21 June 2013

Murder as a Fine Art

I managed to squeeze in a print book for adults!  Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell is a detective story set in Victorian England. Thomas de Quincey was an English essayist. I believe i had to read a bit of his "Confessions of an English Opium Eater" in school.  He wrote a trio of essays called "On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts" describing a double set of murders in England.  The premise of this new novel is that someone becomes obsessed with de Quincey and the murders and goes on his own killing spree.  de Quincey, still a laudanum addict, becomes a suspect but ends up aiding the police due to his familiarity with the original cases, his trippy insights and lateral thinking.  His daughter and caretaker Emily is a fabulous woman as well and uses her own brilliant mind to help her father and the police.  

It's a pretty good book.  While the mystery itself is just ok, the characters are great. de Quincey and his daughter, the Scotland Yard Inspector and his assistant, the cop that wants to be a detective, are all compelling and interesting to read about.  Pretty decent action and some really trippy set pieces make it a fun, fast read.  There are some weird infodumps of the sort that are ususally in sci-fi books which were a bit jarring but overall it was a good book.  a 5.  

FYI, Project Gutenberg has both Confessions of an English Opium Eater and de Quincey's other essays in various formats.

No comments:

Post a Comment