Posted in fiction, FYI, Recycled Book Reading Challenge, Uncategorized

Recycled Book Review: He Huffed and He Puffed

Here’s my long delayed review. What can I say, when I’m late, I’m really late!

He huffed and He Puffed Barbara Paul cover

He Huffed and He Puffed by Barbara Paul

Mliae over at LifeExperimentblog has a challenge for us bookish and environmentally concerned ones: the Recycled Book Review Challenge. Each month, you are challenged to reach to the highest (or lowest levels) of your bookshelf, withdraw a book long forgotten or beloved, one that was bought from a secondhand/charity shop, dust it loving off, and read and review the book for us. Pingback to LifeExperimentblog and see which other books surfaced this month.

I was looking for a short quick read, one I could lay aside at a moment’s notice. I picked wrong. I found this story quite engrossing and finished reading the book within two days instead of the estimated week.

Barbara Paul – an author I haven’t come across again since I bought this book back in the ‘90’s – has written a solid suspense novel just perfect for a long trip or a cold weekend, especially if you’re going through an ‘80s phase.
I, in all probability, bought this book for its cover; a wolf and a violin, how could I have resisted…

He huffed and He Puffed detaill cover

So what’s it about:

A whodunnit set firmly in the 1980’s with a Sunday afternoon movie cast of characters.

Despicable millionaire, AJ Strode (the wolf), acquires and plunders companies and people’s lives with impunity until he decides to acquire House of Glass.
To get his paws on the controlling stock, Strode has to persuade one of three other stockholders to sell him their holdings.
This proves a greater challenge when he realizes that each of the three are unwilling to sell, especially to him. Even more distressing, all three have just as questionable ethics as Strode, all three have probably murdered before, and all three have never been caught letting their masks slip.

Strode unwisely decides to play a nasty game. He collects evidence to blackmail all three, then invites them to his home for a weekend, allowing only one the option to sell to him and so prevent their crime from coming to light.

Naturally he ends up very dead, leaving us with three solid suspects for the police.

What I like about it:

It was very difficult to like any of the characters in this story, yet I could not stop reading it. I found it well written. I really wanted to see all of the characters reveal themselves and get their comeuppance. And, of course, to see who the killer was, and how they might have gotten away with it.

So, in short, I thought He Huffed and He Puffed has a great suspense whodunnit plot with slightly stereotypical characters who work well in this story because I don’t really care about them…Don’t ask me how, but it works!

Strange fact:

Technology has advanced quite a lot since this book was written and some scenes may not work so well if you don’t take that into account. So, as a writer, it’s made me a little more aware of how to portray technology in suspense/crime stories.

PS. See who else has been recycling reads over here.