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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics Double Feature: CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG


dulcinea3 wrote:

I finished The Unsuspected last night.  I really liked it.  I guess it might be more suspense or thriller than mystery - a suspect is identified up front, and the tension comes more from whether they will be able to prove it, and how many more will die before justice is done.  There is a nice love angle, too.

 

Now, on to The Balloon Man!


Her books definitely lean toward suspense/thriller rather than cozy mysteries. It's funny how that's changed - nowadays pretty much all suspense/thrillers are really long blockbusters!

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dulcinea3
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Re: American Mystery Classics Double Feature: CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG

I finished The Balloon Man a couple of days ago.  Boy, that was something!  Again, not a mystery, but there were points when I just couldn't put it down, and stayed up most of the night reading!  The hallucinogenic drug aspect was very much of the time, and I thought the way that Armstrong wrote the thoughts and dialogue of the main character when she was drugged was very interesting (I can't say 'authentic', since I've never done that, but it seemed like it should be the way it feels).  I also loved the three old ladies that lived in the rooming house and saw everything that went on.  The bad guy thought he had them wrapped around his little finger, but they weren't taken in.  They were called the "Norns"; does anybody know if that has any significance?  I did think that the father-in-law, who had been Sherry's main enemy throughout, kind of folded a bit too easily at the end, and dropped his animosity, but he had had a shock that might explain it.

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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics Double Feature: CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG


dulcinea3 wrote:

I finished The Balloon Man a couple of days ago.  Boy, that was something!  Again, not a mystery, but there were points when I just couldn't put it down, and stayed up most of the night reading!  The hallucinogenic drug aspect was very much of the time, and I thought the way that Armstrong wrote the thoughts and dialogue of the main character when she was drugged was very interesting (I can't say 'authentic', since I've never done that, but it seemed like it should be the way it feels).  I also loved the three old ladies that lived in the rooming house and saw everything that went on.  The bad guy thought he had them wrapped around his little finger, but they weren't taken in.  They were called the "Norns"; does anybody know if that has any significance?  I did think that the father-in-law, who had been Sherry's main enemy throughout, kind of folded a bit too easily at the end, and dropped his animosity, but he had had a shock that might explain it.


I first read this when it was new, and loved it enough to save it all these years. Did you find it really dated, or did it read like a period piece to you?

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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: American Mystery Classics Double Feature: CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG


becke_davis wrote:

dulcinea3 wrote:

I finished The Balloon Man a couple of days ago.  Boy, that was something!  Again, not a mystery, but there were points when I just couldn't put it down, and stayed up most of the night reading!  The hallucinogenic drug aspect was very much of the time, and I thought the way that Armstrong wrote the thoughts and dialogue of the main character when she was drugged was very interesting (I can't say 'authentic', since I've never done that, but it seemed like it should be the way it feels).  I also loved the three old ladies that lived in the rooming house and saw everything that went on.  The bad guy thought he had them wrapped around his little finger, but they weren't taken in.  They were called the "Norns"; does anybody know if that has any significance?  I did think that the father-in-law, who had been Sherry's main enemy throughout, kind of folded a bit too easily at the end, and dropped his animosity, but he had had a shock that might explain it.


I first read this when it was new, and loved it enough to save it all these years. Did you find it really dated, or did it read like a period piece to you?


I did think that it was a bit dated, especially with the drug stuff, but I loved that period, so I enjoyed it.

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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia