I have always read mystery series and tried to stay current with favorite ones. I will admit that my 'favorites' have changed over time. Many of them just fell by the wayside when I added more and more to my list and I've meant to return to old favorites. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. I do stay current with Louise Penny's books and also Elly Griffiths' series featuring Ruth Galloway. And I have a few things to say about their newest.The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths. This is the 13th book in the series and I hope that series goes on and on. I love Ruth and all her friends and family. Over the course of time, this author has added character after character and this reader always longs to find out what been going on with Nelson and Cathbad and Judy and Cluff and Kate and, and...
The Night Hawks was one that I enjoyed quite a bit. Ruth has returned to Norfolk and her cottage. She has a new position at work and Kate is growing up. A body is found by a group of metal detectorists - The Night Hawks - along with some ancient artifacts. A curious legend about a 'black dog', more crimes, more secrets, more new characters. Changes are happening all around and Nelson is being encouraged by his boss to retire. Will he or won't he? I'll be happy to see the next entry into this series, hopefully next year.Louise Penny's series set in Three Pines, Quebec, Canada. If asked who is my favorite author of mysteries, I often say 'Louise Penny'. And I do love her way of telling a story and of bringing deep concepts to the reader while also relating a crime tale. Have I loved every book she's written? No. I do have my favorites and I find it interesting that other readers often prefer the books to stay in Three Pines or not to stay in Three Pines. They often love certain characters or don't love certain characters. I will say that this is a series I do feel is best read in order because lots and lots of things happen over time and while you probably can figure out the backstory, it's more fun to read all the details.
The Madness of Crowds is the 17th book in the series and I'm being honest here in saying that it is my least favorite of all the books. I didn't hate it, but....I also didn't love it or even like many aspects. It is quite dark and that's not necessarily unknown in her series. However, for me, the hope that is usually evident in various ways was not as clear to me. I'm going to refer you to some thoughts that Lesa from Lesa's Book Critiques published the other day here if you'd like read more. Lesa does not relate spoilers, but she does tell more about the story than I shall.
It's going to be interesting to see how authors deal with the pandemic and all the myriad of issues that the last couple of years have brought to the world. I know that some have said they will avoid it if they can and some will figure out how to include it. Part of the problem is that we are still in the midst of things, unfortunately. Louise does include many of the things that have been faced by the world and also speaks of other problems through her story. And this book is getting very high praise from most. For me, it was just a little too 'something'. Will I reread at a later time? Not sure. Will it provide lots of food for discussion? Absolutely. I know I haven't said really anything about the storyline itself. Suffice it to say that the issues here will challenge Armand Gamache and his team and his family like no others. And yes, Rosa the duck, and Ruth are included in the book. I think Rosa might be my favorite character in The Madness of Crowds. Ha!
If you're planning on reading this book, please know that this is my opinion only (of course). If you've not ever read a book by Louise Penny, I don't think this is where to begin. If you've read this, I'd love to know your thoughts. And now, on to the next book!
I'm definitely planning on reading The Madness of Crowds, since I've come so far with the series and want to continue, but I will temper my expectations a little bit!ReplyDelete
Angela, yes, you should definitely try The Madness of Crowds. I'm just very curious what others will think. ;-)Delete
I already wanted the latest in Three Pines, but I'm now more curious than ever!ReplyDelete
I'll watch for your reaction if you get to it, Jenclair. Keeping your whole state in our prayers. Sigh.Delete
I'm slowly reading in order. Next up is #6. I appreciate your thoughts (feelings) about this newest in the series.ReplyDelete
Mary, you have a while to go so no worries about it being 'too soon' to discuss the topics included perhaps. You've got some good reading ahead though.Delete
I have not kept up with either of these series, but I have enjoyed the books in both.ReplyDelete
I like the Louise Penny series best of the two, possibly because of the setting in Canada, and have read nine of those. I expect to catch up on that series in the next two or three years, although I don't mind being a couple of books behind. I am interested to see how she handles the pandemic based on both your review and Lesa's.
The Elly Griffiths series is more problematic for me. I enjoy each book more as I read the series, but wish that there was a bit less of the personal life in those books. I have just purchased the 5th book in that series, and don't know if I will ever catch up on that series.
Tracy, I do understand about the Ruth Galloway series. That author definitely includes a lot of personal life for Ruth and friends. That works well for some and not so much for others. As to the Penny book, probably life will be more settled by the time you get to this one and it will perhaps not strike you as it did me or not as much. ;-)Delete
I love the Elly Griffiths series, but I'm so far behind in it. I really need to try and catch up. And it's one of my bookish goals this year to start the Louise Penny series because so many people love these books. :)ReplyDelete
Lark, I do encourage you to read Louise Penny's books, but may I say that reading them in order really best. She has some very long arcs in her stories. Plus, why would you want to miss out. Ha!Delete
Well, I will still read The Madness of Crowds. It will be awhile, but will let you know what I think. Besides, if we skip book 17, can we read book 18?ReplyDelete
Good point. No one should skip this one, but I think it's not bad to be a bit prepared. Maybe life will be a bit different when you get to it. I hope so.Delete
I love both of these series, but I'm also behind in both of them! In Penny's case, I'm purposely reading them slowly. I read and enjoyed THE NATURE OF THE BEAST a few months ago. Now, I'm listening to A GREAT RECKONING, which I'm also enjoying. This is the first book in the series that I've listened to on audio. At first, I wasn't sure about the narrator, but now I'm really liking him. Too bad about THE MADNESS OF CROWDS. It's not uncommon, though, that there are books in even a beloved series that aren't as great as others. I don't think I've ever asked, what's your favorite Gamache book? I think mine is HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN.ReplyDelete
My favorite is probably HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN as well. I also like the one set in the monastery and the one set in Quebec City in winter. And, yes, I agree that every long-running series has books that speak to individual readers and then books that don't work as well. I still love series though.Delete
I haven't kept up with Elly Griffiths books, but will eventually get back to the series. I'm focusing on Deborah Crombie's books right now and am only on #7, so I have a ways to go. I am (surprisingly!) completely caught up on Louise Penny's books, with the exception of her brand new release, which I will read soon. I also want to return to Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler books. It's been ages since I've read those, so I'll start at the beginning. I'm glad you're still enjoying the Ruth Galloway storyline. I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't care for The Madness of Crowds. Thank you for not spoiling the story with any details. We'll see what I think and then compare notes. :) In other news, did you hear that the books have been optioned for a tv series? I have mixed feelings about that, but the folks (Left Bank Pictures) who produced The Crown might do a decent job. Alfred Molina is to play Gamache.ReplyDelete
Yes, I also have loved the Crombie books and the ones written by Susan Hill. I think I might be one behind on the Hill series. Will have to look. I'm caught up on Deborah Crombie's books. And I had heard about the new Three Pines series. Alfred Molina - interesting choice for Gamache. I seem to remember that he played Hercule Poirot in one of the Murder On The Orient Express adaptations. Jury will be out on him. Ha!Delete
Yesterday I would have said I'd never heard of Louise Penny, and now twice in one day I've read raves of her work. Perhaps I should see what I'm missing.ReplyDelete
This author and series are very, very popular among mystery readers. Louise has captured the interest of a bunch of crime novel readers over the years. I know you don't read mysteries much, Deb, so I'm unsure whether these would suit you are not. You could try them and see what you think.Delete
I've been keeping up to date with the Ruth Galloway books too but I need to read this one. Nelson retiring? I can't imagine it! Very interesting how authors will or won't bring in the pandemic into their books. On the one hand, I don't mind if we can erase this from our minds forever but have to be realistic.ReplyDelete
It's so hard to stay current! If the new ones are good then you gain great reading, but have less time with old friends.ReplyDelete