Catching Up

A good thing about Kindle is being able to carry around a dozen books at once. The problem, if that's the right word, is that the likes of me is likely to read half a dozen of those books at once. Current case in point, I'm now reading: Sacred Causes, Heroes, Great Tales From English History, and the Journals of Sylvia Plath; having just finished When Gods Die by C. S. Harris. It's great to be able to change books as my mood takes me and three of these books do lend themselves to enjoying a chapter at a time.

It makes it harder to finish any one of them, though.

When Gods Die is the second book in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. I broke my rule in reading this book so soon after the first. I think that a good series should be read at a leisurely pace, not one immediately after the other. For one thing, a good series is too rare a thing and should be savoured to make up for the crap that I read in search of a good book. For another, read too close together a series can begin to reveal it's machinery a bit too nakedly. A few years ago I read three later Martha Grimes Inspector Jury mysteries one after the other and dear God were they painful as a result. What is charming in small doses - like the eccentrics of Long Piddleton - becomes downright loathsome in large helpings. (Also, Grimes is trying too hard to make her books about Something More. She needs to knock that off. Immediately.)

Fortunately, Harris avoids most of the usual traps and the only noticeable machinery is Sebastian's lineage (I hope she doesn't go for the obvious) and Hero's future importance. Nothing to make me run screaming in the other direction. The mystery was a good one and I continue to be amazed at Harris' ability to write an action scene that is both coherent and exciting without ever resorting to the use of exclamation points. There should be an Edgar Award just for the avoidance of exclamation points. The running joke about Sebastian ruining his clothing was fun, too. I can see where Harris might be taking the larger story but I'm hoping that she'll continue to tell an oft told story with new twists.

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