This has been an odd week for me – I had to fly to Salt Lake on Tuesday and home on Wednesday so I could go with my father to an appointment. The flight home was through Las Vegas in the evening and delayed which made the whole trip home a touch surreal. I had no idea you could buy a drink in the airport there and carry it around with you. You just can’t carry it on the plane which didn’t stop my seat mate who had two water bottles with him – one obviously filled with vodka. I did get some reading done, I finished Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse and Alison Anderson (which I was slightly disappointed in) and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. While in Salt Lake I visited the Weller Bookstore and picked up two books. I was a little disappointed with it as well as I have very fond memories of visiting Sam Weller’s old store. Oldest and I also went to a library book sale where we were very successful getting there only fifteen minutes after opening. It was getting pretty picked over by the time we left.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Matthew of A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook has reviewed what sounds like the perfect travel book for when you are stuck on the tarmac with some over-imbibed people – Edmund Crispin’s The Moving Toyshop. Guy writes of Crispin’s book:
This book can be found on three mystery novel “best lists”: the Independent Mystery Bookseller Association’s 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century, the Mystery Writers of America’s Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time, and the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain’s Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time. This 1946 novel is still in print today and is generally considered Crispin’s best novel.
I have never heard of this author who wrote nine detective novels (from 1944 onward) but how could I resist a detective who is an English professor and Don at Oxford. The Moving Toyshop features a poet stumbling into a toyshop and discovering a body. He is hit on the head and moved but when he returns to the store, it is now a grocery. It sounds wonderfully absurd and totally entertaining.
Another book that would have been good to have in my bag is Troubled Daughters, Twisted Sisters: Stories from the Trail Blazers of Domestic Suspense edited by Sarah Weinman. This is a collection of stories by female writers from the early to mid 20th-century that specialized in the domestic or suburban crime. There are stories by some well-known authors (Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Jackson) and a whole slew of people I have never heard of . Both The Book Snob and Chrisbookarama liked the book.
I have read many reviews of Constance by Patrick McGrath but Sam Still Reading is the first one that makes me put the book on my list. Perhaps it is her mention of Richard Yates (author of Revolutionary Road), perhaps it is her mention of Gothic undertones which sounds perfect for a rainy day with a touch of coolness in the air. Constance is about a young woman in Manhattan with a tortured and unhappy childhood. She meets a professor of Poetry twenty years her senior and marries him. Then her father drops a bombshell on her and everything falls apart.