. This book is my ninety-third ROOT for 2021.

My review of Murder in Pug's Parlour:

The steward at Stockbery Towers is found dead in his parlour. Surely that renowned chef, Auguste Didier, couldn't have put poisonous leaves in the salad by accident? He investigates to clear his name.

Although the mystery itself was quite well done, the 1890s historical background felt unconvincing, though I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I don't think I will be continuing with the series.

Dez 2, 2021, 11:49 pm

Starting my No. 165, Hide by Matthew Griffin. This ebook is my ninety-fourth ROOT for 2021. It fits the AlphaKIT.

My review of Cruel Habitations:

11 years ago the unidentified body of a young woman was found in Westmead. Now Jackie Darke comes to Westmead from the Cambridgeshire fens looking for her estranged sister after the death of their father.

Quiet but compelling mystery exploring issues of family relationships and infertility.

Editado: Dez 6, 2021, 5:18 pm

Catch up.

My review of The Throne of Caesar:

Gordianus is asked separately by Cicero and Caesar to investigate whether there is a conspiracy against Caesar's life.

A little too heavy on the dramatic irony, given that we all know what is going to happen to both Caesar and Cinna, whose poetry echoes some disturbing themes from the first book in the series.

My No. 166 was Beaus and Arrows by Rashida T. Williams. This ebook was my ninety-fifth ROOT for 2021.

My review:

The Vycrin are Cupids, dedicated to matchmaking for humans. One of them, Emory, falls for a human he is supposed to finding a match for after her heart gets broken.

I have no idea what led me to buy this or what kept me reading, but I did finish it.

My No. 167 was The Man By The Sea by Jack Benton. This ebook was my ninety-sixth ROOT for 2021. It fits the GenreKIT.

My review:

When a client asks Slim Hardy to tail her husband who she suspects is having an affair when he disappears every Friday afternoon, he finds that all the husband does is stand on a deserted local beach and read out loud. However, it appears that that stretch of beach is reputed to be haunted by a girl whose body was found there, and there have been other deaths since.

The story was creepy and atmospheric on the whole but although it was supposed to be set in Lancashire, transatlantic elements, such as the town having a police chief, kept pulling me out of the story.

Dez 8, 2021, 11:23 am

Currently reading my No. 168, Pandora's Boy by Lindsey Davis. This ebook is my ninety-seventh ROOT for 2021. It fits the GenreCAT and MysteryKIT.

My review of Hide:

Wendell has to cope with the mental deterioration of Frank, his partner of 60+ years, after a stroke. The habits inculcated at the beginning of their relationship, when it was absolutely necessary for them to keep it a secret, still rule their lives.

Richly descriptive, which is sometimes a good thing, and sometimes a bad thing, bearing in mind that Wendell is a taxidermist so we get detailed descriptions of animal injuries and the taxidermical processes.

My review of A Blink of the Screen:

Terry Pratchett's shorter fiction, including juvenilia from college magazines and also some Discworld stories.

Dez 11, 2021, 3:19 am

Starting my No. 169, Beartown by Fredrik Backman. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the RandomCAT.

My review of Pandora's Boy:

Flavia Albia is asked to look into the death of a 15-year-old girl, which has set her family at odds with her parents now wanting to divorce and her grandmothers resorting to fisticuffs.

I enjoy Albia as a narrator but somehow this one felt a bit lacking. At one point we did seem to be veering towards a recurrent theme of organised crime, which is not something I particularly enjoy.

Dez 13, 2021, 6:22 am

Starting my No. 170, A Case of Two Cities by Qiu Xialong. This ebook is not a ROOT but fits the GenreCAT and the AlphaKIT.

My review of Beartown:

Normally I love Fredrik Backman, but I got about a hundred pages into this and I'd already had more than enough ice hockey talk. Did not care and DNF'ed it.

Dez 14, 2021, 2:48 pm

Also read my No. 171, The Academy of Secrets by S. J. Parris. This ebook was my ninety-eighth ROOT for 2021.

My review:

Giordano Bruno recalls when as a Dominican in Naples in the 1560s he met a society of natural philosophers, and in particular the niece of its leader. For completists who are reading the series.

Dez 15, 2021, 1:03 am

Starting another novella in the same series, A Christmas Requiem, as my No. 172. This ebook is not a ROOT.

Dez 15, 2021, 11:18 am

Starting my No. 173, Murder in the Closet edited by Curtis Evans. This ebook is my ninety-ninth ROOT.

My review of A Christmas Requiem:

Bruno is invited to meet the Pope at Christmas. But why?

Dez 16, 2021, 2:31 pm

Currently reading my No. 174, A Bullet in the Ballet by Caryl Brahms and S. J. Simon. This ebook is not a ROOT.

Editado: Dez 19, 2021, 4:59 am

Starting my No. 175, Death in the Fifth Position by Edgar Box (pen name for Gore Vidal. This ebook is my one hundredth ROOT for 2021. It fits the GenreCAT and the AlphaKIT.

My review of A Case of Two Cities:

Inspector Chen is assigned to look into the contacts of Xing Xing, a corrupt official who has fled with his ill-gotten gains to the United States in an attempt to claim political asylum.

Although I enjoyed the previous books in this series, I didn't really get on with this one and often found myself making excuses not to pick it up. I don't think I will be continuing with the series.

My review of A Bullet in the Ballet:

Anton Palook is shot on stage while dancing the role of Petrushka in the ballet of the same name. Inspector Quill is assigned to investigate the murder.

Not as funny as I remember from reading it as a teenager but still very enjoyable.

Dez 20, 2021, 5:32 am

Starting my No. 176, Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie. This ebook is my one hundred and first ROOT for 2021 and fits the GenreCAT.

My review of Death in the Fifth Position:

A dancer falls to her death when the wire she was suspended from is severed. The company's assistant publicity officer investigates because the police's main suspect seems to be the dancer's understudy, his girlfriend, and he had unwittingly handled the pair of shears which served as the murder weapon.

Competently enough done but doesn't really have the spark I've always enjoyed with Gore Vidal.

My review of Murder in the Closet:

A look at mystery writing from the 1880s to the 1960s in which characters can be read as gay or lesbian. Some of the essays are more convincing than others. I've added some of the books discussed to my TBR list but for the most part they were by authors I was already aware of.

Dez 21, 2021, 5:44 am

Currently reading my No. 177, Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright. This ebook is my one hundred and second ROOT for 2021.

My review of Five Little Pigs:

Carla Lemarchant asks Poirot to revisit the murder her mother was found guilty of 16 years ago.

Excellently done. I fell for the red herring as usual.

Dez 22, 2021, 8:34 am

Starting my No. 178, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn. This ebook is not a ROOT.

My review of Lies Jane Austen Told Me:

Emma Pierce is the social media manager for a chain of gyms in California. After she breaks up with her boyfriend, her company takes on a consultant to help it expand into New England. He just happens to be her ex's brother and is hoping they will reconcile. But which brother does she really want?

There were one or two places where the text could have been edited better and about half way through I did think it could have been shortened without any great loss, but on the whole it was entertaining enough.

Dez 23, 2021, 3:48 am

Thirty pages in I realised An Odyssey: A Father, a Son and an Epic wasn't for me, though that may be due to tiredness, having had a couple of bad nights. Anyway, my new No. 178 is Artemis by Andy Weir. This ebook is my one hundred and third ROOT for 2021.

Dez 25, 2021, 3:10 am

Currently reading my Nos. 179 and 180, Wedding Season by Mark Abramson (not a ROOT) and A Printer's Choice by W. L. Patenaude (my one hundred and fourth ROOT for 2021).

My review of Artemis:

Jazz Bashara is a smuggler in the lunar colony of Artemis. She is offered a huge sum to indulge in a bit of industrial sabotage but it all proves more complicated than she thought.

Although I enjoyed this caper story, I found myself puzzled by Jazz. We are continually assured that she is a genius with unrealised potential and she picks up new fields of study very quickly but I never really got a sense of why her potential was unrealised.

Dez 25, 2021, 1:02 pm

Hello Robert!

Trying to catch up on threads again. I want to wish you and your family

Dez 25, 2021, 2:13 pm

Thank you, Connie. The same to you and Peet and all your family.

Dez 26, 2021, 5:04 am

My review of Wedding Season:

The restaurant is going to be used for a TV programme on weddings in San Francisco while various recurring characters wonder if they do want to get married. In the meantime Tim's mother puts in an unwelcome appearance.

Another episode in this mystery series where there is no mystery. I don't think I'll be continuing.

Dez 28, 2021, 4:48 pm

Starting my No. 181, The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle. This ebook is not a ROOT. It fits the GenreCAT.

Dez 30, 2021, 11:03 am

Starting my No. 182, Beginning Operations by James White. This ebook is my one hundred and fifth ROOT for 2021.

My review of A Printer's Choice:

When the victim of the first murder on a space station is a disguised priest, Father John McClellan, former Marine and programmer, is sent "upside" from Earth to investigate.

I found McClellan's back story a bit heavy going at times, but the main story, with its exploration of moral choices, sentience, and guilt and innocence, was fascinating. I don't know if the author has another book in the works but I look forward to it.

My review of The Sign of the Four:

Classic Sherlock Holmes novel which mixes all the things we love about him with the more than questionable attitudes of the time.

Dez 30, 2021, 5:44 pm

>76 Robertgreaves: Murder and space is an interesting combination. I liked Chris Brookmyre's Places in the Darkness for that reason.

Dez 31, 2021, 4:22 am

Hi Robert. Did you know the ROOTers 2022 is open for action?

Dez 31, 2021, 4:31 am

>78 connie53: Yes, but I usually start about half way through January to include all the books from my Christmas/New Year binge as ROOTs.

Dez 31, 2021, 4:59 am

That's a good idea, Robert.

Dez 31, 2021, 10:23 am

Happy new year, Robert (I'm guessing it's pretty close to midnight where you are now). Hope 2022 is excellent for you.

Dez 31, 2021, 11:45 am

>81 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie. I'm actually in the UK at the moment, wondering whether I will be able to get home again. Have a good, if somewhat curtailed, Hogmanay.

Dez 31, 2021, 12:15 pm

>82 Robertgreaves: Oh goodness - I hope travel doesn't stay complicated for long! What a difficult situation to be in :(

Dez 31, 2021, 1:56 pm

End of year report:

Books read: 182 of which 105 were ROOTs.
Male/Female authors: 106/76
Books with LGBT authors/subject matter: 28
Books from the inner Anglosphere/elsewhere: 163/19
Fiction/Non Fiction: 154/28
Ebooks/Treebooks/Audiobooks: 139/38/05

Dez 31, 2021, 4:28 pm

>82 Robertgreaves: Yikes! I am glad you were able to get back to the UK this year but hope you'll be able to get home soon!

Jan 1, 2022, 1:34 am

>83 Jackie_K: >85 rabbitprincess: Basically, at the moment Indonesia is not letting foreigners in who have been in countries with high levels of omicron in the last 14 days. Under previous travel bans residence permit holders were allowed in on the same conditions as Indonesian citizens, i.e., with a quarantine/isolation requirement. So the policy may change at any moment, but I can't wait for them to change their mind because I will have to start postponing PCR tests, flights and isolation bookings soon.

Jan 1, 2022, 8:27 am

>86 Robertgreaves: I hope everything will turn out alright for you, Robert. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Jan 2, 2022, 1:00 pm

My 2022 thread is here