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Spirit House

August 26, 2008

Yet another free Kindle book, although this time not one from Tor. Spirit House is the first in the Vincent Calvino series by Christopher Moore. It’s an interesting idea; take an expat ex-lawyer and plunk him down as a private eye in Bangkok.  Sam Spade meets Thailand. The locale did add to the story, but overall I must admit that I was left wondering why exactly the series is such an international hit. My reaction is partly personal; I like detective / mystery stories where I’m given enough information to figure out what’s happening (or what happened) on my own. The big reveal isn’t nearly as interesting if I had no chance to figure things out myself, and that’s largely what I felt to be the case here: the protagonist kept making revelations based on facts / observations that hadn’t been previously laid out for the reader.

I contrast this with In the Bleak Midwinter, another previously free Kindle book, which I enjoyed much more. Julia Spencer-Fleming does, to my mind, a much better job of involving the reader in the mystery by letting us know everything the protagonists know, so that we have a chance to figure out the mystery on our own before the big reveal.

In short, while Spirit House was rather fun, I’ll probably eschew other books in the series.

From → Books

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