I have a dozen subjects in mind but some require research or other effort and others are simply not suitable. Sorry about that.
I finished a book last night, which is why this is a book review. Book Reviews are worthy subjects for blogging but don’t require much work or research, just reading a book and remembering a bit about it.
That, I find, is one of the difficult things about a book review. Someone has just spent a year or so sweating over this but after a few hours reading and half an hour typing, I feel qualified to pass judgement on it. That’s one of the reasons I don’t write many reviews, because I find it hard to offer criticism of somebody who has just done something I can’t do. On the other hand, as I normally only review books I enjoyed, I don’t do much criticising.
In a world where books need a gimmick, and there are plenty of novelty sleuths about, it must be difficult to com up with another variation. That’s all taken care of with this book – the investigator is Queen Elizabeth II, This is handled well, with plenty of great characterisation, a lot of detail and the feeling that S J Bennett (a) knows and loves the subject and (b) could write first class fiction in an y genre.
So – writing – good. Characterisation – excellent. Atmosphere – brilliant.
The pacing is acceptable, but it does seem to slow a little in places as the book progresses. This around the time when we seem to be bombarded with a few too many characters, who aren’t always well differentiated.
What about the plot? . It could do with being tightened up and I was left with a feeling that if I examined it too closely the whole thing would fall apart. There were just a couple of places where it seemed weak.
The ending – which is important in most mystery novels, has a fault that can’t be fully overcome. The Queen must remain in the background at all times and part of the tension in the book is that she is constrained taher than assisted by her position as monarch. That means the credit for solving the crime goes to another person, who explains it to the Queen. This is unsatisfactory, but it’s a logical part of the way the book works and would be hard to work round. Foe this reason, I’ll accept this fault.
I don’t feel quite as forgiving about the patchy pacing, the slight excess of slightly samey characters and my reservations over the plot. I will read the next one in the series, and am sure I will enjoy it, but it’s only four stars.
If there was no crime in the book I would still enjoy this as a comic novel featuring the Royal Family, which tends to indicate that the crime element needs a bit of a boost. It’s a great read but it’s not, unfortunately, a great whodunnit.
Pingback: Book Review – The Mazaroff Mystery | quercuscommunity
I like the way you have described the dilemmas of reviewing. You have done well with this one
Thank you Derrick.
That leaves the Queen available to solve another crime in the background in another book. I could see this becoming a good series.
It is a very pleasant and absorbing world.
Interesting review, I got a little excited at the beginning, but then tailed off in the middle and got a little more excited at the end. Hmmm that sounds a little wrong. But it sounds like a book Gillian may enjoy.
At my age you take your excitement where you find it. Even if it involves Sooty…
I’m all for a little excitement, just have to be more careful of the extent 😂
I also have to be careful of my joints. THey aren’t as durable as they used to be. 🙂
No, mine have started. A few months ago I had a bad pain in groin and after an x-ray they said it was hip joint degeneration. That’s why I started Adriene’s Yoga. Strangely enough it’s gone, completely. Don’t know? Go figure that 😂😂
They keep telling me to that yoga would be good for me, but if I ever got down on a mat they’d need Greenpeace to get me up again. 🙂
😂 Try Adriene’s YouTube she’s very gentle and makes allowances you do what you can Does a 30 day thing 😀
I really must get the sound working on my computer. Keep saying I’m going to but never quite get round to it. 🙂
You can put subtitles on Sooty on YouTube 😂
🙂 I will check that out. 🙂