Monday, August 22, 2005

Book Review: High Rhymes and Misdemeanors

First off, I'm a sucker for a clever title. Maybe that's because I have trouble coming up with my own.

Secondly, I bought this book from the author (it's signed!), Diane Killian, after she finished a set of Celtic folksongs at a local Highland Games & festival. This particular festival is relatively small and low-key, so I got to chat with the author for several minutes.

And it's a murder mystery, set in England's Lake District. The heroine is there to study the Romantic poets, including Byron, Shelley, and Wordsworth.

I was hoping for something a bit quirky. Maybe not as quirky as The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde, but something that lived up to the promise of the clever title.

What I got was a pleasant read.

It's not a bad read. But it's not a "stay-up-way-too-late-because-I-just-have-to-finish-it" read. The story is told mostly from the heroine's point-of-view, and I think one of the weaknesses is when the point-of-view shifts to the hero. There is a murder, a lot of mysterious people, and some missing "gewgaws" related to Lord Byron that everyone assumes the hero has. However, he doesn't even know what they are. Plus, he has A Past, which complicates things.

Someone who has actually studied 18th Century English poetry could probably find more plot holes than I did.

On the March Hare Scale: Two bookmarks. More entertaining than most of what is on TV or than sitting in a waiting room.

However, Diane Killian is a member of The Browne Sisters, a Celtic-flavored folk group (she sings with her two sisters) with incredible harmonies. Hubs and I have one of their albums that we both enjoy. I highly recommend their CDs.