Tezuka writer's block

Wednesday reading — exit Alleyn et alia

I finished my Ngaio Marsh reread and was sad to have it end, especially as the last few books were all high points and personal favorites.

What I've been reading

I read My Real Children, which I loved as much as I thought I would. It got me all teary at the end.

I read We Were Liars, which actually enjoins you to try not to spoil anything about it, so of course I won't. It has two big twists, set up as a one-two punch at the end, and the second twist is where it lost me a bit, to be honest.

I read The Circle, which is the first book in a Swedish YA trilogy, which is self-admittedly rather heavily Buffy-inspired, among other things, about a group of very disparate high school girls who learn that they are all Chosen Ones, complete with magical powers and an obligation to save the world. I'm enjoying it so far.

I read The Homeward Bounders, because of all the Diana Wynne Jones books that I haven't yet read, that one has by far the most fic, although I haven't gotten around to starting in on the fic yet.

I read Last Ditch, in which Ricky Alleyn, last seen getting into trouble on vacation as a wee child, is now old enough to get into trouble as a young adult while he's meant to be writing a book. He begins by falling hopelessly in love with an older married woman, which is I think the closest thing so far to a genderswapped version of the usual romantic subplot, which usually features a fairly significant age gap in the other direction, to the point where it is very definitely a Thing. Luckily, Ricky and his crush are both quite charming (she, as a matter of fact, turns out to be née Lamprey), though, because otherwise there are a number of tiresome characters involved in this particular murder.

I read Photo Finish, which also has an older woman/younger man romantic subplot, only this one is consummated, and horrible—Troy and Alleyn actually commiserate with the poor boy about how terrible it is. The older men in Ngaio Marsh books who pursue relationships with younger and often subordinate women are always aware of the disparity, and might even angst about it a bit, like Adam in Night at the Vulcan, but they always smooth everything over like the nice sympathetic characters that they are. All of a sudden when it's a famous opera singer and a wannabe composer we get this very scathing portrait of a dysfunctional age gap relationship. Which is not to say that it isn't done well, mind you, but it raises eyebrows.

I read Grave Mistake, which was another of my favorites that I'd reread enough times that I actually remembered the solution to the mystery, which is always the first thing that I forget.

I read Light Thickens, which returns to my beloved Perry and his beloved Dolphin Theatre in what turns out to be a reasonably fitting end for Alleyn, I think. More so than any of the other theatre books, even, this one is overwhelmingly about Macbeth and Peregrine's production of it. I think the actual murder and investigation may be wrapped up more quickly than any of the others; it's practically an afterthought. Jeremy does not make an on-page appearance, although his exquisite-sounding costuming and set designing do.

What I'm reading now

Fire, the middle book in the Engelfors trilogy. The third one hasn't been published in English yet, alas.

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