Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Almost there: 2012's 19th book - The Pigeon Pie Mystery

The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart

I started this book with a little trepidation. I don't usually like books that are set in the Victorian era or, really, any era that involves women taking four hours to get ready in the morning with the help of their ladies' maids. There is far to much romanticizing, idealizing of these eras which, more often than not, results in a boring book. I picked it up, hoping against hope for a quick read, certain that, in fact, I was going to be bored out of my mind.

Oh boy. I was wrong.

Mink is the Maharaja's daughter, granted a home at Hampton Court Palace as a grace-and-favour resident after the death of her father. Grace-and-favour warrants are leases granted free of charge by the monarch to subjects for their services to the queen. In this book, the residents consisted mainly of the widows of high ranking officials, especially after one of the few male residents keels over dead after eating a particularly ugly pigeon pie.

Of course, it's a mystery. It falls to Mink to figure out whodunit because the inspector on the case seems useless and her maid is at the top of the suspect list.

But, the plot doesn't matter in this particular book. It's a stellar plot, really. But the point of this book is it's complete and utter awareness of it's genre - Victorian era mystery. From the very beginning, it sets out to make light of the setting, the people, the situations. Turn after turn of absurdity and suddenly, you're at the end, and you'll never look at a pigeon, a bicycle, or wallpaper the same way again.

This week, I'm on to 419, a book that's already chilling me to the bone.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I'm sorry.

    I reacted really deeply to what happened on Friday largely, I think, because I had just read that book and last year, I read a book called We Need to Talk About Kevin. Books like those make it difficult to hold events like Friday's at arms length like we may be able to do otherwise. I had to stop listening to the radio on Saturday because if I hadn't I would have spent the whole day curled up in a ball clutching a roll of damp toilet paper.

    (We don't do kleenex...)

    Definitely adding The Last Policeman to my list! Will have to come up with said list soon...

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  2. Im glad I read it. Sometimes the media turns on the families behind the killers and makes it out to be their fault. A book like that really opens your eyes to what the family might be going through

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  3. I've read "we need to talk about Kevin" as well. Really puts a different scary spin on things I found. I just read the Amazon review for 419, think I might have to put that on my list now too.

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