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A. Hall & Co. by Joseph C. Lincoln
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, Part 3 by Gene Luen Yang
Binky Takes Charge by Ashley Spires
Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D'Agnese
The Brontë Sisters by Catherine Reef
Can You Count to a Googol? by Robert E. Wells
The Chairs Are Where the People Go by Misha Glouberman
Constable and Toop by Gareth P. Jones
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
Dishwasher by Pete Jordan
Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Home Front Girl by Joan Wehlen Morrison
I Am John I Am Paul by Mark Tedesco
Ichiro by Ryan Inzana
The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series by Michael Dante DiMartino
Linoleum, Better Babies, and the Modern Farm Woman, 1890-1930 by Marilyn Irvin Holt
Little Bo in Italy by Julie Andrews Edwards
Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer
Mary-'Gusta by Joseph C. Lincoln
The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin
On the Beach by Nevil Shute
The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey
Silent Visions by John Bengtson
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Squid and Octopus Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu
A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California by Laura Cunningham
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley
Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
The View from the Top by Hillary Frank

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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 Constable and Toop

Constable and Toop: 03/14/14

cover art

Constable and Toop by Gareth P. Jones is set in Victorian London, both in the human and the spirit world.

Something is eating the ghosts, something the Ghost Bureau has called the Black Rot. A ghost clerk, Mr. Lapsewood is sent to investigate. In the land of the living, a coroner's son and a girl newly moved into a haunted house can both see ghosts and know that something is up.

Both sides have to overcome prejudices to work together to stop the Black Rot. It sounds like such a promising plot but it did not work for me.

An ensemble cast requires timing and a unique voice for each point of view. Each piece of the story has to be compelling on its own to keep the reader turning pages. I unfortunately didn't feel that compulsion with any if them.

Take for instance Mr. Lapsewood. He's a long time clerk but he's going a bit daft, as apparently all ghosts eventually do. He's chosen for this dangerous job because he's not performing his current duties well. The new job is dangerous and potentially fatal (or whatever the equivalent is for ghosts) and frankly he's expendable. But he's incompetent and ill prepared and that makes his promotion or reassignment make no sense.

Lapsewood is set up in a position similar to Lipwig of Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (review coming). The difference that years of being a forger and a con man has given Lipwig the skills necessary to restart the Ankh-Morpork post office and take down the Grand Trunk. Lapsewood has no transferable skills as far as I can see.

One star

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