Sunday, August 31, 2014


Case Histories, Kate Atkinson, Little Brown and Company, 2004, 310 pp

This was a reread. A house guest left paperbacks of all four Jackson Brody mysteries in my office when she departed last August because she could not fit them in her luggage. My husband was out of books to read and picked up Case Histories. He kept exclaiming about how good, funny, and well-written it was. (He had just finished Code Name Verity, described by a blurb on the back cover as "fiendishly plotted.") As he read Atkinson's book he could be heard muttering, "Fiendishly plotted."

So I reread it on a whim and because I did not remember liking it that much, I wanted to see what so impressed my husband. He is a rather picky reader. 

I liked it better this time. Having also read Life After Life, I now have a fixed idea that Atkinson specializes in intricate plots though "fiendish" is too much praise in my opinion.

I still lost track of who was who and had to look back to earlier chapters as I read. Luckily it was a paperback and not an eBook. I still didn't care that much by the end who committed which crimes. I still think Atkinson might be too clever by half. But I was entertained, if not quite as much as my husband. The author clearly entertains herself as she writes and that gives a certain something to the reading experience.

Husband read three of the series in a row and then burned out. I may read the next one someday but not right away. We tried having a mini-reading group discussion but decided what suits us better is to discuss as we go when one of us reads a book the other has read.
(Case Histories is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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