RIP X


Publication year: 1942
Format: Audio
Running time: 7 CDs
Publisher of the Finnish translation: WSOY
Narrator: Lars Swedberg
Publication year of the Finnish translation: 1972
Translator: Eva Siikarla

Jerry Burton is an injured RAF pilot. His doctor suggests to him that he and his sister Joanna should go to a peaceful country village to recover. They go to Lymstock but quite soon they notice that the village isn’t quite as tranquil as they expected: someone is writing anonymous and very malicious letters. People throw the letters away and pretend that they’re all nonsense but some start to say “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Jerry comes aware of the letters when he and his sister receive a letter which accuses them of being lovers and not siblings.

Then a woman apparently kills herself over one letter and the police gets involved. Also, Jerry and Joanna start to help Meghan who is 20-year-old woman but whom everyone treats like a school girl or even ignore her completely. Meghan’s mother divorced her father when Meghan was just a little girl but Meghan’s mother has remarried and seems to devote all her time to her husband and young sons.

This is written in Jerry’s first person POV. Ms. Marple doesn’t appear until after the half-way point and is very much in the background until the very end. The book focuses on the people of Lymstock who just love to gossip. The village has a collection of people you’d expect to find in a small English village, such as the doctor and his spinster sister, the vicar and his wife etc.

This is a quick and entertaining read. I didn’t figure out who did it.

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A stand-alone murder mystery/time travel story. It was part of Storybundle’s Time travel bundle.

Publication year: 2013
Format: ebook
Page count: 322
Publisher: WMG Publishing

Snipers is a murder mystery which also has time travel elements but the SF part never dominates. The past is Vienna 1913 and the present is Vienna 2005.

1913 has three storylines: one is an assassin who goes around killing certain people to prevent them from doing stuff, one is William who has a nuke with him and he trails his victim Stavros Papadopoulos, and the third is Johann Runge, a detective ahead of his time with regards to police procedure. The modern story follows Sofie Branstadter, a historian and a famous non-fiction writer who wants to write her next book about the Carnival sniper, and Anton Runge, Johann’s great-grandchild.

The assassin is determined to kill some people in order to change the future (his past). However, Johann Runge is hot on his trail. Runge even writes a non-fiction book about the assassin whom everyone calls the Carnival sniper. His book is hugely successful but because Runge didn’t catch the killer, he’s widely thought of now as an unsuccessful cop even though he solved a lot of other cases. Sofie’s parents were killed by an unknown murderer when she was just a little girl, so she’s fascinated by the Carnival sniper who is also world’s first serial killer. She wants to get new evidence and starts by exhuming the killer’s first victim, Viktor Adler. The Austrian courts agreed to Sofie’s request to dig up Adler’s body and see what can be learned from him. To her surprise her team finds strange kinds of bullets which seem to be top secret in 2005.

I’m a fan of Rusch’s SF and mystery stories so it’s not surprising that I enjoyed this book a lot. Sofie has her own problems and reasons for writing about the Carnival sniper and Runge is a meticulous detective. The assassin and William also have they own motivations so they aren’t just faceless lunatics. The story has quite a few surprises so I don’t want to tell too much about it.

It’s the first of September and time to enjoy R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge. This time, it’s hosted by Ani and Heather at the Estella Society.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

As Carl does each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have too many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.

R.I.P. X officially runs from September 1st through October 31st.

I’ll participate in

Peril the First: Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.

TBR:
Some Sherlock Holmes. It’s been far too long since I’ve read the originals.
Fiction River: Fantastic Detectives. I’ve really enjoyed the previous short story collections in this series and detectives in fantasy setting should be perfect for this challenge.
Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise books.
I have a lot of fantasy books in my TBR and they often have mystery elements, too.

Read:
1, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Snipers (mystery)
2, Agatha Christie: The Moving Finger (mystery)
3, Kristine Kathryn Rush ed.: Fiction River: Fantastic Detectives (short story collection, crime, supernatural)
4, Seanan McGuire: A Rose-Red Chain (supernatural)
5, Kristine Kathryn Rusch ed.: Fiction River: Past Crimes (short story, crime)
6, Peter O’Donnell: Saber-Tooth (thriller)
7, Peter O’Donnell: I, Lucifer (thriller)
8, Tarquin Hall: The Case of the Man who Died Laughing (mystery)

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