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The Scarlet Macaw Paperback – May 19 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn; 1st Edition edition (May 19 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145970598X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459705982
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #788,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Hozy’s luscious prose makes this literary stand-alone a memorable read. Her talent for juggling multiple narrators (alternating between the present and 1920s Singapore) and interspersing with clue-laden short stories is impressive. Leisurely paced, it has tremendous crossover potential for non-mystery readers who favor classic tales such as those of W. Somerset Maugham. (Library Journal)

Notable particularly for its vivid sense of place in modern Singapore. (Booklist)

Hozy's third mystery is a magnificent combination of two stories a century apart. ...Hozy skillfully transports readers between the two centuries and builds suspense with questions of who can be trusted. (Publishers Weekly)

What elevates The Scarlet Macaw from most other mysteries is its fervent grasp of the power of stories, and how important they are in providing a sense of self. (National Post)

About the Author

S.P. Hozy is the author of four novels set in Asia. A world traveller for most of her life, she is retired from the film industry, where she won numerous awards as a sound editor and currently works as a book editor, dividing her time between Malaysia and Toronto.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wonderful read and I was left wanting more! Ready for the next one ...... fascinating peek into the worlds of intercontinental lives.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In contemporary Singapore, successful artist Maris is enjoying a quiet dinner at home with her boyfriend Peter, an art and antiques dealer. Suddenly Peter appears to have suffered a stroke.
Frantic, she watches his inert body for ten minutes of eternity: "It reminded her of the way penguins buried their heads in their chests to sleep." Paramedics do their impotent best; then she heads to the hospital, wondering where his reading glasses went and mindlessly worrying about the fish they never got to eat. Facing the fact that he is dead, Maris notifies his half-sister Dinah, who runs his upscale gallery. They must talk to Angela, his ex-wife in Germany and a mainstay of his business in Europe.
Angela is far from likable, but is she involved with the death since she will inherit? Maris considers her ex-rival: "She's built like a boning knife: all precision, balance, and sharpness....Nothing drooped, nothing sagged. Give it another five years and she'd be getting the eye job and the Botox injections."
Peter has been poisoned by a dose of choral hydrate in his bottle of Campari . Easy enough, especially if he drank from it every night. But why and by whom? The police are satisfied that Maris has nothing to gain. Her art sales are blossoming at Peter's gallery. Totally drained and unable to work, she heads home to her eccentric family in British Columbia. She grew up with flower children parents: Spirit meets Freedom Man. Hozy portrays hippie history with a steely eye for the consequences of decisions.
Then the gyre takes a spin, giving the plot an unexpected turn.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa5aa3df8) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
HASH(0xa586aa80) out of 5 stars Wheels Within Wheels, Gyres Within Gyres Sept. 25 2013
By Lou Allin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
In contemporary Singapore, successful artist Maris is enjoying a quiet dinner at home with her boyfriend Peter, an art and antiques dealer. Suddenly Peter appears to have suffered a stroke.
Frantic, she watches his inert body for ten minutes of eternity: "It reminded her of the way penguins buried their heads in their chests to sleep." Paramedics do their impotent best; then she heads to the hospital, wondering where his reading glasses went and mindlessly worrying about the fish they never got to eat. Facing the fact that he is dead, Maris notifies his half-sister Dinah, who runs his upscale gallery. They must talk to Angela, his ex-wife in Germany and a mainstay of his business in Europe.
Angela is far from likable, but is she involved with the death since she will inherit? Maris considers her ex-rival: "She's built like a boning knife: all precision, balance, and sharpness....Nothing drooped, nothing sagged. Give it another five years and she'd be getting the eye job and the Botox injections."
Peter has been poisoned by a dose of choral hydrate in his bottle of Campari . Easy enough, especially if he drank from it every night. But why and by whom? The police are satisfied that Maris has nothing to gain. Her art sales are blossoming at Peter's gallery. Totally drained and unable to work, she heads home to her eccentric family in British Columbia. She grew up with flower children parents: Spirit meets Freedom Man. Hozy portrays hippie history with a steely eye for the consequences of decisions.
Then the gyre takes a spin, giving the plot an unexpected turn. In an old leather trunk Peter designated for Maris are curious paintings and sketches as well as letters from 1923 involving Annabelle in England, her fiancée in Malaysia, Francis, and his wealthy friend Edward (Sutty), who wants the lovers to reunite even at his own cost. Yet, love aside, how can the feckless Francis make a living from his writing, let alone live the ex-patriot life? Even those with "The Company" had best marry late, after prospects improve, and are warned against bringing English roses to the tropical swelter of the rainforest.
As the writing style shifts ninety years without missing a beat, Francis writes to "dearest Annabelle": "To say that I miss you is to put into cheap, inadequate words a longing that surpasses anything I have ever felt. I am here with Sutty and we have settled into the Raffles Hotel....Sutty says that if I don't stop moping around like a lovesick old elephant he's going to turn me into a character in one of his books and have me die a horrible death." Later, these words will haunt the reader, at this early stage happily time-travelling into Somerset Maugham's Miss Thompson.
But yet another dimension waits in the next chapters with short stories from the same period. Is Sutty chronicling the life of his friends? "It's not often that I'm invited to attend a wedding on my travels," the author within the author says, and the reader relaxes with a G and T. Later stories involve the same people with different endings. Has life turned into fiction or vice versa? There are surfaces under surfaces, time warps and modulations few writers can juggle. Sutty seemed so real that I looked him up on Google.
Hozy, who lives in Thailand herself, has absorbed the local colour, climate, and history. Details like James Brooke, an English soldier who became the Rajah of Sarawak, are compelling. Brooke was real, which keeps the reader guessing about the rest.
The reader hovers delightedly off balance, eager for the next installment of the old story, but waiting for the advancement of the new. When will they blend? Who killed Peter? What happened to Annabelle and her son? Did they return to England or did they perish roaming the netherworld of life on Singapore backstreets, where a poor woman has only one career, one which should not be whispered in good company?
Hozy has made herself the Literary Queen of Expats in this exotic part of the world. Her other locales involve Shanghai, Thailand, and India.
HASH(0xa52030cc) out of 5 stars clever style and tangible characters July 17 2013
By third R blind - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
S.P. Hozy once again lays out a rich tapestry of characters and events with her distinctive blend of history and fiction. The dialogues are particularly engaging--playful, heartbreaking, realistic, a joy to read. A unique and mesmerizing weaving of past and present allows the reader to follow several storylines which all share common ground. Hozy calls forth her early 20th century author with complete authenticity, and deftly juggles the juxtaposition of two time periods. A riveting and well-paced book, Hozy takes us on another amazing journey and makes us believe it all.
HASH(0xa520fac8) out of 5 stars Page-turner! July 22 2013
By Georgina Cannon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A great read and page turner - I couldn't put it down - I read it in one sitting. Thanks Penny Hozy - another winner!
HASH(0xa54590d8) out of 5 stars A pleasure to read Sept. 18 2014
By t.g. brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
S.P. Hozy has brought the human experience to life in a tangible, memorable, and satisfying way.
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