talk to the glove

Wednesday reading — more Marshes

What I've been reading

I reread Death in Ecstasy, which was my least favorite Ngaio Marsh so far. The drugs subplot seriously strained my credulity—I don't consider myself to be an expert on heroin, by any means, but I can't find any evidence that anyone has ever smoked it in cigarettes. The main plot about the cult-y little church where they hand out these mysterious heroin cigarettes is not that much more realistic or engaging either. Also, this is the first book in my reread where Marsh's homophobia puts in an appearance, which is gross, especially since it's not just some throwaway characters but actually Alleyn and Fox (Foxkin nooooooo!) who get together to sneer at the poor harmlessly swishy acolyte boys nursing massive crushes on the tinpot cult leader. I mean, they are both hopeless doofuses but all this disproportionate animus makes me want to like them somehow anyway.

The next Ngaio Marsh I reread, though, was Vintage Murder, which is quite good. It's the first time she develops Alleyn as a character on his own, without the crutches of Nigel Bathgate (who will fade out of the books shortly) or even my beloved Foxkin, except in some adorable letters that Alleyn writes him. She does rely on two subjects that she loves: the theatre (again) and New Zealand (for the first time), including some breathtaking scenery porn. Alleyn makes astounding leaps in his ability to negotiate tricky social situations and control his impulses to be a total IRL troll, or maybe that's just limited to when he's hanging around with Nigel Bathgate, whose pigtails he takes such an inordinate amount of pleasure in pulling.

I reread Artists in Crime, which is an old favorite that I've reread lots of times and I still pretty much love it. I adore Troy, of course, but Lady Alleyn is the best.

I read Ann M. Martin's new book, Better to Wish, the opening part of a four-book family saga. It was good, although it feels like a much longer book was abridged to hit middle-grade length. (Why didn't I think of that? /lazywriter)

I read The Blue Faience Hippopotamus based on a recommendation from hermionesviolin (and her mom!), and it is, indeed, adorable. ♥

What I'm reading next

Hopefully more books than this week. It was a busy week.

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