Weekly Reading Round-Up

In between wrangling Miss Gwen, I’m still reading through that care package my wonderful college roommate sent me.

I’ve been taking a break between 70’s gothics to read the first few of Laurie King’s contemporary mystery series, featuring detective Kate Martinelli of San Francisco. So far, my favorite is the first one, A Grave Talent, but I also enjoyed To Play the Fool and With Child.

Next up in the roommate care package, probably Masks of Rome by Caroline Llewellyn, although I might take a hiatus from the care package to start reading up on some early Victorian fiction instead.

What have you been reading?


  1. Julie H on August 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Early Victorian, huh? Inspiration for the next stand-alone?

    I read Sherry Thomas’ Ravishing the Heiress last weekend. I think somebody mentioned it here a few weeks ago…? It was my first book by Sherry Thomas and I absolutely loved it. It made me cry, and that’s always a sign of a good book to me.

  2. Joanne M. on August 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Still working my way through Karen White’s books….currently The House on Tradd Street (an historic Charleston home with a ghost story) and enjoying her wit and style.

    Also treated myself to two DVD collections which are filling the void until Downton Abbey comes back….Masterpiece Theatre’s Love in a Cold Climate and the BBC period drama Garrow’s Law. Feeds my addiction to costume dramas and period pieces. 🙂

  3. Pam on August 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    The post-submission of dissertation chapter binge has included finishing Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, which I loved. I know some have had mixed responses, but I enjoyed the historical detail and, once the plot kicked in it was really gripping. Then I read Hens Dancing by Raffaella Barker, a British pastoral chick-litty novel about a recently divorced, Georgette Heyer-mad mother of three living in the country. It was really delightful, very wry and funny. One I’d been very excited about was Tana French’s new mystery, Broken Harbor. Her second book, The Likeness, remains my favorite but this one was really superb. It’s about the murder of a family living in one of the half-finished, semi-abandoned “ghost estates” (subdivisions) in the suburbs of Dublin. And last night I started The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas, an historical novel/mystery set at the court of Alfonso II d’Este in Ferrara (late sixteenth century).

    I’m taking The Masks of Rome with me when I head off for my research year in Italy next month, so I look forward to your review, Lauren.

  4. Christine on August 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I also finished “Shadow of Night.” I think someone said a few weeks ago that the first half of the book was like a history lesson with very little plot. I agree but I still liked the book, though not nearly as much as I liked the first. It felt very much like a placeholder between the first and third books, but I would still recommend it.

    I just started Andrew Grant’s new David Trevellyan book, “More Harm Than Good” and I’m liking it a lot so far.

  5. Dianne on August 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I adore Weekly Reading Roundup – it is my Friday Fix! That being said, this is my first time chiming in. I tend to listen to audiobooks more than read (Lauren, Kate Reading is brilliant!) and I just finished “Shadow of the Night” as well. I found it a bit slow but I still really liked it. One book I adored listening to was “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarity. For those of you pining until Downton returns Elizabeth McGovern is the narrator and she does a brilliant job capturing the main character. I am now listening to Maria Snyder’s first of her new series “Touch of Power” and actually reading #3 of Kate Ross’ Julian Kestral mysteries. And now I have to wait until next Friday for my weekly fix….

  6. Céline on August 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Since last week, I finished the first installment in Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis’ series Death Gate, which I found very very good, in a Game of Throne way, can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
    Then, I read Son of the Morning, by Linda Howard, which was ok, although not exactly as compelling as I thought it would be… Now, I’m in the middle of The Deception of the Emerald Ring, as a reread to get me through the year while waiting for Ashford and Miss Gwen… 🙂 Loving it as much the second time as I did the first time! 🙂

  7. Sheila on August 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I loved The Chaperone, not reading much this week, busy with work. Am planning on going through a lot on my kindle on the way to New York tomorrow.

  8. AngelB on August 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I’m gorging on Georgette Heyer since her ebooks went on sale this week (thanks again Lauren). Reading April Lady at the moment.

  9. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on August 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Oh, Might have to check out Grave Talent, I love anything set in San Francisco…

    I finished the 4th Brenda and Effie book by Paul Magrs, great fun. There was a horror film that was literally cursed.

    Then I read the newest Guild Comic, with all the character prequels before the first season of the web series, and it was a lot of fun.

    Now I’m reading Cranford.

  10. Leslie on August 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    AngelB: There is a great discussion and review of Heyer’s A Civil Contract at Dear Author.
    I reread Lisa Kleypas’ first two in the Friday Harbor series. Sweet reads.
    I also read Ilona Andrews’ convoluted Kate Daniels series. It was okay, but I liked The Edge series better.
    I read some Wendy Holden too, but I didn’t like them too much.
    I am in need of some good Brit Chick Lit. Any recommendations?
    I feel like I’ve read everyone there is to read.

  11. Lauren on August 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Leslie, have you read Harriet Evans? I’m also fond of Melissa Nathan’s books, Elizabeth Young, Clare Naylor, and Kate Saunders.

  12. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on August 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Oh, I second Harriet Evans and Melissa Nathan!

  13. Leslie on August 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Lauren, I have read Evans and Nathan, both wonderful. I don’t think I know the others, I’ll check them out. Thanks.

  14. Kam on August 19, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Leslie, some other Brit authors you could try…Milly Johnson, Trisha Ashley, Lisa Jewell and Bernadette Strachan. Oh and Jill Mansell books are fun reads too.

  15. Leslie on August 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Kam, I’ve read them all, but thanks. I just reread Mansell’s entire list. Strachan How to Lose a Husband and Gain a Life was pretty funny.
    Gil McNeil is another newish Brit I just adore.

  16. hilly on August 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I just followed the link to Amazon for the Masks of Rome by Caroline Llewellyn, and – based on the complete absence of reviews there – it appears that your roommate & I are the only two people who have read it !!

    I recall loving that debut novel, years ago. I am now eagerly awaiting your opinion of it!

    I went on a nostalgia kick a couple of years back, and I read her subsequent works; I think that by then, I had passed the time in my life to be able to connect with them. Additionally, I Googled the author and was saddened to learn that she is gone; that made it harder for me to open up to what she had written before she left.

    Have you read Katherine Neville’s The Eight or A Calculated Risk? They were released contemporaneously with Masks, and if you already are in that space, you might enjoy them. Tho’ both are very much technologically dated, I did … and still do.

    I’ve been watching DVDs, but when I wasn’t, I enjoyed reading Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra.

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