When Gods Die by C. S. Harris

I’ve identified two elements about this series that prevent me from embracing it fully (or even partially!).

Number One: no humor. Loren Estleman’s Amos Walker series, one of my favorites, gives me at least one big laugh per book. Chandler and Hammett have sly, subtle humor. Donald Westlake is hysterical. Heck, Shakespeare is famous for his comic relief. Mystery writers should understand the value of humor.

Number Two: too much personal information. Again, I cite Chandler and Hammett. I just saw the film A Most Wanted Man, based on John Le Carré’s novel. The only direct view we have of Bachmann’s personal life lasts about two minutes. The information we have about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character is presented indirectly. Of course, Hoffman was a first class actor, but authors and screenwriters should follow maxims of “less is more” and “show, don’t tell”. We don’t need a lot of backstory about our protagonists.

As to this book – Marginally more interesting than the first. Regency politics is not a familiar topic for me; Jane Austen doesn’t really get into it. However, a few days after I finished the book, I can’t remember who the murderer was.

And I never did know who the gods were.


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