Posts Tagged ‘A Portia Adams Adventure’

Some of you are probably wondering when a certain novelist I hold in high regards will appear on this list. Don’t worry, he’s appearing today (and this is only one of two times he’ll appear during this challenge).

Anyway, welcome back to Day Four of the Ten Day Book Challenge. I wonder what my cousin Matthew, who nominated me for this, thinks of these blog posts. Anyway, let’s get onto the rules and talk about today’s featured book.

  • Thank whoever nominated you with big, bold print. If they have a blog, link to the post where you got tagged there. He doesn’t have a blog, as far as I’m aware, but thanks Matthew! I appreciate it!
  • Explain the rules.
  • Post the cover of a book that was influential on you or that you love dearly.
  • Explain why (because I don’t see the point of just posting a picture of a book cover without an explanation. That goes for Facebook as well as blogs).
  • Tag someone else to do the challenge, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Well, as I said, you all knew this guy would show up somewhere during this challenge. Truth be told, it was tough keeping it down to two books by this guy, and only two, but I did it. Not only that, but they’re two of his longest books, and two of his best (at least in my honest opinion). The first one, which also happens to be my first of his works and is probably the quintessential example of his ouvre: It by Stephen King.

Where do I start with this one? It was the perfect novel to introduce me to the work of Stephen King; to keep me up at night, afraid that a killer clown would come up to the sliding door of our rental home near the beach to get me; and the perfect book to get me addicted not just to reading horror, but to writing horror. In many ways, this book is just as much part of my writing journey as Harry Potter was. I still have the copy I bought all those years ago, and if I ever get to meet His Royal Scariness, I hope he’ll be kind enough to sign it and give me some words of encouragement.

From what I hear, he’s a pretty cool dude, so I’m hopeful. Not very, but I am. As I’ve said before, weirder stuff has happened in my life.

Today’s tag goes to my good friend Angela Misri of A Portia Adams Adventure. One of my oldest writing friends, and a great talent as well. I hope I get to see what books she’s going to post.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Today’s my only day at the office before I go on a trip for work, so let’s see what I can accomplish in this day. Until next time, pleasant nightmares!

"No Matter How Improbable" by Angela Misri

“No Matter How Improbable” by Angela Misri

I’m of the opinion that the third book in a series can be really hard to pull off, especially when the first two books were just that awesome. I’m glad to say that while the third book in the Portia Adams Adventure series by friend and fellow writer Angela Misri is a bit darker than the previous two books, it’s still a great read and I enjoyed reading it from start to finish.

So if you’re unfamiliar with the book series, it follows Portia Constance Adams, a young woman who finds out she’s the granddaughter of John Watson (as in Holmes and Watson), and moves into 221B Baker Street and begins solving mysteries in 1930s London. The third book starts with Portia now known to the great wide world as the new consulting detective at 221B, and, in addition to a bit of annoying notoriety, she’s dealing with some rather upsetting aspects of being human. Namely, you sometimes argue with, and sometimes you even lose some friends.

These themes of struggle with your friends and loss are present throughout the book, and they can be either a plus or a minus, depending on the reader. In my case, I think I’ll go with a plus. Seeing Portia’s struggles with her friends, which often are somehow wrapped up with the cases she’s taking on, makes for great character development, and makes you want to read more to see how she resolves these problems. You also feel a lot of what Portia’s feeling as you read on, which shows how good Angela is at making you feel what the character feels.

I also found the cases in the story very compelling. Again, I struggled trying to figure out who the culprit or culprits were in each case, and each time I was pleasantly surprised (I’m better at figuring out culprits on crime shows than I am in the books, it seems). My favorite was the mystery “Principessa”, which follows the actual Princess Francesca Maria of the Italian royal family. It was pretty cool, seeing an actual figure from history in a historical mystery novel.

If there were things I thought could’ve been improved upon, I did think that the final casebook was a little crowded. So much was going on in that book–a strange death, a couple of odd men following a friend of Portia’s, and a suspicious psychologist–that it’s hard to keep track of what is part of which case when. That, and in the beginning of the last chapter, there’s a scene where Portia shows some really deep emotion, but it’s only glanced over. I really would’ve enjoyed seeing more attention paid to that scene, as I think it would’ve been a very memorable scene if that had been the case.

Other than that, I really enjoyed No Matter How Improbable. It was a greatĀ read, andĀ I really can’t wait for the fourth book. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving it a 4.3 out of 5. Definitely check it out (and the first two books, too) if you have the chance.