April 2021–Part Three

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

In the Woods by Tana French (Length: 495 pages).   I listen to several “bookish” podcasts during my weekly hikes and without fail, every one of them mentions Tana French and her Dublin Murder Squad series. I finally opened the first one in the series (I believe there are 6 total so far) and wow, the writing is gorgeous! Very lyrical, with strong character development and a strong sense of place. Apparently each book in the series focuses on one member of the police squad. In this one the protagonist is Detective Adam/Rob Ryan. There are two mysteries in this book–one modern-day and one which occurred when Adam was a child. The modern day mystery here is a bit too obvious, and the detective work utilized to ultimately solve it isn’t very impressive (ie, they miss very obvious clues right from the beginning). But I honestly didn’t care because the writing is beautiful and there is enough plot to keep me turning the pages. There is enough here that will keep me reading the next books in the series for sure.

Book #2:

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (Length: 423 pages). This is another mystery series that I learned about via one of my bookish podcasts, but this one is of the young adult variety (9th-12th grade). This book is the first of a trilogy and it’s set in Vermont, at an exclusive private school for gifted children called the Ellingham Academy. There are also two different mysteries here–one modern-day and the older mystery occurred in the 1930s, when the Academy first opened–so the novel alternates chapters between the two different plot lines. The dialogue in modern-day between the teenage students is snappy and fun, and the mysteries are pretty well-constructed. However, neither is fully solved or resolved which is a bit annoying as the reader “has” to read the next novel in the series to get any (hopeful) resolution. I enjoyed the setting and the writing style enough that I don’t mind, but just a heads up if you are a reader who will.


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