Weekly Reading Round-Up

My weekly reading round-up can be summed up in two words: Dorothy and Sayers.

It’s been about three years since I re-read my Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (although there may have been a Busman’s Honeymoon re-read in there somewhere), so it almost feels like reading them for the first time. I’d forgotten what an amazing prose stylist Sayers is. And what a brilliant satirist (that scene in the artists’ loft in Strong Poison!). And how well versed in the vagaries of human nature.

In short, if I could be Dorothy Sayers when I grow up, I would be a happy, happy writer.

What have you been reading?


  1. Am7 on May 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Lauren did you re-read the whole series?
    That is impressive. I prefer Agatha Christie. She can be funny too! I recommend the Secret of Chimmneys and the connected book The Seven Dials Mystery. As well as the Beresford series, satarting with the Secret Adversary. (All light hearted Agatha Christie books.) Seriously Lauren you would love them.
    Also Sayers means more thirties and stuff?
    I read Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake. It is the quintessential romance novel. I thought it was well written and beautifully done.
    I am reading more contemporaries. Nora Roberts stuff?

  2. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on May 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I finally got my hands on the new Du Maurier. I’ve only read the first two stories, but one of them being the infamouns “Doll”. Ummm… it was interesting. I still think my favorite Du Maurier short story is “Kiss Me Stranger” but I’m not done with this collection yet! But I can tell it’s going to be dark, the first story involves a well placed ax.

    I also finished Castle Waiting Vol 1 and moved onto 2. Every Fairy Tale fan should read, also fans of Chaucer.

  3. Georgia on May 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I love Peter Wimsey too!

  4. Christy on May 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Our book club just selected VS Naipaul’s “A bend in the river” (trying to psych myself up for that one), and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In our mighty group of 5, we have two Janeite’s, two who enjoy Jane Austen well enough, and one who doesn’t understand or appreciate her and who has read P&P 3 times with no enjoyment and agreed to read it again so that we can show her what’s so great about Jane. Haha! It seems that we have a big job ahead of us, though I appreciate her effort. 😉 I posted your 12 things to learn from Jane Austen books on our book club board and she responded “Does agreeing with only a few of these bode ill for my ride on the Austen bandwagon?” In general, I replied that maybe she is more like Ms Austen than she thinks 😉 I can’t wait for her response to that one!

  5. Pam on May 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Per your (Lauren’s) recommendation I read The Nanny by Melissa Nathan, which I enjoyed a whole lot more than The Waitress. It was a fun, light read and made me appreciate my parents a lot more haha. Now I’m reading The Four Seasons by Laurel Corona, which is about female musicians in early eighteenth-century Venice. So far so good!

    In a few weeks I go off to Italy for 2 months of dissertation field research (phase 1) and was wondering if Lauren or anyone else had any reading suggestions for me? I got myself a Kindle in anticipation of all the solitary nights I’ll be having. I’ve already put the complete Sherlock Holmes and the complete Jane Austen on there.

  6. Loramir on May 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I’m rereading Sayers too at the moment. I never got through the whole series before – never even got to the Harriet books, before, except for Strong Poison. I got sidetracked at some point and never finished them, so I’m starting over again. Just finished Whose Body and moved on to Clouds of Witness (and wondered if you’d read them as I’ve run across both a Cathcart and Delagardie, whose names sounded familiar)! I’m excited to get further in the series this time. I love Peter and Parker (and also Bunter. I have a thing for butlers – I’m madly in love with Jeeves). They kind of remind me of Richard and Miles 🙂

    I’m also listening to the British version of the Harry Potter audiobooks. Stephen Fry is SO VERY much better than the guy who reads the American version, whom I couldn’t stand, and I now want him to read ALL my books to me!

    And at last, I just finished The Orchid Affair. Or rather, started and finished it – all in one rather late night. I loved it! I could totally relate to Laura in a lot of ways. I think she and Letty and Arabella, being relatively plain and sensible and quiet and down to earth, are my favorite heroines.

    And, finally, I’m going to see the new Jane Eyre movie Monday (since it finally came to a theater within 6 hours of me…) and I am QUITE excited!

  7. Céline on May 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I read a wonderful book, Corrag, by Susan Fletcher, about a young girl accused of sorcery and who tells her life to an ecclesiastic. She was witness to the terrible events of Glencoe, Scotland, at the end of the 1600s. It was beautifully written and so moving, I felt completely drawn into the book!

    As a huge Fairy Tale fan, I’m jotting down the reference to Castle waiting, recommanded by Elizabeth!!! Thanks !

  8. Elizabeth aka Miss Eliza on May 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I adore Stephen Fry. I want him to come to my house and read all my books to me! I’ll give him a nice chair and all the artisnal cheeses he could want. Celine you won’t be disappointed.

  9. Ashley on May 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I just finished what has to be my all time favorite Heyer – Venetia. By far, the best character of hers I have read.

    Pam – if you are looking for books set in Italy, I would recommend Marina Fiorato’s books. The Glassblower of Murano, The Botticelli Secret and she has a new one, which I just picked up so I am not sure if it’s good but judging how I liked the others, I am sure it will be.

    Kate Morton’s books are also fantastic reads – I get sucked into her stories and can’t put them down.

    If you like Sherlock Holmes, I would also recommend Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox series – Beautiful Blue Death, The Fleet Street Murders, etc.

  10. Joanne M. on May 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard — When four friends make up a tongue-in-cheek checklist of what makes “the perfect man,” their private joke turns into a public sensation…and someone wants them all dead. A sexy thriller!

  11. Liz C. on May 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Just finished re-reading Jane Eyre for the first time since age 11, and I am still in Ms. Bronte’s grip. Amazing how much more there is to appreciate in that story when one is a slightly more mature adult! Planning to start HP & The Half Blood Prince next, as I’m determined to finish the series before this last film opens!

    I didn’t realize that Marina Fiorata had written another one – I’ll have to look for that. Christi Phillips’ The Rossetti Letter and Juliet by Anne Fortier are two other great reads set in Italy.

  12. Katie on May 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I was going to recommend Christi Phillip’s The Rossetti Letter too! It was so good and I loved getting to enjoy Venice from a historical perspective.
    I just finished reading Elizabeth Peter’s A River in the Sky. I have been reading these books since I was ten years old and they never disappoint me! I also read Jennifer Cody Epstein’s Painter from Shanghai and Bred Meltzer’s The Inner Circle. The Inner Circle was interesting and captivating and got me interested in spies and espionage during the American Revolution. Right now I am reading Water for Elephants (super so far) and nonfiction Women Sailors and Sailor’s Women by David Cordingly. I don’t know how I got interested in this but I recommend it!

  13. carole on May 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I’m reading ‘Wolf Shadow’ by Madeline Baker. I’m only a couple chapters in, but it’s good so far.

    Also, I’ve been reading ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’ by Kumiko Kakehashi.

    I just finished Royal Pains by Leslie Carroll. That was a great book!

  14. Amanda on May 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm


    Check out either “The Warden” or “Barchester Towers” by Anthony Trollope. They’re the first and second books in a six-part series (which I read backward) about small-town English life. Loved. And free on Amazon (bonus!)

    I concur as well about Charles Finch’s Charles Lenox series (and yes, that IS confusing. Thank you, Lauren, for not naming Eloise Lauren!) I just finsihed “A Stranger in Mayfair”, the fourth book. I’m not 100% in love with the series, but the books are entertaining and quick reads.


    –Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series (starting with “Silent in the Grave”;
    — Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries;
    — Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (these are LONG books)
    — And Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series (which begins with “And Only to Deceive”).

    Happy reading!

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