RogerBW's Blog

Vane Pursuit, Charlotte MacLeod 24 April 2019

1989 mystery; seventh of MacLeod's novels of Professor Peter Shandy. After the town's soap factory burns to the ground, it seems likely that the arson was cover for the theft of an antique weather vane.

Well, it says "mystery" on the cover, but MacLeod seems to have gone out of her way to avoid anything of the sort: it is made absolutely clear just who the villains are the instant they appear, and the only slight element of detection is in working out the details of their scheme. There's comedy, and action, but nothing on which to exercise the deductive powers.

So Peter Shandy goes off to visit a friend who has another of the vanes, and finds himself fleeing from ruffians and helped by a woman who's living elegantly rough on the land that she might eventually inherit; and his wife Helen goes to visit a different friend, and finds herself dumped overboard from a whale-watching boat as it's stolen by more of the ungodly. It's quite fun, but all that's in the first half of the book, and the second half slows down rather as the two meet again, share information, and finish off the case.

Still, and the reason other than stubbornness that I'm carrying on with my plan to read all of MacLeod, the writing is always competent, and characters are usually amusing even if too readily divided into Good and Bad. This is slight and comedic "mystery" which won't I think captivate anyone, but nor does it leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Followed by An Owl Too Many.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: The Corpse in Oozak's Pond | Series: Professor Peter Shandy | Next in series: An Owl Too Many

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.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 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