The Daily Bongo

November 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 -- Afternoon

Cover of Trouble in the Brasses by Alisa Craig
Trouble in the Brasses by Alisa Craig
I think that I have reached the saturation point with the Madoc and Janet Rhys mysteries. I just finished the fourth in the series, Trouble in the Brasses, written by Alisa Craig (aka Charlotte MacLeod). This one was really confusing for me, and definitely not my favorite. Madoc was called in to investigate trouble in the brass section of the orchestra that his father, Sir Emrys, was conducting. The book started with Madoc arriving at the concert. One of the guys in the brass section, Wilhelm Ochs, became ill and wound up dead right after the concert. Then a select few of the orchestra, singers, Sir Emrys, Lady Rhys, and Madoc go onto their next destination by private plane. Unfortunately the plane has an emergency landing in a secluded area. The story trundled on about the characters on the plane, how they were lost, how Janet must be thinking they are all dead, etc. Another murder, and plane-loads of news crews, but no rescue later, Madoc finally figured everything out just in time to hand off the murder to the local police.

As you might be able to tell from my description, I became disgusted with the book shortly into it, and it was quite a chore to get through the book. I found that it was taking forever to get through the book, which was surprising considering how short the book was (190 pages). The first thing that got to me was the even though Madoc was called in by his parents because of trouble in the brasses (hence the title), they seemed to be clueless that there was actually trouble. The characters all seemed rather two dimensional to me, and Janet Rhys only made an off-stage appearance at the end. That means that a message from Janet is relayed from Madoc to his parents. There's only one more book in the series, but I just can't bring myself to even be interested in wanting to read it. I think that if I continue with any other books written by Charlotte MacLeod, I'll try another series. The Madoc and Janet Rhys series is as weak as skim milk. Okay, but not really filling.

Monday, November 12, 2012 -- Afternoon

4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
I have a long review of one of my favorite Marples, 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie. I loved the book and the many movie interpretations.

A Dismal Thing to Do by Alisa Craig

Sunday, November 4, 2012 -- Afternoon

A Dismal Thing to Do by Alisa Craig
I've been slowly working my way through the few Alisa Craig books for Madoc Rhys and his new wife, Janet (nee Wadman). The third book in the series was A Dismal Thing to Do. In this one started out with Janet in danger. She was going to check out an old wooden washstand, and found herself stranded behind a crashed truck. Things got worse when Janet found herself trapped in a crashed barn, and later found out that the guy who crashed the barn claimed to have killed her. Fortunately, Janet's car was stolen, and found by the RMPC. Madoc tracked down the directions Janet was following to the washstand and found Janet, relatively unscathed. Janet recognized the accent of the miscreants, AND she recognized the same accent in the mysterious Mr. X who was investigating the incident. It seemed that both the investigator and the perpetrator came from the same family, who just happened to live near Janet's old homestead. Janet and Madoc go to stay with Janet's brother, Bert, and his wife, Annabelle, to investigate, and with the help of the local residents, Madoc solved the the crime.

As with the other two in the series, A Dismal Thing to Do was a short book. There were several characters in the story, and at times, I found myself trying to write down who was who and how they were connected. I enjoyed the story, and I'll probably continue with the last two in the series. I have found that I feel a connection to Madoc and Janet, and I wonder what will happen next.