Monthly Archives: June 2009

Williams – Snake Agent

52) Liz Williams – Snake Agent: A Detective Inspector Chen Novel.  Detective Inspector Chen is a detective in China specializing in the supernatural.  He’s had to visit Hell a couple of times before, but this time he ends up in an uneasy partnership with a demon from Hell’s Vice Squad (promoting vice, not suppressing it, of course).

This was an enjoyable read.  There are a couple more in the series at the library and I’ll be trying out the next one.  That said, I don’t think this will be a classic.  It just doesn’t give the sense of the exotic Chinese supernatural that I was hoping for.  Compare to Barry Hughart, and you realize if you changed most of the names in this book from Chinese to some other culture with myths of the afterlife, you wouldn’t really notice.  I kind of doubt Williams knows much more about China than she’s read in a few books.


 It’s summer time.  Regular chorus and choir are off for the season, and I decided not to sing in the summer chorus this year.  So things could be slow, but they’re not.  Being chorus treasurer is keeping me much busier than I had expected, though a lot of it is still trying to come up to speed and hopefully will ease up over time.  And I’ve made a new friend from choir and we’ve seen each a number of times now, which is exciting and scary at the same time.

The amazing body

I’m always amazed at the body, how it can turn the worst garbage into useful fuel, but right now more than anything, at how it can repair itself.  By yesterday afternoon I had stopped taking ibuprofen and my toe was only sore.  I was still limping a bit, but had no problems at all getting through the concert last night.  Today it’s still a bit sore and I sure don’t want to bang it against anything again for a while, but my worst problem is my calves are sore from walking funny all day yesterday :-)

Allingham – The Tiger in the Smoke

43) Margery Allingham – The Tiger in the Smoke.  A much later Campion book.  This one has a much different feel from some of the earlier ones I’ve read.  The earlier ones were mysteries.  This one I think is more of a suspense story.  It’s rather moodier, and develops a couple of characters a bit more than the earlier ones ever did.  Although Campion himself really doesn’t play much of a role.