Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s time to get into the holiday spirit, so I started off my post-Thanksgiving reading with Donna Andrews’s The Nightingale Before Christmas, the– oh, goodness, I’ve lost count. Let’s just say the something-teenth Meg Langslow mystery, in which Meg serves as coordinator for a Christmas-themed decorator show house, never knowing that one of the decorators will soon be part of the decor in a rather fatal way. The Meg Langslow books (start with Murder with Peacocks) are always fun, and having served as a tour guide and general dogsbody in a decorators’ show house outside Boston these mumble mumble many years ago in my grad school days, I found this one particularly amusing.

Up next was Paul Collins’s The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars, a non-fiction account of the discovery of a headless torso in the East River and the combination of detection and tabloid warfare that followed. I’d initially picked this up because the book I’m working on is set partly in 1890s New York and I’d thought it might be useful for background info. But although I quickly realized that the Turkish baths, police precincts, and bustling immigrant communities of the West 30s were a world away from the mansions of 5th Avenue, I kept on reading anyway, for the colorful portrayal of a slice of New York life a century ago.

Back to the Christmas reading…. I left the murder and mayhem behind with Trisha Ashley’s Twelve Days of Christmas, in which a house-sitter/chef finds herself tangled up in the family dramas that come with the old Jacobean manor house. I adore “house” books of all kinds, and this one includes a family secret, quirky characters, and lots of descriptions of food. (Make sure you have a mince pie at the ready while reading, and some very strong tea.)

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Pat on December 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Just finished Wanna Get Lucky? last night. Very entertaining. I read Home by Nightfall by Charles Finch. His books are always good. Tiny Little Things by Beatriz Williams; love her books! And the latest William Monk book by Anne Perry, Corridors of the Night.

  2. Christina on December 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading Kerrelyn Sparks At the Stake Series (I’m up to book 6), Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series (I’m halfway through), and the first two books of Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. All fun reads that I would recommend.

    I also read In the Heart of the Sea: the tragedy of the whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Phlbrick. I’m planning on seeing the movie and wanted to read the book first. It was fascinating and horrific. I read the book in one evening which is unusual for me when it comes to non-fiction. I’ve never read Moby Dick and plan to remedy that in the foreseeable future.

  3. Miss Eliza on December 4, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Currently reading ‘Arthur & George’ by Julian Barnes… it’s, well, it’s well written, just not that gripping yet.

  4. Lynne on December 5, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Home before Nightfall by Charles Finch turned out to be one of his best! Now I’m tackling something very un-holiday – “I am Malala” – about the young Pakistani girl who was almost assassinated by the Taliban. It looks to be very inspiring.

  5. Amy on December 5, 2015 at 3:23 am

    I read an old Nora Roberts For Now, Forever.
    Excellent and #5 in the MacGregor Series.

  6. DJL on December 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Finished #2 in Lady Emily series, A Poisoned Season, by Tasha Alexander, enjoyed it. Also A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant, which was good, if a bit rushed at the end (IMO). Also Radiance by Grace Draven, looking forward to sequel next year.

  7. Betty Strohecker on December 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve been engaged in my Christmas reading since Thanksgiving and have finished two by Anne Perry – A Christmas Beginning and A Christmas Grace. I love her Christmas books, set in various locale – these were in Wales and Ireland. Others have been set in India, England, and New York (dealing with that gritty subculture Lauren mentioned). Perry always does a great job with her settings and often mentions characters from her other series, which I haven’t read.

    Just finished Baldacci’s The Christmas Train – first book I’ve read of his. Very interesting journey from DC to LA with a cast of characters and some twists.

    Taking a brief break to read Charlene Carr’s ARC, Forever in My Heart which releases Dec. 19.

  8. Lauren H on December 7, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Reading and loving Garth Nix’s Newt’s Emerald.

    Also working on City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett, so this week has been big on Fantasy. So far it’s shaping up like a Fantasy/Mystery and I’m really digging it.

    Just finished Tess Gerritsen’s new stand alone historical thriller Playing with Fire and really loved it.

    It’s been a good week for reading.

Leave a Comment