Friday, December 19, 2014

Anon Sir Anon

Since I have been silent on here for a couple of months I have so many books that I need to review. However, after some thought, I shall do the book I was going to review first. And, hopefully, since it is winter break and I should have more time on my hands, I can soon write the other one I was thinking about.


What is this book? It is the lovely blogger Rachel Heffington's second novel. And folks, it is wonderful. Anon Sir Anon is the first of the Vivi and Farnham mysteries. (Yes, it is going to be a series! I love getting into series. You really get to know the characters that way.)

It is one of those delightful "cozy" murder mysteries. (Why is a murder cozy? Well, I think you know what I mean.) It is set in an English village post WWI. 1930's, I believe. Farnham is an eccentric old Shakespearean actor. He has been experiencing rather ill health lately, so his niece, Genevieve Langley, is sent to take care of him. Vivi is expecting to have a quiet time out in the country with her old uncle, but little does she know he is quite the amateur detective. And there is a murder to solve, and it's up to Vivi and Farnham to figure it out.

No matter how I write or describe it, the plot and story will sound a little old and familiar. Maybe you think such Agatha Christie mysteries have been beaten to death. Oh, but you would be wrong. This book, while being your "typical" cozy English murder mystery, is satirical and witty and fun! And though I did think of the suspect, I pushed the thought right out of my mind because it seemed impossible and I did not want to be right.

There were clues, but the murderer was not obvious. In fact, sometimes the lines get crossed and you are almost certain (along with Vivi) that it is somebody else. I really don't know how to review this without giving too much away. Therefore, I am going to stop talking about the plot and stick to the quirky cast of characters.

First, there is Farnham. He is a Shakespearean actor living in an old, dilapidated manor. He often quotes Shakespeare and is eccentric and grumpy. (Not truly grumpy, you understand, as that wouldn't be fun; rather, he is characteristically grouchy but really lovely underneath such crustiness.)

His friend, Dr. Breen, the lovely eternal bachelor who is charming and rough. He and Farnham have been friends forever, and he is the one who brings the murder cases to Farnham. They have an ongoing bet that Farnham cannot solve the case before the local police. (A bet the doctor has always lost.) I was smiling at his rough but kindly ways, and I think he and Farnham make the perfect companions.

Now to the other titular character, Genevieve Langley. I loved Vivi! She is not pretty (no, not even in the classic L.M. Montgomery way of saying a character isn't pretty and than making her an uncommon beauty.) Vivi's attraction stems from her wit and vivacity. I think I am going to love seeing her and her Uncle's relationship grow as the series goes on.

I really can't describe the other characters, for fear I may give something away. Let me just say that the man Vivi thought quite awful and pegged for a murderer was not attractive, but I honestly thought she was seeing him in a rather harsher light than need be.

Stanley Kubrick 1940s New York a.k.a me ;)
(Book time period-ish. I think Vivi would be a big reader like her Uncle :) )

I loved Whistlecreig, the quirky characters, the Jeeves-like butler, and... oh, just Rachel's style. She can always make me smile. And think as well, though she hides her serious thoughts under wit and mirth. If this is any indication of the books to come, I shall be eagerly awaiting all the adventures of Vivi and Farnham! I would highly recommend, as this book is especially good when read curled up under a blanket with tea on a cold day.