Sunday, July 16, 2017


The Curious Case of the Cursed Spectacles
by Constance Barker

If you are constantly searching for a good read, free of the taint of Politically Correct orthodoxy, Constance Barker is the writer for you.  

It's so hard to find good writers. If a book is on any best seller list, it pretty much disqualifies it as a book written with talent. I have tried hundreds of those best sellers, only to be not just disappointed, but to wonder how the writer ever got published, let alone hit the best seller list. It took me years to figure out the solution to that mystery. It is what I refer to as the covert government subsidy via public library. Sales to public libraries alone are enough to fudge the numbers so the book looks like a "best seller." Public libraries, as quasi government entities, are not adventurous in their purchases. You can only find books in the library that are published by big, corporate publishers. That is where libraries spend their publicly funded budgets, considering it a safe investment that no one is likely to quibble with. 

So, libraries put the book on the best seller list, the publishers pour money in advertising, with reviewers in the lap dog press heaping praise on their chosen book and author, creating the entirely false impression that this book is actually selling well due to its popularity. Nothing could be further from the truth. The average reader, not being a literary scholar, is duly impressed by the glowing reviews, so that if they are less than enthralled by the book, they blame themselves, and feel that everybody else liked it so they must be deficient in literary taste. 

My Amazon kindle has made it so much easier to find great writers because so many writers who publish their own writing are easily available. However, it requires many hours to sift through all the books you can find there to uncover the talented writers. Fortunately, many people write. I say fortunately, because the problem with books is that you can read them much more quickly than they can be written.  

But, though I do check out writers who are published by big publishing companies, my conclusion is that that are usually third rate talents who the corporate publishers prefer because they are willing to prostitute whatever writing skills they possess in order to get published. This type of "writer" is never exciting and isn't meant to be. Exciting writers are explicitly avoided by corporate publishers because a good writer would make their corporate swill look like that toilet paper it actually is. A true best seller would destroy their stable of hack writers, so carefully developed to fill their book lists with bland, library-plain non-literature. 

I confess to being an obsessive reader. I must read, but I have zero patience for second rate writing. I love everything from the classics to good escapist writing. But my obsession is your good luck, because I sample hundreds of author published books on my kindle, until I find one that is engaging and written by someone who gets what a book should be and knows how to write whatever it is they are writing. Any book that relies on Politically Correct stereotypes is a sure sign of an author with a limited imagination and understanding of life. Those can usually be spotted in the first few pages. 

I am eager to give any book that shows even the slightest spark of intelligent life a chance, so desperate am I for something to read. Of course, my taste is personal and my preferences may not be yours, but I can assure you that the books I recommend are at least written by people with a gift for writing, even if they are not the genre you prefer. 

Some writers make it look so easy, and I have a feeling that, for author Constance Barker, it is easy because she's that rarest of all writers: a natural storyteller. Page after delightful page, in her new book THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE CURSED SPECTACLES she enthralls the reader with her clever plot, engaging and winning characters, and snappy dialogue. And she does all these things with the surest and most subtle touch. The plot is exceedingly clever and satisfying, but not so clever that it strains credibility. And that's quite a feat in a book with ghosts and magic. I never once felt that either of those elements was overdone or used as a plot device.

The characters are memorable and you want to keep them as friends forever, or at least for a few more literary adventures. I loved them all and found them very believable. We know all we need to know about these characters to enable us to enjoy their company thoroughly. Cecelia Parish, the heroine, is a sensible realist who thinks for herself and, even when confronted by the supernatural, figures it out. Clarence, her friend and admirer, is a deliciously unusual, but very masculine presence. Even Uncle Mason, who is never conscious, is a very vivid character who we get to know through Aunt Enid, one of those Mrs. Marple type older women who knows so much more about life than she can make the young people understand.

And the dialogue is snappy and moves the plot along, while introducing us to the characters, without ever being smart assy and showing off.

Oh, yes, Destiny's Point is a place you'll want to visit again and again. I know I do. Constance Barker is onto pure gold with this series and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if one day we see it up on the big screen at the local multiplex. It's that good.

I've dipped into another Constance Barker book and it runs true to form. She is a born story teller, it doesn't matter what she writes, you love to listen to her stories, they are terrific!! Wow! Ms. Barker is on her way to being a superstar.

No comments:

Post a Comment