The librarian/detective lead character is so arrogant that it's very difficult to like her. She dismisses or demeans all the other characters including her boyfriend. So - the story itself was convoluted. I didn't enjoy it.
This is an historically interesting book and the time period and social mores were well described. The difficulty I had is that I didn't much like any of characters. The heroine was condescending toward virtually everyone - her peer group and the upper class. In the middle of the depression she quits her job without any prospects. Hardly likely. Her best friend Evie was a conniving opportunist who, for some reason, she greatly admired. The book was knee deep in metaphors and analogies and overly long and the ending less than satisfying. The saving grace was the terrific narrator.
The reviews seem divided between those who didn't like the narrator and those who love everything Jasper Fforde. Am I the only one who's wondering what happened to the writing? As I read the book I kept wondering what happened to the characteristic humor, the fast pace, the glib quips, the staggeringly inventive characters and the tight knit story that are the hallmarks of a Fforde novel.
In addition, there are continuity problems and dragged out descriptions. Since when do book characters need hours to adjust to being in the real world? Since when do they become human if they stay in the real world too long?
One of our Thursdays is certainly missing...from the pages of this book. Major bummer.
I love this book. It's intriguing, engaging, sometimes painful, literate and always engrossing. The narrator is excellent. Wonderful.
I only made it half way through this book. The characters are boring, the plot is boring, the pace is boring. I won't be buying another McCall. This is the second one I've tried and zzzzzzzz.
Phryne Fisher is the female version of a pompous ass. I so disliked the lead character that it spoiled what could have been a quite enjoyable story. The plot was a bit questionable. How did she magically drop into just the right places and meet just the right people to further her investigation? But beyond that I just did not find her supposedly free spirited and bold personality at all appealing. She's too much like one of those popular and nasty high school girls who rule the social roost and pass judgement on the peasants around her. I won't be buying the next one in the series.
I love V.I. and admire Paretsky's writing. This novel, however, stretches the credibility beyond reason; Thugs transmitting secret bank account numbers through live video of an artist's naked behind, V.I. posing as the naked artist in an elaborate scheme that endangers the public and accomplishes little? Please! The reader, the same as her last novel, is mediocre. Lottie still doesn't haven't a German accent and everyone tends to shout. Finally, could someone please explain to me why after 25 years of dealing with Chicago Police Department V.I. doesn't have more credibility with them?
Sara, maybe you're running out of steam on V.I.. She's a glorious character and you've give her so many fabulous stories - maybe it's time for her retirement. I will miss her.
Was this meant to be a novel for pre-teens? This book is littered with cliches and amateur dialogue. While the premise of a nineteenth century female lawyer/investigator was intriguing the plot is thin and predictable and the characterizations shallow. All the women are beautiful and innocent - even the prostitute. All the men were handsome are adoring except the one totally vile villan. The narrator was mediocre at best with poor character differentiation and a sing-song delivery.
It was classic V.I. Warshawsky - not the best but a good read. The narrator was questionable. I had difficulty distinguishing the difference between some characters, many seemed unnecessarily loud and what the heck happened to Lottie's and Max's accents? Weird.
Todd - Would you please, please, please review your mother's books so that you can avoid all the continuity issues. While this was better than his last couple of attempts at recreating Pern, Todd McCaffrey continues to load his books with lots of daily details with not so much story line.
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