01 February 2011

A Charles Tood novel and a Maisie Dobbs alert

Dan Conrad wrote from Minneapolis:
I get these "Author Alerts" from the Hennepin County Library when they order books from authors I've specified. This morning I got one announcing the purchase of Lesson in Secrets : A Maisie Dobbs Novel, by Jacqueline Winspear -- so I can pass it on to you and to get the Northfield Libray cracking--if they haven't already ordered it.

On that note, I just finished An Impartial Witness, the second Bess Crawford novel by Charles Todd. It is very nearly as interesting as the first in the series, Duty to the Dead. Of course Bess Crawford is a shameless rip-off of Maisie Dobbs -- but the novels have, I think, their own merits nonetheless: less psychological depth and angst and a bit more sleuthing and more of a "how the hell is she gonna get out of this one" climax.

Thanks for writing, Dan. I'm still hung up on Mark Twain's autobiography and trying (like the despot in Egypt) to find a graceful way out. I skim pages of pitiful prose and then, every once in awhile, run into a remarkable bit (like Twain's elegy to his daughter Susy, who died unexpectedly at age 24 while Twain was in England).

No comments: