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Report For Murder (1998)

Report For Murder (1998)
3.28 of 5 Votes: 2
1883523249 (ISBN13: 9781883523244)
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Report For Murder (1998)
Report For Murder (1998)

About book: I think I've read ONE (or maybe two) or Val McDermid's early mysteries featuring Lindsey Gordon, a Brit lefty lesbian journalist in the 1980s (I could almost use the 'historical mysteries' tag now). Not this one, though, and not the next one I am about to review. It's interesting to me how this compares in tone and in historical feel to the American equivalent, which is the trilogy by Barbara Wilson that starts with Murder in the Collective. That book is like crack for me, because it so accurately reflects the American feminist left of the 1980s, with Solidarity with Central America politics, lesbian coming out love stories, and so on. The Brit version under Thatcher, which I also experienced first hand in 1984 and then 1986-7 is accurately reflected in these two books by McDermid, but it isn't as resonant for me, and I am not sure why. The setting (especially of the second one, which is a thinly disguised Greenham Common, a protest encampment I almost visited in the summer of 1984 while on a 200 mile protest march of US missile bases in Britain) is perfect; the Brit vernacular is exact... possibly I just don't care that much for Lindsey Gordon, where I was utterly into Pam Nilssen, the sleuth and lesbian in Wilson's books.

Finishing this book gave me the opportunity to see how Val McDermid has grown as an author. I believe I read this a long time ago in the early 90s (young queer girl searching for anything to read) but really discovered McDermid with 'The Mermaids Singing'. This is the perfect airplane book. Finished it and others in an entire plane ride. It's entertaining and the characters still have surprisingly depth for such a short book. If you forget or overlook it's context--this was written during the Thatcher area--some of the characters' details seem odd or not as relevant when put back into its context.
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Not only was this the first book in the Lindsey Gordon series, it was also my first book I have ever read by this author. I have heard so many great reviews about McDermid and was so excited to be finally able to read one of her books. Although after half way through the book, I read a review that said "this is not the book to read if wanting to discover what all the great reviews are about McDermid". I believe that McDermid's earlier work was not considered to be of high calibre as her later productions. I have to admit, I was quite taken back with the style of this book which was very old school murder mystery and I did wonder what all the raving was about the author. However, I did enjoy the book and enjoyed getting to know the characters. There was plenty of suspense right throughout the book but quite predictable ending. That said, I am very interested in continuing with the series and if McDermid’s work has improved greatly from this series then I am looking forward to reading some of her later work.
This is the second novel by Val McDermid that I have read recently. The first was called Dead Beat: A Kate Brannigan Mystery. Report for Murder is also part of a series with a female detective named Lindsay Gordon. Both of the novels are available for only $1.79 on Kindle, which is a steal. Report for Murder is an entertaining book and an quick read, and it has enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. I guess you could call it a Lesbian-amateur-sleuth-cozy, in which the heroine, a journalist, is asked to investigate a murder in an elite school, of which one of her college friends has been accused. She goes about the investigation like a bull in a china shop with her new lover trying to hold her back from some of her wilder acts, such as going to confront a possible murderer all alone. Because this is essentially a cozy, Lindsay gets away with all sorts of hair-raising adventures before she finally pins down the killer. It's not very believable, but it's fun, and very enjoyable.
Agatha Christie with lesbian romance. McDermid's first novel and first in a series with socialist feminist reporter Lindsay Gordan. Sent from Glasgow to Derbyshire to cover a fundraiser for a public girls school, it's a clash of cultures from the beginning, though gently told, with concern and dignity for all. When the guest artists, a graduate of the school is murdered, the journalist goes to solve the crime and get herself a whopping good story. As well as a lover who is about as opposite her as possible. A very good story, first in a series.
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