Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Books 50 & 51 of 2016: The Jewels That Was Ours by Colin Dexter & The Spirit of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke

I decided to take a short break from the Christmas books at the very end of November last year and Mr Click was working on his Colin Dexter books so I decided to give the next one a go; The Jewel That Was Ours.

A group of American tourists are visiting Oxford when one of them dies suddenly and the priceless antique that they were bringing to a special presentation is stolen. Of course, once Inspector Morse is on the case, it's not long before things get very complicated as the case is solved.

I got through the first half of this book quite quickly but then as the case dragged on I found that I slowed down my reading as well. I wanted it to be solved but it seemed to take a long time for it to get figured out and I just found my attention wandering.

I don't know if part of the reason for my slowing down was because I could vaguely remember the TV adaptation . It's been quite a while since I saw it, but I think that the ending was different. I guess that's a good thing since you can enjoy the book and the adaptation without one spoiling the other.

This book definitely doesn't give you what you needed to know to solve the case. I suspected that this is also part of the reason why it took me so long to get through as well. If I can't help figure out the case myself, I end up feeling frustrated and I guess that translates to a lack of motivation to go on, since nothing I read will help me solve the crime.

Mr Click has very nearly finished reading all of these books, I think he's just got the one left, so I suspect that we'll be watching the TV series in the next few months. I'm quite looking forward to seeing the adaptation of this one again.

By the time I finished up The Jewel That Was Ours I was ready for something a little more Christmassy, so I went with an ebook version of The Spirit of Christmas written by Henry Van Dyke in 1905. This is a collection of essays and stories about Christmas.

This is a really short little book. I was able to read it all on the 8th of December in a couple of sittings, but it's short enough that it could be read all in one go.

The story at the beginning kind of reminded me of Pilgrim's Progress. It was the angels learning about the birth of Christ so I guess that it was the setting which put me in mind of Pilgrim's Progress. On the whole though, I preferred the essays. The very last one made me think of A Christmas Carol since the message was about carrying a Christmas spirit all through the year.

It's an interesting little read and I think I picked exactly the right time of year to read it.

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