Weekend Reading

With a holiday weekend always comes the prospect of wonderful, guilt-free reading time.

On my stack for the weekend?

Since I’ve read Dorothy Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries until I can practically recite them, I’ve been meaning and meaning to try Margery Allingham’s Campion books.

My amazing editor also just sent me Heather Snow’s three Regency romances, Sweet Deception, Sweet Enemy, and Sweet Madness, which she tells me I must read.

And then there are the usual annual re-reads like Mary Stewart’s Thornyhold and pretty much anything by Barbara Michaels. (It feels like it might be a Crying Child kind of weekend– although hopefully not literally.)

In other words, too many choices!

What do you have on your pile for this weekend?


  1. Sharon on July 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I just finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Wow.

  2. Kimberly on July 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Just finished A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams–which I loved. I’ve now read all three of her books and can’t wait for more!!

    Now I’m reading Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The Disastrous Java Sea Campaign of WWII. I’m mainly reading this because my 93yr old English neighbor was a first hand witness to this while in the Pacific with the RAF during WWII (he just read it, too), but I also enjoy reading WWII history.

    Then after that, it’s David Baldacci’s King and Maxwell.

  3. Sheila on July 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I am catching up on Sebastian StCyr, now on book 5

    • leslie on July 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I just finished re-reading the series. I loved “Why Kings Confess”….this series lagged for me a bit in the middle, but this last one really hooked me back into it.

  4. Aleen Davis on July 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I went a little crazy with my to read pile. I’m currently reading Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom by Vanessa Kelley. I have That Summer :), True Love (Nantucket Brides #1) by Jude Deveraux, and In the Garden series by Nora Roberts. Whew.

  5. Jane on July 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    The Cove by Ron Rash – a very good read. I have not read this author before.

  6. Ellen S on July 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Allingham is very good! I Re-read them periodically. My pile for the weekend is Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Dancer books (the first three) and Michael Flynn’s January Dancer series.

  7. Rosemary on July 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    All patriotic (or at least American Revolution-set) novels! Just finished Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone and Donna Thorland’s The Rebel Pirate, and am beginning Allison Pataki’s The Traitor’s Wife.


    • leslie on July 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      You’re a Yankee Doodle Dandy to be sure!

      Happy 4th.

  8. Yvette R on July 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I am still making my way through all of Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver mysteries, now that I have all of them on audio. Just finished the 13th one, The Eternity Ring, and loved it.

    I am currently taking a break from Silver-land to read (listen to) Molly Harper’s latest Better Homes and Hauntings. I’m about 3/4 through, and am loving it. The usual combination of romance and snarky humor, and a lot of general creapiness and a 100 year old mystery to solve. Also, Amanda Ronconi’s wonderful reading (as usual). FUN!!!

  9. Elizabeth Lefebvre on July 3, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    The first of Allingham’s Campion books is odd because he wasn’t the star, she planned on having someone else be the hero of the series, but Campion was such a fan favorite, she went with him.

    I’m thinking that, seeing as my book club is reading the first Lisa Lutz Spellmans book, I might just do a re-read of the series. SO MUCH FUN!

  10. Sue Luce on July 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Have you seen the videos of the old Campion series done by British tv? Great acting and got me into reading the novels. Also reading Vertigo 42, the new Martha Grimes novel featuring Richard Jury and the regular cast.

  11. Susan Gorman on July 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I am reading an ARC of Shana Galen’s Love and Let Spy and have a copy of Karen White’s new book to read over the weekend.
    Happy 4th everyone!

  12. Pat D on July 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I just finished Vertigo 42. I always enjoy Richard Jury, Melrose Plant, and their pals. I’m about 2/3 of the way through Diana Gabaldon’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. We’re in the midst of the Revolution with Frasers and Greys. When done I get to read Lauren’s That Summer. Hooray! Then The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Murder at Honeychurch Hall, and Sixth Grave on the Edge. I’ve been very good this week and I deserve a LOT of reading time.

  13. Lynne on July 3, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Lauren, I remember the old Campion series on Masterpiece Mystery years ago. Very good so the books would be, as well. I have That Summer on hold at the library and I’m almost done with a reread of Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries. But as that old saying goes…the hurrier I go the behinder I get!!

  14. Suzanne B. on July 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Just finished “Lawrence in Arabia,” by Scott Anderson. No romance here, but a fascinating history of the Middle East during WW1. That makes it sound boring as heck, but it’s not! Before that inhaled Diana Gabaldon’s “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!” Her books are superb! Then saw that Lauren had reread Georgette Heyer’s “A Convenient Marriage,” so I did too, and really enjoyed it! After that went back to Heyer’s “Black Sheep,” which I loved the last time I read it, and more so now, because the heroine is 28 and “on the shelf,” the Regency equivalent of an old maid. How silly that seems now!

  15. Suzanne on July 4, 2014 at 8:20 am

    *****That Summer Spoiler*****

    I have just finished reading That Summer and I am sorry to say that it was really disappointing. Did anybody understand the ending? What happened? Who did it? Who was searching the victim’s rooms and why? After going over the last few chapters a second time I don’t see how anybody could have hidden the body where it was found without being seen by the person who was watching out of the window all night. It just doesn’t make sense and when I got to the end I felt cheated. Like reading an Agatha Christie novel and finding somebody has torn the last chapter out.

    *****End Of Spoiler*****

    After recovering from that I read Mr Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia McNeal. That one was fantastic. Absolutely gripping, and the story was finished as opposed to just stopped in that one.

    We don’t have a holiday weekend here but I have injured my knee, so I am grounded at the moment anyway. I intend to use it to read Susan Higginbotham’s The Stolen Crown.

    • Betty S. on July 4, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Re “That Summer” Spoiler**** (if you haven’t read TS, don’t read further).
      I totally agree, but was reluctant to say so. I was so disappointed in the ending for I and G (two good people who had suffered and deserved happiness). My thought is that it was Jane who searched the rooms and took the painting which Olivia saw once – then it was hidden in the wardrobe. As for the murderer – Jane or Arthur or F-V who helped to get his revenge. End of spoiler***

      Hope your knee heals quickly.

      • Suzanne on July 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

        *****That Summer Spoiler*****
        Betty, I thought about that too but it didn’t make sense. Presumably the person who was sneaking about, listening to I and G’s last conversation was the killer and would know that G had already left his rooms and wouldn’t return and had taken everything of value. So why search them? Arthur couldn’t have done the killing as he had an alibi. Firstly he was at the party, then he spent the only time “I” wasn’t looking out of the window with her, after that he couldn’t have got out without being seen. And what happened to FV? He was being built up as a really good baddy then he just disappeared never to be heard of again. The real showstopper was how did the killer hide the body where it was found without being seen? “I” was looking out of the window all night, except for the 15 minutes Arthur was with her, and she said she could see the summerhouse and the moonlight glinting off the snow. She would have seen somebody moving the body, or at the least big drag marks in the snow from when it was moved. J could have done the killing in those 15 minutes but dragging the dead weight of a fully grown man all the way to where the body was found, all in 15 minutes, is stretching credibility a bit too far. And what motive would she have had? I would imagine that “I” running away and having Arthur to herself again would be a good thing in her book. FV could have done the killing but he didn’t have the local knowledge of the house to hide the body where it wouldn’t be found for 160 years, and once again he would have been seen. I don’t see how anybody could have done it. The whole thing nearly drove me mad for about a week!!

        • Yvette R on July 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

          I don’t know about the practical aspects of the murder, but I think Jane did it to have a chance at the baby. Remember how nice she was to Imogine’s daughter most of the time, how Jane thought to herself that she would show their new daughter to Arthur (meaning Jane’s and Arthur’s new daughter), and how surprised Imogine’s daughter was when Jane freaked out over her finding the painting. I don’t know how, but I think Jane killed the lover when she realized that Imogine was pregnant and was going to leave. Maybe she met him in the road, and then hid the body for a few days, until she had a chance to dispose of it better. I think that Arthur was probably involved, too, but I don’t know how. And if the constant drugs had not weakened Imogine to the point that she could not survive childbirth, Jane would probably have poisoned her later, or maybe she would have been smothered and been found later “passed away in her sleep”. I found Jane pretty creepy from the beginning, but what else could she have done but stay in her brother-in-law’s house. She probably didn’t have any more resources to be self-sufficient than Imogine did. Of course she could have tried to be fiends with the new wife, but I don’t think that she had it in her. Still, I wish the Imogine and her lover had managed to escape her scary relatives and life happily ever after.

          • Betty S. on July 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

            ****That Summer Spoiler*****
            Yvette and Suzanne,
            I understand and agree pretty much with what both of you are saying. It is so confusing One of the reasons I was thinking it could be FV is because he was so vindictive and could have followed them and overheard what was said and been determined to upset their plan because his was foiled. Also Jane was high on my list because I think she suspected something between them from the portrait sitting. It also didn’t make sense that Arthur would be so forgiving. Jane would have known the plan if she overheard and could have schemed with Arthur to keep Imogen occupied at the exact moment she should have left, because Jane sent him to her room. The drugging of Imogen didn’t sit well with me – the term ‘harvesting’ kept coming to me – they were keeping her alive through the pregnancy to ‘harvest’ the baby. Of course Arthur still had his housekeeper and another child to replace his daughter that married. I guess the comment in the modern story – “does it really matter who the killer was?” – meant to leave the ending unclear. I also felt the ending with them was too rushed.

            Have enjoyed the dialogue!

    • Suzanne on July 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      *****That Summer Spoiler*****

      Ladies, you have given me a lot to think about. I didn’t catch onto the “harvesting” thing. I do think that “I” wasn’t murdered because she wasn’t tended by J in her last few days but a qualified nurse. Perhaps she did die of natural causes, but might have been murdered if that hadn’t happened so conveniently.

      • Suzanne on July 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        It is really good to be able to talk it through with you both. It has clarified a few points for me.

  16. Kristen Allen-Vogel on July 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Just starting The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn.

  17. Verity W on July 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I like the Campion books – but don’t read them in order – he’s too much of a Lord Peter caricature at the start and grows better as the series goes on. My favourite (although I haven’t read them all) is The Fashion in Shrouds or Sweet Danger. You probably ought to read Sweet Danger first though – or Fashion is a bit of a spoiler.

    Have you read the Ngaio Marsh Alleyn series? They’re very good too.

    I’m reading Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs Bradley at the moment – Tom Brown’s Body to be precise.

    • Yvette R on July 5, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Yes! I love Ngaio Marsh and Gladys Mitchell both! I giggle every time Mrs Bradley cackle or grips someone with her claw-like hand. And they were both such great writers. Still, Gladys Mitchell’s grasp on psychology is very much of her time, so her conclusions as to motives are a little odd at times.

  18. Angie on July 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    [i]Empire Girls[/i] by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan. About a couple of sisters in 1920’s New York.

  19. leslie on July 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I have both Robert Galbraith books to read along with “The Escape” by Mary Balogh for the weekend. I’m also listening to “The Masqueraders” by Georgette Heyer. The narration is terrific!

  20. Céline on July 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Righ now, I am reading a book that was just publish, Hope at Dawn, by Stacy Henrie. It takes place in a fictitious city of the US in 1918 and tells the story of a young teacher who meets (and most probably falls in love with, but I didn’t get to that part yet) a young man, who has the “misfortune” of being of German ascendancy… his parents were German emigrates and you can guess how it was for German-American in 1918… It’s good so far, but I’m not very far into the book!!

  21. Betty S. on July 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I finished Julie Klassen’s The Dancing Master while on vacation in CA visiting my daughter – loved this regency England book as I have all of Klassen’s.

    Am now reading Courtesan by Diane Haeger – it’s been on my list for a while and I’m really enjoying it – historical fiction about Diane de Poitiers who was mistress to Henri II of France – great insight into court life and royal behavior in the 1500’s.

    Will probably next read Laura Childs’s Steeped in Evil, the 15th Tea Shop mystery set in Charleston, S.C. for something light and fun!

    Happy 4th!!

  22. Alice on July 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Finished “That Summer” and loved it! I would really love to see more of the modern day hero and heroine. Then, on your recommendation Lauren, read “Teatime for the Firefly” by Shona Patel. Amazing!!! I loved it! It was beautiful, lyrical and I couldn’t put it down. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

  23. Veronika on July 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Oddly enough I’ve been having a Campion summer! Like you, my Lord Peter books are ragged, but I’ve never tried these before. I’m at book 13, and really enjoying them. It’s pretty clear that Allingham was having fun experimenting with her genre. The primary romance is a very different one from Harriet and Lord Peter– I can’t make up my mind whether it’s tantalizingly underwritten, or just not enough! It’s especially enjoyable watching Campion age, and struggle with new social mores and his own diminishing physicality. If you do get around to reading them, it would be very interesting to hear what you think!

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