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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
Jules Verne
The Spirit of the Border
Zane Grey
Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)
Beverly Cleary
The Underground Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Ross Macdonald
Delilah of the Snows
Harold Bindloss
Mrs. Miniver
Jan Struther
Betsy-Tacy Treasury (P.S.)
Maud Hart Lovelace
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace

The Wycherly Woman (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

The Wycherly Woman (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) - Ross Macdonald So nice to get back to something not icky and saccharinely sweet.

Horace Wycherly hires Lew Archer to find his daughter, Phoebe. It seems that Horace went off for a few months on a cruise to the South Seas, and by the time he got back, he found that Phoebe had left college and been missing for several months. Archer is sternly told that in no case is he to spend one iota of time checking with Horace's ex, Catherine. Phoebe and Catherine hated each other, he claims, and would never in a million years have anything to do with each other. What's he hiding?

Well, after poking around a bit here and there, Archer discovers that the last time anyone had seen Phoebe was on the day her father sailed off. Her mother also showed up and created rather a scene. Eventually, members of the ship's crew, aided by Phoebe, escorted Catherine off the ship and into the taxi that had been waiting for Phoebe. So, mother and daughter went off together in the taxi and, essentially, both vanished...or something. Then what? Well, it's a mystery?

We do have some vague reports that Phoebe might have been seen a few weeks later, or perhaps she was the body found in her car, which had been dumped over a cliff and into the ocean. Her mother appears, perhaps, to have surfaced for a short time, then disappeared again. A couple of people show up murdered in the house that the mother had bought, then tried to sell. Other associated folks get murdered.

Then too, perhaps, there is some tangle in the relationships between Catherine, Phoebe and Horace's sister, Helen, and brother-in-law, Carl, who appears to be the one who actually runs the family business.

Well, I'm just giving hints here and there. Lots of tangled webs and stuff. Another very good noir detective story from Ross Macdonald, someone almost as good as Raymond Chandler.