Life is too short to read bad books that I know. But what do you do when one of the books you are reading is by author whose work you have enjoyed before? Dither.
I found myself in this predicament recently with the book Fear in the Sunlight by Nicola Upson. Now I have read all her other books; An Expert in Murder, Angel with Two Faces and Two for Sorrow and looking back on the reviews I enjoyed them. They all feature Josephine Tey (yes that Josephine Tey) and her friend and police Inspector, Archie Penrose and I have found them captivating and wanted to read them.
But with Fear in the Sunlight, something is missing. Well rather there is too much – there is so much going on that I am throughly and utterly confused and I persevered to page 155 in the hope the fog would clear, that it would become obvious like it has in some of her previous work. But the fog is still there.
I have gathered the book is set in Portmierion, I have also ascertained that the famous director and his wife Alfred and Alma Hitchcock feature as themselves and are up to something to do with a film version of Tey’s book A Shilling for Candles. There are many guests in the hotel who have backgrounds and history to the area which has brought them there. Then of course there is the staff and the locals. On top of that there is the characters of course of Josephine Tey, there to celebrate her birthday, Archie Penrose, then his cousins, Lettice and Ronnie, as well as Marta and Lydia, lovers and friends of Josephine. Too many people to cope with initially, and there was much assumption that we knew a lot about the latter few characters that I mention. I am not really sure of where the plot was. I am sure you can see I have paid attention to some of the book to have got this far in describing it to you but still it was all too much.
I had a look on the Amazon reviews, and there were a couple that had the same problems as me, too much on the characters, and less on the plot.
I had to do what I knew was best. I had to put this book to one side. Or in my case filed on the kindle. Perhaps one day it will be okay and I will pick it up again with vim and vigour and I will have no fear of it of it. I am intrigued by her next Tey novel so I will give it a go but I do so with slight trepidation.
I am pleased I had the courage to put the book down, I am pleased that also I recognised this and did not plough on regardless, but I am slightly disappointed as I so enjoyed her other novels.