Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Good Deal: Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red by Jacqueline Lynch.

A terrific mystery. A rarity for me: It's an e-book, the first I've read. I admit I'm not crazy about e-books - the whole idea, I mean. To me, a book has to be 'real' to exist. Online is not 'real' far as I'm concerned. But that's probably because I'm ancient and it's too late to change my ways. But setting that aside I went ahead and read Jacqueline Lynch's cozy set in the 40's, CADMIUM YELLOW, BLOOD RED. The book is available online for 99 cents for a limited time. I don't have a Kindle, but I downloaded the reading apparatus to my PC for free. (I'm not going to make a habit though, of reading books online. I'm still not sold.)

Elmer Vartanian is fresh out of prison after spending time for a museum heist. WWII has come and gone and Elmer is still feeling guilty over having missed his turn to serve his country. It's the end of the 1940's and life has moved on without Elmer's knowing much about it. There's television, copying machines, jazzy cars, ballpoint pens, elevated highways, well...you name it. Elmer feels like Rip Van Winkle newly awakened from a deep sleep.

His wife has died and his little girl, Linda, has disappeared. Desperate to find her Elmer is caught up in a plot to direct a heist of another museum - the upshot of it is if he cooperates, his long time friend Dave - caught up in the plot as well - will find out from the gang where Elmer's daughter is and pass on the information. So, for the sake of his daughter, Elmer is doing something he knows damn well cannot have a good end.

In the meantime, Juliet Van Allen, a young, rebellious society woman, daughter of an aristocratic type from an old Connecticut family works at the Museum in an administrative capacity. She is married to Kurt, an egocentric artist and has just been hit with two very unhappy surprises. Both involving her husband.

How these two characters get thrown together by fate (the initial 'meet' of these two is as inventive as anything I've read in a long time) and manage to keep out of jail, solve a murder , catch a killer and discover what has happened to Elmer's daughter is as good a way to spend a couple of hours as I can think of.

I hear that Jacqueline is thinking of turning this into a series. If so, I'll be there for another ride in that shiny maroon, Lincoln Cosmopolitan.


  1. Yvette, I am deeply grateful for this. Thanks so much for taking the time not only to read the thing, but to review it as well. Your opinion, because of your expertise in reading mysteries in particular, is a treasure.

    With his shock at finding the world so different since he left prison, I don't think our boy Elmer would have liked ebooks, either.

  2. Jacqueline: Oh, it was a pleasure to read the story, Jacqueline. Elmer is a pretty cool character. I liked the cop, too. :)

  3. I am trying to get myself to read MILDRED PIERCE on kindle. I think it would be easier to read a contemporary story on it. Just doesn't feel right.

  4. Not crazy about it, but it's the only way to read Jacqueline's book, so I did it. And I survived. :) One thing I did notice, I read rather more quickly on screen. The end of the world is coming, that's for sure. HAH!!

  5. I do understand your eservations about e-books. I like my Kindle, yet a real book in my hand is better. But for me who lives in Denmark and has most of my potential readers in the USA, UK and Australia, e-books seem like a good compromise.

  6. Dorte: I can't imagine reading a really long book online. For me, it will be a once in a while thing. If I can avoid it, I will. :)


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