Friday, May 01, 2009

Books: 2 very different mysteries

You know how sometimes when you're at home at night watching television and there's just something you want? Maybe it's because of the Taco Bell commercial or the need to crunch something or just to drown your sorrows in a tub-sized bowl of Baskin-Robbins Pralines and Cream ice cream, but you feel this desire and at the same time a dread of clothing yourself to be seen in public, plus the 15 minutes it would take to hunt and gather, so you decide to eat the popcorn, cereal, and any stray semi-sweet chocolate chips you can find in the cabinets. Maybe that's just me.

I'm having that with books lately. And I've had plenty of quantity but not the one that hits the spot, the equivalent of Pralines and Cream. And the library keeps on sending 'em! I think I'll take a break this weekend and actually read one of the books I've purchased. I made myself promise to buy fewer, not to never buy any.

This week I've read two. I picked up Hounding the Pavement because
1. proceeds go to a dog charity (although checking it out from the library may not have been the most helpful thing I could do).
2. Here's part of the Amazon entry:
Cozy fans will savor this charming paranormal mystery series opener from romance author McCoy (Wanted: One Perfect Man). Recently divorced Ellie Engleman, ready for a fresh start, adopts a Yorkie and discovers she can telepathically communicate with dogs. Naturally, she launches a dog-walking business on Manhattan's posh Upper East Side. On the way to walk prize-winning Bichon Buddy, Ellie discovers the body of his owner, Professor Albright, murdered in his entryway. Buddy is missing and no one, save Ellie, is concerned. Sexy, annoying NYPD Det. Sam Ryder considers Ellie a prime suspect, but that doesn't stop her from searching for Buddy, hoping that finding the dog will lead her to the killer. Somehow managing to avoid every talking animal mystery cliché, McCoy fills this delightful story with humor, quirky characters and delicious hints of romance. (Not so much quirky characters as far as I can tell and more than hints of romance.)
3. I'm apparently on a mystery kick. Unfortunately, this one's not much of a mystery, and by the time Ellie discovers anything, I've already been sitting through lots of covering the same ground with not much development. Yawn.
4. Talking dogs. Sort of.

So I read it, all the way to the end, but it wasn't easy. And it's the first in a series that I don't plan to read. Read it if you're a very dedicated dog person. Skip it if you aren't.

And I also read Storm Front by Jim Butcher. This is the first in the Dresden Files series. Number 15, Turn Coat, is a bestseller. I picked this one because
1. I'm looking for that something book and I figured the first of 15 must be pretty good.
2. I enjoyed the show on SciFi. Mystery + Nevernever = interesting. Most of the time.
3. I read the opening and felt like this would be clever, fun writing in a style I'm not used to, the hardboiled PI.

And parts of this book worked for me. The Nevernever is super creepy. And there is some wit to enjoy. But...I don't like Harry as well in the book. There are a couple of things that I have trouble with, mainly to do with faith. Normally I can enjoy magic as imagination in fiction but Butcher seems to say that magic is a smart-man's replacement for faith. It's unnecessary and it feels a little like confrontation when I read it. Plus...I disagree. Still, I have the next book in the series, so I'll try it to see if I like Harry better.

Oh, and this is what Harry looks like when I read. That can't hurt. Maybe I should stick with it.

1 comment:

Mundane Jane said...

You were thinking of me, weren't you, when you wrote this? Because this is exactly what goes down at my house at about 9:45. But only those nights I'm watching TV. You're right--it MUST be related to the commercials.