Weekly Reading Round-Up

This week, I’ve been reading books that aren’t out yet. (Which is definitely one of the perks of being an author!) And, yes, you will be seeing at least one of these on Monday Give Away sometime soon….

— Susan Elia MacNeal, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent.

The fourth book in the Maggie Hope series, about an American in the UK during World War II, comes out on July 1. After being Mr. Churchill’s secretary, training as a secret agent, and going undercover in Nazi Germany, Maggie is in Scotland, training new recruits, when she is once again swept up in larger events. If you haven’t read these books yet, they’re a little bit Jacqueline Winspear, a little bit Ken Follett, and a big refresher on World War II history, from the big picture affairs of nations stuff down to the ladies’ hats. The first book in the series is Mr. Churchill’s Secretary.

— Chrysler Szarlan, The Hawley Book of the Dead.

This debut novel has been compared to A Discovery of Witches, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and The Night Circus. I can see all of that, but it also has an element that is catnip to me: a heroine who returns to a mysterious and abandoned family home. Can we say “house book”? I’m only about halfway through, but absolutely riveted so far. (Since I haven’t done a very good job of describing it, you can find the official blurb here.) The Hawley Book of the Dead comes out on September 23.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Michelle k on April 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I loved Discovery of Witches! I have just added The Hawley Book to my Want to Read list. Thanks so much!

  2. Pat D on April 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I’m reading Wendy Webb’s The Vanishing. Finished City of Lightness and Dark by Rhys Bowen.Good, as always. And a 3 book series, The Curse of Clan Ross. That’s by L.L. Muir and involves romance, adventure, and time travel. Hooray!

  3. Kristen Allen-Vogel on April 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    For most of the week I’ve been reading The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

  4. Elizabeth Lefebvre on April 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Must read “The Hawley Book of the Dead” now! Adding to Goodreads shelf…

    I finished Katie Fforde’s “The Perfect Proposal” and loved it, sweet about thrifty girl and preppy guy and lots of it is in Cornwall! Now I’m reading “Azur Like It” and can see why it’s out of print. The book doesn’t know what it wants to be, satire, romance, mystery… it’s all over the place and the heroine is very unlikable. Hopefully I’ll finish it off today and more onto another book…

  5. Betty S. on April 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I finished the Hellions of Halstead Hall 5 book series – really great, with an exciting ending. I’m now finally reading Susanna Kearsley’s The Shadowy Horses and am thoroughly hooked.

  6. Lynne on April 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Halfway through The Ashford Affair and loving it! And I just finished The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and it was very good – about the foster child system and a young girl who finds her way out through her love of flowers.

  7. Suzanne on April 19, 2014 at 1:24 am

    I read The Past Tense by Lee Goldberg, which was terrifying! Unlike the others of his I have read I wouldn’t recommend this one if you are squeamish.

    I am now reading Susan Higginbothom’s Queen Of Last Hopes, the story of Margaret of Anjou, who was married to King henry VI. For those of you how saw The White Queen on TV she is “the bad queen.” So far I am really getting why the wars of the roses started. She and the king seem nice characters but not very bright. A lethal combination in a world of total rulers. It is a bit like leaving the country in the hands of dumb and dumber!

    • Lynne on April 20, 2014 at 12:04 am

      Oh, Suzanne, what a great description! I’ve read enough about them to totally agree!!

  8. Am7 on April 19, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I read Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. It was awesome.

  9. Christina on April 19, 2014 at 3:00 am

    I read Strands of Bronze & Gold, a YA Bluebeard telling by Jane Nickerson. There were parts I really liked but there were some anachronisms in speech and some historical inaccuracies that kept me from loving the book. I also read Real Murders & Bone to Pick which are the first two books in Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden mysteries. I still like Sookie best but Charlaine is great escapist reading for me.

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