Francis BlueDevil

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Francis BlueDevil

Francis BlueDevil’s book reviews

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Heroes rise and fall, honor and deceit co-mingle and the plot twists and turns. Two mothers, two sons, one father, one murder, combine into one good mystery.
12/31/2011
A diamond is stolen in India. It has religious significance. It comes with a curse.

Later, back in England. A dying villainous old man leaves a diamond to his niece to spite an unloving sister.

Then, in a house containing; this lovely but iron-willed niece, her two suitors, a forlorn woman with a criminal past, her aunt, numerous servants and a doctor ...the diamond is stolen.

Outside, three mysterious Indians lurk, silently.

Then, the story unwinds, twisting and writhing like a venomous snake while the silent, shadowy Indians continue to loiter about.

Who did it and why? Can't tell ...it's a mystery.
12/31/2011
Above average but typical British mystery yarn with many suspects and a plot with many twists and turns.

If you like Christie and Sayers you should like Wallace as well.
06/29/2010
The tale of Eustacia and the heath

I am not sure why Hardy chose this title, because this story seemed to be about a conflict between an unchanging heath and it's habitants and the always changing Eustacia and her will, rather than the story the title would suggest.

The heath is the part of England where Eustacia Vye lives; and like the moors in Wuthering Heights, its presence is always felt: cool, damp and foreboding.

Eustacia is not from the heath, she's young, coquettish a bit of a conniver and some may even feel she's a bit of a witch.

So how does a willful, enigmatic young woman deal with an old, unchanging, unfeeling and unsympathetic countryside?

Tragically, I'm afraid.

Wonderfully written, a bit like Wuthering Heights, a bit like Jude the Obscure.



06/19/2010
If you are looking for some serious sleuthing or a cerebral mystery, this probably is not for you. If however, on the other hand, you like things nostalgic and carefree, and a bit of fun, then by all means ....read on.

Jolly good fun, this one
06/19/2010
If you like things black and white, if you like sparse language, if you like fast paced action, don't read this book.

If on the other hand, you can deal with many shades of gray, you can deal with multiple levels of complexity and you are OK with not quite knowing where the exact boundary lies between good and evil, then this book may be for you.

A young lady wants to wed, but her boy friend doesn't have the financial means to win the approval of her Aunt. Enter a bright young American girl, visiting London and they become friends. The American girl, has money but no family and she may be terminally ill? The young lady's boy friend is encouraged to spend time with the charming young American girl, by his future bride.

You can see the potential difficulties, can't you?

Well Mr James takes his time about it, but ever so slowly we are tangled into their web, leaving us eventually with an interesting exercise in moral judgment.

For me it was overly slow and plodding at times but it was also rich in language and thought, so worthwhile.

But, you be the judge, ...as Mr. James intended.

06/13/2010
Francis Augustus Tibbetts is an ass and if you don't believe me, ask him, he will be the first to tell you so.

But how so? Well he's a bit pompous, a bit of a bungler, sort of presumptuous and kind of a self flatterer. However, he's always lucky and well looked after so he always getting the long end of the stick, so to speak.

This is a collection of stories about his adventures along an African river and it's a good way to spend a lazy afternoon, or a cold evening by a fire.

Recreational reading at it's best, a little adventure, a little humor, a little nostalgia, not a lot of drama but a good deal of fun.

06/13/2010
Dickens condensed.

This is not my favorite Dickens novel. I prefer those great baggy panted monsters often abhorred by others. I think Dickens is best when he weaves and weaves and weaves his tales. On the other hand, this is a Dickens novel and he is never disappointing, except, maybe in the light of his other works.

Favorite character? Check out Mr. Bounderby, a blustering, hypocritical, whining, deceitful, self aggrandizing, no account Captain of Industry.

Or, in the modern world, something akin to a Senator from South Carolina.

06/10/2010
Strangers in a strange land

The Author

In the 1920s Joseph Hergesheimer was considered to be one of the most important American writers of his time. He liked to write about wealthy people using a detailed descriptive writing style. However, his style fell out of favor during the next decade as America’s taste moved to tough guys and terse clipped dialog. Java Head was Hergesheimer’s most acclaimed novel.

The Story

People in New England don’t talk much. When they do, they keep it simple; they limit their talk to observations and evaluations and they avoid feelings. Cause, feelings are sensitive, and feelings can be hurt, and it’s not a proper thing to do in New England. So, they try to dance around each other, but since they don’t understand each other’s feelings, they don’t know each other’s boundaries, so, they dance clumsily, because they are all pointy elbows and knobby knees and they knock and they bump and their feet tangle and they fall down and their feelings get hurt.

So, this Sea Captain and his new wife, who he brings home from China, and this woman he used to like and this other guy who likes China and who likes opium and who whishes the Captain’s wife would like him… Well, they don’t talk, so they dance, clumsily, so they collide, and so, somebody dies.

And, if you who want to find out, who? dont worry, it’s a good read.
06/23/2009
George Amberson Minafer is a small town aristocrat. He comes from a prominent well respected family in a growing mid-west city and he is very proud of his family. In fact, he is very fond of telling everybody just how proud he is, and his mother loves him very much.

He is a man of conviction, who never questions his judgment, because he’s right, because he is an Amberson. He knows a man is measured by who he is and not by what he does. He knows architecture and he knows cars can’t replace horses. He knows his town will always admire and respect its great traditions, and he knows what’s best for his mom.

Only, he’s really always wrong, and he never listens to anyone, and he is always clinging to the past, and he never accepts blame, even if it kills his mom, who he loves very much.

Great story about a guy named George…kind of ironic too
06/12/2009
Tom Lowe - Mystery-Thriller Inspired by Butterflies
FEATURED AUTHOR - Tom Lowe is a mystery-thriller author who currently writes three series. The Sean O'Brien series features Florida as a backdrop. After his wife dies of ovarian cancer, O'Brien tries to put the pieces of his life back together. His powers of observation, both in human nature and crime scenes, attracts wounded people in his direction. But his past often intersects with the present leaving a future that that's beyond his choosing. As our Author of the Day, Lowe tells us all about the latest Sean O… Read more