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wealhtheow

wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Never Trust a Dead Man - Vivian Vande Velde First Selwyn's crush refuses to marry him--and then he's accused of murder! But luckily for Selwyn, he's saved from a slow death by a crotchety old witch. In exchange for years of service to her, she helps him disguise himself to find out who really murdered Farold. And with his disguise firmly in place, Selwyn is discovering some uncomfortable truths about people he thought he knew well...

VVV has a talent for showing us the world through a character's eyes, only to slowly reveal how deeply wrong their assumptions were. She used this to great effect in User Unfriendly, but it works less well here, simply because she takes less time to do it. I don't think VVV earns the plot twists she uses--the reveal with the witch, for instance, was telegraphed from the start but didn't feel probable (even though it is one of my favorite tropes). If I'd spent more time inside Selwyn's head, or if there had been more scenes of interaction between the characters, I would be all over this book. As it is, it seems like a pale imitation of VVV's excellent Dragon's Bait.