From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Black, Benjamin: The Silver Swan

  Amazon  

4 stars

The Silver Swan begins two years after the events of Christine Falls, the first novel in Benjamin Black's series featuring Dublin pathologist Garret Quirke. This time out Quirke becomes involved in the case of an apparent death by drowning when an old school acquaintance--the husband of the dead woman, Deirdre Hunt--asks him not to perform a postmortem. It's an odd request, and Quirke is a curious man, though much less eager to become embroiled in controversy than he was two years earlier. Against his better judgment he begins sniffing around, though his investigation, if it can be called that, is desultory. He asks a few questions. He worries and thinks. In the end he doesn't really solve anything: it's an odd sort of mystery. The story is told from multiple points of view--Quirke's, his daughter's, the dead woman's, her lover's. It is through these other perspectives rather than from any of Quirke's digging that the reader discovers what actually happened to Deirdre Hunt.

I enjoyed The Silver Swan, but as I said, it's not your average mystery and won't appeal to all tastes. It's less about plot than it is about Quirke's character and his relationships, mostly troubled, and the dismal milieu in which he serves out his life. It's very nicely written. I would love to see it translated to the small screen as one of the series in PBS's stable of Mystery! mysteries.

What I don't get about this book, though, is why Quirke should be so thrown by Deirdre's death, which you would think would be par for the course for a man in his profession. Nor do I understand why he elected not to share his suspicions with the police. So I suppose I'm struggling with the foundation on which the story is built, while having enjoyed the story itself. 

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In