Sunday, February 19, 2012
Sun Going Down
I found Sun Going Down to be a very interesting historical novel. It is set mostly in Nebraska and Montana ranching country and vividly details the hardships of pioneers. Todd states the title of his book is from a collection of Mari Sandoz's work. "Sun-Going-Down" is a song written by a Cheyenne chief being held in chains in a Florida prison and translated by Sandoz. (If you are interested in the history of the Nebraska High Plains, I recommend Mari Sandoz's book Old Jules.)
Our library has the next book in this series, Come Again No More, which continues with the Depression and WWII years. I'll be reading it next.
Murder in Chinatown is Victoria Thompson's ninth Gaslight Mystery. This one involves a mixed race marriage between an Irish woman and a Chinese man and the problems their children encounter. I always learn something new in any book I read. This time it was that immigration laws prohibited Chinese women from immigrating to the United States. Thus, the Chinese men who were brought here as cheap labor for building the railroads and other menial work, married white women. Of course there is a murder involved which midwife Sarah Brandt helps Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy solve.
I don't think I've read any of Anthony Horowitz's books before although I enjoyed his Foyle's War series on PBS. When I saw 'A Sherlock Holmes Novel' beneath the title, The House of Silk, I was interested. (Who doesn't like a Sherlock Holmes story?) Then I read on the inside fly leaf: "For the first time in its one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year history, the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate has authorized a new Sherlock Holmes novel" and I was intrigued.
It has been awhile since I've read any of the original Sherlock Holmes books, most recently enjoying the movie and TV versions of his escapades, but I thought The House of Silk portrayed Holmes & Watson very true to form. Once again, "The game's afoot......"
Interestingly enough, Sherlock Holmes appears in another of this stack of books. I will always read anything Laurie R. King writes. I think she is an amazing author and I have been waiting to read the next book in her Mary Russell series, in which Mary Russell is married to Sherlock Holmes. Pirate King is the eleventh book in the series.
Scotland Yard has sent Russell to investigate rumors of criminal activities surrounding a popular silent movie industry. Traveling undercover with the film crew traveling to Portugal to shoot a cinematic extravaganza based on Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance', she is put in charge of everything from chaperoning thirteen young actresses to dealing with the Portuguese interpreter. When the crew embarks on a derelict boat for Morocco and the actual filming, Russell detects a problem with the hired 'pirates' who begin acting more like real pirates. Where is Sherlock when you need him? Perhaps in disguise as the stand-in for an indisposed actor?
I like that it is Mary Russell whom saves the day with only a little help from Holmes. I did not enjoy this novel as much as I have previous ones, but I think it is because I just couldn't get into the whole silent film back drop.
Now to make my list of wanted books for a trip to the library tomorrow.....