2012 nonfiction book by Molly Caldwell Crosby< read all 2 reviews
On the plus side, Crosby has a good story to tell. In the months leading up to the beginning of the first World War and the end of the golden age of empire, a string of pearls twice the value of the Hope Diamond was stolen whole en route between jewelers in Paris and London. A local London crime leader was suspected, and one of Scotland Yard's most respected detectives was assigned to the case. The crime, the chase, and the court case all had elements of excitement that keep the reader's attention in Crosby s account. Especially as Crosby describes the arrests and trial, she hews closer to the matter of fact style of the court documents which enhances the dramatic impact of the account.
But then she dips back into her thesaurus and breaks into the purple prose and my attention wonders and my eyes roll. No noun so descriptive no verb so active that it can't be modified to absurdity. "Downy"" cigar ashes, bleak streets "mosaicked" with rain, fog that grew "jaundiced" with smoke are examples I find as I flip through the book while I write my review. You too can play along as you read.
So Crosby has matured as a writer and I enjoyed the story when she didn't bury it in adjectives. Just take away her thesaurus and I predict even better for her future.
What did you think of this review?