Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Linkups: In the Balance














It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice.

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
Do you think a book's title is important?

My Answer: 
Somewhat.  A good title will make me pull a book of the shelf or look for the summary.  A bad title won't prevent me from reading a book though.

I've been a fan of the classic British mysteries for as long as I can remember.  I spent several years in college combing used book stores to complete my collection of Agatha Christies and Ngaio Marshes.  But one of my favorites is one I don't think is appreciated enough - Patricia Wentworth.  While not quite as prolific as Agatha she comes pretty close and her primary detective is absolutely fantastic.  Maude Silver is a former governess with the ability to get people to talk and an unerring instinct for human nature.  But since all her books haven't been republished I haven't been able to get my hands on all her books.  When I first got my Kindle I found one that I hadn't read - In the Balance - on sale and couldn't resist buying it.  That was a couple of years ago and it's still sitting on my Kindle gathering digital dust.  I decided with this month's TBR Challenge hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer it'd be the perfect time to pick this one up.

The Beginning:
"Miss Maud Silver looked along the crowded platform and felt thankful that she herself was in a through carriage.  She was very comfortable settled in her corner, with her back to the engine to avoid smuts and the magazine presented by her niece laid face downwards on the seat beside her."

My thoughts: 
Really I'm must glad to be seeing Maude Silver again!  This sin't the most compelling of beginnings and I don't really know what a through carriage is but it does give you a little peek into her personality - very orderly and tidy.

My 56 from around 25%
"There was another of those sharply taken breaths.  It may have represented a last attempt to curb a driven temper.  If it was that, it failed.  Alicia said with furious distinctness, "She can't make a job of anything, can she?"

My thoughts:
I'm not anywhere close to this point so I have no idea what's going on but Alicia doesn't sound like a particularly nice person!

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  Any favorite comfort read authors?


50 comments:

  1. The author is new to me so I am glad you wrote about her. Going to check her out on Open Library.

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    1. I love her books and do wish she was better known! If you like mysteries giver her a try.

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  2. I do love a mystery series with a detective that intrigues me. The quirky ones, or the ones with special gifts, like being able to get people to talk...I haven't read this series, but now I must check it out!

    Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “THE DENIM BLUE SEA”

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    1. I love Maude! She's no nonsense but also kind. Definitely worth checking out if you're ever in a mystery mood.

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  3. Doesn't sound like this book is for me, but thanks for sharing. Yes, a title is very important. It's usually the cover that gets me first, then the title.
    sherry @ fundinmentalFriday Memes

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    1. Not all books are for everyone so I totally understand! I'm definitely more of a cover fan too!

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  4. I haven't heard of this author, but if enough of us us go looking or her books, maybe someone will do a reprint, like Sourcebooks did with Georgette Heyer's mysteries. Maybe i can get an ebook through my library. Here's my post. http://ebogie.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-burning-wire-book-beginnings-page-56.html

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    1. That's be fantastic! Then maybe I can find a few of those I'm missing! I have a few of the Heyer mysteries but haven't read then yet.

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  5. Everything visual pulls you first. The cover, the title. That being said, I have read books with both bad covers and titles, ;-) Click on my name for my Beginning and 56.

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    1. If it's an author I know or if I've seen enough reviews the title and cover don't really matter. If I'm wandering shelves I need either a good title or a pretty cover or I probably won't pick it up.

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  6. Ooh I hadn't heard of Patricia Wentworth yet, but I really like the sound of both the BB and the F56! Book titles are quite important to me. If they don't grab my attention or do so in the wrong way I probably won't read the book! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have an amazing weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. I love Wentworth. She's delightfully old fashioned in the very best of ways!

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  7. Thanks for introducing me to this author. Sounds like a fascinating series that I'd enjoy.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. She's great if you're ever in the mood for a mystery. There's even a touch of romance in a few of them.

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  8. I love British mysteries but not heard of this author so I am going to look her up. :)

    Stormi
    Friday Memes

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    1. Oh give her a try! I think you'd enjoy her though her first isn't the best. Any of the others are great though!

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  9. I agree about the title. I need to be grabbed by it and the cover too!

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  10. Oh how I love mystery thrillers set in an early Victorian setting, I always find the mannerisms and etiquette to be ones I greatly long for in our modern day. I've actually heard of Wentworth, only because I have a friend who is a huge enthusiast of classic thrillers; I hope it lives up to your expectations :D

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    1. I think you'd enjoy Maude Silver. She's so very proper!

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  11. Let me tell ya, Alicia's are rarely nice (myself being the exception). Of course, I'm kidding. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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    1. LOL this Alicia didn't sound nice at all!

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  12. Oh yes. A good title will definitely get me curious. I've picked up a few just because of title. Bad ones don't really turn me off the read but aren't too inspiring. Same goes for the ones that are titles on like 50 books.

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    1. I've picked up a few due to a good title or a pretty cover. It's bitten me a few times but I've also found some of my favorite books!

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  13. I haven't heard of this author before but the snippets have me curious.

    A title is usually the first thing to catch my attention so if it doesn't grab the cover had better catch my eye or I'll skip right over the book.

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    1. She's fun. Very old fashioned and yet kind of scarily efficient! A good title can definitely hook me but a bad one won't necessarily keep me from reading

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  14. I'm adding this one to my TBR list. I've been reading classic British mysteries by authors I've missed in between other reads. I've got my first Marsh and Woodhouse books in the queue right now.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. I haven't read Woodhouse yet but I like Marsh. She can be a little inconsistent but when she's good she's fantastic!

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  15. I would like to be in the carriage, participating in a conversation with a former governess. Sounds interesting and I think perhaps I would want to learn more about Maude Silver. Very nice post!

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    1. I think Miss Silver would give you some interesting conversation!

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  16. Same with book titles! :) I've never heard of Patricia Wentworth to be honest. But the synopsis sounds interesting. :)

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    1. She's not particularly well known even with mystery readers. I love her books though!

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  17. This sounds interesting. I hope you enjoy it!
    Have a great weekend!
    Amanda

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to curling up with this one!

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  18. A good title can get my attention, just as a good cover can - but unless I also like the blurb and the reviews, I'm not likely to read the book. I've put Patricia Wentworth on my "someday" list, since you like her so much and I do love British classic mysteries. My comfort reads in the mystery department: Sayers, Laurie R. King, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Catherine Aird, and some Dick Francis and a few by Josephine Tey. Oh, and Nancy Atherton (mostly the early ones.)

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    1. Other than Dick Francis and Nancy Atherton our comfort reads are very similar. I really want to try Atherton. When you're ready to give Wentworth a try let me know. I'll send some recommendations your way.

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  19. I believe a through carriage is the passenger compartment with seats and windows, some folks didn't or couldn't afford the comfort of those cars.

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    1. Ah that makes sense. I think train terms were so common at the time that no explanation was needed but now it's basically unknown.

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  20. Alicia doesn't sound like a person I would want to be around.. lol
    Happy weekend!

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    1. No she definitely doesn't sound very nice!

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  21. I'm underwhelmed. I recommend a mystery series I just started reading by C. J. Sansom, whose sleuth is a hunchback lawyer in the time of Cromwell and Henry VIII. I also highly recommend the Longmire series by Craig Johnson and the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box, both set in Wyoming.

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    1. It isn't her strongest opening but she's not really a wild ride kind of author. I'll have to check out your mentions. I'm definitely intrigued by the two set in Wyoming.

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  22. Patricia Wentworth! I read a few of her books back when I was in my early twenties (I was like you back then, wanting to lay my hands on every Christie I could get). I haven't read her since. I really must remedy that!

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  23. Hi Katherine,

    It looks as though this is one of those books which was given two different titles, depending on which side of the Atlantic you were buying. 'In The Balance' was also known as 'Danger Point', so publishers were even making life difficult for us readers back in 1941!

    I use a site called Fantastic Fiction, to look up books and authors, as you can get to see the books in chronological order and with all the cover art in display in one place. Patricia Wentworth's page is definitely something of a 'mish mash', with a really random array of cover art, which isn't particularly pleasing to the eye..

    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/patricia-wentworth/

    Your cover is much better and from time to time I do enjoy a trip down memory lane, when English was both spoken and written correctly and precisely and books were so much more descriptive.

    A nice find and thanks for sharing :)

    Yvonne

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  24. Covers pull me in from the first and then the title gets scrutinized. :)

    I like covers and titles that tell about the book.

    Nice answer.

    I hope you are having a good day.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

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  25. I liked the point you made about not being discouraged by reading a book with a bad title. When you think about it, it is no different than judging a book by its cover.

    I will have to look out for Patricia Wentworth. She is a new author to me and your short description has me intrigued.

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  26. Historical fiction mystery series seem to be catching on! This sounds amazing!

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  27. I quite often wonder what a books title is referring to and it's nice to know when you find that meaning in the book it all seems to make sense if you know what I mean.
    Have a great week!

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  28. I love a good catchy book title, but, like you, a bad one won't necessarily turn me away from a book. I don't think I have ever read anything by Patricia Wentworth before. The one you feature here does sound good.

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