And Only to Deceive

12 08 2007

I got through And Only to Deceive fairly quickly. I enjoy (as I’ve mentioned before) mystery fiction and I particularly like a lot of the new historical mysteries that bring together my love of mysteries and historical fiction. There was a great deal to like about the novel and it was a fast-paced read. I was able on some levels to relate to the narrator, though at times I lost patience with her a bit. That might be because of the mystery itself. Though Tasha Alexander tried to through in a few red herrings, I found the plot and the identity of the dastardly wronger-doer wholly obvious.

I’m not sure why it is, but I’m finding it harder and harder to find a mystery that surprises me at the end. Perhaps it is from teaching the genre of detective fiction that has done this. I’ve also found there to be the same problem with recent mystery programs on the TV, usually of the British variety, though I wouldn’t put this down so much to my brilliant insight as to casting decision. Three recent programs have led me to suspect a character, not because of any clues laid out, but because they have more well-known guest stars in what appear at first glance to be very minor roles, making me right away suspicious. It happened with a recent Miss Marple, a new Jericho and an episode of New Tricks. I still enjoy the genre and I know part of the fun is working every out, but the same time I would like to be surprised every once and awhile and not get to the solution in the first five minutes or even sooner if it’s a case of opening credits that give the game away.

I’m staying in the historical mystery vain with the first Maisie Dobbs.  I read the second one awhile back, but was able to find a copy of the first one for 99 cents so I’m going to back-track a little bit.  I really enjoyed the first one and the WWI connections so I’m hoping this first volume proves as satisfying as the second in the series.

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