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Topic: 'A Beautiful Blue Death'-a review

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Subject: 'A Beautiful Blue Death'-a review
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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Good morning and Happy New Year to everyone!

I have decided my New Year's Resolution is to stop bringing bad books to read on planes while traveling across country.  If you will please let me indulge myself in a review that will hopefully save a few folks out there a few dollars (and a credit) on a book that I thought would be worth a read. 

Yesterday I was flying back from California to New York and brought along A Beautiful Blue Death  by Charles Finch for the ride.  With my iPod and the book I hoped to block out the sounds of screaming toddlers, coughing adults and snoozing neighbors.  I wish I brought along a better book. 

The characters are one dimensional and the plot is poor.  The basic story is that a chambermaid is murdered by poisoning that turns her veins red.  A suicide note is left behind, but one of the other maids tells the reader the murdered woman could not read or write.  What could be a good story is bogged down with many, many, many descriptions of afternoon tea parties, poor dialogue, and a ridiculous main and secondary character.  (Hey, they're English!  Let's have them drink tea and speak short sentences!)  Our leading man, Lenox, comes across as a lazy slob than as an affluent gentleman. The woman next door, Lady Grey, speaks like a modern woman living in the USA, but time-traveled to 1865 London and THINKS she knows how to speak to others. 

Overall, it reminded me of a high school senior who has written a book during his lunch hours in the library-and THINKS he is being clever.  What a waste and a shame.  The strongly suggest that Mr. Finch read a few historical mystery novels before attempting to write another one.  

At least my luggage made it home with me :)

 

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Well, bless your pea-pickin' heart. I'm about 70 pages into this book and I've just made up my mind NOT to finish it. I am NOT enjoying it and I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Whew! I feel better!
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 2,983
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Uh-oh....on TBR pile. Guess it will linger there a bit longer.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Well, crap!! I actually just ordered this one from bookcloseouts.com because it was pretty highly recommended by a couple of friends of mine who usually share my reading taste. I was going to get it here but the WL was quite long and those types of books tend to move sooooo slowly.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Cheryl, you may adore the book! It got good press and good reviews, so obviously, many people love it. I just couldn't get into it at all. When you get it and read it, be sure to post back here and let us know what you think!
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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Cheryl and Charlie,

Yes, please!  Give it a shot and let us know what you think.  Personally (as you can tell above) this book was not giving me the warm fuzzies.  LeeAnne, thanks for saying you did not like the book as well.  After I posted my review of the novel, I started to wonder if people would be annoyed.  I am glad that is not so. 

I posted my copy and will send it out later this week.  I hope the person who receives it likes it more than I did!

Deb

 

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 8:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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Nah, I'm never annoyed by other people's reviews. To be honest, I don't even normally read reviews at Amazon or on here...because to me, a review by someone I don't know at all is of little value. It's just one person's opinion, after all, and we all have different tastes. I get most of my recommendations from "reading friends" from various Yahoo book groups or genre groups here--once I get to know people and see that they share my taste in reading, I'm liable to then take their reviews or comments more seriously. BUT...even then, I sometimes disagree with what even my closest reading buddies like/dislike, so I will always give something a try.

I definitely will let you all know what I think when I read it...though it may be months before I get to it. I tend to let newly-acquired books marinate on my bookshelf for awhile. I have to, with such a huge TBR! LOL

Cheryl