Thursday, January 01, 2009

Auld Reekie

Now,before I get flamed let me just explain that I have nothing against the fine city of Edinburgh in itself. I love Edinburgh. It's a beautiful city and one where I've spent some really good times.

But there seems to be something about books set in Edinburgh that just get on my wick. I had a look down my list of books read last year and the most disappointing ones were set in Edinburgh.

So the Annual Fiat Punto Award for the Book Hurled onto the Backseat with the Most Venom goes to - Blood Lines by Grace Monroe (who is two people, so I'm getting my money's worth). Weak and inplausible plots, unlikeable characters and a setting (Edinburgh's legal community) that I really couldn't give a stuff about.

The I Can't Believe I Paid Good Money for This award goes to - Doors Open by Ian Rankin. It probably wasn't all that bad really, but it wasn't what I had been expecting and I was disappointed by the characters and resolution. Could do better. (And I hope he does!)

The Friends of the Earth Save More Trees Award goes to anything by Grace Monroe. Please Avon, do not inflict any more of this tosh on the bookbuying public.

Worst Book of the Year though goes to a little known category of book, one I only just discovered. The knitting mystery. In particular this goes to Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. It's a cozy of the worst sort - and it was so badly written that it was horribly compelling - I had to keep reading just to see if it could possibly get any worse. And trust me, it could. Now I'm not a fan of cozies anyway, though I know a lot of people are, so I didn't really think it would be my cup of tea, but surely even a little knitting mystery should be better written than this. I also spotted on the shelves in US bookstores mysteries about crochet, quilting, beading, scrapbooking - you name it, it has a little sub-genre all of it's own. Now I think I get the appeal of reading about a craft that you love but why does that standard have to be so bad. Can't they find some better writers who knit? Tragic.

Next post is about what I'm looking forward to in 2009. You can bet your life it's not a book set in Edinburgh. Or a knitting mystery. Or a knitting mystery set in Edinburgh.

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