Sunday, February 10, 2008

A mystery in war-torn London and some cheese (Books - Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler)

Some kiwis, this wonderful fresh, buttery Italian cheese called La Tur - made from the milk of cows, goats and sheep - on whole grain toast, and a pot of white darjeeling tea. I'm all set for a Sunday at home. Lots of homework, a little yoga, and I'm going to try to finish both Heat and Dust and Full Dark House, another Scott Pack recommendation, whose big mouth has really been turning up some good reads for me.

Full Dark House is a mystery by Christopher Fowler set in the twin time periods of the more-or-less-present and 1940s London during the blitz. I'm enjoying everything about it. There is a great cast of quirky characters, both among the detectives, and the members of a production of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld that remind me a bit of J. B. Priestly. The setting in a London Theater is well researched, the history of blitz-torn London is provided in just the kind of detail I appreciate. It makes me feel what it must have been like to live there. Fowler' moves deftly between his two time periods. He is not only NOT heavy handed, but he finds a way for a character to move their attention back in time in order that we seem to slip seamlessly there with the minimum of telegraphing. He also creates two detectives who are not just charmingly eccentric but very quickly have touched me. I haven't been in the mood for a mystery in a long time and this one has won me over. I echo Scott's recommendation.

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