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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Recycled Book Reading Challenge: January

Mame by Patrick Dennis

Mliae over at LifeExperimentblog has begun a new challenge for us bookish and environmentally concerned ones: the Recycled Book Reading Challenge.

Each month, you are challenged to reach to the highest (or lowest) level of your bookshelf, withdraw a book long forgotten or beloved–more-over, one that was bought from a secondhand/charity shop–dust it off  lovingly , and read and review the book for us.
Pingback to LifeExperimentsblog and see which other books surfaced this month.
Mliae’s begun with Voices of Sudan. I’d gone the opposite route and read a fake, fun autobiography.

Mame Patrick Dennis front
Showing it’s age, but still very good.

This copy is older than me. I know that for a fact because it had always been lying around my gran’s house, and has a Book Exchange Address from when those still used to exist in Durban.

So what’s it about:
Mame is a free-spirited New Yorker who inherits a ten-year old nephew, Patrick Dennis. Patrick relates the glamorous lifestyle, accomplishments and adventures with his aunt, as well as their totally normal relationship The story begins in the 1920’s and takes us into the late ’40s or early ’50s

 

 

Mame Patrick Dennis back
Will need to tape this up soon.

Er…you said something about a fake autobiography?
Yes, I recently read somewhere that Patrick Dennis was actually the pen-name of a copywriter, who, in no way, had an Auntie Mame. Which is a pity. I still like to think that she’s based on some amazing woman out there… And as a writer myself, it’s all very intriguing…Either way, it makes no difference to me as a reader. I still love the story, which is very well told.

What I love about it:
It’s a great madcap adventure. You just never know what Mame will do next, except that it would be big and breath-takingly entertaining.
I also really enjoy Dennis’ commentary on socialites life over that thirty year period, his calling attention to prejudices and closed-mindedness, and his hilarious observation of people in general.

This was also the first book I’d read which had been made into a movie, one which I haven’t gotten to watch yet; one which may be as fun as the book. If you’ve watched the movie, let me know what you thought of it.

Strange fact:
While reading this, I couldn’t help but imagine Keanu Reeves as Patrick…so strange…Ohkay…I’m gonna go now.