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Month in review

Reviews:
Bronte's Book Club by Kristiana Gregory
Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass
Destination Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Doctor Who and the Three Doctors by Terrance Dicks
The Egyptian Box by Jane Louise Curry
Explorers on the Moon by Georges Remi Hergé
Fairy Glade and Other Enchanting Stories by Dawn Beaumont-Lane
Firehorn by Robert Reed
Fishing, for Christians by Tim Roux
The Girls by Helen Yglesias
The Glenn Miller Conspiracy by Hunton Downs
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Harriet's Hare by Dick King-Smith
I Spy Fantasy by Jean Marzollo
Land of Black Gold by Georges Remi Hergé
The Motorman's Coat by John Kessel
The Mouse, The Cat and Grandmother's Hat by Nancy Willard
Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman
Mysterious Magical Circus Family Kids: The Chocolate Cake Turkey Lip Crumb Trail Mystery Adventure by R. Hawk Starkey
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
One Bright Star to Guide Them by Mark C. Wright
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
A Rebel in Time by Harry Harrison
Retrograde Summer by John Varley
The Second Ship by Richard Phillips
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson
She and I: A Fugue by Michael R. Brown
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke by Roald Dahl
A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt
Warrior from Heaven by Kermit Zarley



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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 Glenn Miller Conspiracy

The Glenn Miller ConspiracyThe Glenn Miller Conspiracy: 07/27/09

Glenn Miller was a big band leader of superstar proportions. His music is still played. If you only know one Big Band or one song from the 1940s you'll probably know Glenn Miller and his Orchestra and "In the Mood." What you might not know is that he went MIA during WWII, presumably in a crash over the Channel. Further more, you might not know that there have been numerous conspiracy theories about his disappearance over the years. The Glenn Miller Conspiracy by Hunton Downs is the latest theory.

This short book starts off strong with outlining the history of events as first reported (both versions) and then goes about finding holes in both theories. Hunton Downs goes on to outline his theory that Miller was actually captured and tortured for information and then left for dead in a Paris Brothel. Unfortunately all of this is accomplished in the first chapter leaving the rest of the book to flounder.

The second chapter has some brief biographical information on Miller's early life and some thoughts on why he would have been perfect for such a dangerous mission. Apparently having German ancestry and a fair to middling grasp of the language is enough during times of war to be sent off to be a spy. On the other hand as Downs points out, most celebrity service men were given safer jobs acting as moral boosters to the troops, offering free publicity to the Allies and of course propaganda against the Axis. It doesn't make sense that Miller would be different from the others in his position. From my own family's experience in the war, those who were fluent in German ended up as MPs of the German speaking prisoners of war.

The remainder of the book devolves into something akin to The Best Friend I Never Had, the biography of Ernest Hemingway I recently reviewed. Instead of the research being put into Downs's own words with endnotes or footnotes to back up his theories and conclusions, he just paraphrases or does lengthy quotes from the people he interviewed. Then the last fifty or so pages are blurry photocopies of all his documentation rather than a more standard (and academic) bibliography.

While I have learned about the existence of conspiracy theories about Glenn Miller's death I am not convinced that Hunton Downs's theory is correct. My interest might be piqued enough to learn more about the artist and his music but I will start with more credible sources.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, July, 28, 2009 at 10:30:21

Moe Jones

The book is being laughed at and derided by Miller fans world wide.

He was not at all skilled in German. Have you heard him speaking in German? Totally phonetic. German speakers who have heard the broadcasts keep saying there is no way he was conversant in German.

The book is crap.

Props to you for realizing it. Others have not.



Comment #2: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 18:19:23

Pussreboots

I'd call the book naive instead of crap.