Friday, November 07, 2014

The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth

So this begins quite a bit more slowly than The Astonishing Adventures of Jane Smith, which I loved. There is a lot of setting up and backstory. I think it could have been condensed, but I can feel Wentworth conscientiously trying to not confuse the slower readers. ;-)  And she's trying to work in a romance, and that takes a bit of time too.

It's a fascinating premise, and I'm tempted to lift it for some kind of a period mash-up -- a young woman inherits the entire estate of a distant relative -- including his thriving blackmail practice complete with villainous partner.

LOVE this cover.


cali_ponds said...

Shhh. Don't reveal your plot sources. There's nothing like a little mystery to enhance an author's appeal. ;-)

TBWTPT: The Body In the Barrel/McMillan and Wife

THYS: The Devil You Say/McMillan and Wife

Kitsune, huh? I think you need red hair to complete the foxie look. Peter would be pleased. :-)

cali_ponds said...

I'm doing a drive-by comment today since my anxiety is out of control and I need some kind of distraction to keep from climbing the walls (chronic health issues). I know you're scrambling to write the Xmas short right now, but I thought you might enjoy an old Inspector Morse I happened to watch yesterday if you haven't seen it; Netflix added more seasons a few months ago. I love both the Inspector Morse and Lewis series.

This one's from season 5 (episode 3: Who Killed Harry Field) and involves art forgery. Nice character sketch of the deceased Harry--his drinking, bad boy behavior, artistic struggles and key relationships with his wife, father, etc.--plus good art stuff. At the end Morse quotes Albrecht Durer: 'Beware, all thieves of other people's labors and talent, laying your audacious hands upon our work.' We have a print of Durer's 'Hare' over our fireplace, so this one gets a thumbs up from me. There's also a passing nod to WWII Nazi art plunder, so you could rationalize watching it for research. :0)

How is the Monument Men project coming, btw? Did you ever see 'Painted Lady' with Helen Mirren? You could justify that one as research, too. It's got stolen Italian art involving WWII, a gay sub-plot, family secrets, revenge and murder. It's pretty gritty by my standards, but I liked the premise.

Good luck racking up the word count for the wip.