My office recently moved, so I went to check out the nearest public library. (The one near my house is closed for some indefinite period of time.) I picked this book up randomly while browsing the mystery section, figuring if it wasn’t good, I didn’t have to finish it. It turned out to be a good find, and I’ll be picking up the sequel.
The Big Kitty follows Sunny, a reporter who’s moved back to Maine from New York City to take care of her father, and Shadow, a tomcat who finds he’s ready to settle down with a nice girl. Punny names aside, the story is quite engaging. It starts out in typical cozy mystery fashion, with a seemingly-accidental death that proves to be anything but. As the story continues, however, Sunny gets placed in a good deal more physical danger than most cozy detectives. I’m okay with this, however, as it added a sense of urgency.
There are a few scenes written from the perspective of Shadow (the cat) which seem consistently cat-like. Most of the book is from Sunny’s perspective, but I particularly enjoyed seeing Shadow’s perspective, and it added to my sense of investment in Sunny and Shadow’s relationship.
The Cuckoo’s Calling is the detective novel J.K. Rowling wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The book features a number of the elements of the genre, as it primarily follows Cormoran Strike, a down on his luck detective, as he investigates the apparent suicide of a young supermodel. Assisting him is his Girl Friday temporary secretary, Robin Ellacott. I grew to like both Strike and Robin. Strike is a sympathetic, well fleshed out character that I couldn’t help rooting for.
The story develops slowly, and while I was interested, I wasn’t what I’d call sucked in until about two thirds of the way through. However, that could have been because I read an ebook rather than ink on paper. I was also pleasantly surprised by the ending, but my surprise may say more about me than anything else.
I can see why Rowling chose to use a pseudonym, as I found myself comparing the book to the Harry Potter series. This is clearly not a book for kids, as it has plenty of profanity and some mature subject matter. It is solidly written, however, and I would like to see Rowling write more of Strike’s adventures.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I enjoyed reading this. Christie has a nice writing style, in keeping with the victorian kick I’ve been on. Still, I found Hastings to be difficult to like. He’s often petty and he’s frequently rather dumb. Still, I suppose that makes sense given how little insight there is into the mysterious workings of Poirot’s mind.
I’ve read other Poirot mysteries in the past and will probably read them in the future. They’re enjoyable. I just hope Hastings gets a bit more likable.
Book Source: DailyLit