Today was a sad weekend. Lately I have had a horrible time keeping my boy guinea pigs in their pen outside. Somehow they were breaking out and finding their way to the girl guinea pig pens. No doubt the girls are pregnant and this has also made the boys aggressive with each other.
So, with heavy heart, I gave the girls away to a family with middle school children who are excited about caring for them and are delighted that they are pregnant. A teenage boy took Bosephus Hambone. Thank you Craigslist.
So goodbye Bosephus
Goodbye Henrietta Sweet Pea
And goodbye my little Nellybelle
That leaves me with my two original piggies, Percy and Little Bear. I combined the pens and they now have a lot of room to run around in. They seem to have accepted that the girls are gone and have settled down.
Appropriately, I am listening to some poignant music: the Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor Mov. IV by Gustav Mahler
I may have mentioned that I read nonfiction and fiction during the week, but weekends are for fun and that usually means a mystery novel. Today's review is on what I read this past weekend by a new (to me) author.
Deadlock by Ruth Fenisong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had never read anything by Ruth Fenisong before. She has not lasted as Dorothy Sayers, Rex Stout, or Erle Stanley Gardner have (not to mention Josephine Tey and Agatha Christie) and maybe with good reason.
Her writing is definitely dated, which is not a bad thing in that it can give the reader a taste of a writing style that speaks of a certain era, even if it is archaic. In this case the style is one that was popular in the fifties.
The mystery is not extraordinarily profound although it does keep the reader moving to the end.
What I liked especially was that none of the characters were one dimensional or hateful. Each person was presented in a way that allowed the reader to feel a certain amount of compassion for them.
From the get go the murder victim, Glen Williams, is not shown to be a sympathetic character. Before we turn the first page we know that he is a drug addict and trafficker and a very wealthy one. Or is he?
As the story develops we learn through the various suspects and eyewitnesses that Glen was someone who created an image for himself as very important person who had all sorts of terribly "high up" connections that he was going to use to "help" all his new friends become "hugely successful". As we learn through the other characters, perhaps Glen was not rich or particularly important, in fact maybe he created this legend of himself in order to manipulate other people.
But why? The people he manipulated were just every day people, usually struggling in the world trying to make ends meet. What purpose did it serve to deceive these people? They had no money or connections themselves? Was it just a fantasy world that he wrapped himself up in?
The motive is not immediately apparent. Unlike Agatha Christie whose normal formula was to make the victim someone whom everyone would like dead, we don't see at first what the motive for murder would be.
And, as I said, the other characters, while not perfect, certainly don't seem capable of murdering anyone. So who did it?
All of the above makes a decent story but what sold me and what inspires me to read more stories by Fenisong (she was rather prolific so there's plenty of her material to be had) is that the police aren't stooges to be outwitted by a brilliant detective (think Nero Wolfe or Nick Charles) but decent, intelligent people who care about getting home to have supper with their wives while getting to the bottom of the mystery instead of plowing over everybody to get a verdict. This really appeals to me and why I like Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant so much.
The ending might be considered by some a little hokey but I didn't mind it.
Since finishing Deadlock I have bought two more Fenisong mysteries. Josh said I could break the book fast and buy three books, one for each pig I gave up.
View all my reviews
Hercule Parroh has taken the departure of the pigs more philosophically than me. "Just a few less ears to nip."