Monday, April 04, 2011

It happened one night

There are few things more affirming and disappointing than solving back-to-back mysteries in a series. It makes you wonder if the writing and twists are too easy that your first suspicion (which clouds your reading of the entire book) turns out to be spot-on.

The third book in a mystery series that amuses me, Shadow Waltz was the second where I guessed the murderer's identity less than halfway through the story. So naturally, I had to stay up until 2am to see if I was right; it was a bit anti-climactic to discover I was.

Like the first two books in the series, this one featured a great cast of characters, with the recently engaged detective protagonists solving yet another murder while also planning their wedding.

I'm drawn to the series because it does, in fact, mimic the gritty innocence of a Depression-era film: it effectively captures the attitudes of both noir and musicals from the 1930s. However, though I understand the need to connect a modern audience to the characters, the historian in me is beginning to find the speech anachronisms unappealing - this book had characters dropping the word "pregnant" left and right, instead of euphemisms used at the time and certainly in mixed company.

Quibbles aside, it was still a fun, light means of escaping this upcoming busy week.

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