Weekly Reading Round-Up

I had a bit of a Jennifer Crusie mini-marathon this week (which would have turned into a maxi-marathon if I could have remembered what I did with Welcome to Temptation and Bet Me). Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

— Laurie King, The Art of Detection.

This is the fifth of King’s Kate Martinelli mysteries, about a San Francisco cop. (I went on a Martinelli marathon and read the first four while I was writing The Passion of the Purple Plumeria last summer.) In this one, a dedicated Sherlock Holmes devotee is mysteriously murdered. If you haven’t read these yet, start with A Grave Talent, and move on from there.

— Jennifer Crusie, Agnes and the Hitman.

No one does madcap comedy or renders the implausible plausible better. In this one, a cranky food columnist is attempting to rehabilitate a Southern plantation, put on a wedding for her best friend’s daughter, save the plantation from her best friend’s crazy mother, dodge various old Mafiosi who seem to want to kill her and each other, and collecting an extended family of hit men and their friends, all of whom need to be periodically fed. It’s impossible to describe and incredibly amusing. Think Murder with Peacocks meets The Godfather, if The Godfather were scripted by Mel Brooks.

— Jennifer Crusie, Faking It.

This is the sequel to Welcome to Temptation, but can be read as a stand alone. More madcap comedy and clever character development, in a slightly less homicidal vein than Agnes and the Hitman, as a con man teams up with an art forger to steal a painting, each fooling the other and everyone around them.

— Lisa Kleypas, Secrets of a Summer Night.

While I’m reading old favorites…. This is the first of Kleypas’s wildly popular, Victorian-set Wallflower series, about four girls who band together to help each other find husbands: in this case, the impoverished Annabelle, who must dodge the prospect of ruin and save her family by making a prosperous match. Until ruthless industrialist Simon Hunt gets in the way. (This one and the third book in the series, The Devil in Winter, are among my favorite historical romances.)

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Courtney Tonokawa on May 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    “The Maze Runner” Trilogy by James Dashner. It’s YA, but it’s pretty cool. I think it’s the first dystopian book I read. Next, after some time with some unhappy or bittersweet endings, going back to some good old historical romances…going to try out Anne Mallory and Sophie Jordan.

  2. Donna Thorland on May 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    A Cruise marathon sounds delightful! I just finished Philbrick’s Bunker Hill. It’s a fun read and i think it might be the best illustrated book I’ve encountered about the siege of Boston. Now I want to go to the MFA to ogle the Copleys!

  3. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on May 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Just continuing on my Dorothy L Sayers kick… next Margarey Allingham.

  4. SusanN on May 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I’m on a bit of a SF marathon right now, but did want to second the love for Laurie King–both the Martinelli and Russell series.

    And TDIW is my favorite of the Wallflower books, but Love in the Afternoon is my absolute favorite Kleypas.

  5. Am7 on May 18, 2013 at 12:52 am

    This week I read Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas. Its the third in Friday Harbor series, which is my favorite series by her. I can’t tell whether my favorite if Dream Lake or Rainshadow Road. I highly recommend them.

  6. jamie on May 18, 2013 at 1:09 am

    ha! I actually just read Bet Me again this week-I adore Jennifer Crusie. She did another novel, Don’t Look Down with Bob Meyer that revived my fascination with Wonder Woman, but Agnes is the best of those novels for sure. I also very nostalgic this past week and read my tattered copy of Watch the Wall, My Darling by Jane Aiken Hodge for the gazillionth time. I adore her too!

  7. HJ on May 18, 2013 at 1:50 am

    My favourite Jennifer Crusie is Charlie All Night, in audiobook narrated by Aimee Jolson. In fact, I think almost all the Crusie books I’ve read have been audiobooks – they work really well that way, including Welcome to Temptation and Faking It. So next time you have a long journey to get through, enjoy it instead listening to one of her audiobooks!

  8. HJ on May 18, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I was in very patchy Internet connection when I read The Ashford Affair – so this is my first real chance to say how much I enjoyed it! And thank you for letting us know about Deanna Raybourn A Spear of Summer Grass, which was also excellent.

  9. jeffrey on May 18, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I departed from my usual fare and read a retro-spy thriller entitled Dead Man Falling by Cory Desmond. From the golden age of international espionage (1950) it has all the elements: Neo-Nazis, Soviet expansionism, and European paranoia. The hero and rogue British operative is Johnny Fedora and with his beautiful French assistant he is after a fortune in stolen diamonds hidden somewhere on a mountain top in the Austrian Alps. Very much in the style of Ian Fleming and my favorite spymaster Matt Helm, once it got going it REALLY got going! A thrilling read.

  10. Sheila on May 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I just finished The River of No Return, by Bee Ridgway, and am ambivalent. Her writing throughout is a pleasure, and the first part of the book was wonderful: Regency romance , time travel, etc. but something happened in the middle and I got really confused. Hard to tell if the bad guys are good and vice versa. A very interesting premise, nevertheless.

  11. CĂ©line on May 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    This week was a bit of a mess at work and what with working late and all, I only managed to finish my re-reading of Night Jasmine and get started on the 4th installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series… (yeah, I know, I’m far behind on that! 🙂 )

  12. Alice on May 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    “Bet Me” is my all time favorite Jennifer Crusie! I just finished “A Murder at Roasamund’s Gate” by Susanna Calkins. I think it is her first book and I really enjoyed it. It is set in London during the 1600’s, which is not a time period I generally enjoy (everyone seemed so dirty), but she made it work. Great mystery, great characters and really well written. Highly recommended!

  13. leslie on May 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I listened to Susanna Kearsley’s Shadowy Horses audio book this week. Sally Armstrong did a fantastic job narrating, her Scot accents were really good.

  14. Susan Gorman on May 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I finished two Tessa Dare Spindle Cove books for my Goodreads reading challenge. Enjoyed both of them very much. Starting Hannah Fielding’s Burning Embers this week.
    I loved the Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. It Happenned One Autumn is my favorite.

  15. Susan Kurtz on May 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I am almost finished Jennifer Cody Epstein’s “The Gods of Heavenly Punishment” which I am finding good. First book I’ve read of hers.

  16. Susan Kurtz on May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    I am almost finished Jennifer Cody Epstein’s “The Gods of Heavenly Punishment” which I am finding good. First book of this author’s I’ve read.

  17. Christine on May 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I could swear I posted yesterday but I guess the Internet ate my post. I also finished Shadowy Horses and loved it. I’ve loved all of Susanna Kearsley’s books, but Every Secret Thing was my favorite. This week I have A Duke Never Yields and The Paris Affair.

  18. Nessa on May 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    This week I enjoyed charming “Mrs.Tim of the Regiment” by D.E. Stevenson and visually stunning “The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt” by Caroline Preston.

  19. Betty Strohecker on May 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    After finishing the The Ashford Affair, I embarked on Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey series and am about to finish the last one. I also have read a lot of Lisa Kleypas and agree about the Wallflower series – Devil in Winter – real character change there. Along that line is Mary Balogh’s “Simply” series – I especially love Simply Love!

  20. Heather on May 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I have also read the shadowy horses and am mow on a Susanna Kearsley kick, I just finished The Winter Sea and LOVED IT!!! Now I am on the rose garden

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