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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
A Test Of Wills - Charles Todd This historical mystery covers the same territory as the Maisie Dobbs books, taking place in the post-WWI years in England. From a modern perspective, both look at the sad results of trench warfare and the treatment (or lack thereof) of soldiers suffering what we now call PTSD. This book, written by a mother-son team, is darker than the Maisie Dobbs books. The detective, Ian Rutledge, is returning to his Scotland Yard job after the war, hoping that a sense of purpose and busy-ness will help him cope with his shell shock. Unfortunately, a jealous superior recommends him for a case (the first of his return) that involves one officer shooting another and a witness who is despised by the locals for his shell shock, which is seen as cowardice. The hope is that Rutledge will break down or fail and be sacked.

I enjoyed the historical detail and Rutledge's struggle more than the mystery. I was compelled to keep reading by my need to know if Rutledge was going to make it. I would have given it 4 stars, but the solution to the mystery was rather a rabbit out of a hat; not one you could solve yourself. In fairness, though, even Rutledge didn't figure it out. He just stumbled into it. I liked it enough to read more in the series. I've got to know how what happens to Rutledge next.