Weekly Reading Round-Up

I spent a lot of time on various forms of transportation this week, which afforded lots of time to read. These are the books I brought along with me:

— Sarah MacLean, A Rogue by Any Other Name.

This is the first in Sarah’s Rule of Scoundrels series (fallen noblemen running a gaming club), and I think this heroine was my favorite so far by far. For those who liked Callie in Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, you’re going to love Penelope. She’s just so… normal. Normal and noble, all at the same time.

— Deborah Crombie, A Share in Death.

This is the first of the Duncan Kincaid novels (for once, I actually started a series in the right place!) and I will absolutely be reading the others. It reminded me both of Elizabeth George’s Lynley books and one of my favorite British TV series, Midsomer Murders (as someone I know likes to point out, the county of Midsomer has a death rate worse than New York in the ’70s).

— Velda Johnston, Masquerade in Venice .

Then it was back to the roommate care package for more books featuring women in too much eye-shadow fleeing from an unspecified menace against a muddy backdrop: yes, you guessed it, old fashioned Gothics. This was Gothic genus nineteenth centuryius, in which our American heroine leaves Connecticut to stay with her Venetian great-aunt and is embroiled in drama– and danger! There’s even a pet monkey. Not as cool as a hedgehog, but still.

— Velda Johnston, The Mourning Trees.

More roommate care package, this time gothic genus mid-twentieth centuryus, featuring a woman in a belted trenchcoat on the cover (just so we know that there will be suspense!). It reminds me a lot of my old Phyllis A. Whitney novels from a similar time period– but, of the two roommate care package offerings, I preferred genus nineteenth centuryus, above. (See “pet monkey”.)

There were also some research books, but we don’t need to go into those just now.

What have you been reading?


  1. Céline on March 30, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I really loved Callie, indeed, so I can’t wait to meet Penelope!

    Concerning my readings, I finally read Ella Enchanted and I was. Enchanted, I mean. That was one of the best fairy tale-related book I read so far!
    Then, I begun Silk is for Seduction. I’m too early in the book to have an opinion, but I like the heroine (but the name of the hero? really?)
    Oh, and before that, I read Can’t Stand the heat, by Louisa Edwards… a bit too cliché, a bit too predictable, a bit too… everything. It lacked the sensuality I would have expected in a romance in the food world!

  2. Christine on March 30, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I finished “A Discovery of Witches” and LOVED it. I was a little bit wary because I still mourn those hours lost reading the Twilight series, but it was so good. I can’t wait for the second book!

  3. Pam on March 30, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’ll have to check out both Deborah Crombie and Velda Johnston, those sound great.

    I’ve started reading Less than Angels by Barbara Pym. She is so wonderful…

  4. Joanne M. on March 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I’ve been dabbling in a little bit of everything lately…..loved the awesome trilogy by Amanda Stevens called The Graveyard Queen — The Restorer, The Kingdom, and The Prophet. Very spooky, sexy southern gothic vibe.

    Also enjoyed Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs (post-WWI era mystery), Barbara Erskine’s Child of the Phoenix (loved it!), and Penman’s Here Be Dragons.

  5. Lauren on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Pam, I definitely recommend the Crombie books! I had mixed feelings about the Johnston ones. I liked the 19th century one– it was basically Victoria Holt lite– but the 20th century one was a little… odd. Rather like the lesser Elsie Lees. I think it’s a matter of social mores and expectations that don’t translate well to modern sensibilities.

  6. Leslie on March 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I like Deborah Crombie’s Kincaid/James mysteries, soooo very much. The second book “All Shall Be Well” is really good!

  7. Ammy Belle on March 30, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I am reading House of Leaves – wish me luck! It’s supposed to be the scariest book ever …

    Just finished Gail Carriger’s “HeartlesS” too. Great series!

  8. Susan on March 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games trilogy. It had been on my TBR list for a while. I enjoyed the movie. I like the books too, although I felt the end was a little rushed. Like it was missing something.

  9. jeffrey on March 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I just finished MR. DARCY FOREVER by Victoria Connelly. This is the final book in her Austen Addicts Trilogy, the previous two being A WEEKEND WITH MR. DARCY and DREAMING OF MR. DARCY. I loved-loved-loved it! I absolutely fell in love with one of the flawed heroines who suffers from acute obsessive-compulsive disorder. She provided some of the funniest, as well as the saddest moments in this wonderful off-beat romance.

  10. Ashley on March 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I finally decided to check out Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series thanks to recommendations on this site. Lucky my library had all 5 and I spent a blissful week reading about Georgie’s exploits!

    Now I am onto another Georgette Heyer – the Reluctant Widow. Let’s just say I scared the beejesus out of myself last night thanks to reading some spooky chapters right before bed.

  11. Faith on March 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I downloaded the Sarah MacLean book to my Nook last week but haven’t started it yet. Because I just got a copy of YS Lee’s latest YA Victorian mystery novel. Excellent series and in such an under represented genre.

  12. SusanN on March 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I’ve been on a UF kick–read Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series up to the current book, and now can’t wait for the next two. Started Devon Monk’s series.

    I’ve enjoyed the George and Crombie series but I’m a bit behind and need to catch up.

    Love hearing what everyone else is reading. I have the Amanda Stevens books in my TBR pile and now really want to start them. So many good books await…

  13. Andrea on March 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I just finished reading Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden. I couldn’t put it down, and now I’m sad that I read it so fast.

  14. Amy N. on March 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Now reading about the Gardner Art Heist. Then maybe “The Buccaneers” by Wharton unless my copy of Intrigue arrives first. …anticipation…

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