Mini Reviews: The Moonstone, Doctor Who and N is for Noose

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Moonstone
by Wilkie Collins

I do not understand how this happened, but I was not a fan of this book. I loved Collins' mystery "The Woman in White." It's thrilling, complicated and well-plotted. I tend to love Dickens' books and he has a similar style.  I started this during R.I.P. this fall and just couldn't get into it. I tried reading it on my kindle and then I tried a hardcopy. I dreaded picking it up and it took me months to finish.

Called one of the first detective novels in existence, this unique plot rotates between narrators to tell the story of a stolen diamond. As the plot thickens we see each of the characters share their side of the story. Each participant has a different agenda and we aren't sure if we can trust their version. I appreciate the fact that the style in the book did something original, but I still had a hard time connecting with any of them.

BOTTOM LINE: I have no idea why this one was such an awful slog for me. It took me three months to get through it. I'm hoping that I am up for trying it again in a decade or so, but until then I'd recommend The Woman in White over this one.

Doctor Who: Nothing O’Clockby Neil Gaiman

As an avid Whovian it's hard to believe this is the first Doctor Who story I've ever read, but when I heard it was written by Gaiman I couldn't resist. For those familiar with the world of Doctor Who, this story features Amy Pond and the eleventh Doctor. They are visiting earth and realize it has been occupied by an alien. The plot revolves around a stranger in a mask who is buying up local real estate. It's a short story, so there's not too much room to get invested, but it's an entertaining read.

A fun addition to the world of Doctor Who. It definitely feels like a Gaiman story, which is a good thing. There's a touch of creepiness mixed with a dose of clever irony (think getting what you want only to realize it's not what you want.) If you're tempted to try a Doctor Who novel this would be a good one.

N is for Nooseby Sue Grafton

Kinsey is hired by a vain and difficult widow. Her cop husband died of a heart attack and she is convinced that he was investigating something big before his death. He had a reputation of refusing to let things go; pursuing cases long after they'd been solved if he smelled something fishy.

After investigating in the tiny town for awhile Kinsey realizes that people are are avoiding or shunning her. She can't even get gas for her car because someone has been spreading rumors about her past. The plot moves slowly and isn't too thrilling. The end is good and wraps things up nicely, but the book feels thin, much of it acting as filler.

BOTTOM LINE: Not one of Grafton's best mysteries. Each one seems to be very hit or miss, but my expectations are always low.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I can't remember one Kinsey book from another, I've read so many. And now at this point (U?? V??? W??? Not ever sure which letter I'm on) I'm not even excited to read them anymore. As for Moonstone, I read that one before blogging, and my kids were little, so I had fewer distractions. But I loved it. I don't read many classics, and had never read anything quite like it. But I think you do have to be really focused on it. A Tana French mystery it is not.

JoAnn said...

Aww, sorry The Moonstone didn't work for you. It was my first, and still favorite, Collins.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I know I've read The Moonstone, but it's been so long ago I don't remember much about it. I read The Woman in White a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I've read two Doctor Who books: Summer Falls by Amelia Williams (it's the book Clara and Artie discuss in The Bells of St. John's) and Doctor Who: The Angel's Kiss A Melody Malone Mystery (it's the book the Doctor reads in Angels in Manhattan). I read both in electronic format, and enjoyed them immensely.
I've never read any Sue Grafton. My go-to light mystery is Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I'm not allowed to read them in bed because I laugh too much. :)

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

Hi Melissa, love the new look!

I'm currently reading A is for Alibi. I know you gave this one only two starts, but do the books improve as the series goes along?

Kailana said...

I read The Moonstone first... I wonder if that is why I enjoyed it so much? The Woman in White is the better book overall, but I read them both relatively quickly when I read them.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - The Grafton books blend together for me too. I am shocked that I didn't love Moonstone. So disappointed.

JoAnn - I thought I would love it. Maybe my expectations were too high.

abibliophilesstyle - I've never read the Evanovich books but I've heard they're really fun. I want to read both of those Doctor Who books!

Alex - In my opinion some of them are great fun and others feel like filler books. I think that it tends to switch about every other book. I read them when I need a bit of a break.

Kailana - You're not alone, everyone seems to have loved The Moonstone!