‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Posts Tagged ‘genre fiction

Death of a Cozy Author by G.M. Malliet

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Death of a Cozy Author by G.M. Malliet is is described as, “an affectionate send up of the traditional or “cozy” mystery genre. The author calls it an homage to the golden age of the classic British mystery”, or so the back of the book tells me. gmmalliet1

The book centers around an aging author, Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk who enjoys torturing his children by dangling his estate & fortune in a revolving door will that seems to change with his every whim. All of the children seem on the brink of benefiting from his death and yet Sir Adrian has upped the stakes of this game by announcing his engagement to Violet, a widow with a muddled and suspicious past.

I would love to tell more but it would ruin the story. Chief Inspector St. Just ( How I do love the pun that is his name) is called to the estate to sort out what is going on and to solve the various murder(s)? that occur.

I picked this out randomly in the mystery section a week and a half ago, intrigued primarily by the title and the book cover. I am pleased that I gave this book and this author a chance. The start of the book is a bit slow and action does not take place until half way through, (not to worry though, book clocks in at a modest 286 pages) and quickly picks up speed once Chief Inspector St. Just appears. That is the best part of the story, she makes you wait and wait and wait for the actual “solving” of the story to begin. By the time Inspector St. Just appears, a number of possible suspects have been presented to the reader and all of them more than capable of the crime(s) that have been committed. I will say this, she writes the most deplorable family relationship I’ve ever read, very entertaining.

It seems that Ms. G.M. Malliet has another book in this series that was just recently released Death and the Lit Chick. If you enjoy mysteries then this book is for you, and if you’ve been a long time fan of classic mystery genre, even more so as Malliet is clearly having fun taking apart the cliches and tropes that abound in stories of this type. Oh and if you’re one of those readers who insist on peer reviews to help tip the scale in your decision to purchase a book, this work has won several awards and nominations: here at her blog you can read a full list of reviews and commentary.

Dirda Asks:

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Michael Dirda asks the following on his blog this week:

This past weekend I attended Readercon, a science fiction and fantasy convention held annually in the Boston area. Over the long weekend of the con a recurrent theme gradually emerged: What is the relationship of genre literature to so-called mainstream literature? Have any of the Reading Roomers ever reflected on this relationship between genre and mainstream? What so-called genre books do you consider major works of art? –Dirda’s Reading Room

I have had many different discussions with a lot of people about what genre essentially boils down to. For me, it is a question of power and authority because those in power and authority place certain books in particular positions and this inevitably influences how we read certain works. The English Literary Canon and I use capital letters because there are certain works that people have attributed with this standardized Canon, is made up of largely upper-class white British men from Great Britain. One has only to go trolling through history to see the apparent incongruity with the numbers of women or people of color who are represented as apart of the Canon.  That has changed recently and scholarship from the past few decades have unearthed a surprising amount of information about the fact that there have been many authors that represent groups not present in the Canon.

For me, it has always been about power and agency/access. Think of the recent rise and popularity of graphic novels and comic books. The Canon is quite fickle as now one is likely to hear or read phrases like: “Greatest Graphic Novel of All Time” or “The Grandfather of Graphic Novels”, etc. This genre is still for the most part looked upon with some suspicion but still now there are entire courses in various Academic institutions whose sole purpose is to engage in this style of reading. Why is this happening, because culture and society has changed, and the value placed on this type of reading, this particular genre has been given a new opportunity, as I said, power and agency/access.

Written by thebeliever07

July 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm

All Time Greatest Fiction Sub-Genre

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Genre Fiction has a bad reputation. It is often looked down upon, considered sub-par. I’ve even heard it described in terms of “trash-fiction”. You know of what particular genres I speak: Harlequin Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, etc. And for the most part I have to disagree with these types of derogatory labels and commentary.

Time is the great equalizer and many of the “great works of Literature” that we now consider to be an essential part of the English Literary Canon, were at some point apart of these “trash-fiction” categories. Almost anything from the 19th C. was considered to be rubbish at some point; the whole concept of the Novel as a type of fiction that is to be read and tossed away was relegated to the more feminine mind as something childlike. (**take note of sarcasm).

Through my good friend Rob at the Fine Grind downtown, I have been exposed to the Greatest Fiction Sub-Genre of them all. This Sub-Genre is better than the notorious Nascar Harlequin, that is right, Harlequin Romance novels that center around Nascar drivers and their sexual exploits. This Sub-Genre puts all others to shame.


by Sandra Hill (Author)

Searching for his little boy, 11thcentury Viking Thorfinn lands in modern times, where he stumbles upon a dead wringer for his cheating ex-wife. Single mom Lydia Denton mourns the loss of her SEAL husband. Then she meets a man who resembles him. Despite Thorfinn’s strange accusations, Lydia finds it impossible to ignore the chemistry between them. And as she gets to know this handsome Viking, she can’t help but wonder whether two souls, separated by time, have found their way back together.

If you head on over to the Amazon link I’ve provided you’ll notice that in parenthesis is (Viking Time-Travel), that means that there are enough of this style of fiction to warrant devoting an entire Genre specifically for Vikings that TIME-TRAVEL!!!! I’ll let you think about that for a bit. I’ll also post a few more titles that can be found here.

  • Rough and Ready
  • Down and Dirty
  • The Very Virile Viking ** A personal favorite of mine.
  • Wet and Wild
  • & Etc.

I don’t know about you but I think I have most of my Christmas Shopping done right here. Many of you are just a few clicks away from enjoying (Viking Time-Travel) Genre Fiction.

Oh and as an added bonus I’m posting here one of the Comments & Reviews from Amazon for the book pictured above in all its glory: Viking Unchained by Sandra Hill. Enjoy folks.


4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and filled with humor, July 2, 2008
By Harriet KlausnerSee all my reviews

Navy SEAL Dave Denton dies while on a mission. His pregnant widow Linda is devastated when the mortuary officers visit her with the bad news. Soon after Dave’s combat related death, Linda gives birth to their son.

Thorfinn Haraldsson has been searching for his missing son for five years when he is attacked and knocked out. When he awakens he finds himself inside the belly of a flying bird with other people; some he knows. His twenty-first century kin cocoon him as they mentor him on how to fit in an alien technological world. When he ventures outside, a woman rushes up to him crying and hugging him. Confused he cannot stop kissing her until they go off to make love. He meets Linda’s five years old son who has his eyes, leaving him further bewildered, but in love.

Fast-paced and filled with humor, the latest eleventh century Viking- modern day American romance is a fun tale though in some ways it has a déjà vu feel to it; having a military widow and her son brings a freshness to the plot. With glossaries for SEAL and Viking vernacular to enhance the time travel tale, series fans will enjoy the romance between the widow who sees a second chance with her husband’s “doppelganger” and the clueless Viking, who seems like a fish out of water (no SEAL pun intended).

Harriet Klausner

Written by thebeliever07

December 6, 2008 at 10:15 am