So I find that I not-infrequently read books that I just feel rather “meh” about and they don’t seem worth writing an entire post about. However, since I also use this blog as a sort of book-review diary, I like to at least say something. So, inspired by the way that Stephanie reviews the unreviewed every month, I think that some months (or maybe all of them!) will get a post with minireviews of all those books that just didn’t get more than a few paragraphs of feelings from me.
This month I had quite a few, so Part I has already been published.
The Head of Kay’s by P.G. Wodehouse
Yet another school story from Wodehouse’s early days. This one definitely had more plot than some of the others – it’s basically the story of how a couple of prefects work together to bring solidarity to their house, despite the interference and incompetency of their house head, Kay. There is still quite a lot of cricket and footer, especially at the end (it really felt like the story ought to have ended with Kay’s resignation, rather than having it be 3/4 of the way through), but it was overall a breezy and engaging little story.
The Dead Sea Cipher by Elizabeth Peters
In this story, by the author of the Amelia Peabody books, our heroine (Dinah) is taking a little tour through the Holy Lands. She overhears an argument in the next room one night, and the next morning a man in that room is found dead. Suddenly, a lot of different strangers seem very interested in Dinah, despite her protestations that, because the argument was in Arabic, she understood nothing.
This book reminded me a lot of one of Agatha Christie’s spy novels. It has that same we’re-all-just-here-for-the-ride attitude towards realism, and it was a fun little frolic if you were willing to forego any need to have the book make logical sense. Dinah was a moderately interesting protagonist, although things did fall into place just a little too neatly. And while I’ve loosely compared this story to one of Christie’s, this one definitely lacked Christie’s knack of making characters feel warm and natural. This was a fairly enjoyable 3/5 read, but not a particularly noteworthy one.