Monday, April 26, 2010

Arcadia Falls

I finished the latest Carol Goodman novel, Arcadia Falls, last night.  It was quintessential Carol Goodman - a woman teaching at a boarding school, a murder, an old mystery with echoes in the present, details about art history, a police officer love interest... I could write a computer program that would create the plot of a Carol Goodman novel MadLibs-style, which sounds mean, though I don't intend it to.  I like these books.  She's reliable.  And although I can predict the overall themes, I can't predict what precisely will occur in a given book (who the murderer is, who's hiding something, etc.).  I like her writing, and I like discovering those things.

One thing I noticed in Arcadia Falls is how current her cultural references are.  The main character has a seventeen-year-old daughter, so there are lots of mentions of iPods, Anthropologie, texting, bands like The Decemberists and The Vivian Girls, and other of-the-moment stuff.  It's weird, because that should make the story seem more real, and yet I felt distracted by it.  Maybe it was because I kept thinking about how out-of-date that will make the book seem in a few years.

Overall, it was a good one - not my favorite of hers, but enjoyable nevertheless.  Enjoyable enough that I stayed up till 2:30am last night to finish it.  Should you read it? If you like her books, or like any of the themes she focuses on, then yeah, sure.  It's a quick read, too.

Up next? Another book of P.G. Wodehouse's short stories about Jeeves.

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