Weekly Reading Round-Up

One good thing about many hours on airplanes: it provides much time to read. Here were my companions on this week’s flights:

— Meredith Duran, At Your Pleasure.

Ah, the Hanoverian succession. Always such good fodder for fiction.

— John Harwood, The Ghost Writer.

I don’t know whether to thank or blame Pam for recommending this to me. It’s a brilliantly creepy, entirely eerie, literary ghost story. Note: do not read while entirely alone, late at night. It reminded me very much of Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale.

— Donna Thorland, The Turncoat.

The reason there’s no link for this book is because it’s not out yet– which is a huge shame, because otherwise I would tell you to run and read it. Anyone remember that old Disney show, The Swamp Fox? Well, imagine if the Swamp Fox were a woman, charming secrets out of the British in Philadelphia by day and smuggling them to the rebel forces by night. The resourceful heroine and the dilemmas she faced reminded me, for some reason, a great deal of Claire Fraser in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I’ll post more about this book once it actually has a cover– and a release date.

— Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Call Me Irresistible.

I’ve been saving and saving this book, since new SEPs only come out every so often. This one features the offspring of characters from much earlier books, so you might want to read First Lady, Glitter Baby, Fancy Pants, and Lady Be Good first.

What have you been reading?


  1. jeffrey on April 13, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I am reading a book for a published review: My Particular Friend by Jennifer Petkus. It seemingly defies categorizing. It takes place in Bath during the Napoleonic wars. I would define it as “Bath private eye” and I am astonished that this work is the author’s first foray into Regency fiction because it is extremely well done. Mash-up a little Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Stephanie Barron and of course a dash of Lauren Willig for the laugh-out-loud humor that the author offers up. It is just dandy and I’m about 1/3 the way through. I can hardly wait to attempt to review this unique story. (hope Captcha doesn’t double-post this…apologies in advance)

  2. Georgia on April 13, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Rhys Bowen’s Royal Blood. I love her Lady Georgianna series, it manages to be farsical in a highly amusing way.
    Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog is compelling(especially if you read a lot of social theory in grad school).
    And Tessa Dare’s a Week to be Wicked is hilarious.

  3. Liz on April 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I just finished The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James…absolutely loved it! It’s set in England in between the world wars and has a very gothic feel to it. Complete with a handsome, war-scarred hero of course 🙂

  4. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm on April 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Lots of YA fic and mysteries – Enna Burning by Shannon Hale, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear, and When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris.

    When Maidens Mourn is the latest in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. They’re a bit reminiscent of your books – set post-Waterloo England. I bet a lot of your readers would like them.

  5. AngelB on April 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am on an official book buying freeze, so I have started re-reading books on my nook (until I lose this weight I gained over the holidays!!).

    Right now I’m re-reading Jane Austen. Thought it was a good place to start. Emma is about completed.

  6. Pam on April 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Lauren, I’m glad you liked The Ghost Writer! I, too, had a moment when reading it alone at night in view of the open door to our creepy basement. It was not cool. He has a second novel, The Seance, that I’m eager to read. You might try The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, which is also very literary, spooky, and well-crafted.

    I finished Less than Angels by Barbara Pym, which was just wonderful. It’s a bittersweet, very sharply-observed novel about anthropologists in post-WWII London. Barbara Pym is amazing, everyone should read her!

    Now I’m reading Simply Divine by Wendy Holden, a British “comic novel” (read chick-lit) that I found in a cupboard at my parents’ house and seems to have originally been in some kind of promotional gift basket as it is an “exclusive edition for Cosmopolitan, not for resale.” It has funny bits and definitely features a parade of types from English society, but is rather appalling…

    I really want to read The Haunting of Maddy Clare!

  7. Lauren on April 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Pam, I read all the Holden books the year I was living in England (they all had different titles there– “Simply Divine” was “Fame Fatale”) and had the exact same reaction…. I found it appalling but I couldn’t stop reading. Her writing is so clever, but her people are so awful.

  8. Lauren on April 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Liz, I’ve been dying to read “The Haunting of Maddy Clare”!

  9. Olivia on April 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    “The Haunting of Maddy Clare” was amazing!!!

  10. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on April 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Adoring the follow up to Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, Glamour Glass. What could be better than magic and Regency England? Being trapped in Belgium when Napoleon escapes prison!

  11. Sheila on April 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Heyer’s The Black Moth, not my favorite, but as her first book, still well done.

    Death of a Kingfisher, by M. C. Beaton, Hamish Macbeth’s latest outing.

  12. Pam on April 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Exactly! I love the writing (especially the wonderful names–Busty Binge-Fetlock! Fluffy Fronte-Bottom!) but everyone in this book is horrid. I want to like Jane but she’s such a twit. That being said, I’ll probably read all her other books in a hot minute. Holden must have laced the pages with crack?

  13. JeaneB on April 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    currently reading The Garden Intrigue. I think I’m in love with Augustus!

  14. Althea on April 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve just finished the first two of M.C. Beaton’s (Marion Chesney) Agatha Raisin mysteries, and have started on Mysteries of Demeter–which is non-fiction, not a mystery novel–by Jennifer Reif.

  15. Tricia on April 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I have been waiting all day to post about the book I finished at 3am 🙂

    It is “City of Darkness” by Kim Wright. It is only available as a Kindle book on Amazon (I have no idea about elsewhere…). It is a mystery/thriller/romance-ish set in 1888 London during the Jack the Ripper murders about the first British “CSI” team. I got it while it was free (I believe it is currently $2.99 or thereabouts) and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was good! The next one doesn’t come out until August!

  16. Jessica S. on April 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve been under the weather, so I’ve been comfort-re-reading my Jen Lancaster collection (well, her memoirs) and have moved on to Stacey Ballis.

  17. Pat on April 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I’m currently in Imogene Robertson’s third novel, Island of Bones, set in 1780’s England. Good series. I finished the fourth and last book in Marion Chesney’s Edwardian mystery series. Read The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens, the 2nd book in her Graveyard Queen series. I recommend all of these. I’ll have to find The Haunting of Maddy Clare and The Ghost Writer. They sound good!

  18. Kimberly Bristol on April 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I just finished reading a really god book yesterday that you might be familiar with. It’s called “The Orchid Affair.” 🙂

    Next is P.D. James’s “Death Comes to Pemberley.” Looking forward to it!

  19. CĂ©line on April 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I lost myself in Tracy Grant’s latest, Imperial Scandal, and absolutely loved it! And also in Follow my lead, by Kate Noble, which I liked very very very much!
    Then, I started A Dance With Dragons… Completely different, will keep me occupied a few weeks, given that I have books to read and give back to the library!

  20. aniko on April 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I finished Letters to Juliet by Lise and Ciel Friedman and began Faery Tale by Signe Pike, a memoir in which she investigates the myth and “reality” (it’s amazing what people believe) of fairies. It has a personal meaning for her that’s interesting, too, but I prefer the adventures of traveling and meeting interesting people that she describes.

  21. Am7 on April 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I read Joanna Bourne’s My Lord and Spymaster. It was okay. I love her writing style.
    I also read the second Virgin River book Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr. These books are like soap operas. Here the main story really worked for me but the secondary stories I didn’t care as much.
    Finally last week I read Naughty in Nice. I really liked it but I am surprised the next book is set at Christmas when this one left off in March.

  22. Amy N. on April 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Totally skipped my planned attack on the TBR pile and picked up “O Jerusalem” by Laurie R. King. Hmmm.

  23. Françoise on April 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve been reading your latest book. Just so you know, Edmond de Rostand was born in 1868, and Cyrano was not written until 1897. I usually don’t mind the odd anachronism, but this one was just ridiculously glaring.

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