Official Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

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Helen_Combe
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Official Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

Post by Helen_Combe »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Goodnight Irene" by James Scott Byrnside.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside is an excellent example of a locked-room whodunnit, reminiscent of Agatha Christie at her most devious. So let us all gather in the library, and we will examine the evidence.

Exhibit 1. The detectives. Rowan Manory is a private detective whose health and confidence have been shattered by a disastrous case where a woman and her baby died. After being out of work for four months, Manory and his sidekick, Walter Williams, are invited to investigate a death threat received by one Robert Lasciva. Not only will this case pay well, it also has links to an unsolved rape and murder from 20 years ago. Manory’s mother was involved in the original investigation, and it haunted her all her life. Manory decides to take the current case in the hope that he may also solve the historical one. The detectives arrive at Lasciva’s mansion, but are unprepared for the unaccountable, perplexing and bloody events of the night.

Exhibit 2. The clues. It is possible for the reader to solve most if not all of this crime, as many of the clues seen by the detectives are also seen by the reader. However, I felt that some of the clues were rather overstated. But that doesn’t mean that the solution was easy to achieve. The book is exciting and very hard to put down. When I wasn’t reading, I found myself doing mental gymnastics as I pondered the conundrum.

Exhibit 3. Research and editing. Set during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, this book is very well researched and well written. The author has a love of words, and I expanded my vocabulary to include cachinnate, chatoyant, tenebrous and cerulean. I learned quite a few new slang terms as well. The book looks to have been professionally edited, though I did find a few errors in the text and the formatting. I also found one blip in the research. Charles’s father died of Legionnaires’ disease, but that strain of pneumonia wasn’t identified and named until 1976.

Exhibit 4. Lightening the mood. It’s not all murder and mayhem. The easy relationship between Manory and Williams, and their gentle banter, is indicative of a long and close friendship and provides a lift to the story. Manory also has the amusing habit of correcting ‘who’ and ‘whom’, regardless of the situation.

The closing statement. I really enjoyed this book. The story was exciting and perplexing, and there was never a dull moment. This book will appeal to anyone who likes a good crime mystery of the Agatha Christie ilk. The characters even gathered in the library for the denouement in true Poirotesque style, and there is also a butler who may or may not have ‘dunnit’.

The verdict. If half points were allowed, I would rate this 3.5, halfway between ‘amazing’ and ‘recommended’. A rating of 3 would be churlish and wouldn’t reflect how immersed I became in this book, so I am awarding it 4 out of 4 stars.

The defence rests.

******
Goodnight Irene
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Post by MsTri »

Excellent, excellent review! As a big fan of courtroom dramas, not to mention real-life court scenes, I was completely entertained!

As to the book, it sound really interesting. I play computer games a lot and am not a fan of single-room games, but this sounds like it's very suspenseful and interesting; sometimes things that don't work in one format or genre do work in another. I'm especially curious as to the ties to the past murder and how it all plays out. I also love the idea of learning new words. Due to my extensive vocabulary, I used to tell my [now-grown] children to call me "Dictionary Mommy", a tongue-in-cheek wink at Encyclopedia Brown's name, *lol*, so learning even more words excites me to no end.

Again, thanks for the wonderful introduction. I am SO excited to read this!

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Post by Helen_Combe »

MsTri wrote:
13 May 2018, 01:49
Excellent, excellent review! As a big fan of courtroom dramas, not to mention real-life court scenes, I was completely entertained!

As to the book, it sound really interesting. I play computer games a lot and am not a fan of single-room games, but this sounds like it's very suspenseful and interesting; sometimes things that don't work in one format or genre do work in another. I'm especially curious as to the ties to the past murder and how it all plays out. I also love the idea of learning new words. Due to my extensive vocabulary, I used to tell my [now-grown] children to call me "Dictionary Mommy", a tongue-in-cheek wink at Encyclopedia Brown's name, *lol*, so learning even more words excites me to no end.

Again, thanks for the wonderful introduction. I am SO excited to read this!
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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Post by Libs_Books »

I really loved that review - it certainly makes the book sound appealing, though I'm not much in the murder market at the moment.

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Post by Helen_Combe »

Libs_Books wrote:
13 May 2018, 02:04
I really loved that review - it certainly makes the book sound appealing, though I'm not much in the murder market at the moment.
Thank you very much. I must admit, I was feeling particularly creative that day :lol:
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Post by Laura Bach »

Really loved your review! It not only made me want to read this book, but also the whole Agatha Christie's series. I am sorry I never got to it. But now they are all on my list. I liked that you mentioned what words you learned. Thank you for the review!

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Post by Helen_Combe »

Laura Ungureanu wrote:
13 May 2018, 02:42
Really loved your review! It not only made me want to read this book, but also the whole Agatha Christie's series. I am sorry I never got to it. But now they are all on my list. I liked that you mentioned what words you learned. Thank you for the review!
Thank you, it’s got a bit more blood in it than the Agatha Christie’s, but I hope you enjoy both this and her books. I recommend ‘Death on the Nile’ :techie-reference:
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Post by Bianka Walter »

This review is awesome! I love courtroom/crime dramas, and you really brought this one to life!
Thanks for an amazing review!
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Post by Helen_Combe »

Bianka Walter wrote:
13 May 2018, 02:54
This review is awesome! I love courtroom/crime dramas, and you really brought this one to life!
Thanks for an amazing review!
Thank you! The book isn’t a courtroom drama, just the review :lol:
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Post by Kemunto lucy »

Awesome review. I am definitely going to read this book and recommend it to my friends.

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Post by Helen_Combe »

Kemunto lucy wrote:
13 May 2018, 05:52
Awesome review. I am definitely going to read this book and recommend it to my friends.
Thank you. I hope you and your friends enjoy it.
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Post by Godfrey Silwimba »

Excellent review Hellen! you have a knack for review brilliance. The pace, the progression and the deep insights you have provided really lead my hands to the book. Excellent Review, 4.0 out of 4.

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Post by Helen_Combe »

Godfrey Silwimba wrote:
13 May 2018, 08:26
Excellent review Hellen! you have a knack for review brilliance. The pace, the progression and the deep insights you have provided really lead my hands to the book. Excellent Review, 4.0 out of 4.
Gosh! Thank you very much! I hope you enjoy the book.
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Post by gen_g »

Excellent review – I loved that you stylised your review in a style reminiscent of a gripping court case, which is an excellent follow-up from the genre of the very book you reviewed. I enjoyed your detailed summaries and insight, and my interest is definitely piqued. Great work.

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Post by Rupti rahman »

Really loved ur review...i love courtroom dramas...i really enjoyed this book..the story was so much thrilling and excellent. .

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