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Rogue in Porcelain (Rona Parish Mysteries) Hardcover – April 1, 2007
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First, the author's sentiments about women seem extremely muddled. The plot begins as a journalist, Rona, is to write a magazine biography about the dynasty that runs a local china & figurine company. On her first visit, she notes the family tree shows only the males, and asks about it. The men tell her the women have never wanted to run the business... and Rona spends the next five or fifteen pages APOLOGIZING for her temerity in pointing out the sexism. At the book's conclusion, when she is let in on a manufacturing secret none of the wives or sisters know, the author notes with approval that the family women are humbly silent and accepting of this.
Adultery is rife, though not racy. A middle-aged man is considered to have done his wife a favor when he dumps her, because she then gets a new haircut and starts wearing makeup again. She's alone, desperate, and impoverished to the point she has to take in roomers; nonetheless, we are to believe he did her good by sending her back to the cosmetics counter! Fraser makes clear that it is the woman's menopausal depression that justified her cruel abandonment, never mind what a lifetime of fidelity and childbearing SHOULD have gotten by way of husbandly loyalty.
Much is made of elegant restaurants, endless and pointless phone calls, and, often enough to be grating, makeup.Read more ›
This one centers on a famously posh china firm which makes one think of Wedgwood or Aynsley, in that the china's brand, Curzon, is a household name.
Rona Parish sets out to write the firm's history near one of its big anniversaries and soon finds herself enveloped in family scandal.
Fraser is excellent with characterizations and there's some riveting personalities in this one. Still my most beloved characters are Rona's family members, included in each of this series of her mysteries. Those members include her glam husband, exasperating twin sister,her parents and her husband's family. Last but not least is Gus, her pet retriever who has a charming personality of his own.
Now, the only problem I have with Fraser's Kindle editions is their higher than usual price. A few are reasonable but the large majority are too pricey. Sorry, but there it is. They are certainly engrossing reads but too much for Kindle and I doubt I shall pay that much again. About $11. seems appropiate for Ruth Rendell on Kindle but few other authors. I think M.C. Beaton's Kindle prices are prohibitive as well. Maybe $4 or $5, no more for Beaton, Fraser, George and many other authors.