Day 24 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.
Jo is reading Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner, the first in a series of Victor Legris mysteries. It’s a historical mystery, taking place in Paris in 1889, during the World Exposition.
Reminds me of Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, taking place in 1893 at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This one is not a novel but speculative non-fiction based on historical facts, looking closely at the architecture.
Bees play a key part in Murder on the Eiffel Tower as the victims appear to die from bee stings.
I loved the book Bee Season by Myla Goldberg! It is not about actual bees. Instead, spelling bees. Since I love words and word origins, this was a great book for me, as letters and roots and languages and meanings whirl around in the main character’s head…
Which reminds me of Woman in Mind (December Bee), a play by Alan Ayckbourn. I just told you I can’t read plays, but I am reading this one because Julie wants me to. (Perhaps she wants me to be in it, as she is on the play reading committee for a local theatre.) Which reminds me of Trouble in Mind, a movie, and a Johnny Cash song. It’s used a lot as a title, in fact, for music, books, even a book of poems by Lucie Brock-Boido, whose name sort of bounces off the walls like words and letters in Bee Season.
Which was also made into a movie, not to be confused with Spellbound, a documentary about spelling bees, which I watched at the home of Lizabeth, from whom I have borrowed many excellent books! And isn't there also a play, maybe even a musical comedy, about spelling bees?
Of course, Spellbound is also a Hitchcock movie with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck (my heart throb, Atticus Finch), a psychological thriller murder mystery. I don’t think there are bees in it. But there are bees in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and of course there is also a movie of that. I am not even going to attempt free association with killer bee movies and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
But I will say that Secret Life of Bees and Bee Season are books that came out close enough together that people got confused…as I am now…and that I sometimes find them near each other on the floor at Babbitt’s, waiting to be shelved, or to be picked up by people browsing. I don’t dare walk down the fiction aisle at Babbitt’s, or I will, as I did Tuesday, pick something up and put a yellow post-it on it, “Hold for Kathleen,” and then buy it, when I can rummage up the $6-8. Post-it-ed at the moment: The Wishbones by Tom Perotta and White Noise by Don DeLillo. These, though by men, and contemporary, and no doubt containing some humor and/or irony, are probably not “dick lit,” as defined earlier (via Internet searches), just as the bee books by women are not “chick lit.”
And now I should reveal that Victor Legris of the historical mystery series is a bookseller. So far people have told me they like mysteries for the suspense, the puzzle, the psychological insights, the great research into place and time period, the escapes into a world evil confronted by justice, etc., but if anything would draw me in to a mystery series, it would be this! The bookstore connection!
Keep those comments and book insights & recommendations coming!