We’ve got a little murder mystery, some non-fiction, and good old fantasy this time around. All I’ve been doing lately is working and reading. The work part is unfortunately, inevitable, but the reading part has been an absolute delight. I have mixed feelings about this next batch of books that I’ve gone through. The first couple I insisted on reading because I must read the book before I watch the TV show or movie. I could probably reconsider this arbitrary rule that I’ve imposed upon myself, but I’ve done this for as long as I can remember and I won’t stop now!
Hallowe’en Party (Haunting in Venice) by Agatha Christie
This is a story about a tragic murder where the victim was just unlucky and there was more history afoot than anyone let on. 100% the only reason I read the book was because I wanted to watch the movie. This is one of those situations that make me really think about why I must read the book first. I know the movie was only based on the book, but was not a direct retelling of the book. For that, I was very happy. I know Agatha Christie’s legacy and I have all the whodunnits that I could ever want because of her, but this book was a real slog. Her writing style is really just not my cup of tea, but I did find the story interesting. That was the only reason I made it through.
For a book about the great Hercule Poirot, it somehow appeared to miss the mark as to why he was great. I’m probably missing something. Nothing is truly awful about it, though, just not my speed. I’d give it a 2/5 and if you’re anything like me when it comes to reading before watching, just watch the movie. It’s a good bit of fun entertainment and it is not worth the struggle through the book to ruin the fun.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
My reading interests really take me everywhere but this is yet another “must read before watching” situation. I learned so much more about the Osage Indian murders and the beginnings of the FBI. I was very pleased with this one, however. I still haven’t watched the movie at the point of writing this blog, but I’m very glad a movie was made so it pushed me to read it. I really would have missed out if I didn’t read the book. Grann did a great job of telling the story with just the facts.
I also really appreciated the ending taking us out of the facts and putting us directly into the story. I don’t read non-fiction often so I would guess this isn’t anything new. It brought a refreshing change to the writing. The overall focus of the book, however, was grim, disappointing, and very telling of dark past of greed and corruption. I say past but I’m sure it’s more present than anyone would like for it to be. I gave it a 4/5. It made me want to get into reading more non-fiction and I would recommend it for anyone interested in true crime and wanting to get into more non-fiction books. It made me a fan of David Grann and I’m heading into his other book, The Wager, soon!
Murder in the Family by Cara Hunter
I think I was mildly baited by Booktok/Bookstagram. It’s an okay, nice quick read. I’m a fan of epistolary novels and this was a fun read. We got a few different mediums but the majority of the story was told through a documentary screenplay. Hunter takes us into the middle of an investigation into a cold case and there were sharp curves in every episode. One of the selling points of the book was to solve the mystery before the “experts” do, but I honestly didn’t think that was possible. I read while multitasking so I could’ve missed a lot of things, but it seemed like there was a lot of information not being told to the reader.
It was a page turner, though, and I enjoyed reading it. The story was soap opera level of drama. I don’t think I’ve watched TV shows with this many twists and turns. It’s not a bad thing, but I was looking forward to a more in-depth story. It was fairly obvious early on who the killer was and my prediction was right. If the book stopped at all the information needed to solve the case, it would have been less than half its size. It’s a 3/5, don’t regret reading it, but I wouldn’t re-read. It was a nice palette cleanser from the other books I just finished up.
Speaking of other books I just finished …
Fourth Wing & Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
I survived the hype for so long until Zach and I finally caved and wanted to see what the hype was all about. I’m not here to dissect the book like I’m back in AP Lit. It’s romantasy and we have dragons. Reading is meant to be fun and provide me with an escape. I was comfortable with the writing style, I could clearly see where the author was going, and I’m loving the story. I believe I inhaled both books in under a week. It truly has been awhile since I’ve been pulled into a fictional universe that I just want to keep living in. There’s nothing I can say about the Empyrean Series that hasn’t already been said so I’m just going to be theory crafting until book 3 comes out. It’s a 4/5, would read again. I haven’t re-read a book in a long, long, time and I’m actually looking forward to this. I’m just sad I can’t experience the story again for the first time.