I plucked this from the bargain pile at Barnes and Noble, on the rationale that I know very little about the Vikings and want to learn more. And also because I’ve been watching the History Channel’s Vikings and please, guys, someone tell me they are watching it too because it’s so great and I will be super sad if it doesn’t last longer than two seasons.
*WARNING: As this is a review for the third installment of a trilogy, spoilers for the first two books in the series should be expected. Also if you have not read any of the MaddAddam trilogy nothing in this review will make any sense to you, because I ain’t got time for context.*
There’s something that has always bothered me about the Bible’s version of the Adam and Eve story, and of the fall of Eve. It bothered me when I first read the story in Sunday school, it bothered me when my AP English class in high school studied Genesis, and it continues to bother me to this day: God tells Adam not to eat from the tree of life, because if he does he’ll die. Then the serpent comes to Eve and tells her that if she eats from the tree of life, her eyes will be opened. Adam and Eve eat the fruit, realize they’re naked, and God expels them from the garden. They don’t die from eating the fruit like God told them they would. So, what can we take from this?
For real, is there anything as fun as an old-fashioned murder mystery in an English country house? They’re like catnip to me, to the extent that I’ve seen Gosford Park at least six times and aren’t even close to getting sick of it.
Speaking of which, Georgette Heyer’s The Unfinished Clue is almost a carbon copy of that movie. We have a motley assortment of guests gathered together in a country home for the weekended (they include the host’s mistress, the man in love with the host’s wife, and the host’s son with his new fiancee), and the host is an insufferable dick to everyone, giving everyone a motive. It’s so similar to Gosford Park, in fact, that murder itself is almost exactly like the movie – the host, Sir Arthur Billington-Smith, is found stabbed to death in his study. Actually, the solution to the mystery is pretty similar to Gosford Park as well, and that’s all the detail I’ll go into without spoiling it.
*WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*
This is the first time I’ve ever accepted an offer for a free book from a new author – and the only reason I accepted Through the Door was because Jodi McIsaac offered to send me a physical ARC instead of an ebook. (I do not own an ereader, because I am eighty) Going into this review, I wondered if I should try to sugar-coat things, focus on the good aspects of the book rather than listing the bad ones, be nice. It seemed like a good course of action, especially because Jodi McIsaac reached out to me personally to read her book, and I feel some sort of obligation to be kind. But as I’ve said before, my reviewing philosophy is that, like Lester Bangs, you have to make your reputation on being honest, and unmerciful. Let’s begin.