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Note - I will be posting Livejournal entries manually for a few days. Well when my regular work isn't too much.

45. Mystery Girl by Paul Tobin & Alberto J. Aburquerque - So Paul Tobin has his niche of writing fun female protagonist who are always three steps ahead of everyone else but are utterly charming. They are so capable that one is tempted to accuse them of being either Mary Sues or Manic Pixie Dream Girls. They are not Mary Sues because Mary Sue as a character does not have a personality, merely an author's fantasy of a perfect life (and the pushback Max Landis got for declaring Rey to be a Mary Sue was very deserved) and a MPDG is in relation to the sullen male protagonist. Of course, it's strange talking about these character tropes since they are relatively recent and hell, I am friends with Nathan Rabin on Facebook who still seems a little overwhelmed by the storm one character description of Elizabethtown produced (of course, Rabin is one of those great writers that has a little trouble understanding just how great he really is - and it doesn't help that AV Club didn't just hire him back as a head writer when they all know that without him, they wouldn't exist). But yeah, Paul Tobin's characters cannot be reduced to either Mary Sue or MPDG but they do have the aspects.

Trine Hampstead starts out the book with the advantage that she just knows everything. It's a strange character trait but basically she sits in front of a building and people come to her with mystery questions and she just already knows what they are going to ask and how to solve these cases. The main variation is the fact that they have to ask before she can tell them. Also she doesn't know how she got these powers.

So she has to fly to Siberia to find woolly mammoth corpses to make her life interesting. Also she's being pursued by an assassin and unlike Tobin's other heroine Bandette, there is the possibility that the assassin might do damage since this is more adult themed (not much. I mean there is some nudity and her friends are strippers) so there is a little more tension. But ultimately she knows what is going on and that keeps her ahead of everyone and it is satisfying even though there are points where the author is keeping things from the reader in order to ramp up the tension.

46. Bandette vol 3: The House of the Green Mask - So this is the last book in the adventures of Bandette the tight rope walking charming chocolate eating thief and her merry band of helpers. This one has kidnapping and a mystery that involves a locked room and something like that. Anyhow, again there seems to be less to say about this one, but the material about famous art and French history is always great. I think I need to read more Balzac.

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Tim Lieder

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