Weekly Reading Round-Up

My sainted college roommate rescued me from the book doldrums with exactly what I needed after a hard week of revisions: a box of vintage Elsie Lee novels.

For those who haven’t stumbled on Elsie Lee, they’re old fashioned romantic suspense novels from the 1960’s and 70’s and ridiculously hard to find. When they’re good they’re very, very good and when they’re bad, they’re horrid. My college roommate has an unearthly instinct for sniffing them out at used bookstores and doles them out to me in times of need, like after oral exams in grad school or 3L exams in law school or pretty much any book deadline.

At some point, we’ll have read them all and then I don’t know what we’ll do to treat ourselves, but, in the meantime….

This time’s finds were Mistress of Mount Fair and Ivorstone Manor. I preferred Mount Fair to Ivorstone, but both were solidly satisfying examples of Elsie Lee-dom.

In the roommate box was also a promising looking pile of novels by someone named Anna Barrie. I’ve just started The Linden Tree, so I’ll let you know how it goes….

What have you been reading?


  1. Christine on March 9, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I read “The House at Tyneford.” It was just meh. Not horrid, but not really good either. It was completely predictable and I hated the last 50 pages or so.

  2. CĂ©line on March 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I seem to be deprived of any time these days, so I only managed to read Timeless, the ultimate installment in the Parasol Protectorate series (Gail Carriger is so so so funny!!). Haven’t finished it yet, whish tells how little time I can deveote to reading, to my distress… 🙂
    I don’t know Elsie-Lee, I’ll keep my eyes open for the books and will search the library catalog to see whether they have them or not!

  3. jeffrey on March 9, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I finally finished Edmund Persuader, all 1,500+ pages and a half-million words later. My opinion? Simply one of the best stories I have ever read in my 66 years.

    I also promised my granddaughter I would read Little Women and I have made a start. I’ve read several of Louisa May Alcott’s books and I like her style.

  4. Jill Q on March 9, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I love used book stores. If I find crumbling paperback books with a woman on the cover, fleeing a dark castle in a nightie, I am in heaven.
    Have you ever tried Norah Lofts? She wrote historical fiction and I loved her sort of gothic sort of straight up thriller “Bride of Moat House.”
    Not all of her books have conventional happy endings though.

  5. aniko on March 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    What a nice ex-roommie you have!! I’ve been busy, so I haven’t finished the one book I’ve been reading this week, Highland Scandal by Julia London. So surprisingly good and sweet and warm and lovely!!

  6. leslie on March 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I read Lisa Lutz’s 5th document. She’s a riot!
    Lisa Kleypas latest was okay, but not up to her usual standards. I think she is dipping her toes into the supernatural.
    I also read 2nd and 3rd books in the CRAZY “Parasol Protectorate” series. I think Carriger must be a Pullman fan with all her weirdo gadgets.

  7. Pat on March 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I read the latest Gail Carriger too, in fact I attended her talk last week at Murder by the Book. She is so funny in person. I finished the latest Rhys Bowen Molly Murphy book, the first book of the Jade del Cameron series by Suzanne Arruda (post WWI Africa), and am just starting the latest Hamish MacBeth book. Lots of good reading.

  8. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on March 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I glad there are other Lisa Lutz fans out there! I read the newest Patricia Briggs, Fair Game, which is the 3rd in the spin of series from Mercy Thompson, which was awesome. Serial killer in Boston with supernatural elements. Plus something happens at the end that will have major implications for the world they inhabit.

    Also, continuing on my Feast of Crows re-read.

  9. Pam on March 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Finished Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart and LOVED it. Then I read The Learning Curve by Melissa Nathan, as I was feeling in need of some mindless but cozy chick-lit of the British persuasion, and I thought it was cute and fun, though not her best. Now, continuing the escapist trend, I’m starting my first Katie Fforde (Restoring Grace).

  10. Laura on March 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Has anyone read Patricia Veryan? Romantic adventure set in the Georgian era and another series set in the regency. She’s hard to find, as well.

  11. Sheila on March 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    To Laura–Veryan is right up there with Lauren and Heyer, IMHO. I searched ebay and amazon and finally got everything she wrote.(except Poor Splendid Wings , which is rare) The library was throwing them out !!!! A duke named Muffin, a villain to make you cry..it is all there.On another note, I just finished Kearsley’s The Rose, and was just a bit disappointed…liked it a lot, just didn’t love it.

  12. Sheila on March 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    oops..that’s The Rose Garden..

  13. leslie on March 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Love Katie Fforde! Some of her books have US and UK titles, but my two favs are Flora’s Lot/Bidding for Love and Practically Perfect. Rowan Coleman, Gil McNeil and Jill Mansell are also wonderful UK authors.
    I read Veryan last year after someone mentioned her here. All her heros are stabbed, beaten, shot, maimed and tortured!!! I couldn’t take it!!!

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