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#1089 - 08/18/01 07:51 AM Re: Three down, two to go
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
Ah, as an alternative to nothing, yes, an ARC has value. But there are people who collect these things, and I can't see why.

Are you talking about The Mystery Bookshop -- the one that used to be on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda? I didn't know there was a branch in D.C.

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#1090 - 08/18/01 08:57 AM Re: Three down, two to go
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Yes, the one on Old Georgetown Road. Maybe I'm wrong about there being a DC one as well. I thought there was a store near Dupont Circle with the same name, but it may just be a similar one, or I may be completely out to lunch. (The most likely alternative.)

My visit to Bethesda a year ago was a bit depressing. It's always been fun to get up there for an hour or two when I visit DC. On a sunny afternoon it was exhilarating to walk around this lively area with all the used and specialty bookstores and restaurants with sidewalk cafes. But last time I went, several of my favorite stores were gone, after many years of reassuring permanence.

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#1091 - 08/18/01 02:03 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Barbara Offline
Administrator

Registered: 04/24/99
Posts: 13033
Loc: Citrus Heights, CA , US
That's sad about Bethesda. The chain stores have driven so many of these good little places out of business.

Jon, I believe you're thinking of MysteryBooks on Connecticut, right off Dupont Circle. Not a branch; two different owners. MysteryBooks was where Bill Clinton bought his mysteries. I did a joint signing there once; I think we were all secretly hoping the presidential limo would pull up at the door, but it didn't.

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#1092 - 08/18/01 03:58 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Jon Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 6422
Loc: Newark, Delaware, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Barbara:
Jon, I believe you're thinking of MysteryBooks on Connecticut, right off Dupont Circle.


You're right. That was a careless mental agglomeration on my part -- I've visited both, and the names ran together in my head. And it's a little unusual for one metropolitan area to have two unrelated mystery bookstores. (I was about to say that Philadelphia is another exception, with one in the city and another on the Main Line in [I think] Bryn Mawr; but when I drove by the latter earlier this month, it was gone. I hope it's just moved, but I fear the worst.)

Only 2 years ago, the Washington Post had an article about the rebirth of Bethesda as a happening sort of place, worth strolling aorund and immersing oneself in. And now... well, you said it, it's sad.

[This message has been edited by Jon (edited 08-18-2001).]

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#1093 - 08/21/01 06:42 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well, the weekend is past, I've read the Caudwell, I've sent my lengthy thoughts on the Seattle RING to opera-l (if anyone wants a look, they can be found here) and I'll post a few thoughts on the first of the Larch books that I read - the rest can wait till tomorrow.

The Renewable Virgin

This is a crumbling second-hand Bantam paperback which cost me $5.98. I like the Art Deco/Vorticist cover, though it doesn't relate to the book in any way that I can think of. I also like the idea of the story being told from three viewpoints - has anyone else done this before? All I can think of is Wirginia Woolf's The Waves. And I found Kelly, with her uncertainty over grammar apparent from the first page, really developing into a three-dimensional character, quite hard-headed but endearing as well as intelligent. (I think of her hair as light brown or even auburn, FWIW!)

I was a bit unsatisfied by the main dénouement, mainly because it came rather early (p127 out of 184). I expected some extra twists which never came, but this was based on standard whodunnits that I'd read over the years.

I'd forgotten that there was an extra bit to be unravelled, but because the victim was so shadowy, I wasn't terribly interested.

One linguistic point (from p100 of the Bantam): "sic the police on them" - is this a real expression or a misprint (?for "sick"?).

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#1094 - 08/21/01 06:47 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Scribbler Offline


Registered: 02/25/00
Posts: 2451
Loc: Los Angeles, CA USA
Sic: nope, this is a proper American spelling for a word used to order dogs to attack. It gets used in general to mean "to incite". And of course, metaphorically in the case of setting the cops onto someone.

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#1095 - 08/21/01 10:44 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Kay Offline


Registered: 04/25/99
Posts: 17046
Loc: Roanoke, VA , USA
No, Andrew, Kelly is definitely blonde. I'd cast Sharon Stone, probably, or a younger Loni Anderson (she sort of reminds me of Loni's "Jennifer" character on WKRP....drop dead gorgeous blonde that people expect to be dumb, but she isn't.

Frances McDormand for Marian, I think.
_________________________
Kay
Botticelli Moderator

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#1096 - 08/22/01 08:43 AM Re: Three down, two to go
Anonymous
Unregistered


You have the Right to Remain Silent: I was a bit disconcerted by the way the book started off with the Downtown Queens and then went off in a completely different direction, though Large Marge reappears (very entertainingly) later. The Queens' execution of Mrs Alvarez is reflected in the execution of the four Universal Laser employees - maybe that's the point? Maybe it's even a pointer to their killer, though I felt that the revelation of who that is comes as a rather unprepared-for surprise (maybe I hadn't been reading closely enough).

This book (the later ones, too) falls into a more conventional "police procedural" mode than did The Renewable Virgin. I missed the different viewpoints, but I felt much more under the skin of Marian here and later. Also, it was great to meet Holland for the first time after all I've heard and read about him. I've seen a couple of "Blake's 7" episodes, so I had a good idea of what he looked like ...

Although again the killer was revealed fairly early (p170 out of 250), the rest of the book was pretty exciting, so I didn't mind at all. Marian's constant battles with Foley and diFalco were other pluses. A most enjoyable book overall.

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#1097 - 08/22/01 10:27 AM Re: Three down, two to go
Mary Offline
Member

Registered: 10/05/00
Posts: 764
Loc: MN
Quote:
Originally posted by Kay:
Frances McDormand for Marian, I think.


Oh! Yes. Definitely.

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#1098 - 08/22/01 01:00 PM Re: Three down, two to go
Anonymous
Unregistered


The Apostrophe Thief

Somehow, this one seemed less serious than the others. The victim is a shady person we've never met (actually, Barbara, we don't meet most of your victims before they are murdered, or not for long), and the whole "fan" thing is mostly amusingly treated - the Zingones, for example (I loved Luke's bizarre way with words) - though the shaving-mug business shows a different sort of obsession. Plus actors always seem to leaven the dough. Oh, and the Waltzing Brünnhildes!

Then I enjoyed the Marian/Holland thing, still developing but full of misunderstandings, plus Murtaugh versus diFalco.

Overall, this is one where I wasn't too bothered about finding out who did it, nor very interested when the answer emerged - the interest was in the surroundings.

[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 08-25-2001).]

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