Friday, November 8, 2019

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith


lethalLethal White is book four in the Cormoran Strike series and what a fat, engaging mystery it is. (I finished this a few weeks ago but it’s been insane here, I did not jot down notes, and so it isn’t fresh in my mind.) What I do remember is loving the dialogue between Comoran and Robin, the multiple investigations going on, the glimpse into upper class politicians’ lives and how it all dovetails in the end.

Barclay is a new addition to the team and I very much like the Scottish accents, his personality and the way he works with Strike and Robin. The author is expert at writing the speech inflections so when I read it I “heard” Jimmy speak in his working classing class London accent. Same with Jasper Chiswell and his family with their very upper crust diction.

This was a long book and doubtless it could have had some scenarios shortened. There was a bit too much of Robin’s internal dialogue about whether she had romantic feelings for Strike. In my opinion that could have been pared down. Do I think they will eventually get together? Yes, I do, but I hope it’s not until the end of the series. I like how they work together now.

The multiple cases and how they were juggled kept my interest, I don’t know how Galbraith/Rowling keeps all that straight and weaves it all together. Loved the exchanges between Lorelei and Cormoran, also the Matthew-Robin-Sarah story line. Quite pleased about some of that but I can’t hash it out because of big spoilers.

I think it’s good J.K. Rowling went with a pseudonym for this series as it makes a distinction between the Harry Potter series, which was more appropriate for a younger audience, and this adult themed series.

Aja, a sweet old Shiba Inu and prolific reader.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith


IMG_5291This is the third installment in the Cormoran Strike detective stories. I am becoming quite fond of Cormoran and his assistant/partner Robin Allacot.

This one is darker and has grisly images when a serial killer is featured, stalking Robin. As bodies are discovered across London, many with body parts cut off, the police and Strike combine forces to investigate these gruesome crimes. During the course of the surveillance the joint venture ends with Strike being warned off the investigation, threatened with jail.  I will note that if you are a fan of the cozy mystery type books, this is definitely not one of them so be forewarned!

In the meantime, you have chapters from the killer’s point of view which are quite chilling. He intends to kidnap Robin and hack her up, all in a way to get even with Strike for a long nursed grudge. Robin shines in this book and I found myself liking her even more, happy that Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) has such a strong female character. Robin is very feminine as well as able bodied, intelligent and savvy in the investigative process.

Without giving spoilers I will say I was concerned for the outcome of one of my favored characters and mentally prepared to give the series up if that character was killed off. The ending was not at all as I expected but it certainly set it up for another book. Hopefully that fourth book will pick up where this one left off. I expect fireworks in that book!

I read this one on my iPad, never had read on that device before but I enjoyed it. Using the Kindle app it was great as the pages are backlit.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith


1silkwormHere comes another Cormoran Strike mystery by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) and it’s a page turner. I enjoyed the first book (The Cuckoo’s Calling) so there was no hesitation on my part to grab the next one in the series.

This case focuses on the murder of novelist Owen Quine. Strike takes on the case after a weird visit from Quine’s widow Lenora. But I am getting ahead of myself as it’s not known Quine was murdered in the beginning. Lenora wants Strike to find her husband who has been missing for over a week.

While it wasn’t unusual for Quine to be gone for long periods of time, Lenora is sure something desperate has happened. When Strike does find Quine’s remains it’s an all-out murder investigation with Strike and the police both involved and neither parties sharing much information.

Turns out Quine was basically butchered in a fashion described in his last unpublished book, “Bombyx Mori,” whish is Latin for “The Silkworm.”

Obviously Leonora comes under suspicion and is eventually arrested. That’s nowhere near the end of this story as Strike is convinced she is innocent and sets about to find the killer.

This investigation features more of Strike’s assistant Robin Ellacot. I was glad to see her get a bigger role than the secretarial duties she usually handles. Robin is smitten with the detective and investigative work much to her fiancĂ©e’s chagrin. Her fiancĂ© objects to her work in the detective field and seems to have a great dislike of Cormoran. The dialogue between them is very realistic. There will be some surprises from Robin in this book – such as her ability to handle a car and high speed maneuvers. She will prove to be a big asset in Strike’s future business.

If you’ve read the first book in the series you’ll know Strike is a former military policeman who worked in the army’s Special Investigation Branch. He lost the lower half of one leg in an explosion in Afghanistan so a prosthetic limb (and sometimes a crutch) play a minor part in the book. Not as a handicap that keeps him down but as something he has to work around. Strike keeps to himself as he never wanted the notoriety of being the bastard son of an old rock star. His father is Jonny Rokeby, a man he has met once in his life, and Strike doesn’t relish being associated with the man or his famous name. He’s out to make a business and a life for himself and earn it all on his own.

Overall, I am loving the Cormoron Strike mysteries and hope Galbraith (Rowling) turns out many more. Let’s see more of Robin and her growing abilities in the detective field.

Let’s get a gin and tonic with Cormoron and Robin at one of the local London pubs. This is a new gin for me – I had not tried Hendrix label before and I must say, I am falling in love!


Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith


cuckooThe Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith had me hooked after a few chapters. The characters are engaging and I was pleased to have the story line remain a mystery until the end.

Don’t you hate it when you’ve got it all figured out by the middle of the book? I know I do. The detective and star of this book is Cormoron Strike. He is an Afghan war vet, missing a leg from an explosion while serving in the military. He’s also the son of a famous singer but never uses that for gain. As a matter of fact, his father never acknowledges him as Cormoron is the bastard offspring from a groupie. No matter, Strike has zero interest in his famous father.

Strike is hired by John Bristow, the adopted brother of famous supermodel Lula Landry. The investigation is started on Bristow’s claims his sister was murdered and she did not commit suicide. It’s sad that Lula’s character wasn’t given a part other than the corpse because she sounded like an interesting character as described by others. The title of the book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was explained in part as Lula was nicknamed The Cuckoo. But the author didn’t explain why she was called Cuckoo.

Another interesting character was Robin, a temporary secretary who appeared at Strike’s office, ready for work before Strike could call the temp agency to cancel. He’s flat broke and can’t afford to pay her – that is until Bristow’s job fell in his lap and he was offered double the fee to take on this cold case. Robin turns out to be a competent researcher and helps immensely in the investigation. Her back story is explained; she is newly engaged to Matthew and her fiance doesn’t seem to like her working for Strike at all.

In case you didn’t know – Robert Galbraith is actually a pen name for J.K. Rowling. I am pleased to hear there is another Cormoron Strike mystery to be published. In an interview, Rowling said she hoped to write six books in this series. I am on board for all of them.

2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Roundup

 I had signed up for the book challenge at Shelleyrae's site  Book'd Out  and went for the Nibbler category of six books.  Here'...