The Book Was Better than the Movie – Categorizing the Same Story in Different Genres

„The book was so much better than the movie.“ I have heard this sentence so many times and I don’t agree. Generally because I have studied television narratives and I know that there is quite the difference between book, TV and movie narratives (to name just a few) and see them as separate entities. Lately I had a few stories where I enjoyed the movie more than the book only to realize that I would categorize them in different genres.

Aurora Teagarden Series by Charlaine Harris – Books vs. Movies


The Books

I have started to read the series as a crime story. Though it is cozy, comfy and less gruesome than other books, it never struck me as a crime story. Sure there was a mystery in it, the protagonist was interested in murder, but she never really investigated. It was pure coincidence that she got information and was actually at the right spot at the right time. There was a lot more side chatter that in other crime novels. The protagonist was far from being investigative and seemed rather clueless. So for me this is more of a comfy read about Aurora’s life mixed with a little mystery than an actual crime story.

The Movies

However, the Hallmark movies are really wonderful and I watched and enjoyed them as a crime story. Here, the protagonist is far more investigative and a little nosy. It is not coincidence that lead her on the right track. Her private life is still quite dominant, but somehow intertwines better with the crime story. I liked the characters a lot more than I did in the novel and the crime was actually presented as a crime story.

The Books Are Not The Movies – Reading Two Different Genres

So for me personally, the book is not always better than the movie as well as the movie is not necessarily better than the book. I consume both in a different way, as two different categories – cozy-chick-lit-with-a -little-mystery novel vs. cozy crime movie. So, apart from the fact that one might have to remember that telling a story in a book and telling a story on a screen are very different ways of storytelling, one can actually enjoy both with an open mind. I did not put any expectations into reading or watching Aurora Teagarden novels but let them just role over me and see what develops during my reading or watching of the story. This way I don’t feel like I wasted time.

Charlaine Harris – A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2)

Charlaine Harris A Bone to Pick

Paperback
publisher: Berkley
published: Reprint 2008
pages: 272

Blurb:

Death comes calling on a small-town librarian whose life is passing her by.
Aurora “Roe” Teagarden’s fortunes change when a deceased acquaintance names her as heir to a rather substantial estate, including money, jewelry, and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat. Roe concludes that the elderly women has purposely left her a murder to solve. So she must identify the victim and figure out which one of her new, ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ an Aurora Teagarden mystery
+ light and easy read more reminiscent of chick lit
+ not a mystery not a crime story

My Opinion:

Aurora “Roe” Teagarden inherits a fortune, a house, and a skull. After an acquaintance dies and leaves Roe money and a house, she is delighted until she finds the skull. Now she has to decide what to with all that she has inherited and she is left with the task of solving the mystery of the dead person hidden in her new house.

The story was an easy and breezy read. Charlaine Harris has a writing style that will draw you in and not let you go. The story was anything but a mystery. Roe was neither investigating nor doing anything really. She just happens to be at the right place at the right time. She looks what happens around her and asks herself some questions, but basically she does nothing really.

If you don’t read it under the premise of a mystery novel (which I haven’t because I already read another book and I have identified the primary pattern), it is a really enjoyable and quick read. It is more of a chick lit – dealing with her ex, dating another, discussions and problems with her mother – kind of book. It is at least for me.

I enjoyed the read, the characters are quite flat but that doesn’t mater since again I did not expect anything else and was looking for exactly that when I started reading. Something that washes over me.

Bottom Line:

Good read, but nothing to pick up if you really want to read a mystery novel.

Rating:

rating 3

Charlaine Harris – Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mystery #1)

Real Murders

paperback
publisher: Berkley
published 2007
pages: 290

Blurb:

Lawrencetown, Georgia,may be a growing suburb Atlanta,but it’s still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora „Roe§ Teagarden grew up there and knows more than enough about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature.
With those fellow crime buffs, Roe belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It’s a harmless pastime – until the night she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal „copcat“ killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime-suspects – or potential victims…

In (Very) Short:

+ first book in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries
+ fluent and captivating writing, Harris has a way of drawing you into the story
+ likeable characters
– not necessary a mystery series: lack of sleuthing and more coincidences really

My Opinion:

The first book in the Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series was my third Charlaine Harris series. I have started Sookie Stackhouse’s books some time ago, I started the Lily Bard Mystery Series last year, and I like to return to Harris writing. It is always an easy and entertaining read. And so was Real Murders.

Aurora Teagarden is a librarian who has an interest in real murders (usually committed some time ago). She meets with a group of people who are also interested in real murders and they discuss those cases. During one of those meetings a member is murdered in a way that resembles the murder that the club was about to discuss. Now, Aurora and her club members and friends are caught in the middle of it all and have to be careful not to be the next victim of the copycat killer.

The book was a good read. The story was fast paced, the writing was fluent and easy, and the main characters were interesting and likeable. Real Murders was not necessarily a mystery for me since Aurora was not really investigating a lot but was more caught in the middle of all this. She was and often seemed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But although I read this as a mystery and expected the main protagonist to be more of a sleuth, it was by far not disappointing.

It was a good story and Charlaine Harris is able to draw me into her stories, her characters, and her novels. In the middle of the book I noticed I cared about Aurora so that there was not a lot left to be disappointed about. I would have liked a character who does not perceive that being married with kids was the only way to be happy and who would not be so disappointed for being single – but I can overlook that in one book. I am not sure how I will feel about it should this continue throughout all books, but I will have to see.

Bottom Line:

A good and entertaining read, with a likeable protagonist. But it is less of a mystery than you would expect, so beware with your expectations.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month June

It was good!!! 🙂

Trudi Canavan – The Rogue

I started my month of with a little fantasy. This is the second book in the Traitor Spy Trilogy which centers around Sonea who I (and maybe some of you) have met in the Black Magicians Trilogy. I do think that you could read this trilogy without reading the Black Magicians Trilogy first, but maybe it would be better if you started with The Magicians Guild.
But back to the book. I enjoyed this book. It was a while ago that I read the first one in this trilogy, but I got back into the swing of things real fast. The narration itself might have been slower than what I was used too and there were many parallel stories, but I was in the mood for something more complex and little slow. All in all, a good read.

The Rogue Real Murders

Charlaine Harris – Real Murders

Because I was away and did not have the next book in the Traitor Spy Trilogy with me, I started this book. This is the first book in the Aurora Teagarden mystery series about a librarian who is interested in murder and gets caught up in one right away. It was a good, fast and fun read. Less of a mystery than I would have wanted it to be. Aurora did not necessarily investigate in any way, but was more caught in between in all. She was more of a witness. Still good.

Alexandra Pilz – Zurück Nach HollyHill

During the hot days in June I wanted something light, where I did not have to pay too much attention. The book is written by a German author and is not yet translated into English.
Emily receives a letter from her dead mother when she graduates college. She tells her to visit her old home Holly Hill to find out about her past. But the town does not exist. It is not on any map that Emily and her friend look at. Still Emily goes out to find Holly Hill. This was a nice and easy read, light entertainment with lots of weird stuff and little love stuff. Great for hot summer days.

Holly Hill Traitor Queen

Trudi Canavan – The Traitor Queen

Then I finally started the final installment in the Traitor Spy Trilogy. It was a good and solid read. I was entertained, I anticipated and expected the outcome, and there are still some things unsolved that leaves the possibility for the author to return to this world.
This series and this book is not as good as Canavan’s first series. It sometimes even read as if this is not necessarily the finale of the trilogy but more of a middle book. There is a lot to say about this book that would spoil the series, so I leave that for the in-depth review.

Kristen John – Rapunzel, der schüchterne Wolf und die Sache mit dem magischen Zopf

This is the 4th installment of the Mia fairy tales series which is not translated into English. This time Mia and her frog Jakob are drawn into the fairy tale of Rapunzel. Once they arrive, mayhem and fun ensues. This is again a fun and entertaining read. I really recommend this for young readers.

Rapunzel Gold Leather Trousers

Fiona Foden – Life, Death and Gold Leather Trousers

I picked this book up because of the title. This is a middle grade book that I found in our library. I was a little skeptical at first since I am often annoyed with young characters. They often tend to make decisions that I don’t understand. But then again I am old. I loved the story, I could identify with the character and I understood why she acted the way she did. The author was able to draw me into the story, so that even I was as annoyed with Clover’s parents as she was. It was a real good and entertaining read.

Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain – Murder She Wrote: Murder on the QE2

So after all this magic and those children’s books, I was in the mood for a little murder. Since I didn’t have an Agatha Christie at hand, I took the next best thing: A Murder She Wrote novel. I really enjoy the series and I can watch them over and over again (with a certain amount of time in between so I would forget who the murderer is). This was a good and solid read. I was entertained, the story was interesting, the final culprit maybe a little far-fetched for my taste, and Jessica less involved then I thought. All in all, a good read.

Murder on the QE2 Rätsel des Dornenbaums

Marliese Arold: Magic Girls 3 – Das Rätsel des Dornenbaums

This series about witches, who are exiled to the human world, is really cute and entertaining. This is the third installment in the series and for the first time it got quite exiting and thrilling. Elena’s father is a secret agent wizard and needs help in one of his missions, so his daughter and her best friend Miranda turn up to help. I enjoy that the girls are still girls and occasionally scared and not unreasonable heroic, at the same time they are a little annoying as well. But hey, I am old now, maybe that’s why I feel this way. A really thrilling ride.

August Book Haul

I really try not to buy any books… I really do…

But well here we are again…

Heide Solveig Göttner – Der Herr der Dunkelheit

Blurb:

Das Schicksal der Welt liegt in der Hand einer jungen Frau. Amra, die Dienerin des Totengottes, setzt dm Kampf gegen die Mächte fort, die die Insel der Stürme in den Abgrund reißen wollen. Auf der Flucht vor den grausamen Ziegenkriegern sind Amra und ihre Gefährten im Norder der Insel gestrandet. Dort geraten sie in einen Hinterhalt, und der düstere Gott bringt Lillia, das magische Kind, in seine Gewalt. Als er sie auf das Schiff der Toten verschleppt, scheint alles verloren. Doch der Schwertkämpfer Gorun setzt sein Leben aufs Spiel, um Lillia aus den Klauen der Herrn der Dunkelheit zu befreien…

It’s a fantasy novel that I stumbled upon and that I bought because it was cheap. It sounds interesting and deals with Gods, warriors and dark things. I honestly have no idea what this is about. But there is no harm in trying to figure it out, is there?

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Andrea Schacht – Der Dunkle Spiegel

Blurb:

„Man sagt, dass der Spiegel nicht nur das Antlitz des Menschen zeigt, sondern dass er auch seine Seele festhält. Ein dunkler Spiegel bedeutet, dass die Seele verloren ist – er bedeutet den Tod.“

Köln im Jahr des Herrn 1376. Sind die selbstbewussten Frauen des Beginen-Konvents am Eigelstein etwas Ketzerinnen und Giftmischerinnen? Die junge Begine Almut Bossart, Witwe eines Baumeisters, macht sich kühn an die Aufklärung des Giftmordes im Haus eines Weinhändlers. Doch nicht nur die Neugier treibt sie – es steht zu befürchten, dass die Inquisition sie selbst für die Tat verfolgen wird…

A crime story set in 14th century Germany. I am always a little reluctant to read historical novels but since this is a crime story, I am somewhat on the safe side. I hope. The book sounds really interesting and in addition deals with the issue of Inquisition. This should make a good mix.

Mit Miss Marple aufs Land

Blurb:

Die englische Idylle mit Pfarrhaus, Pub, Tearoom, Cottage-Garten und Dorfladen ist, wenn man den Queens of Crime von Agatha Christie, Patricia Wentworth, Caroline Graham, Jean G. Goodhind, Dorothy L. Sayers, P.D. James, Val McDermid, Ann Granger, Elizabeth George, Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh bis Daphne du Maurier glauben darf, immer wieder in Gefahr. Doch zum Glück gibt es so couragierte Damen wie Miss Marple oder mit trockenem Humor ausgestattete Ermittler wie Inspector Barnaby, die beim Tee im Herrenhaus oder beim Cricket auf dem Land die entscheidenden Indizien zur Lösung des Falles finden. Luise Berg-Ehlers hat sich auf ihrer Reise durch englische Dörfer und Universitätsstädte auf die Spur großartiger Krimischriftstellerinnen begeben, die – anders als ihre literarischen Opfer- unsterblich wurden.

This beauty was a present from my mother and it was in my mail box on a day that was just one of those „bad“ days. It sure made me happy. I saw this book in book store a while ago and thought that I should definitely get this at one point. The author of this book traveled through English villages to investigate the settings used by classic crime fiction writers and through them unravel the immense attraction of the stories by Christie, Goodhind, Sayers, McDermid, Janes, Rendell and many more.

I am really looking forward to this.

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Agatha Christie – After the funeral

Blurb:

When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it… But he has been murdered, wasn’t he?

In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery…

You can’t do anything wrong with an Agatha Christie novel. It’s been quite a while since I read my last Hercule Poirot so I am actually looking forward to getting reacquainted with him.

Sarah J Maas – Crown of Midnight

Blurb:

Crowned By Evil.

Bound By Duty.

Divided By Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the Kind of Ardalan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, puts those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of the kingdom…

I loved the first book Throne of Glass. It was a great read, interesting, exiting, funny. So I honestly couldn’t wait for it to be published. Now that it is on my TBR pile, I hope I get read it quite soon. And the first installment just hit the German market, so I hope it will be a success.

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Charlaine Harris – Aimee Teagarden Mysteries (1-8)7

Blurb:

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES: An omnibus edition of Roe Teagarden’s adventures! Aurora Teagarden loves reading about famous murderers – until she finds herself investigating a real-life killing spree! Lawrenceton, Georgia, may be a growing suburb of Atlanta, but it’s still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora Teagarden – Roe – grew up there, and she reckons she knows everything about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature. (Amazon)

Charlaine Harris – Lily Bard Mysteries (1-5)

Blurb:

Lily Bard a cleaning Lady with a secret past starts over in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, Arkansas. The hobby martial arts fighter helps solve criminal cases (more or less voluntarily).

Charlaine Harris – Grave Sight

Blurb:

I have what you might call a strange job: I find dead people. I can sense the final location of a person who’s passed and share their very last moment. The way I see it, I’m providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living – but I’m used to most people treating me like a blood-sucking leech…

Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver are experts at getting in,getting paid, and then getting out of town fast, because the people who hire Harper have funny habit of not really wanting to know what she has to tell them. At first, the little Ozarks town of Sarne seems like no exception. A teenage has gone missing, and Harper knows almost immediately that this girl is dead. But the secrets of her death, and the secrets of the town, are deep enough that even Harper’s special ability can’t uncover them. With hostility welling up all around them, she and Tolliver would like nothing better than to be on their way. But then another woman is murdered. And the killer’s not finished yet…

I got all of Charlaine Harris books above as a bargain. I honestly did not know what I was getting into because I have only read her Sookie novels (and only 4 so far). But since I enjoyed them very much, I like crime stories, and either the title or the protagonist are somewhat connected to books, I am sure I will enjoy them. At least I have all of them.