Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for July 26, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
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Sick of Shadows: Edwardian Murder Mysteries #3 by Marion Chesney
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Our Lady of Pain: Edwardian Murder Mysteries #4 by Marion Chesney
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
(Reviews for book #1 and book #2)

There is no stretch in the research or imagination here, and if I had not been well attuned to Ms. Chesney/Beaton’s writing style from before, I would probably like the book even less but you know, at the end of the day, it’s a frippery of a read that while it may not have educated me, it did keep me entertained.

The Edwardian Mystery series provided a borderline dull, and often choppy, story arc of boy meets stubborn girl, boy handles his feelings badly, girl saves the day plotline that went three books longer than it should have. As I said in the review for the first book,
Books #3 and #4 were almost identical to books #1 and #2. There is really nothing I can say here that would be so markedly different from previous attempts to review the series other than to reiterate Beaton’s research prowess because that is where she shines.
If you’re looking for a story of substance, thought provoking, and full of win – this is not your series.
amadwickedfollyA Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Something is missing from this novel. It could have been a lot more and yet, it played it safe. You knew what was going to happen in the very end, because the author made it all painfully clear this is what is going to happen through the entire book. There was no twist. No surprises. Not even a really original thought going into this book given the author’s history (she lived in England for nearly a decade and had access to primary sources) and the fairly nice bibliography at the end of the book. The book is just mediocre and a let down, but it gets 3 stars because technically it is well written, even if the storyline seems meh.
The author could have made this really beguiling and filled with wonder, but instead she made it feel tightly corseted and maybe a titch overedited.
Story was fast paced and read quickly
Plot was pretty well organized and was linear
There was not an abundance of useless characters
When the author was on point about a scene, she got it brilliantly well (but this was more rare than one would hope)
Use of language: Edwardian England is a class filled society, yet everyone spoke the same: Her parents, Will, the French boys at the atelier, and so forth. She could have least tried to make an effort, but instead, this seems sloppy and lazy.
Colloquialisms: Example: In the beginning, she had her parents say “Oxford University,” despite no one actually calls it that. She would often fob Vicky’s use of American colloquialisms onto Lucy, Vicky’s best friend from America. Considering Vicky and Lucy are not BFFs for first half of the book, this doesn’t make sense.
Flavor of the period: Despite her meticulous research, you don’t feel like you’re in Edwardian England. Something is just off when she tries inject something that would give it a hint of realism, so then it feels stilted.
Character development: Other than Will or Vicky, you don’t really get a sense of who these people are. Even Vicky’s mother, whom we find out has a connection to Vicky’s choice in life, seems to be absently shallow.


  • The Bridge
    The unbearable hotness of Demian Bichir is baaacccckkk! This time with more depressing topics. In the few episodes shown thus far, the storyline feels tighter and better thought out; there is less a million sub plots thrown against the wall to see what sticks and turning it into a hot mess. This show has grown on me but we cannot watch it every week because it’s just far too depressing.
  • Project Runway
    It’s pretty clear the series doesn’t work without Heidi Klum. Tim Gunn’s Under the Gunn was an interesting twist to the format, but it seemed stilted. Project Runway – All Stars, which is sans Klum, also doesn’t have the same appeal. Klum just cannot leave. The End.  Can we also request that Michael Kors not ever leave? Zac Pozen is no where Near Kors’ brilliance or bitchiness and Pozen feels overwrought half the time when he starts critiquing. TheHusband has already picked out who will win season 13 based on the very first episode. I wonder if he is right.
  • The Almighty Johnsons
    NZ show that is now being carried on SyFy here in the States; the premise is four brothers who become gods on their 21st birthdays, in reincarnated forms of the old Norse gods. Throw in destiny, some goddesses out to destroy, and half-hearted prophecy and boom, TV show. Interesting concept, not terribly well executed, but is loads better than what is available on most channels.

Weekly watching: The LeftoversTrue Blood, Rectify, Halt and Catch Fire, A Place To Call Home, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, Elementary
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2010, 2008