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Pretty As a Picture by Elizabeth Little
What’s funny about murder? In Elizabeth Little’s hands, just about every other paragraph. She has crafted the fastest, wittiest, page-turniest locked-room mystery precisely when I needed it most. Marissa Dahl is a film editor burdened by crazy-like-a- fox personality issues, not unlike those of Sherlock Holmes. With two corpses, one old and one new, a couple of Nancy Drew-ish junior sleuths, and enough cinephile references
to pack a Hollywood Who’s Who, this heartwarming mystery made me happy. So pace yourself and do not surrender to a binge. Quarantine is a lot more fun when you’re smiling.
Circe by Madeline Miller
To those of you who have waited an extra year for the paperback edition I say: rejoice. Your Penelope-like patience has paid off. Circe, the goddess who lured Odysseus to her island is crooking her come-hither finger in your direction. Don’t even try to resist. Aside from porcine consequences should he refuse, Odysseus is simply a man in the crosshairs of a woman who wants him. We all know how the story ends, and yet Miller has created a fresh and suspenseful tale. And no, you do not have to be a student of ancient Greece and Rome to relish the excellent storytelling. Miller gives just enough context that you may even “remember” the answers to that classics test you crammed for. Another pace-yourself pick-me-up. So good. Lucky us.