RogerBW's Blog

The Recycled Citizen, Charlotte MacLeod 20 October 2018

1988 cozy American detective fiction; seventh of MacLeod's novels of Boston Brahmin Sarah Kelling and art investigator Max Bittersohn. Sarah is pregnant, but doesn't let that slow her down much; one of the rubbish-collectors working for the Senior Citizens' Recycling Center, a family charitable project, has been fatally mugged, and it seems that there's more going on.

It's rather more cozy than detective, as recent MacLeod has tended to be: there are plenty of comical family Characters, many of them from earlier books, but they mostly go along in their established tracks rather than revealing anything new about themselves (something Nora Roberts has managed to pull off rather better in the …In Death series). At least both Sarah and Max have significant time on the page, and a fair bit of it even together, which is always where they've been most fun.

There's very little mystery since the good and bad people are clearly labelled (and with all the recurring family members there's not much room for new expendable characters anyway), but the process of working out what is going on rather than merely who must be responsible comes together well; some side tracks go on for rather longer than perhaps they should.

I think that if I were more kindly disposed towards the series I'd have enjoyed it more; it sometimes felt like MacLeod laughing at her own jokes. Definitely don't start here, since while there are basic introductions you won't have a feel for who people are or why they behave the way they do unless you've read the previous books. Followed by The Silver Ghost.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: The Plain Old Man | Series: Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn | Next in series: The Silver Ghost

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1