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curiouslyblessed

Impulsive Reader

I'll read most anything but my one weakness is Sherlock Holmes.

Stop Preaching and Bring on the Tentacles

— feeling doubt
The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu - Paula Guran, Damien Angelica Walters

If you're spending this much time telling me how horrible HPL was maybe you shouldn't have written a story for a collection based off him.

 

RATING

STORIES - 3/5

PROSE - 4/5

CHARACTERS - 3/5

OVERALL - 3/5

This Was The Second Book

Kindness Goes Unpunished  - Craig Johnson

I didn't think I would like a Walt Longmire story set anywhere besides Wyoming. I was wrong and I should have known better! I love fish out of water stories! They're my favorite ones EVER.

 

So, Walt and Henry drive Henry's Thunderbird (Lola [yes, Lola]) to Philly where Henry has an art exhibition for his photography collection. Soon after they arrive, Cady (Walt's daughter) is seriously injured. The rest of the book is all about how Walt deals with her injury and catches the culprits.

 

It was wild to see Philly through the eyes of a man who's used to being alone in the mountains/plains of Wyoming. But the descriptions ring true. Every way that he describes the buildings and the statues and the people is word perfect to Walt.

 

Oh, and I didn't have to wait until the end of the book series ;)

 

PLOT - 5/5
PROSE - 5/5
CHARACTERS - 5/5
OVERALL - 5/5

I Haven't Finished A Book in Months and I Read Two Last Night. Whoops.

Death Without Company - Craig Johnson

As previously discussed, I'm bad at reviewing books that I like so please forgive me for this. So, I remember little bits and pieces of this that they used in the TV series. This one involved the Basque community (which I really don't know all that much about, but you can bet that I'm going to be doing some research now) and centers around the death of Mari Baroja and her relationship with Lucian and other various members of the Durant community.

 

There is a bit of a content warning for this one, as it does have a rape scene in it. (It's very brief and not descriptive.)

 

I don't really have a lot to say about this because tbh I read it at the speed of light and didn't retain much of it. But it was great, just as good as the first one. The way that Craig Johnson narrates might change the way I feel about first person narration. I mean, I never expected to read something in Walt's voice, but the book just makes it all real.

 

PLOT - 4.5/5
PROSE - 5/5
CHARACTERS - 5/5
OVERALL - 4.5/5

Always Read The Book

The Cold Dish - Craig Johnson

As previously stated, I have no idea how to review books that I like. This is also kinda a half-review for the Longmire TV show. You've been warned...

 

So, to reiterate the title of this review: always read the book. Honestly, if I had know that Longmire involved something besides racism and copious amounts of old man angst, I would have read the books ages ago.

 

The first big difference between the book and the show is that Walt narrates the whole shebang in true lonesome cowboy fashion. It's fantastic. I now want to know what Walt Longmire is thinking all the time. It would have really spiced up the show to know what he was pondering while staring off into the Wyoming sunset. (But no, they had to go with angst and no one ever talking about their feelings!!)

 

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is Henry's nickname: Bear. Honestly, he deserves it. The thought of someone walking up to Lou Diamond Phillips and calling him "Bear" just tickles me pink.

 

I've already got the second book in my Amazon cart and I hear that they don't exactly keep Vic and Walt away from each other until the series finale so I'm 100% ready to read more.

 

RATING
PLOT - 5/5
PROSE - 5/5
CHARACTERS - 5/5
OVERALL - 5/5

I have zero idea how to review books I like.

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows - James Lovegrove

Full disclaimer: I love Sherlock Holmes, and I love That Bastard HP Lovecraft, and I love James Lovegrove. So this review is gunna be a little bit of a love fest, to be honest.

 

So there are a few stories and such that combine HP and Sherlock, the most famous of which is Neil Gaiman's short story "A Study in Emerald," this is the first one I've read since that one. (I have another one on my shelf just waiting for me to read it.)

 

The book starts with Watson telling us how everything he's told us about Sherlock Holmes is a lie. I was hooked. I love AUs.  As Watson writes, he weaves little bits of the canon in with Lovegrove's new canon. (I can't go into it much without giving things away, but there are lizard people.)

 

Anyways, James Lovegrove merges the two universes seemlessly and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

 

RATING
PLOT - 5/5
PROSE - 4/5
CHARACTERS - 5/5
OVERALL - 5/5

I don't know what I expected.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon - Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King

Don't get me wrong, I owe a lot to Laurie R. King. Her Mary Russell series is what really got me into Sherlock Holmes in the first place. (It also gave me a healthy, if often unfulfilled, love of Sherlockian romance--but that's a conversation for another day.)

 

That being said, I have never read a Sherlock Holmes collection edited by Laurie R King that I liked. I don't know what it is.

 

And I'm gunna be straight with you, I didn't finish this. I got about halfway through (just to the point of the adorable comic) and started skipping stories and looking ahead to see how many of the stories that actually involve Holmes and Watson. Hint: 6/15.

 

RATING

STORIES - 2/5

PROSE - 3/5

CHARACTERS - 1/5

OVERALL - 3/5

 

 

Worth the $4.60 I paid for it? Debatable.

Night Watch: A Long Lost Adventure In Which Sherlock Holmes Meets FatherBrown - Stephen Kendrick

When I saw this book on the shelf at BAM it was the most exciting thing I'd found there all day. I even broke a self-imposed book buying ban to get it. (I figured, hey, it's less than $5, why not?) Oh boy was I wrong.

 

On principal, a crossover between Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown is possibly the most exciting thing I've found since I discovered Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula by Loren D. Estleman in the 12th grade. This book didn't live up to its lofty promise.

 

First of all, Father Brown wasn't really in it. He acts as translator to an Italian cardinal and doesn't make more than six appearances in 258 pages. Secondly, Stephen Kendrick wasn't very nice to him. His descriptions make poor Father Brown sound like he has the Innsmouth look about him.

 

And this doesn't even touch one of the biggest problems with the book: consistency. Watson is constantly calling Holmes "Sherlock" and then "Holmes" all withing a few paragraphs. For some reason people keep forgetting that Watson is a doctor and calling him "Mr Watson" and forgetting that Father Brown is a priest and calling him "Mr Brown."

 

And now onto the real problem: the plot. It's all about a conference of faiths that's interrupted by a brutal and unusual murder that Holmes must solve before dawn or risk an international incident. Everything is flat. The characters are flat, the murder is flat, the motives are flat. It starts with a completely unrelated case that doesn't really tie into the main plot of the book.

 

Then the timeline started bouncing. First Holmes and Watson are enjoying Christmas day at their shared flat in Baker Street, then it's Christmas Eve and they're in Oxford at a Christmas party hosted by one of Holmes' professors, and then it's Christmas day again. It continues to bounce around until about halfway through the book when it inexplicably stops. If the author had continued to use the twisting timeline throughout the whole book it would have at least been justifiable, but stopping it halfway through just made it confusing.

 

RATING:

PLOT - 3/5

PROSE - 3/5

CHARACTERS - 2/5

OVERALL - 2.5/5