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Month in review

Reviews:
Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Berenstain Bears Accept No Substitutes by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Better Than Running at Night by Hillary Frank
Bleach 5 by Tite Kubo
Bleach 6 by Tite Kubo
Bleach 7 by Tite Kubo
The Bone Man by Frederic S. Durbin
Buy Jupiter by Isaac Asimov
Castro Valley by Devon Weston, Robert Phelps, Lucille Lorge
Cats Are Not Peas by Laura Gould
Chain Letter 2: The Ancient Evil by Christopher Pike
Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
Don't Ask by M. Rickert
Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley
Finisterra by David Moles
Fragrant Goddess by Paul Park
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Happy Halloween Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
How Big is Your God? by Paul Coutinho
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Jingo by Terry Pratchett
Letters from Iceland by W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice
Miss Bianca in the Orient by Margery Sharp
N is for Noose by Sue Grafton
O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Olivia Saves the Circus by Ian Falconer
Osama Phone Home by David Marusek
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Return of the Indian by Lynn Reid Banks
Sleep No More by Greg Iles
Stray by Benjamin Rosenbaum and David Ackert
Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
The Turret by Margery Sharp
The Twilight Year by Sean McMullen
Two Weeks After by M. Ramsey Chapman
Unpossible by Daryl Gregory
Urdumheim by Michael Swanwick
Who Brought Tulips to the Moon? by S.L. Gilbow

Miscellaneous:
Betrayed by Elmo
BTC Database Complete
The Last Few Days
Neighbor Cats

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for The Dante Club

The Dante ClubThe Dante Club: 12/25/07

The Dante Club is Matthew Pearl's 2004 debut novel. It's set in Boston just after the close of the Civil War. A series of bizarre and gruesome murders are hitting the city. A local club of scholars working on an English translation of Dante's Inferno begin to see striking similarities between Dante's vision of hell and these recent murders.

I usually shy away from historical novels, especially mysteries, that have major historical figures as the detectives. They often seem too contrived to hold my suspension of disbelief. Pearl, though, kept my attention with his convincing descriptions of post Civil War Boston, the popular literary culture of the time and with how he managed to keep his historical figures human, interesting and believably flawed.

The grisly murders described in The Dante Club are presented with a detached, cold and frank manner. The matter-of-fact approach makes these scenes both gripping and disturbing to read.

There were a few too many scenes of Dante devotion that get in the way of the mystery. Fans though of Dante will probably enjoy these lengthy passages. Readers who aren't all that familiar with The Inferno will benefit from learning the passages relevant to the mystery.

Having now enjoyed The Dante Club, I am eagerly awaiting my chance in 2008 to read The Poe Shadow also by Pearl.

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