March 24, 2003
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell

Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell: I started out this book really excited about what I was going to read. For about the first half of the book, I still felt that excitement, but it steadily began to wane. By the end of the book, I was just ready for it to end.

Cornwell presented some strong evidence against Walter Sickert, the man she claims was Jack the Ripper. She shows remarkable similarities in phrases that both men used, in handwriting and drawing styles, and in paper and envelopes used in the infamous Ripper letters to the police. Most importantly, she shows a link in mitochondrial DNA between an envelope mailed by the Ripper and two used by Sickert.

In reality, the book really does boil down to mostly circumstantial evidence since these crimes occured over 120 years ago and all “real” evidence has long been destroyed. I think if the book would have been shorter and more tightly written I wouldn’t have thought over and over again, “When is this damn thing going to end?”

March 23, 2003
Fishbowl by Sarah Mlynowski

Fishbowl by Sarah Mlynowski: one of the many “zany female” books ala Bridget Jones’s Diary that is so in vogue right now.

I found the book to be pretty decent and I particularly liked the way that the author did each chapter alternating through each of the three main characters points of view. You get to see how they view each other (not just how they view themselves) which added a bit more depth to the story.

All in all, it kind of blended in with the rest of the books that I’d read in this vein, but it’s not bad if you’re looking for a quick read.