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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Cut to the Quick - Kate Ross Implausible but entertaining Regency mystery of the traditional English sort: house parties, family secrets, engagements, silly servants, bumbling local authorities, ridiculous webs of lies, lots of descriptions of clothing, many cups of tea.

It's obvious that Ross is steeped in both the mystery and Regency romance traditions. Her lovers misunderstand one another, her local gentry are haughty, and her detective is smarter than anyone else around. Julian Kestrel is almost too much of a good thing -- as well-dressed as Beau Brummel, as smart as Peter Whimsey, unfailingly gentlemanly, kind, and loyal.

Ross is kind, too -- she displays a charity, a humaneness, towards even the least sympathetic of her characters that is rather touching. Even though they didn't really convince me as Regency era people (I think Ross is more heavily influenced by the golden age mysteries of the 1930s) I bought them as individuals with complex and sometimes contradictory behavior.

Sometimes the clues were a little too obvious. The coincidences were too contrived (why was the protagonist even AT this family gathering of complete strangers?). Overall, I didn't believe a word of it. But I'll still be picking up the next book.