Thursday, February 18, 2016

Most boring book read in 2015

This was the most boring book I nearly finished reading in 2015 and am just now posting.  A friend had sent it to me because she knows I enjoy history and mysteries and she thought, Californian that she is, I might enjoy reading about MN where we now live. It sounded like some local history with the murder mystery catching my eye and in paperback 289 pages, published by Beaver's Pond Press, a first printing edition from 2013, it held promise which quickly turned into a false one.  It is about the September 27, 1839 grisly discovery of the corpse of Sgt. John Hays by some Dakota Indian boys along the Mississippi River about seven miles downstream from Ft. Snelling.  The area is near an ancient Indian landmark, Carver's Cave.    Hays had been a popular soldier who had disappeared 21 days earlier and had shared his cabin with his business partner Edward Phelen or also spelled Phalen.  Phalen was an unlikeable sort and from the information friendless and most unfriendly.  Sounds interesting, but the writing is not.  Apparently the author,  amassed a collection of material about this unsolved murder although  Phalen was arrested and charged with the murder.  Perhaps the book could have been interesting if he had collaborated with a writer or simply given the material and his thoughts to an author.  As written it is boringly repetitive.  There are interesting quotes here and there such s page 121 where the author shows his research and further information referencing Winston Churchill, ""a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."  From the beginning the author admits the murder is unsolved and yet he spends page after page with his thoughts about "who done it" or what else I'm not sure.  I give this book 2 ** and that is a stretch.  It goes into the donation pile.