Weekly Reading Round-Up

Since plague has struck my household (bring out your tissues!), it seemed like a good time for comfort reads, in the form of two old favorite madcap mysteries that I hadn’t re-read in a bit:

–Dorothy Cannell’s The Thin Woman, in which our heroine hires an escort for a family event, and, a few months later, discovers that her crotchety cousin has left his estate jointly to her and her “fiance”– provided they can fulfill the conditions of his will, which include a treasure hunt. It’s a little Barbara Michaels, a little Midsomer Murders, a little Westing Game, and a lot of sheer, ridiculous fun. It’s held up pretty well since I first read it twenty years back. Aside from the lack of cell phones and other modern electronic devices, it doesn’t feel dated at all. It is also the mother of all house books, including attics to explore, and a family mystery to discover.

— Donna Andrews, Murder with Peacocks. This seemed like a logical next step after The Thin Woman. Substitute a zany American small town for a zany English small town, and weddings instead of a funeral, but in both you have a wise-cracking heroine (in a first person narrative), a handsome hero, and a delightfully absurd cast of side characters.

Next up… I’m not sure whether to continue the Cannell/Andrews-a-thon or switch to some of my regularly scheduled lead up to Halloween reading.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. sue on October 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I read “The Lost Key”, Coulter’s latest Brit in the FBI entry. It was disappointing. Oh, plenty of action, but choppy sentences and over the top plot bits… Won’t be eager to read the next one.

  2. Miss Eliza on October 3, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Finished and LOVED ‘Frankenstein’ and then moved on to ‘Burial Rites’ a fictionalized account of the last woman beheaded in Iceland… think of it as the Brontes do Iceland, highly recommend it! I have started ‘Dracula’ (as you see I have chosen the themed reading for the lead up to Halloween) but then that was derailed because I got the newest Flavia De Luce ARC, so, yeah, totally reading that instead.

    Feel better soon Lauren! The plague is horrid.

  3. Am7 on October 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I read Loretta Chase’s Your Scandalous Ways, which I really enjoyed. The title doesn’t reflect the originality of the book, which is Regency set in Venice and very James Bond.
    I also read Shannon Stacey’s Exclusively Yours, which was meh for me.

  4. Kristen Allen-Vogel on October 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I read an e-galley of Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh, the sequel to Shovel Ready. Now I’m rereading Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander by Ann Herendeen.

  5. Alice on October 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I needed some light reading this week, so I finally got around to The Lord and Lady Spy series by Shana Galen. The first three books have been on my kindle for forever, but I never felt like reading them. Why, I don’t know. They are a ton of fun and mix the right amount of adventure, romance and emotion.

    • Sue Gorman on October 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      I loved this series, too.
      Shana ‘s Christmas anthology might have character or two from Love and Let Spy. 🙂

      • Alice on October 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        I will have to check those out. Thank you!

  6. Sheila on October 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Catching the Eagle, by Karen Charlton, a historical based on one of her husband’s ancestors found while doing genealogy. Sounds like it could be a poorly written vqnity press book, but very well written, and I really cared about these people.

  7. mel burns on October 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    The one book I read this week worth mentioning is Beauty by Robin McKinley. I loved this wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Gorgeous book!

    On deck: Pink II for the read-a-long and The Chalice by Robin McKinley. I’ve also got the new Deborah Crombie, but I’m nervous about Duncan’s plight, so I’m putting it off for awhile. 🙂

  8. Sue Gorman on October 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Am trying to decide what to read tonight.
    Thinking of starting a Sussana Kearsley book.
    Take care and feel better Lauren.

  9. Christina on October 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I finished Outlander. I didn’t love the last 200 pages or so but I do have the next book out from the library to try. I also read The Bride by Julie Garwood for The Old School Romance Book Club on Facebook.

  10. Betty S. on October 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I read Fly Away, the sequel to Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane, which I had read about three years ago, and it was amazing. The friend who had recommended Firefly Lane told me she considered it to be in her top 5 of all time favorites, and the sequel picked right up where it left off. These books are about the friendship between Kate and Tully which began when they were 14, and carries them through their adult years as they establish careers and families – ups, downs, real world situations – you will need some tissues, but I can’t praise them enough. The setting is in and around Seattle – 1970’s to present day.

    I have read 5 books by Hannah and loved them all. Each was set in the Pacific Northwest, so I don’t know if that holds true for all of her novels. The first one I read was Winter Garden – two adult sisters trying to establish a relationship with their Russian mother who has always been cold to them – flashbacks of the mother’s life as she struggled to survive in St. Petersburg during WWII, before she met their father (excellent book with some historical aspects). On Mystic Lake is another one about relationships – daughter is leaving for college and mother finds out her world is about to fall apart. Then Comfort and Joy is a book with a twist that I discovered amid Christmas offerings, a little shorter than the others. She is really an author worth getting to know.

    I’m also rereading The Masque of the Black Tulip for the read along and will start Simone St. James’s The Haunting of Maddy Clare.

  11. Liz on October 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for this feature, I really enjoy it and get great reading ideas, though I haven’t commented before. Lauren, I just finished Manzanilla and loved it! A few books before that, I read Unbroken which was excellent, but left me in a state of needing to read many much lighter books to regain my equilibrium. Assuming I ever had equilibrium. So I read My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten, which was cute, not perfect but cute. And then The Husband’s Secret, such a page turner. And then Laura Sullivan’s Love by the Morning Star (did I get that idea here? probably) which I liked, it fit the bill for my post-Unbroken needs. Next up: either The Vacationers or The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. Feel better soon!

    • Am7 on October 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      So glad you liked Love by the Morning Star, as I mentioned it and really enjoyed it!

  12. Liz D. on October 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I’m reading Wicked Autumn, the first in G.M. Malliet’s mystery series set in the charming village of Nether Monkslip, England. Surprisingly funny and so far I haven’t guessed who the murderer is.

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