Monday, 30 November 2015

Murder on Black Friday - P.B.Ryan

Murder on a Black Friday - P.B.Ryan
I have to admit, one of the reasons I love this series this much, is because I'm slightly in love with Will. I know that it might sound a little strange to be in love with a character in a book. But, believe me, it's quite normal and this isn't the only character that this has happened with. Of course, it's the whole relationship that's developing between Will and Nell, and Murder on a Black Friday has plenty of that.

I couldn't resist starting the fourth book, even thought I've been trying to spread them out a bit more this time. I did read a few other things between the last Nell book and this one though.

This time, we find that Will hasn't been off on one of his jaunts, but is instead working at Harvard. It's through this position that they find another mystery that needs solving. Will has been doing the odd autopsy here and there on suspicious deaths and finds himself doing two seeming unrelated deaths, that both appear to be suicides. Looking into them a little closer though, just to make sure that this is the case, it soon becomes apparent that there is a link between the two deaths and that they are not as straightforward as may have first appeared.

The historical setting of this murder, was a market crash caused by the collapse of the gold market in September 1869. It's not something that I've heard of before, but market crashes and people loosing everything overnight have certainly not been unheard of since then. I thought that using this as the beginning of the mystery was really interesting and helped paint a picture of a period, I don't really know a great deal about.

Nell and Will work well together to get to the bottom of what has happened and the relationship between then continues to grow and deepen. Will begins to push for more than Nell is able, even if she is willing, to give. If you're enjoying the development of the relationship between them, then you'll both love and hate the end of the book, but that's all I'm going to say about that, for now...

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The bad review

As much as I love reading, every so often I'll come across a book that I really don't like. Obviously, in some cases it's just not to my taste, but with the easy access to self publishing that the ebook revolution has brought about, sometimes it's just that a book isn't very good. When I come across a book like that, I'm always left wondering if I should write a review or not? Is it fair to write the bad review?

It would be pointless of course, if every review I ever wrote was completely glowing and only pointed out the good stuff. I'm not interested in that, but when it's the case that I really struggle to find anything positive at all to say a book, I'm really left wondering if I should write a review? Is it really fair? 

The thing is, someone has spent hours, days, weeks, months, working on their book. Then I, who can't seem to actually manage to write anything of any length, come and attack and destroy in one fell swoop. Not that I have ideas that what I have to say will influence people that much, but for the writer I'm sure that bad reviews can be soul destroying.

If you're a business that receives a bad review, then you can at least do something about it, make sure that the problem doesn't happen again, sort it out for the unhappy party. But a writer won't have that opportunity. They could always learn from the comments of those who don't enjoy their book. But, that bad review is still out there, about a book they've already published.

I suppose the answer is, that if you're a writer you've got to develop a thick skin, to realise that not everyone will love your work and that not every review is going to be glowing. But, for the time being at least, I don't really want to be writing the bad review. So I'm going to just stick to the books that I either really like, or at the very least have got something positive to say about them. I'll leave the ripping apart of writers work to someone else.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Death on Beacon Hill - P.B.Ryan

For some reason, this review has taken me quite a while to get around to writing. It could just be because we're heading into silly season and as a result I just seem to be so busy. Or it could, of course, just be that I've been being a bit lazy. Either way, it's certainly not because I didn't enjoy the book. 

This is book three of the Nell Sweeney mysteries, which, if you've read the other two reviews (here and here) you'll know I love. One of the great things about this series is the slowly developing relationship between our two main characters; Nell and Will. Yet again, Will has been off, indulging, we can only assume, in some of his seedier pass-times, earning his living gambling. Although, he does seem to have said goodbye to his drug addiction. 

With each story, Will becomes more settled and stable, his demons seem to trouble him less, and he makes more steps back to returning to respectable society. In this third book, this is more evident than ever before, with him showing every sign of sticking around a little longer than he has in the past. The deepening relationship between Nell and Will, continues to simmer quietly, just beneath the surface, will either of them ever take any step to take it further? Can they?

The mystery this time comes about when one of Nell's few allies in the Hewitt household, the coach driver, Brady finds that his niece has not only been shot and killed at her employers house, but that she is blamed with the murder of her employer, the actress Virginia Kimball. Nell willingly starts to look into the murder and find out what happened, she soon finds that Will is happy to assist as he knew Ms Kimball when he was younger. Between them they get to the bottom of what really happened.

For me the mystery worked well, it wasn't obvious from the beginning who was involved, but the final solution made sense and didn't feel forced. I love the relationship between Will and Nell, it may be somewhat predictable in some ways, surely we all have an idea where it is going eventually, but I don't think that it makes the series any less enjoyable, and the development of it is great.