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The new Elizabeth George book is out!

Women of Mystery

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1sussabmax
May 21, 2008, 1:27pm Top

I had to buy it, brand new and all. I have only barely started it, but I am so glad she is going back to a regular mystery, unlike the totally grim What Came Before He Shot Her. I couldn't rfinish that one, but this one looks good so far. Has anyone else bought it already?

2christiguc
May 21, 2008, 5:00pm Top

>1 sussabmax: So, since you're an Elizabeth George fan, I would like you ask you: what book of hers should I read? I read What Came Before He Shot Her and wasn't impressed, but I've heard enough things about her to want to read some of her good ones. Which are her best? (Any but What Came Before He Shot Her?)

3avisannschild
May 21, 2008, 6:02pm Top

>2 christiguc: I'm a big fan and have read everything she's written except for the last three (and her collection of short stories). I would recommend starting at the beginning of her series, since there is a significant amount of plot that has to do with her regular characters. The first book is A Great Deliverance.

4DianeS
May 21, 2008, 6:34pm Top

I agree with avisannchild -- start at the beginning. And don't stop till she does, except definitely skip What Came Before He Shot Her. If you got even close to finishing that one, you beat me. I made it to about page 30 before I had an almost irresistible urge to throw it across the room. Since I rarely have to stop reading books before the end and never physically abuse them (my mother was a librarian, as was her mother), it was clear that it would be bad for my mental health, not to mention the well-being of the book, if I attempted to continue. I passed it on to a friend who also reads Elizabeth George. I think she got halfway through it before reporting that she couldn't stand it. That book may be the closest I've ever come to setting fire to a book! I don't know what my friend did with it and I probably don't want to! But I have high hopes for the next one!

5avisannschild
May 21, 2008, 11:00pm Top

>4 DianeS: Wow, that's quite the bad review for that book! I have it, but since I haven't read the previous one yet, I haven't even attempted to read it. I must admit I'm curious to see if I will hate it as much as you & sussabmax have...

6FleurinherWorld
May 22, 2008, 7:59am Top

If I had to pick one it would be A Traitor To Memory but I agree that there is a lot of plot concerning regular characters that is best read in series order.

I do have a problem with Elizabeth George in that her London doesn't ring true for me, but she is still good enough that I look out for her books in the library.

Deborah Crombie on the other hand is an American who can conjure up the London I know very well and write a very good mystery.

7sussabmax
May 22, 2008, 4:47pm Top

I agree with everyone else--they are ALL better than WCBHSH, and it's best to start at the beginning. It is certainly possible to read them out of order and enjoy them, but I like to read books like this in order.

I am about 240 pages into Careless in Red, and I am loving it so far! Thank goodness she went back to what she does best.

8DianeS
May 22, 2008, 6:08pm Top

It was that bad, I'm sorry to say. I'm usually fairly forgiving, not being the best writer in the world myself, but it was not only bad but horribly depressing.

I'm sure somebody, somewhere, liked it, but I haven't read of anybody yet that did.

9DianeS
May 22, 2008, 6:09pm Top

#7 - I'm glad to hear that about Careless in Red. Sometime in the next week or so I'm due for another raid on the local bookstore and it's near the top of my list. I hate buying hardbacks, but there are some authors I will make an exception for and she's one. I hope it continues to delight you!

10sussabmax
May 28, 2008, 5:48pm Top

Here is my review from my challenge thread:

This was certainly better than What Came Before He Shot Her, but it is far from a return to George's earlier brilliance. I figured out the end to the mystery on page 384 of a 603 page book, without really trying. The characterization was a bit unrealistic to me. Lynley finds a body while he is wandering off mourning his wife and child, and the detective in charge of the murder investigation puts him in charge of key parts of the investigation? At least Havers points out how irregular this is, but still, it's not believable.

That said, I did read it compulsively to the end, and there were mysteries about the characters that I did not completely figure out until they were explained (although that may have been partly a matter of will on my part). I hate to be critical of an author that has written many excellent books I have really enjoyed; I know this is a very difficult thing to do well, but I have to admit I am a bit disappointed. I really hope that she continues to get better as she puts the self-indulgent mess that was What Came Before He Shot Her further and further behind her.

So, all in all, much, MUCH better than WCBHSH, but not up to her usual standard. Hopefully she will continue the upward trend, though.

11alcottacre
May 29, 2008, 1:59am Top

I just finished With No One as Witness and was going to look for What Came Before He Shot Her at the library, but now I do not think I will. I cannot handle being that seriously depressed right now and I was very angry with Ms. George for killing off one of the main(?) characters - I hate when authors do that. I will keep my eyes open for Careless in Red though.

12BarbN
May 31, 2008, 10:03pm Top

Just finished Careless in Red. Absolutely enjoyable read. I agree with the comment above that it wasn't totally believable, but I don't mind a lack of believability for the sake of a good story. I thought this was one of George's better books.

I managed to get through What Came Before He Shot Her and then somewhat masochistically decided to re-read it. Liked it a bit better the second time around, even though it is almost unrelentingly depressing.

13nikitasamuelle
Jun 22, 2008, 7:55pm Top

As a fan of the series, I've been looking forward to Careless in Red, but do feel the earlier books were better with richer characters. And, I'm not sure I've quite gotten over the shock of With No One as Witness just yet.

I read about half of What Came Before He Shot Her a few months ago, then set it aside because I just couldn't go on. But, not being someone who normally gives up on books, I do occasionally wonder what happens in the end. Is it worth skipping to the end (something I've never ever done)? If so, any thoughts on how much of the end I'd need to read for it be comprehensible?

14alcottacre
Jul 11, 2008, 11:50pm Top

I finished Careless in Red yesterday and agree with BarbN (#12) that it is one of George's better books.

15fig2
Sep 4, 2009, 2:14pm Top

I love Elizabeth George and have read every one of her Lynley books. I understand the grumblings about With No One as Witness and What Came Before He Shot Her. I was, like so many others, shocked and distressed about the killing off of a main character (I'm not naming said character to avoid a spoiler).

However, I actually loved WCBHSH, because, to me it felt like what she was trying to do was create sympathy for the murderer of the main character. I felt like she absolutely achieved this. She creates a conflict for the reader because you already (presumably) love the main character that was killed and then you come to love the murderer as well. I think/hope that conflict will be central to the story line as she progresses.

That she is able to do this is fascinating to me. I trust her as a writer, and I trust what she's doing with her characters.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment. I can't wait!

16MmeRose
Jan 19, 2010, 6:27pm Top

fig2, I agree with you. I think quite a bit of the criticism of WCBHSH was a result of the shock of the death and that George didn't immediately dive back into the Lynley story afterward.
I found Careless in Red disappointing, though. Lynley's trek along the Cornish coastline was a metaphor for the way this book rambles. The characters were deadly dull, the climbing/surfing details overwhelmingly boring. Havers arrives too late in the story to rescue it.
Hope the new book in April is better.

17fig2
Jan 19, 2010, 8:27pm Top

ctpete, It's interesting that you were disappointed in Careless in Red. I liked it, but not as much as I normally like her books. My husband actually figured out who the killer was half way through the book! I hope the storyline gets back to the killer and manages to get Lynley back home.

18MmeRose
Jan 21, 2010, 8:44pm Top

Sounds like it does. From her website:

THIS BODY OF DEATH - THE NEW LYNLEY NOVEL FOR 2010!
On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn’t trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, whose management style seems to rub everyone the wrong way. In fact, Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer’s hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden—and possibly attractive—vulnerability.

19fig2
Jan 22, 2010, 6:27pm Top

Oh - very exciting! Thanks for sharing - I can't wait for April!

20sussabmax
Feb 19, 2010, 1:33pm Top

16> I don't know, the death wasn't a shock since it happened in the previous book, too. I didn't like it, of course, but it didn't make me not like that book. I was looking forward to the next book, but then when I got it, I hated it. I didn't like the complete change in format--there was no real mystery there--and I don't enjoy reading about children who have terrible lives. As I said in my review, I thought it was just self-indulgent wallowing in maudlin tragedy.

I am looking forward to the new book, though! Thanks for searching that out, ctpete.

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