Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week saw three re-reads and one upcoming book that I’ve been particularly excited about:

— Barbara Michaels, Patriot’s Dream.

A young woman living with her aunt and uncle in Colonial Williamsburg has a series of dreams that take her back in time to the same house during the Revolutionary War. Although the insight into Revolutionary history is fascinating, this has always been my least favorite Barbara Michaels– and this read didn’t change that opinion. I think the problem is that the modern character is really only a conduit for the historical story; she has no real plot line of her own.

— Barbara Michaels, The Crying Child.

On the other end of the spectrum, for years and years this was my favorite Barbara Michaels– and, as with the above, a re-read only confirmed that opinion. A snarky first person narrator, a big old house on an island off the coast of Maine, a family mystery, and a ghost story that still makes me look over my shoulder when I made the mistake of reading this alone, late at night…. Who can ask for more?

— Georgette Heyer, Devil’s Cub.

Always so good. When a rake accidentally kidnaps the wrong sister (yes, folks, this was the inspiration for the botched elopement in The Deception of the Emerald Ring) farcical hijinks– and, of course, true love– ensue. I know she’s better known for her Regencies, but no one captures the feel of the eighteenth century like Heyer….

And now, the real treat:

— Julia Spencer-Fleming, Through the Evil Days.

You know how much I love Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare and Russ Van Alstyne mysteries, right? I was beyond thrilled to be the recipient of an ARC of this next one. All I can say is, if you’re a fan of the series, make sure to mark your calendar for November 5th, when this comes out. And if haven’t encountered these before, start reading with In the Bleak Midwinter.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Renee Ann Smith on August 16, 2013 at 10:20 am

    These authors are all favorites of mine! I saved Julia Spencer-Fleming’s One Was a Soldier to read this summer so it would be closer to the release date of her next book. Love Russ & Clare–and now Kevin and Hadley. I can imagine them visiting my hometown of Kinderhook, NY, which is very like Millers Kill.

  2. jeffrey on August 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I’ve been meaning to read Devil’s Cub for years and I’m going to do just that on your recommendation.

    I’m reading The Silverton Scandal by Amanda Grange and enjoying it immensely. This is my first read of anything by her and due the quality of this thrilling read it will probably not be my last.

    I also read In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern, who is rapidly becoming my #2 favorite author (after you Lauren!) It is one of her “Merry Widows” collection and I highly recommend ANYTHING by Ms Hern.

  3. Jan Siler on August 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Philippa Gregory’s The White Princess and now almost finished with Purple Plumeria! I grew up on Georgette Heyer’s books and have read and re-read them many times over. I will check out the others you have recommended!

  4. Emily on August 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

    After finishing the Passion of the Purple Plumeria (which may be one of of my favorite of the series to date…it kind of reminded me of It Happened One Night), I followed it up with Rutherford Park by Elizabeth Cooke. Definitely capitalizes on Downton fever, but also has roots in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. Very good book.

  5. Laura on August 16, 2013 at 11:22 am

    No romances for me in the pile this weekend. I’m going to try to read The Hobbit and The Hour of the Red God.

    I did just finish re-reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis which is a favorite.

  6. Ellen S. on August 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Uneasy Spirits by M. Louisa Locke. Highly recommended. It’s a Victorian mystery set in San Francisco. Apparently it is the second book, so I’ll have to find the first one.

  7. Liz on August 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Currently reading the 2nd Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd, An Impartial Witness. Love the heroine and WWI setting. There’s hints there might be a bit of romance for Bess down the road but nothing yet!

  8. Sheila on August 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent, a truish story of her ancestor who was convicted in the Salem witch trials. A slow start, but absolutely fascinating.

    I re-read Anya’ Seton’s Devil Water, an all-time favorite. This edition has an intro by Philippa Gregory, and I totally disagree with one of her premises. Didn’t spoil the pleasure, however.

    I am currently reading one of Heyer’s mysteries, A Blunt Instrument. These Old Shades, the prequel to Devil’s Cub, was my first regency type romance, still one of my best-loved books.

  9. Jeane on August 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve been enjoying The Passion of the Purple Plumeria since it came out on Tuesday. If I didn’t have to work, I would have finished it by now as it’s very hard to put down.

  10. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on August 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve been reading the Kerry Greenwood Phyrne Fisher books, which are so fun. Golden Age detection with a bit more teeth. Also, if you’ve seen the tv show, the books are totally different.

    Also went on a Beatrix Potter bing… Love “The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan” it was like Cranford with a Cat and a Dog!

  11. Linda on August 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    This week? More like “this SUMMER”. I am currently reading Sarum by Edward Rutherford. I have also read his Paris and plan on reading London, New York, and Russka. But in between those weighty tomes, I will insert the latest Pink as soon as it arrives, and a few more time travel novels.

  12. Betty S. on August 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve been reading Letters From Skye, quick,but good – so glad I found this one. I have several Bess Crawford mysteries I want to try after discovering Charles Todd’s The Walnut Tree last December. Thanks for recommending Julia Spencer-Fleming, Lauren, and Candice Hern, Jeffrey. I checked their websites, and both look interesting. I very seldom reread, because of a sign on our school library door that I have always found true: “So many books, so little time.”

  13. Sue G on August 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I am reading Orchid Affair this week. Enjoying this story very much!
    Have reserved Letters from the Skye and Last Camellia from the adventure contest.

  14. Am7 on August 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    I read the 6th book in Julia Spencer Fleming’s series called I Shall Not Want. I have to say in all I’m disappointed in the series. I don’t like the direction they’ve moved in as they advance.

    I also read Ransom by Julie Garwood and was kind of meh about it.

  15. Alice on August 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    I read “Anatomy of Death” by Felicity Young. It was an interesting turn of the century murder mystery. On the fence about it as I found the heroine kind of irritating and didnt love most of the characters. Then “Hotshot,” Julie Garwoods newest. It was entertaining though I still love her Highland historicals far more than her modern books. Lauren, I am the total opposite. “Patriots Dream” was the first Barbara Michaels I ever read and I love it still. Not so “The Crying Child.” One of my least favorite.

  16. Lavern J. Mclaughlin on August 31, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I have loved her books for years. I am currently on the second round of reading her books. Just the right combination of mystery and the paranormal. Wish there were more!

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