M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Nothing Day??

Lessons from My Reading:  Didn't accomplish much yesterday, but did finish Haddam's Cheating at Solitaire.  Looked at her rather sparse site this morning out of curiosity and discovered this is her 25th Demarkian book.  Guess you don't have to get elaborate when you got that kind of track record.  Still, 25 books with the same people in the same world???  I wonder if that's why the de-emphasis on the Armenian community, though references are made to it.

(I have a soft spot for well drawn communities.  Maybe that's why I like Charlaine Harris so much.)

Back to the point, sort of.  Solitaire is a snide look at the teen celebrity factor.  ala Brittany and Lindsay or whomever I saw on magazine covers while stuck in the grocery check out lines and can't remember.  (Being a compulsive reader can be a bi**h.)  Still, it's the camera hordes that come off pilloried ... even though Haddam recognizes that they have to make a buck.

The plot unfolds against the background of rampaging paparazzi.  As for the construction of the book, there was a part 3.  The prologue introduced the characters as they wandered about Margaret's Harbor, small isolated island community where a movie was being shot.  Part 1 introduced Demarkian (with the preparations for his upcoming wedding), took care of the first murder, and presented the first red herring.  Part 2 introduces Demarkian to the town and ends with the second murder/death/red herring.  Part 3 wraps it up with the loner islander being the culprit of the first murder with the other stuff being complications.  The epilogue sets up the simple wedding of two of the characters as a contrast to the Demarkian's upcoming wedding spectatucular.  All in all, I'd  put this in the common "three act structure".

Frankly, I found the book a small disappointment.  I had the culprit (The term villain doesn't fit here.) tagged in the prologue when Haddam was introducing everything in Margaret's Harbor because he was the only one that fit the profile.  The tension was reduced because of it.  The paparazzi did destroyed one crime scene in a rather grotesque manner, but they were not a murderous horde pillaging the city.  Mostly, they just made lives inconvenient.

Progress:  As I said I didn't accomplish much.  Did finish all the run throughs for revising one chapter of Emma (the new additional chapter 19.)  Was a page into the second run through on chapter 20 when I realized my brain was mush.  So, I played a couple games of spider solitary and went down and read.

Critiquing.  Did get one critique done.  Now have to read through it again.  Two more to go for this week. 

Trivia:  Actually, it's not trivia.  Haiti is so terrible that it got into my wallet as well as the local food bank.  

When the US economy turned sour,  I decided to concentrate my contributions in one place.  Since the conservative good old boys of my county have a problem admitting poverty is a problem, even for working people, I decided on feeding locals.  I'd hate to come face to face with a hungry kid when walking to indulge in coffee.
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