Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Recommendations

You will all agree that one of the best things about blogging is discovering new authors and books. This year, I read quite a few books that were recommended by fellow bloggers. Here are brief sketches of three such books.

FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard (1940)



I knew of L. Ron Hubbard as the founder of Scientology and as writer of sci-fi books. The movie version of these books had (Hubbard's most famous disciple) John Travolta in them. I had no idea that Hubbard had written mysteries till I read this fine review @ Tipping My Fedora.

Professor James Lowry is having a lousy day. He is dismissed by the college authorities because of an essay that he had written, then when he meets his friend and fellow-professor Tommy he becomes convinced that he can do little against the decision, then he wakes up to find that four hours of his life are gone, he has absolutely no idea about what happened in the interval he left Tommy's home and then found himself lying on a side-walk. Also missing is his hat. And somehow if he finds what happened to his hat, he will know about those missing hours.

The novel was engaging but unfortunately I did not enjoy it as much as Sergio did.


ROPE'S END, ROGUE'S END by E.C.R Lorac (1942)



I hadn't heard of Lorac till I started blogging and read this fine piece reviewing this very book @ Bev's My Reader's Block. Subsequently, I did read Lorac but was overjoyed when I found this book available for free download as I love English country-house mysteries.

Wulfstane Manor is the family home of the Mallowoods bequeathed to the daughter of the family Veronica and the youngest son, Martin, by their father, much to the chagrin of the elder sons of the family, especially the eldest, Paul, who loves the manor and can't see it going to seed. As Paul is leaving for foreign shores, a family reunion takes place and ends in death. But is it murder or suicide?

An interesting mystery but I disliked virtually all the characters.



THE FOURTH DOOR by Paul Halter (1987)



It was while blogging that I first heard of Paul Halter who was supposed to be carrying forward the tradition of John Dickson Carr. On Rishi's Classic Mystery Hunt, I read a review of Halter's The Fourth Door and was so intrigued by it that when I won a reading challenge hosted @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty, I asked for this book as a prize.

The Darnley house is supposed to have a haunted room. A person, eager to know the secrets of it, volunteers to spend a night in it. The room is sealed and a night-long vigil is kept. However, the next day when the room is opened, a person lies dead in it. What is the secret of the room?

I am eager to read more of the author.

*

First Line: Lurking, that lovely spring day, in the office of Dr. Chalmers, Atworthy College Medical Clinic, there might have been two small spirits of the air, pressed back into the dark shadows behind the door, avoiding as far as possible the warm sunlight which fell gently upon the ring.

Title: Fear
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Publication Details: LA: Bridge Publications, 1995
First Published: 1940
Pages: 206
Source: Open Library
Other books read of the same author: None

*

First Line: THE October sunlight was streaming across the hall at Wulfstane Manor, drawing tawny lights from the dark oak panelling and the worn floor, gleaming on brass and copper and pewter, enriching the golden beech leaves which stood in ancient earthenware pots.

Title: Rope's End, Rogue's End
Author: E.C.R Lorac
Publication Details: London: Collins, 1942 (The Crime Club)
First Published: 1942
Pages: n.pag.
Source: Black Mask Online
Other books read of the same author: Murder of a Martinet, Slippery Staircase

*

First Line: I had gone to my room early that night, thinking I might have a pleasant evening with a book.

Title: The Fourth Door
Original Title: La Quatrieme Porte



Original Language: French
Author: Paul Halter
Translator: John Pugmire
Publication Details: Locked Room International
First Published: 1987
Pages: 162
Source: Won in a challenge
Other books read of the same author: None


8 comments:

  1. Neer, the authors and books I discover every month are more than I'll ever read in this life.

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    1. Very true, Prashant.....long sigh.....

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  2. Neeru - I couldn't possibly agree more about how wonderful it is to discover new books and authors through blogs like yours. Thanks for these ideas!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Margot. Your blog too has added a mountain of books to my TBR (Wishlist). :)

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  3. Thanks for the mention Neeru - and I must now get that Halter book - thanks!

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    1. You are welcome Sergio. Do get that Halter book. It certainly is different and there is one detail that is completely chilling.

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  4. Very interesting recommendations. I do want to try a Paul Halter book sometime.

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    1. Thank you Tracy. Do try Halter. I quite liked this book and want to try more of him.

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