Anyone who can tell a pretty hilarious Shakespeare joke is okay in my book. And this book is full of really hilarious Shakespeare jokes. Poor Desdemona. Oh, man. L, as they say, OL. And the slapstick. Oh, the slapstick! She gets it just right in that dry, British way, where you feel like she’s describing something really elegant, but actually it’s almost grotesque. This book was wonderful. I totally love it. I would give it five stars, except my undying devotion for Gaudy Night is making it impossible for me to do that. It’s completely unfair because this book is so perfect on its own. But . . . there is still Gaudy Night, which makes me tear up from how much I love it. So, the star system is cheating Caudwell in this instance. (Edited: I had to go back and give them all five stars after finishing the last one because they are all so wonderful.)
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m not, as a rule, a fan of mysteries. I don’t have a sense of suspense, so when suspense drags on for too long, I just get bored and stop caring. Mostly, though, it bothers me when I feel like you the author actually had nothing to say, but just picked out some random things, had the sleuth notice them, and then brought those things around in the end to be randomly the solution. I don’t know why I’m reading that because they could be any facts. Like, the lipstick-stained cigarette, or the broken nail, or the powder on the lapel, or what. ever
. It seems like machine-generated stories, where the author really has nothing to tell me. This book is the opposite of that. In this book, when the mystery wraps up in the end, the solution is the meaning
of the story. It is why to read the book. I mean, the rest of the antics are great, but the solution is the purpose. I like that.
Oh, and the art law! Yay! The art law! It is just lovely. Art law is so fun. Most of art law has to do with inheritance and cultural artifacts, like it does in this book, and I think it is such an interesting topic. Don’t worry, this book is mostly about cute boys and the silly antics of crime-solving lawyers and funny Shakespeare jokes, but the art law is super
interesting and absolutely correct, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I read this over spring break, lying by a pool in Palm Springs, and it was just perfect. There was a cute baby there, doing cute baby things, and good friends, good food, good book. So perfect. This is a wonderful beach read. It’s put-down-able, but also pick-back-up-again-able. I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I didn’t feel like if I put it down, I would be unable to hear the words of my friends trying to talk to me. Sometimes, with a beach read, I don’t like to have something too engrossing because then if I start reading outside, I get sunburned because I forget I’m outside. Or, if I’m inside, I never see the light of day. Those books have their three-in-the-morning moments, but they are a commitment. They’re like a friend who I really need a play-break from after a little while. Too much energy. This is like a perfectly lovely, reliable friend, who I hope to be more like someday. I have passed to another friend the copy that Elizabeth passed on to me, but I’m pretty positive I will read this book again someday, if only to remember all the funny Shakespeare stuff.