it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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I really *like* Barbara Hambly. I like the worlds she builds. I like her intelligent, generous, determined characters. I like her mystery plots concealed under a veil of fantasy--or, in the case of Benjamin January books, stories about interesting characters concealed under a veil of mystery.

I liked Wet Grave. But man, did it piss me off.

Why did it piss me off? Because Hambly cheated, dammit. There's a single huge, massive, completely unnecessary coincidence about a third of the way through the book which has no causal justification--it's just a convenient accident--and you don't get those in mystery novels, dammit. It exists to provide a reason for a likable minor character to get killed out of the story and to provide a nugget of information to Our Heroes, and it has absolutely no logical reason to have happened except auctorial laziness.

Dammit. GZZZZrrr! Grumble.

That said--other than this thing that annoyed the hell out of me--it's a solid effort with good characters, the usual lush writing, and a very clever mystery and satisfying resolution. But hanging an entire plot on a mis-placed shipping carton miraculously turning up right where our heroes could trip over it.... just tacky.

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