Good King Sauerkraut

Posted by: Julia

Good King Sauerkraut - 04/16/01 05:25 PM

I've just finished reading this for the first time. Much giggling was involved - I *know* people like that, it's an occuptational hazard of being a scientist. I personally found King a very sympathetic character up until he started trying to pin the blame on someone specific rather than simply trying to misdirect the police - he does have a point about it being unlikely that he can convince anyone that the two deaths were accidents, especially given the way he behaves in shock afterwards.

Having started with the books where Marian is the POV character, it's interesting to see her through the eyes of the criminal. This applies to He Huffed And He Puffed, of course, but it has a different emotional tone when the deaths were accidental rather than deliberate. It's rather too easy to put myself in King's shoes...
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 04/17/01 12:43 AM

Oh dear, Julia! (You haven't killed anyone recently, have you?) But I know what you're saying. I don't think it's just scientists, although it's probably more noticeable in that profession; I know too many people who are so wrapped up in their own little worlds they simply don't see anything else that's going on. But that's what simple absent-mindedness is, isn't it? We're all guilty of that at some time or other...such as the time I found myself standing in the kitchen, putting ice cubes into my cereal bowl. Carry that to extremes and you get someone like King, who just isn't plugged in at all.

I'm glad the book made you giggle; not everyone likes that kind of humor.  
Posted by: Julia

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 04/17/01 01:58 AM

I know one group of people who do like that sort of humour - I did, after all, find your books after a recommendation on Space City...
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 04/17/01 08:27 AM

Space City, really? Well, good! Glad to hear it. Sauerkraut is the only thing I've written in which I kept snickering while writing a death scene -- a terribly inappropriate reaction, but there you are.

You know, Marian never does fully understand what happened; but even if she did, she'd still have grounds to arrest King -- criminal neglect, withholding evidence, etc. Someone who causes other people to die through sheer carelessness ought not to get off scot free. Ah, well. Maybe the woman with the vampire bite tattooed on her neck will visit him in prison.
Posted by: Julia

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 04/17/01 03:43 PM

I see the first two deaths as pure accident, and if anyone's to blame for Dennis' demise it's Dennis, but Mimi's death wouldn't have happened if King hadn't been trying to rig a booby trap. It's still an accident, but this one *is* his fault. I don't know what American law would make of it, but going by the cramming in health & safety legislation I got a few years ago, under English law he'd be had up on criminal charges about tampering with the wiring even if he convinced the police that the death was an accident.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 04/17/01 04:32 PM

It's about the same here. And the fact that Mimi was trying to do the same thing to him wouldn't make any difference. He couldn't claim self-defense, since his "defense" was premeditated. If she'd gone after him with a knife and he killed her in the struggle, then he would have a defense. But the two of them locked in their separate rooms, tinkering with lethal toys to entrap each other -- no winners in that game.
Posted by: Carolyn

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 05/07/01 09:42 PM

Didja see this? Recommends
Editor's Choice
My list of terrific reads this month includes Betsy Tobin's evocative first novel, Bone House, Barbara Paul's comically sinister high-tech sendup, Good King Sauerkraut (how's that for a great title?), and Alan Furst's suddenly popular The Polish Officer. See more of my favorite reads this month. --Barrie Trinkle, Mystery & Thrillers editor
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Good King Sauerkraut - 05/08/01 03:46 PM

No, I didn't see that! Ha. I like that "comically sinister". Thanks for the heads-up, Carolyn.