Book Sixteen: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, Alexander McCall Smith

I just can't seem to help myself. I didn't mean to come back to McCall Smith so soon, but I really wanted to go back into his little world of Isabel Dalhousie and Edinburgh and these low-stakes mysteries. This was enjoyable enough, but something--something that I just can't put my finger on--is lacking in these books. Maybe it's that the mysteries aren't quite mysteries. Really, the satisfying thing is the characters and the setting and the dialogue. I can picture these books as episodes of a television show, something akin to "Murder She Wrote," which, p.s., I totally loved way back when.

I swear, after this, I'm moving on to some more substantial books. Soon.

Book Fifteen: The Gun Seller

The Gun Seller, Hugh Laurie

Is there nothing that Hugh Laurie can't do? He acts, he's funny, he's serious, he plays the piano... and he writes novels, too! Chris has had this book lying around forever, and about once a year or so he mentions how great it is, so after reading a Scottish mystery it seemed like a good time to read a British spy novel. Though, this one is meant to a be a sort of spoof. And it is unbelievably funny... though by the end it seemed to take itself more seriously than it started out doing, and I wondered how much of a spoof it really was. Then again, are spy novels ever really that serious to begin with?

I hear that Hugh Laurie has written the screenplay for this, and as I read the book I could totally picture the movie in my head, with Hugh Laurie starring as Thomas Lang, the hero, of course. I suspect that he, too, pictured himself as the star, what with the motorcycle riding and dry wit and all that. Whoever stars, I look forward to seeing the movie, if it's ever made. The terrorist stuff might be a bit too much nowadays, but I think it might ok if done right.