Friday, September 30, 2022

Dalgliesh

Of the classic detectives that have emerged in recent years P.D. James is responsible for creating two of them, Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray. Considering we've now had three shows spawned just from the character of Inspector Morse it's interesting to note that for most people Roy Marsden is the one and only Dalgliesh, despite the attempt in the early 2000s to get Martin Shaw to take on the mantel. From 1983 to 1998 Marsden was Dalgliesh. Which makes creating a new Dalgliesh an interesting task. It's been fifteen years since Dalgliesh was seen in any form on screen so it feels like the right time to bring him back. And if there was ever a time to remind people that Nazis are bad, it's now. At first I didn't know how I'd feel about this adaptation. Unlike Morse who is forever entwined with John Thaw, I don't think that the public as a whole, despite the two decades of work, felt as connected to Roy Marsden. Plus, as we've seen with the plethora of new Sherlock Holmes adaptations, people are willing to accept that Jeremy Brett isn't the only actor capable of playing the role. Though I did enjoy a new poll that said he was obviously the best. So we welcome Bertie Carvel to the screen as our new Dalgliesh in three two part adaptations from Acorn TV of the forth, fifth, and seventh books. Most people know Bertie Carvel from the juggernaut that was Doctor Foster, or from his Tony winning role as Miss Trunchbull, I of course know him as Jonathan Strange. So there was no doubt in my mind he had the credentials to play the part, but would I like him in the part? That took three episodes for me to decide. "Shroud for a Nightingale" and his investigation of the nurses was a little too typical police procedural, it was "The Black Tower" that let us see behind the facade of stalwart police officer to the man, the poet, beneath. To feel his grief and to see what makes him tick. That is when I connected with him. I want to applaud whomever chose these three Dalgliesh stories to adapt because you go on such a journey and really get to know him. First as the cop, second as the man, and finally as a cop whom you just can't help but admire for his humanity. With only six episodes I feel like I really know the character, and that is something some shows can't do in twenty-two episodes. But I'm greedy. I want more. In fact, I want all fourteen books adapted. Can I talk to someone who can make this happen?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Stay Close

Who would have thought when Harlan Coben signed his five year multi-million dollar Netflix deal in 2018 it would bring about this interesting subgenre of transplanting his American stories onto British soil with beautiful house and cars you doubt any of the characters can actually afford and Richard Armitage always on hand. I for one am glad this came about. They are immanently bingeable and tie everything up so nice and neat at the end with a large helping of loss that they are perfectly suited to the times we find ourselves in. Not to mention the casting, oh dear lord, it's like someone stole a peak at my list of favorite actors and brought them all together for one project. Or that Richard Armitage is actually getting to show what a great actor he is. I feel so bad for some of the productions he's ended up in, yes, I'm looking at you Hobbit franchise! The miniseries follows Cassie, a stripper, who left that life behind seventeen years previously and is now about to get married to the father of her three children when she makes one little mistake and her past life bleeds into the present with a trail of bodies, often at the hands of a young couple who are musical theater buffs and whose "thing" is choreographed killing. It's riveting and absurd all at the same time. And while I was able to guess the real serial killer due to that old system of means, motive, opportunity, and casting, leaning heavily on the casting, the reveal is so magnificently acted that figuring out who the killer is in advance doesn't diminish the reveal. But what made me really love this production was Eddie Izzard. I have been a fan of Eddie since I first saw Dressed to Kill when it aired on HBO in the summer 1999, right after the David Bowie VH1 Legends episode aired that Eddie just happened to narrate. The following year was the first time I saw her on stage. I have seen Eddie on stage almost more times than I can count, and the most recent time in 2017 I actually got to meet her. Eddie as the drug addict lawyer Harry Sutton who helps anyone down on their luck was the linchpin of this series. Troubled yet wanting to do better, wanting to help. The dinner Harry has at Cassie's house with her family, for a moment it shows what Cassie's life could be with the past and the present as one. But more than that, I am very glad that someone on the production is obviously an Eddie Izzard fan and added a little something special to the set design. I mean, they HAD to name that pet shop Harry runs his law practice out of Hannibal's Animals after Eddie's bit about strapping two elephants to your feet and skying down the alps right? I mean, there's the other possibility that it's named after the TV series she and Richard Armitage both played killers on... But I like to think it's about the elephants.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Tuesday Tomorrow

Terry Pratchett by Rob Wilkins
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"'People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around.'

Terry Pratchett, creator of the phenomenally bestselling Discworld series, knight of the realm, and holder of more honorary doctorates than he knew what to do with, was known and loved around the world for his wildly popular books, his brilliant satirical humor, and for the humanity of his campaign work. But that's only part of the picture.

At the time of his death in 2015, he was working on his finest story yet - his own. The story of a boy who was told by his headteacher aged six that he would never amount to anything, and spent the rest of his life proving him wrong. Who walked out on his A levels to become a journalist, encountering some very dead bodies and the idea for his first novel before he reached twenty. Who celebrated his knighthood by smelting himself a sword, and who, on being awarded the prestigious Carnegie Medal, switched it during the prizegiving for a chocolate replica and proceeded to eat it in front of an audience of horrified librarians.

Tragically, Terry ran out of time to complete the memoir he so desperately wanted to write. But now, in the only authorized biography of one of our best known and best loved writers, his manager and friend Rob Wilkins picks up where Terry left off, and with the help of friends, family, and Terry's own unpublished work, tells the full story of an extraordinary life."

Back in 2011 when I was lucky enough to attend the North American Discworld Convention Terry and Rob read some selections from Terry biography. And when Terry died four years later I thought that that was a book I would never get to read. Thankfully I was wrong. Here's to Rob!

Murder at the Serpentine Bridge by Andrea Penrose
Published by: Kensington
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"USA Today bestselling author Andrea Penrose's atmospheric mystery series sends newlywed sleuths, Lady Charlotte and the Earl of Wrexford, beyond the glittering ballrooms and salons of Regency London and through a web of international intrigue to save loved ones from harm...

Charlotte, now the Countess of Wrexford, would like nothing more than a summer of peace and quiet with her new husband and their unconventional family and friends. Still, some social obligations must be honored, especially with the grand Peace Celebrations unfolding throughout London to honor victory over Napoleon.

But when Wrexford and their two young wards, Raven and Hawk, discover a body floating in Hyde Park's famous lake, that newfound peace looks to be at risk. The late Jeremiah Willis was the engineering genius behind a new design for a top-secret weapon, and the prototype is missing from the Royal Armory’s laboratory. Wrexford is tasked with retrieving it before it falls into the wrong hands. But there are unsettling complications to the case - including a family connection.

Soon, old secrets are tangling with new betrayals, and as Charlotte and Wrexford spin through a web of international intrigue and sumptuous parties, they must race against time to save their loved ones from harm - and keep the weapon from igniting a new war..."

I spent the summer reading Andrea Penrose's Regency set Lady Arianna mysteries and am bereft I have no more to read at the moment. Thankfully she's written more than one Regency set series! And Basil's in both of them!

A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder by Victoria Hamilton
Published by: Beyond the Page Publishing
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 268 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Scandal and slayings among Regency London's elite... Refusing to stand by while the wealthy men of London prey on their powerless scullery maids and other young women, Miss Emmeline St. Germaine has made it her mission to rescue the victims and threaten the men at dagger-point to cease their depravities. But mere hours after she pays just such a visit to a prominent knight, he's found murdered and all of London is aghast. Did the man-or woman-who murdered the knight know of her visit? Facing scandal and the ruination of her family, Emmeline must solve the crime before she and her work are exposed. But there are powerful forces at work to silence her-or worse, lead her to the hangman's noose for a crime she did not commit..."

Because who doesn't like a lady dealing out some back alley justice?

The Butcher by Laura Kat Young
Published by: Titan Books
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A suspenseful small-town horror novel of oppression, heartbreak and buried anguish - Shirley Jackson meets Never Let Me Go with the wild west setting of Westworld.

When Lady Mae turns 18, she'll inherit her mother's job as the Butcher: dismembering Settlement Five's guilty residents as payment for their petty crimes. An index finger taken for spreading salacious gossip, a foot for blasphemy, no one is exempt from punishment.

But one day Winona refuses to butcher a six-year-old boy. So their leaders, known as the Deputies, come to Lady Mae's house, and, right there in the living room, murder her mother for refusing her duties.

Within twenty-four hours, now alone in the world, Lady Mae begins her new job. But a chance meeting years later puts her face to face with the Deputy that murdered her mother. Now Lady Mae must choose: will she flee, and start another life in the desolate mountains, forever running? Or will she seek vengeance for her mother's death even if it kills her?

A devastating, alarming page-turner infused with melancholy, humanity - and society's maddening acceptance in the face of horror."

I totally am maddened by society's acceptance of horrors, which is why this book calls to me. Along with the fact that Shirley Jackson AND Westworld were namechecked.

The Empress by Gigi Griffis
Published by: Zando
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Coming soon to Netflix, The Empress is a captivating, vivid and remarkably modern tale about falling in love and finding one's voice. The year is 1853, and Princess Elisabeth "Sisi" of Bavaria has been very clear: She will wait for the head-over-heels love the poets speak of, or she will have no love at all. Just because her older sister, Helene, is eagerly heeding their mother's advice and preparing to marry Emperor Franz of Austria does not mean Sisi must also subject herself to such a dutiful existence. Sisi knows there is more to life than luncheons and corsets - if only someone would let her experience it all firsthand. Meanwhile, in Austria, the emperor is recovering from an assassination attempt that left him wounded and scared. In a bid to keep the peace, Franz has recommitted himself to his imperial duties - and promised to romance the pliant Helene of Bavaria at his upcoming birthday celebration. How better to unite the empire than with the announcement of a new empress? But when Sisi and Franz meet unexpectedly in the palace gardens, away from the prying eyes and relentless critique of the court, their connection cannot be denied. And as their illicit conversations turn into something more, they must soon choose between the expectations of their families and standing up for what they truly believe in..."

I have always been intrigued by Sisi, and now to have a Netflix show? Hold me back!

The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore
Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 348 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A sleight of hand. A trick up the sleeve. A call for the dead. It's all part of the game in this twisty tale by the bestselling author of After Alice Fell.

New Hampshire, 1877. Maud Price was once a celebrated child medium, a true believer in lifting the veil between the living and the dead. Now penniless, her guiding spirits gone, the so-called "Maid of Light" is desperate to regain her reputation - but doing so means putting her faith in deceiving others.

Clementine Watkins, known in spiritualist circles for her bag of tricks and utmost discretion, creates the sort of theatrics that can fill Maud's parlor again, and with each misdirection, Maud's fame is restored. But her guilt is a heavy burden. And the ruse has become a risk. Others are plotting to expose the fraud, and Clem can't allow anyone - even Maud - to jeopardize the fortune the hoax has made her.

When the deception hints at a possible murder, Maud realizes how dangerous a game she's playing. But to return to the light from which she's strayed, she must first survive the darkness created by Clem's smoke and mirrors."

I am ALL ABOUT MEDIUMS! Fake, real, mediums are my jam!

A Haunted Histor of Invisible Women by Leanna Renee Hieber and Andrea James
Published by: Citadel
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"From the notorious Lizzie Borden to the innumerable, haunted rooms of Sarah Winchester's mysterious mansion, this offbeat, insightful, first-ever book of its kind explores the history behind America's female ghosts, the stereotypes, myths, and paranormal tales that swirl around them, what their stories reveal about us - and why they haunt us...

Sorrowful widows, vengeful jezebels, innocent maidens, wronged lovers, former slaves, even the occasional axe-murderess - America's female ghosts differ widely in background, class, and circumstance. Yet one thing unites them: their ability to instill fascination and fear, long after their deaths. Here are the full stories behind some of the best-known among them, as well as the lesser-known - though no less powerful.

Tales whispered in darkness often divulge more about the teller than the subject. America's most famous female ghosts, from from 'Mrs. Spencer' who haunted Joan Rivers' New York apartment to Bridget Bishop, the first person executed during the Salem witchcraft trials, mirror each era's fears and prejudices. Yet through urban legends and campfire stories, even ghosts like the nameless hard-working women lost in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - achieve a measure of power and agency in death, in ways unavailable to them as living women.

Riveting for skeptics and believers alike, with humor, curiosity, and expertise, A Haunted History of Invisible Women offers a unique lens on the significant role these ghostly legends play both within the spook-seeking corners of our minds and in the consciousness of a nation."

I love how women's history is being reclaimed everywhere, even in the supernatural.

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The #1 national bestselling, award-winning author of Life after Life transports us to a restless London in the wake of the Great War - a city fizzing with money, glamour, and corruption - in this spellbinding tale of seduction and betrayal.

1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.

The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven, whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie's empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho's gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.

With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson gives us a window in a vanished world. Slyly funny, brilliantly observant, and ingeniously plotted, Shrines of Gaiety showcases the myriad talents that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time."

1920s London is everything to me.

6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten
Published by: One More Chapter
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Kindle, 378 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"One House
Eight Killers
No Witnesses

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.

At 3AM one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.

Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed...

Don't miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series."

Locked room wherein everyone literally could have done it.

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"From New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young comes a deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.

Emery Blackwood's life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family's business, Blackwood's Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics and Tea Leaf Readings. But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.

August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother's ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed - Emery. But the town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily's mysterious death once and for all."

Murder and magic? Oh yes please!

One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Published by: Orbit
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"For fans of Uprooted and For the Wolf comes a dark, lushly Gothic fantasy about a maiden who must unleash the monster within to save her kingdom - but the monster in her head isn't the only threat lurking.

Elspeth needs a monster. The monster might be her.

Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom she calls home - she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure the kingdom of the dark magic infecting it. Except the highwayman just so happens to be the King's own nephew, Captain of the Destriers...and guilty of high treason.

He and Elspeth have until Solstice to gather twelve Providence Cards - the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly, darkly, taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him."

You know, dark Gothic fantasy might be my most favorite genre, especially because it covers such a range of subgenres.

Forestfall by Lyndall Clipston
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"At the lake's edge, I made my promise. In the forest, I will fall.

The curse that haunted Lakesedge Estate has been broken, but at great cost. Violeta Graceling has sacrificed herself to end the Corruption.

To escape death, Leta makes a desperate bargain with the Lord Under, one that sees her living at his side in the land of the dead. And though he claims to have given her all he promised, Leta knows this world of souls and mists hides many secrets.

When she discovers she is still bound to Rowan, Leta goes to drastic lengths to reforge their connection. But her search for answers, and a path back home, will see her drawn into even more dangerous bargains, and struggling to resist the allure of a new, dark, power in Forestfall by Lyndall Clipstone."

Buy this book in spite of the horrid cover.

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik
Published by: Del Rey
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate.

The one thing you never talk about while you're in the Scholomance is what you'll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it's all we dream about: the hideously slim chance we'll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls.

And now the impossible dream has come true. I'm out, we're all out - and I didn't even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother's prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn't kill enclavers, I saved them. Me and Orion and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: We saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves everywhere.

Ha, only joking! Actually, it's gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war. And the first thing I've got to do now, having miraculously gotten out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in."

While I love big long epic series it's also nice when they're contained and you can, you know, read them to to end instead sitting stewing about a book that will never be released...

Big Bad by Lily Anderson
Published by: Hyperion Avenue
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Suicide Squad in this adult dark, rompy novel in which the most beloved villains from Buffy must team up to stop the Slayer from ending their evil universe!

Demondale, Callifornia, 1999...Like Sunnydale, but whole lot more evil.

Step into this alternate reality, where chaos reigns supreme. The Mayor's sun-shade has created permanent darkness over Sunnydale, fully opening the Hellmouth once and for all. Now the newly christened Demondale has become a safe haven for vampires, beasts, and all types of ruffians. It's never been better to be bad.

Aspiring supervillains (and super nerds) Jonathan and Andrew attempt to hold their own in a town full of monsters, while eleven-hundred-year-old vengeance demon Anya is just looking for something to give her life purpose again, spending her days working at an evil juice bar. But soon word gets out that there's a new Big Bad on the scene, one more powerful and more destructive than anyone who has come before. She, of course, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And she's hell-bent on rooting out all of this reality's evil by any means necessary.

Now Jonathan, Andrew, and Anya must recruit a team of Demondale's most notorious villains - including Angelus, Spike, Drusilla, and even Ripper the malevolent magic shop owner - in order to save their world. But it'll be no easy feat to put their pride and differences aside and stop the worst thing that has ever come to town: good.

Written by acclaimed author and Buffy super fan Lily Anderson, this novel brings together Buffy's most devious and beloved villains from the Trio to the Whirlwind to Anya, Glory, and Vampire Willow. This is one apocalypse Buffy fans are not going to want to miss!"

You say Trio, but do I see any mention of Warren in the blurb? Do I!?!

Simply Vegan Baking by Freya Cox
Published by: Harper Design
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 176 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"From The Great British Baking Show contestant Freya Cox, an inviting introduction to vegan baking, filled with dozens of showstopping recipes for scrumptious treats.

Going vegan doesn't mean having to give up the wonderful baked goods you love. You can create traditional favorites - delicious breads, cakes, pastries, desserts, and more - without using eggs, butter, cream, and other animal products. Simply Vegan Baking is your invitation to the diverse world of vegan baking and Freya Cox - the youngest and first ever vegan contestant to appear on the Netflix hit The Great British Baking Show - is your guide. Recipe by recipe, she shows just how easy and tasty it is to adapt to vegan baking. Here are 70 recipes for both longtime favorites and classics with a twist that will please the most demanding sweet-tooth, including:

Raspberry Jam Swiss Roll
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Blueberry Muffins
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
Cinnamon Rolls
Stollen
Peanut Butter Millionaires’ Shortbread
Banoffee Pie Slices
Chocolate Orange Tart
Lemon Meringue Pie
Iced Sugar Cookies
Fruit Scones

In addition, she provides wonderful desserts for parties and get-togethers that are sure to impress, including Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Tiramisu. And there are fantastic fillings and icings like Lemon Curd, American and Swiss Meringue Buttercreams, and various fruit jams. All use ingredients found in local supermarkets, and come with full-color food and instruction shots, step-by-step directions, and tips for perfect vegan bakes.

Whether it's a treat for afterschool or a coffee break or a celebratory dessert for a special occasion, Simply Vegan Baking allows you to fulfill your sweet cravings - and feel good with every delicious bite."

If you didn't fall for Freya last season on GBBO you have no heart!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Moon Knight

Now while I am a big comic book fan I'm not really into the MCU. There are characters I like and characters I could do without. And I'm here with open arms for the X-Men. Just be nothing like the movies that have come before. Though Hugh Jackman is welcome back anytime. And I have a shocking confession, I have never watched nor plan to watch Avengers: Endgame. Which is problematic on many levels because that movie is so important to the building of Marvel's multiverse and the roll out of whatever phase we are now in. We're in Phase Four right? Right? So the truth of the matter is that the more entwined the universe is becoming the less likely I am to engage with it. The only movie I am actually looking forward to is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3... Kind of. I have Chris Pratt issues, as we all should. But there is one show I COULD NOT miss, and that was Moon Knight. Why? Well, Egypt and Oscar Isaac! I adore all things to do with Egyptian mythology and I adore Oscar Isaac, so this show was a no-brainer. I had to watch it. But here was the most amazing and welcome discovery when I started watching it, it stands alone. You don't need to be versed in the MCU lore, you don't need any other experience with anything Marvel. It stands completely on it's own and is marvelous. Everything you need to know about the world is given to you in a way that fully explains it without it feeling too much like exposition or like it's talking down to you. In fact, my father who sometimes has a hard time following the more fantastical shows I watch understood and loved this show. The world is wonderfully complete and is believable. Egyptian Gods have avatars who act on their behalf and Oscar Isaac and his three personalities act on behalf of Khonshu. That's it. Throw in another human who wants to be the avatar for a rather problematic God and you have the conflict for the series. But the real conflict is two of Oscar Isaac's personalities. The main personality, Marc Spector, developed another identity to protect himself from childhood abuse at the hand of his mother. The Steven Grant personality is Oscar at his most dorky, a lovely British mama's boy who is very much Oscar channeling some serious Bruce Campbell awkward Ash Williams energy. As one review said, the chemistry between Oscar Isaac and Oscar Isaac is amazing. If he doesn't win an Emmy for this he was robbed. And are we in an Ethan Hawke Renaissance? Because his role as Harrow was again perfection. I literally can't think of another actor who could have had the presence to match Oscar, but Ethan does it perfectly. In fact, this is a near perfect series, even the music. Oh, I hope we get more, but if this is all, it was done so so right.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Theodosia

There are only a handful of book series that have forever become a part of my DNA. The Theodosia Throckmorton books by R.L. LaFevers is one of them. I never in a million years thought that this would be adapted into a show. It seemed just too niche. A girl who can see Egyptian curses and fights the forces of darkness from a museum where she sleeps in a sarcophagus in a closet? Well jump forward to 2020 and Enola Holmes making a big splash on Netflix and everyone going, what else is similar!?! Well, age Theo up a bit, add in her own Baker Street Irregulars, and you might, just might, have a hit on your hands. Now this isn't a faithful adaptation, but it is a fun adaptation. You can't help smiling as you watch the show and while I love the books and the show for what they are to me as an adult, if they had both existed when I was younger, I would have been the biggest fangirl they would have ever seen! And I can't help but think the creators of the show are about my age and felt the same way. Why you ask? Because this show has a very nineties Nickelodeon vibe. The opening credits alone give off a nineties video game vibe which is carried through with the music. Theodosia could have been made in the late nineties or early two thousands, if they had better special effects. It's like they took Sabrina the Teenage Witch and threw in some period costumes from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and it made me want to switch up my wardrobe and wear lots more sweaters. Theo's bedroom gave me Clarissa Explains It All room envy all over again. In other words, I think Eloise Little might just be the new Melissa Joan Hart! And the exploration angle means it can't help but be compared to the recent production of Around the World in 80 Days. And this show comes off way better. They use practical effects when able and don't talk down to you. Literally the production is top notch. I feel like I'm just listing things that it's like, but what Theodosia is is a whole bunch of nostalgic shows mashed together into something new and fun. But for the book nerd in me it's the little details that I loved. Theo putting on gloves to touch cursed artifacts, her use of carnelian to help protect against curses, her actually sleeping in a sarcophagus. All these little details that just add to the world of the show and made this fangirl of the books so happy. Because it felt like the creators of the show got it. They knew what was important and they new how to adapt it and I just hope I get more episodes or that this will spark enough excitement about the original series like what happened with Enola Holmes so that we finally get a fifth book.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A new mystery is afoot in the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series from million-copy bestselling author Richard Osman.

It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal.

Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case - their favorite kind - leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.

Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill or be killed. Suddenly the cold case has become red hot.

While Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim chase down the clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?

From an upmarket spa to a prison cell complete with espresso machine to a luxury penthouse high in the sky, this third adventure of the Thursday Murder Club is full of the cleverness, intrigue, and irresistible charm that readers have come to expect from Richard Osman's bestselling series."

You've all got the note that September is now Thursday Murder Club release month right?

Mother Daughter Traitor Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
Published by: Bantam
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A mother and daughter find the courage to go undercover after stumbling upon a Nazi cell in Los Angeles during the early days of World War II - a tantalizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope series.

June 1940. France has fallen to the Nazis, and Britain may be next - but to many Americans, the war is something happening "over there." Veronica Grace has just graduated from college; she and her mother, Violet, are looking for a fresh start in sunny Los Angeles. After a blunder cost her a prestigious career opportunity in New York, Veronica is relieved to take a typing job in L.A. - only to realize that she's working for one of the area's most vicious propagandists.

Overnight, Veronica is exposed to the dark underbelly of her new home, where German Nazis are recruiting Americans for their devastating campaign. After the FBI dismisses the Graces' concerns, Veronica and Violet decide to call on an old friend, who introduces them to L.A.'s anti-Nazi spymaster.

At once, the women go undercover to gather enough information about the California Reich to take to the authorities. But as the news of Pearl Harbor ripples through the United States, and President Roosevelt declares war, the Grace women realize that the plots they're investigating are far more sinister than they feared - and even a single misstep could cost them everything.

Inspired by the real mother-daughter spy duo who foiled Nazi plots in Los Angeles during WWII, Mother Daughter Traitor Spy is a powerful portrait of family, duty, and deception that raises timeless questions about America - and what it means to have courage in the face of terror."

I'm am more than a little intrigued by what that Nazis were up to in L.A. because history just doesn't talk about it that much and yet it happened.

Death Among the Diamonds by Fliss Chester
Published by: Bookouture
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 196 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Everyone in 1920s London knows the Honourable Cressida Fawcett: fiercely independent (though never apart from her little pug Ruby), lover of martinis and interior designer extraordinaire. She's solved many crimes of fashion...so how about murder?

Cressida Fawcett is heading to the English countryside for a weekend of cocktails and partying at her friend's glamorous mansion, the location of a recent diamond heist. But just hours after her arrival, Cressida is woken by an almighty scream. Rushing to the landing, she looks down into the great hall to find a trembling maid standing next to the body of Harry, the friendly young chandelier cleaner.

Everyone believes Harry's death was an accident. But as Cressida examines the opulent hall and the beautiful grounds, she thinks something darker is afoot. Why clean a chandelier in the early hours of the morning? And who overheard Harry boasting about coming into unexpected wealth? A small piece of torn silk found near the body has Cressida looking at the guests' elegant clothes with fresh eyes...

The short-tempered detective insists that she keeps her curious nose out of the investigation, but it's Cressida who realises the stolen diamonds were hidden in the sparkling chandelier. Convinced there is a connection between the theft and the murder, the case takes a sinister turn when a guest is killed in his sleep after a brandy-fueled night of cards. With everyone unable to leave, can Cressida's sharp eye for detail catch the killer before another life is taken?

An absolutely gripping and utterly charming 1920s murder mystery packed with wit, glamour and intrigue. The perfect whodunnit for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Downton Abbey."

Because I can never have enough 1920s British mysteries. NEVER!

The Girl in the Castle by James Patterson and Emily Raymond
Published by: jimmy patterson
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Beloved #1 bestselling author James Patterson delivers a thrilling novel about a teen caught between two worlds and the truths that could set her free - or trap her forever.

My name is Hannah Dory and I need you to believe me.

NOW: Hannah Doe is brought to Belman Psych, kicking and screaming, told she is suffering from hallucinations and delusions.

1347: Hannah Dory and her village are starving to death in a brutal winter. Hannah seeks out food and salvation in the baron's castle. If she is caught stealing, she will surely hang.

NOW: Hannah knows the truth: she is Hannah Doe and Hannah Dory, and she must return to the past before it's too late to save her sister. Can Jordan, the Abnormal-Psych student who seems to truly care, be the one to finally help her?

Jordan isn't sure what to believe, and Hannah has even bigger problems: if she doesn't make it back, her sister will die, but if she keeps going back, she might never escape."

James Patterson doing the timeslip!

O Caledonia by Elspeth Barker
Published by: Scribner
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 208 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"In the tradition of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a darkly humorous modern classic of Scottish literature about a doomed adolescent growing up in the mid-19th century - featuring a new introduction by Maggie O'Farrell, award-winning author of Hamnet.

Janet lies murdered beneath the castle stairs, attired in her mother's black lace wedding dress, lamented only by her pet jackdaw...

​Author Elspeth Barker masterfully evokes the harsh climate of Scotland in this atmospheric Gothic tale that has been compared to the works of the Brontës, Edgar Allan Poe, and Edward Gorey. Immersed in a world of isolation and loneliness, Barker's ill-fated young heroine Janet turns to literature, nature, and her Aunt Lila, who offers brief flashes of respite in an otherwise foreboding life. People, birds, and beasts move through the background in a tale that is as rich and atmospheric as it is witty and mordant. The family's motto - Moriens sed Invictus (Dying but Unconquered) - is a well-suited epitaph for wild and courageous Janet, whose fierce determination to remain steadfastly herself makes her one of the most unforgettable protagonists in contemporary literature."

I will read anything vaguely like Shirley Jackson, throw in Gothic Scotland and I'm really sold.

The Last Dreamwalker by Rita Woods
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"From Hurston/Wright Legacy Award-winning author Rita Woods, The Last Dreamwalker tells the story of two women, separated by nearly two centuries yet inextricably linked by the Gullah-Geechee Islands off the coast of South Carolina - and their connection to a mysterious and extraordinary gift passed from generation to generation.

In the wake of her mother's passing, Layla Hurley unexpectedly reconnects with her mother's sisters, women she hasn't been allowed to speak to, or of, in years.

Her aunts reveal to Layla that a Gullah-Geechee island off the shore of South Carolina now belongs to her. As Layla digs deeper into her mother's past and the mysterious island's history, she discovers that the terrifying nightmares that have plagued her throughout her life and tainted her relationship with her mother and all of her family, is actually a power passed down through generations of her Gullah ancestors. She is a Dreamwalker, able to inhabit the dreams of others - and to manipulate them.

As Layla uncovers increasingly dark secrets about her family's past, she finds herself thrust into the center of a potentially deadly, decades-old feud fought in the dark corridor of dreams.

The Last Dreamwalker is a gripping, contemporary read about power and agency; family and legacy; and the ways trauma, secrets, and magic take shape across generations."

A little Southern magic.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Amanda Flower
Published by: Berkley
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Emily Dickinson and her housemaid, Willa Noble, realize there is nothing poetic about murder in this first book in an all-new series from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning author Amanda Flower.

January 1855 Willa Noble knew it was bad luck when it was pouring rain on the day of her ever-important job interview at the Dickinson home in Amherst, Massachusetts. When she arrived late, disheveled with her skirts sodden and filthy, she'd lost all hope of being hired for the position. As the housekeeper politely told her they'd be in touch, Willa started toward the door of the stately home only to be called back by the soft but strong voice of Emily Dickinson. What begins as tenuous employment turns to friendship as the reclusive poet takes Willa under her wing.

Tragedy soon strikes and Willa's beloved brother, Henry, is killed in a tragic accident at the town stables. With no other family and nowhere else to turn, Willa tells Emily about her brother's death and why she believes it was no accident. Willa is convinced it was murder. Henry had been very secretive of late, only hinting to Willa that he'd found a way to earn money to take care of them both. Viewing it first as a puzzle to piece together, Emily offers to help, only to realize that she and Willa are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse that reveals corruption in Amherst that is generations deep. Some very high-powered people will stop at nothing to keep their profitable secrets even if that means forever silencing Willa and her new mistress...."

It was only a matter of time until Emily Dickinson started solving crime...

The Witch and the Tsar by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"In this stunning debut novel, the maligned and immortal witch of legend known as Baba Yaga will risk all to save her country and her people from Tsar Ivan the Terrible - and the dangerous gods who seek to drive the twisted hearts of men.

As a half-goddess possessing magic, Yaga is used to living on her own, her prior entanglements with mortals having led to heartbreak. She mostly keeps to her hut in the woods, where those in need of healing seek her out, even as they spread rumors about her supposed cruelty and wicked spells. But when her old friend Anastasia - now the wife of the tsar, and suffering from a mysterious illness - arrives in her forest desperate for her protection, Yaga realizes the fate of all of Russia is tied to Anastasia's. Yaga must step out of the shadows to protect the land she loves.

As she travels to Moscow, Yaga witnesses a sixteenth century Russia on the brink of chaos. Tsar Ivan - soon to become Ivan the Terrible - grows more volatile and tyrannical by the day, and Yaga believes the tsaritsa is being poisoned by an unknown enemy. But what Yaga cannot know is that Ivan is being manipulated by powers far older and more fearsome than anyone can imagine.

Olesya Salnikova Gilmore weaves a rich tapestry of mythology and Russian history, reclaiming and reinventing the infamous Baba Yaga, and bringing to life a vibrant and tumultuous Russia, where old gods and new tyrants vie for power. This fierce and compelling novel draws from the timeless lore to create a heroine for the modern day, fighting to save her country and those she loves from oppression while also finding her true purpose as a goddess, a witch, and a woman."

I am obsessed with Tsarists Russia, add in my fascination with Baba Yaga, and this book is for me.

Rust in the Root by Justina Ireland
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 448 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The author of the visionary New York Times bestseller Dread Nation returns with another spellbinding historical fantasy set at the crossroads of race and power in America.

It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided - between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology - otherwise known as Mechomancy - not the traditional mystical arts.

Laura disagrees. A talented young queer mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage’s license and becoming something more than a rootworker.

But four months later, she's got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane's Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.

As they're sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country's oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America's past, when Black mages were killed for their power - work that could threaten Laura's and the Skylark's lives, and everything they've worked for."

The idea that even certain kinds of magic can become obsolete through automation and the industrial revolution is just facet of this book that is fascinating to me.

In the Coils of the Labyrinth by David Annandale
Published by: Aconyte
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"An unnatural terror penetrating our reality preys on the dreams of its victims, in this darkly captivating novel set in the world of Arkham Horror.

Professor Miranda Ventham is having bad dreams - nothing new in 1920s Arkham - but hers are horrifying glimpses of a dark future. Now seriously ill, she books herself into the new sanatorium, Stroud Institute. With luck, the town's eldritch taint won't reach her there. And yet the nightmares worsen. With the aid of her friend, parapsychologist Agatha Crane, they delve into the background of the sanatorium's enigmatic director, Donovan Stroud. Plagued by doubts, delusions, and terrifying visions, Miranda must unravel the shrouded history of the Strouds before she is trapped in a labyrinthine nightmare. Something sinister lurks at its heart, and it longs to be set free."

Would you want to go into a sanatorium in Arkham? Hell no. Which is why it's so fun to read about it.

Daphne by Josh Malerman
Published by: Del Rey
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Horror has a new name: Daphne. A brutal, enigmatic woman stalks a high school basketball team in a reimagining of the slasher genre by the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box.

It’s the last summer for Kit Lamb: The last summer before college. The last summer with her high school basketball team, and with Dana, her best friend. The last summer before her life begins.

But the night before the big game, one of the players tells a ghost story about Daphne, a girl who went to their school many years ago and died under mysterious circumstances. Some say she was murdered, others that she died by her own hand. And some say that Daphne is a murderer herself. They also say that Daphne is still out there, obsessed with revenge, and will appear to kill again anytime someone thinks about her.

After Kit hears the story, her teammates vanish, one by one, and Kit begins to suspect that the stories about Daphne are real...and to fear that her own mind is conjuring the killer. Now it's a race against time as Kit searches for the truth behind the legend and learns to face her own fears - before the summer of her lifetime becomes the last summer of her life.

Mixing a nostalgic coming-of-age story and an instantly iconic female villain with an innovative new vision of classic horror, Daphne is an unforgettable thriller as only Josh Malerman could imagine it."

This is Stephen King level horror here.

The Collectors by Philip Pullman
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 80 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A chilling Gothic tale with a revealing glimpse of the iconic Mrs. Coulter - one of Philip Pullman's most enigmatic characters. This companion story to His Dark Materials is now in print for the first time in a beautiful gift edition.

In this darkly delicious tale, internationally acclaimed author Philip Pullman invites readers to meet the mysterious girl who will one day become the sinister Mrs. Coulter.

On a cold winter's night, two art collectors are settled before a fire in the senior common room of a college in Oxford, discussing two new unusual pieces - a portrait of a striking young woman and a bronze sculpture of a fearsome monkey. How could they imagine that they are about to be caught in the cross-fire of a story that has traveled across time and worlds...."

I'm curious how they turned a 24 page e-book into an 80 page "gift edition..."

The Old Place by Bobby Finger
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A bighearted and moving debut about a wry retired schoolteacher whose decade-old secret threatens to come to light and send shockwaves through her small Texas town.

Billington, Texas, is a place where nothing changes. Well, almost nothing. For the first time in nearly four decades, Mary Alice Roth is not getting ready for the first day of school at Billington High. A few months into her retirement - or, district mandated exile as she calls it - Mary Alice does not know how to fill her days. The annual picnic is coming up, but that isn't nearly enough since the menu never changes and she had the roles mentally assigned weeks ago. At least there's Ellie, who stops by each morning for coffee and whose reemergence in Mary Alice's life is the one thing soothing the sting of retirement.

Mary Alice and Ellie were a pair since the day Ellie moved in next door. That they both were single mothers - Mary Alice widowed, Ellie divorced - with sons the same age was a pleasant coincidence, but they were forever linked when they lost the boys, one right after the other. Years later, the two are working their way back to a comfortable friendship. But when Mary Alice's sister arrives on her doorstep with a staggering piece of news, it jeopardizes the careful shell she's built around her life. The whole of her friendship with Ellie is put at risk, the fabric of a place as steadfast as Billington is questioned, and the unflappable, knotty fixture that is Mary Alice Roth might have to change after all."

You NEED to know the "staggering piece of news" just as much as I do, right?

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Cowritten by #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Murphy and USA Today bestselling author Sierra Simone - a steamy plus-size holiday rom-com about an adult film star who is semi-accidentally cast as a lead in a family-friendly Christmas movie, and the former bad-boy pop star she falls in love with.

Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. With a huge following and two supportive moms, Bee couldn't ask for more. But when Bee's favorite producer casts her to star in a Christmas movie he's making for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee's career is about to take a more family-friendly direction.

Forced to keep her work as Bianca under wraps, Bee quickly learns this is a task a lot easier said than done. Though it all becomes worthwhile when she discovers her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Nolan's promised his bulldog manager to keep it zipped up on set, and he will if it means he'll be able to provide a more stable living situation for his sister and mom.

But things heat up quickly in Christmas Notch, Vermont, when Nolan recognizes his new co-star from her ClosedDoors account (oh yeah, he's a member). Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set, keeping their new relationship a secret from the Hope Channel's execs. Things only get trickier when the reporter who torpedoed Nolan's singing career comes snooping around - and takes an instant interest in mysterious newcomer Bee.

And if Bee and Nolan can't keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor."

Not ALL my Christmas reading can be about murder, sometime one needs a nice steamy romance.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Murder in Provence

Earlier this year I watched all the episodes of Endeavour that have currently been released. The biggest joy of watching the prequel to Inspector Morse is Roger Allam as Fred Thursday. So obviously once I had watched all the episodes of Endeavour I started having severe Roger Allam withdrawal. The Morse withdrawals were staved off by moving directly onto an Inspector Morse rewatch. Thankfully BritBox came to the rescue for all my Allam needs with the timely release of Murder in Provence, an adaptation of the Verlaque and Bonnet series by M.L. Longworth. Allam is still firmly in the crime solving genre, but he's traded in his trademark mac and fedora for blue suits and skies. And as for his day of the week sandwiches? They have been upgraded to fresh seafood and delectable French cuisine. This is a series as much about the lifestyle of Provence as it is about the crime solving. Which brings me to one of the main criticisms of the show by reviewers, and that's it's a show about France, set in France, and yet where are the French actors? It's like the stable of British actors who appear in murder mysteries were just given trips to Provence instead of French actors being found. And while yes, I can agree with this criticism, I have two rejoinders, it could have been worse, with the British actors putting on French accents, and Roger Allam. This show got made because of his star power. It's not blind luck that this show actually crashed BritBox when it premiered. This wouldn't have happened with a French cast, which is just a sad truth. But seeing so many actors who have been on Endeavour and Father Brown in different roles with their old costars is just comforting. Which is what this show is, a comforting murder mystery, with a little more style and substance than most. Though what I really connected to was the relationship of Antoine Verlaque and Marine Bonnet as played by Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll respectively. They are an older couple who are unmarried and yet have a fruitful relationship surrounded by quirky friends and family. I defy you not to love Marine's communist mother and Didier Laurent AKA Dirk Gently by another name. But going back to their mature relationship, they have real conversations, about health issues like prostates and menopause. And yes, I feel like it ages me saying that these conversations add some weight to the show, but it's refreshing seeing these subjects handled in a matter of fact way amongst all the other issues of a crime solving life. Even if Nancy Carroll is far younger than you would guess!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Essex Serpent

Last year when it was announced that an adaptation of The Essex Serpent was underway staring Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes the book which had been languishing on my to be read pile for more years than I can count, probably since it was released, went straight to the top of the pile. I devoured the book and it was one of my favorite reads of last year. So really, I was shooting myself in the foot wasn't I? Because rarely does an adaptation create the same love in me as the book. There are of course exceptions, but The Princess Bride and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell kind of prove my point more than disprove it. So the number one show I was most looking forward to really had no chance. Yet it does work, but only on the surface. The thing that is so amazing about the book is that it tackles so many subjects so sensitively. Women's rights, abuse, the treatment of the poor, religion, superstition, science, attraction, repulsion, mass delusions, and most importantly, people who are "other" from disabled to dwarfism. While they touch on aspects of poverty they really narrowed in on the the superstition/ religion/ science because they obviously decided that this was going to be about channeling the Salem Witch Trials and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying it's very narrow minded to make Cora the "other" when the book had so many big ideas. I mean, for Pete's sake Cora is dressed in red like a nice delicious apple when Will succumbs to her temptation. Could we make her any more of a scarlet woman? And don't get me started on those Amish beards. I concede that changes had to be made, so much of the story is told in an epistolary manner that that wouldn't have worked. But I should have known that something was wrong with this adaptation when they didn't hire someone with dwarfism to play Luke. I mean, that's a pretty big change to make, and not for the better. Yes, Frank Dillane does a magnificent job capturing Luke's personality, but his personality was formed by his dwarfism, so what the fuck? Why change that? But more importantly there were certain beats they HAD to hit to make it actually feel like the book and they just didn't. Hiddles doesn't destroy the pew, Luke doesn't try to kill himself, and as for that happy ending? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?! I could have accepted this as a shallow adaptation of a deep book because it does exude the Gothic and hot priest Hiddles, but the happy ending with Cora and Will coming together? NO! Bad adaptation. The whole point was lost on everyone involved in this production. Now IF they reedited the final episode and when Will puts Cora's letter in a drawer and closes it and it went straight to the credits...I think I could accept that.

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