questioncurl: (feminism)
What I Read: The Mystery of the Downs by Rees, this time again in collaboration with John R. Watson. It has a recurring character in the detective, Crewe, and some of the same lineaments of stock character types, internal police rivalry, misleading circumstantial evidence, suspicion falling on each character in turn, etc, but feels entirely different from the other three I've read. One reason is the length; it felt like half the size of the others and there were far fewer torturous twists and turns, as well as much less repetition/recapitulation, as various police officers and detectives tell each other what they've each discovered. (Not to say there wasn't any!) Another reason is that the central mystery (apart from whodunit) was solved not through deux-ex-machina-like deduction by the impassive detective, but involved the breaking of a ridiculously intricate cipher.*
     The main reason why I place it in a different zone is the presence and characterization of WWI soldiers. The plot, in fact, revolves around it. Spoilers galore )
Currently Reading:
If you discount the usual work stuff, nothing at all. It's a very strange feeling. 

Up Next: Probably nothing much because of travel. I'll keep some work reading handy on my phone but won't have a computer to read anything else. Part of me wants to buy a new Allingham in physical form, but I know I'll inhale it on the plane itself and after that it'll be dead weight to lug around through the rest of the trip. I won't want to give it away.
I'd actually bought a dense non-fiction book specifically for travel; it seemed likely to last me through the whole trip. But then I wound up enthusing about the cover design at work, and the press people borrowed it to see if they could reproduce the effect. I'm unlikely to get it back before I leave.

*This is not a plus point. I couldn't follow the unraveling of the cipher at all, and I'm inclined to blame poor writing. I'm not usually someone who will say eg: that I could never be bothered with the bell-ringing details of the code in The Nine Tailors or that the timetables were too boring in Five Red Herrings, I've plodded through a LOT of this kind of stuff, but I just gave up here and let it wash over me, much like the character Crewe was explaining to; like him, I kept wanting to ask, 'so does that mean you've solved it?' after every tedious list and table and meaningless string of characters. Maybe it would have been more engaging if everything didn't hinge on knowing obscure facts about the Bible, 

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