Book Chat 47: Stefanie Pintoff/In the Shadow of Gotham
Evil Editor said...This is the whole chat. Us.
ril said...Lucky I read the book, then.
Evil Editor said...I see this book is compared on the back cover to Caleb Carr's books. Ever read any of his?
Evil Editor said...Me neither.
ril said...Actually, I think this is the first "detective" yarn I've read. Apart from maybe a couple of Agatha Christies years ago... And, of course, the complete "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators."
Evil Editor said...This might be my first historical detective yarn. Though I saw The Name of the Rose.
ril said...I found it quite entertaining and easy to read. Surprised it was an award winner, though.
Evil Editor said...The award was for best first mystery novel. Usually people who've had their 1st novel published are only to happy to show up at the book chat. I never got an answer.
ril said...Very mysterious.
Evil Editor said...Who does she think she is? I'm Evil Editor. This is worse than that hockey player who didn't go to the White House...Of course if she showed up and it was two people, she'd have left already.
ril said...Not if we tied her to a chair in the crypt.
Evil Editor said...I thought this was well done, though I felt like the guilty party didn't have a big enough role. I felt like I had to go back and see who that was. Trying not to give away whodunnit.
ril said...It seemed to have all the elements I would have expected from the genre. Clever detective, helpful amateur sidekick, multiple potential suspects, lots of red herrings, shirtwaists. There was some sleight of hand to hide the "twist" ending.
Evil Editor said...It seemed to be well researched re the geography of the city.
ril said...I thought early on the historical detail was a little heavy handed. It was like having a guided tour of a museum: and on the left, you will see a Hammond typewriter, quite typical of the period...
Evil Editor said...One could attribute the excessive detail to an attempt to write in the style popular at the time the book is set.
ril said...Possibly, yes. The voice did slip a little on occasion and there seemed to be a couple of anachronisms of speech, but on the whole she held it up pretty well. Some Amazon reviews complained of the stilted narrative, but it did feel somewhat authentic to the period.
ril said...I don't know if it was because I knew the writer was female, but it took a while to get used to the idea that the narrator was a male detective...Couldn't help imagining Alistair, the criminologist, as the guy at the start of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
ril said...She didn't seem to quite know what to do with Joe. Made a big deal out of how he resented the up and coming young 'uns subordination and then followed him round like a puppy at the investigation scene. Then he disappeared for a while. And as soon as he reappeared he had a stroke to get him out of the way again...
Evil Editor said...That's true. That was set up to be a major source of conflict. Then poof.
ril said...On the other hand, if he'd stayed around, that might have seemed a tad cliched...
Evil Editor said...These chats go more efficiently when there are two. I've already said all I had to say. Which, as you may have noted, was pretty much nothing.
ril said...I assume there's potential for Alistair and Simon to solve a few more cases together. So long as Isabella doesn't come between them.
Evil Editor said...Are they in her second book? Ah I see she now has three books starring Simon and Alistair. Spoiler alert. Alistair isn't the murderer.
ril said...Probably needs another three to have a shot at TV...Maybe a bit slow for American TV, though? British TV loves Whodunnits.
Evil Editor said...Yes, we like our crime shows set to loud rock music. So loud you can't hear the dialogue.
ril said...I guess the closed captions cost so much they want everybody to use them?
Evil Editor said...I only use closed captions when I'm watching British whodunnits.
ril said...You can find out who dun it quicker that way...
Evil Editor said...I'm ready to call it a chat. In fact, I'm ready to call it the last chat.