Monday's Musings on a Mystery
December 19, 2012
For the December meeting, the Monday Mystery Book Club read The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd. Shepherd sets this story around the time of Dickens’ Bleak House. She even uses some of the characters from Bleak House. If you’ve read the Dickens’ story, you will recognize them in Shepherd’s. Most of us hadn’t, so we learned about this through reviews.
What Shepherd does do well is evoke the bleakness and depressive air of the time. That is also what makes this book a slow read. It definitely wasn’t the quick read the group was hoping for over the busy holiday time. The other part that bothered the group was having the author address the reader directly. In the prologue, she tells you, "Muffle your face, if you can, against the stink of human and animal filth, and try not to look too closely at what it is that’s caking your boots, and sucking at your tread. … We have a way to go yet and the day is darkening." Most could’ve done without the direct address. One of the members did read Murder at Mansfield Park and liked it much better than The Solitary House.
On January 14th, we will be discussing Hardball by Sara Paretsky. It is the thirteenth book in the V. I. Warshawski series. Books for the current month’s selection can be picked up at the Blue Ridge Branch.
Charles Maddox Series:
Blue Ridge Branch