Welcome to the last reading round-up of the old year! Next time we convene our virtual salon, it will be 2012. Bizarre, no?
As the old year barreled to a close, this is what I was reading:
— Eve Stachniak, The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great.
Catherine’s ascension seen through the eyes of a bookbinder’s daughter who becomes a court ward– a less glamorous position than it sounds. I enjoyed this book greatly. It reminded me a bit of Anne-Marie Selinko’s Désirée, history seen from the sidelines.
— Rosemary Baird, Mistress of the House: Great Ladies and Grand Houses.
A non-fiction tour through the domestic arrangements of the grande dames of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, exploring the role of women in creating the great houses we associate with the eighteenth century.
— Eloisa James, A Kiss at Midnight.
I so enjoyed When Beauty Tamed the Beast that it seemed past time to go back and try the first of James’ fairy tale books.
— Dorothy Sayers, Murder Must Advertise.
Lord Peter Wimsey. Need I say more? I tend to reread the ones that include Harriet Vane a fair amount (especially Gaudy Night), but the purely Lord Peter books get neglected.
Is it just me, or do you bet that if Dorothy Sayers were writing now, someone would write the Harriet Vane books, a la Castle?
— Josephine Tey, A Shilling for Candles.
I was thrilled to discover that Josephine Tey had written more than The Daughter of Time. I discovered Man in the Queue in a mystery bookshop in Hay on Wye this summer and gleefully pounced on A Shilling for Candles, The Franchise Affair and Miss Pym Disposes in my favorite used bookshop (in Putnam County, just outside Cold Spring) the day before Christmas.
The used bookstore also had a lovely hardcover of Pink I! I didn’t buy that, but I did sign it for them. So if anyone is looking for one….
What have you been reading?