Alex Brett, Cold Dark Matter. This was a Canadian murder mystery with astrophysics and gendery stuff and Cold War stuff. I wanted to like it. Really I did. But I couldn't. The writing was dreadfully clunky on a sentence-level and did not improve when extended to plot or character. I am a sucker for novels about physicists; I finished it anyway. But this one is, sadly, not recommended.
Perhaps it's just me, but "ah ha ha, I will detain you indefinitely and decide whether to charge you later, foreign national" is just not flirty witty banter from the law enforcement personnel of my country any more, if in fact it ever was. Ew. (I am probably less susceptible to "Hollywood cop banter" being automatically cute than many people are. But probably not many of you people -- you don't strike me as the kind who will mistake something for snappy just because of its setting.)
Jay Caselberg, Wyrmhole. This is another book to which my reaction was mostly synaesthetic -- do we have to have one of those a fortnight? Apparently. Anyway, this time it was musical: I felt like it was lacking in bass, and it was also not set up to be the kind of thing that's really good without the lower register. So I'm interested in seeing whether the second book gets deeper (musically, not philosophically) -- and yes, that means I'm reading the second book.
Debra Doyle and James Macdonald, Land of Mist and Snow. This is my first experience of Doyle and Macdonald, and I liked it. There was a bit of the *cough* climax that made me giggle when I probably wasn't supposed to, but inappropriate giggling is the order of the day around here. The 19th century American prose voices were well-done. I will go looking for another of their books unless someone flings him/herself in my path shouting good reasons why not. Possibly even then I would step around that person.
Alexandre Dumas, The Black Tulip. I had fun with this, but I like to really get a good wallow going in Dumas, and there wasn't time to wallow in this book. I had recently gotten a bunch of background on Dutch radical politics of the time, though, thanks to the Israel book from early February, so there were bits that made more sense than would have been strictly necessary to enjoy the thing.
Arnaldur Indridason, Silence of the Grave. The second dark, dark Icelandic murder mystery by this author. Again probably bad for my character. Again I don't care. I suspect that this is the police skew, whereby the police see the worse side of everyone's lives -- one of my cousins has had to fight a good deal of pessimism about humanity because he's a police officer in the LA area. Anyway, here I had plenty of time to wallow. Just a different kind of wallowing than in Dumas. Less fun. More Scando. Still want more.
Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams. Now I don't have to wonder what to get my grandpa for Father's Day! This is one of those nonfiction books just packed with tidbits of naturalism, and Grandpa is just as interested as I am in how narwhal horns form with the ridge patterns they have. Also it was some consolation when I was hearing about all the lovely snow and not experiencing any. Also I think this man is crazy. But I'm glad he wrote about his crazy.
William Ian Miller, Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland. Just finished this one this morning. He's looking at the law codes and the sagas as kind of sides of a coin, angles for cultural parallax. Doing a good job with it, too. Did not make me grumble or howl as some historians do when they just don't get early Iceland. Also I marked a few cultural-economic bits for use later in the Dwarf's Blood Mead series. Yay.
Garth Nix, Lady Friday. Eeeee. I want the next one.
Karl Schroeder, Sun of Suns. Swashing. Buckling. Enclosed gas-giant inter-planetismal feuding. Eeeee. I want the next one. (Yes, that's the theme of this fortnight.)
Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy, Death of a Dude, Please Pass the Guilt, and The Father Hunt. I am swiftly closing in on the end of this series. I am not the type to prolong that sort of thing unnaturally, though, so I am going to start one of the last two books today.
Some of you have asked if I'm going to read the continuations by another author. I am not. I'm not enamored enough of the characters to want more of them at any price, and I think it's a good line for me to draw, rather than getting sucked into endless griping about Archie Goodwin's cell phone. I wish Stout had not tried to make these books perpetually "contemporary." It's not the time dilation effects on Nero and Archie that are the problem for me; those I can take easily. It's that Stout himself is just not sure-handed with characters under cultural changes, like (uff da) a hippie. Time progressing up to and stopping at a perpetual 1952 would have been my vote. Ah well. Still enjoying them, though.