Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vintage Mysteries #1 & 2

I've now read two out of my 16 for the Vintage Mystery Challenge.

Busman's Honeymoon I think I've read before when I was trying to read all the Dorothy Sayers I could find. It was a great read, humorous, entertaining and full of insight into married life as well as into murder. I especially liked how Sayers didn't end the novel with the solution of the crime but showed Lord Peter's full response to the trial and the execution of the criminal--he actually asked the murderer to forgive him and took responsibility for his family members. I enjoyed the quotations back and forth between Harriet Vane (now Wimsey) and Lord W. but I wondered if people really ever talked that way or if our society is too undereducated at this point. I could have done without all the French, however.

Farewell, My Lovely made the previous novel seem light and fluffy in comparison, though I think it did deal seriously with death, especially death in your own home. But Raymond Chandler's writing is the epitome of the noir murder mystery. Lots of gloom, alcohol, and dangerous dames. He's also very funny but very dry. I was left wondering with one of the women why Philip Marlowe does it--his private detection doesn't pay well, gets him knocked out several times, and usually doesn't seem to lead to actual justice for the crime, though it may change a few things for a short while.

1. Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham
2. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers
3. The Chinese Parrot by Earl Derr Biggers
4. Detection Unlimited by Georgette Heyer
5. The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
6. something by Ellery Queen
7. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
8. Singing in the Shrouds by Ngaio Marsh
9. Black Orchids by Rex Stout
10. The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout
11. The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
12. The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing
13. The Old Man in the Corner by Baroness Orczy
14. The High Window by Raymond Chandler

Everything's Coming Up Ducks

Here E. is singing and jumping/dancing to a new favorite song from the library. The words are "5 little ducks went out to play, over the hills and far away. Mama Duck said, 'Quack quack quack quack,' but only 4 little ducks came back." And so on.

A few days later, she made her first watercolor painting. Her comments, if you can't decipher them were:

"Don't fall off." She's telling herself to be careful on the chair.

"Wookit that big duck!" All the ducks had to be green, which is her new favorite.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Last Year's Blizzard

Check out the snowman--he was gone by the next day--destroyed, not melted.
Seems as if someone wasn't nearly as traumatized as I was by our recent blizzard experience of getting stuck overnight in our car. The very next day, she was happily exploring, testing out her new boots and sampling the freshly fallen flavor!