(for a recap of the point of the 2015 book challenge look here – it’s in the year 2015, not 2,015 books)
This book was recommended as part of a discussion of “who to read when you’ve read ALL of Christopher Brookmyre”. From a point of view of someone looking for crime books, in the real word, in approximately current time, with good characters (ideally some interesting female characters).
Note that I said interesting female characters, not “strong female characters”. Strong is far too one-dimensional. I want female characters to have as much opportunity as male characters (and also any characters who may not explicitly/entirely identify as male or female) to be strong or weak, good or bad, clever or stupid, flawed and biased and nepotisitic and any other attribute that may or may not be a real word.
In looking for a link to give you in case you don’t know who Christopher Brookmyre is, it turned out that I have NOT read everything he’s written. I nearly abandoned this blog post (and my book challenge) and just went straight off to read them. If you are new, either start with Quite Ugly One Morning (the very first, and the first with Parlabane, the Scottish journalist/crimefighter/sceptic), or with A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away (featuring the inimicable Angelique De Xavier, police officer and Mogwai/merlot fan).
Anyway, this book – Freeze My Margarita by Lauren Henderson (part of the Sam Jones series apparently)
It opens in a kinky club of some kind, which is not surprising given the person who recommended it to me. This turns out not to be relevant to the plot in any way (knkiness does not equal likelihood of murdering – who would have guessed?), it’s just a bit of recreation and get-to-know-your-main-character, a sculptor who ends up involved in a theatre production where there’s some murdering going on.
The theatre production is rather Jilly Cooper in its scandals and machinations, and even the murder fits quite well if you think of Score! rather than Riders (yes the exclamation mark is a part of the title). The main character here could quite easily find herself amongst some horsey folk in her next book, and if she does I say “bring it on”.
Technically this book was “in the current time” when it was written, and the majority of the actual plot stands the test of time very well. Some aspects, however, such as the run-down-ness of Kings Cross or the outfits lovingly described, end up with the same problem as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo when the exact make and model of her laptop is specified. The laptop might convey “top of the range” at the time of writing, and the outfits might convey a specific subculture or level of “cool”, but from the perspective of 2015 you’ve got what TV Tropes call an Unintentional Period Piece.
When I’m done with the challenge and allowed (silly word, I am obviously allowed to read whatever I like) to read non-challenge books again, I would definitely like to get to know Sam Jones better. And not just because I like women with unisex names.