Archive | June, 2013

What makes it hard to suspend disbelief?

In my review of Petroplague, I wrote about the fact that readers of fiction agree to suspend disbelief when they pick up a novel.  I complained specifically and in some detail that Petroplague went over the edge of my tolerance for improbable feats of physical endurance and reckless derring-do, although not as far as most […]

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Review of “Petroplague” by Amy Rogers

I had Amy Rogers’s Petroplague on my “to read” list for some time, but it kept being pushed down by other novels that popped up on my idiosyncratic radar. Readers will already know I that I generally avoid mysteries. Now, another aversion: I have a thing about thrillers. One reason Petroplague kept sinking was that […]

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The Scientist as Amateur Sleuth

I know it appeals to the popular imagination, but I just don’t buy the premise of a popular form of murder mystery, what I call the “amateur sleuth concept.”  The idea’s very simple.  The main character is anything but a detective – librarian, architect, chemistry professor or graduate student.  Then murder strikes in a place […]

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Review of “Pharmacology is Murder” by Dirk Wyle

I start with a bias against the murder mystery genre. In spite of its evident popularity, I don’t like stories that trivialize and sanitize violence, particularly the horrific act of murder. That said, I think Asimov’s A Whiff of Death is one of the best-constructed murder mysteries I’ve read on the Lab Lit List. It’s […]

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Novels Reviewed to Date

Following are the titles of all the novels reviewed in this blog to date along with my personal recommendations. Asterisks (*) indicate either short reviews or references to reviews posted to other sites. Each title is a link to the review. Dates indicate when the review was posted. (This page will be updated as new […]

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Review of “A Whiff of Death” by Isaac Asimov

A Whiff of Death is an early (1958) mystery by Isaac Asimov, a writer best known for his science fiction. It’s a classic, well-executed whodunit, complete with a surprise ending, and it fits the LabLit definition as well. If you’re a fan of this genre, it’s a great example of the scientist turned sleuth, especially […]

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