Weekly Reading Round-Up

Between the Fall of Poppies tour and working on Stand Alone #4, I’ve been very remiss with the Weekly Reading Round-Ups! So here’s a bit of a catch-up. I can’t remember everything I’ve read over the past few weeks, but here are some of the highlights:

— Josephine Tey’s Miss Pym Disposes. Don’t laugh, but I bought this years ago at a used bookstore thinking it was by Barbara Pym. Once I got myself unmuddled, it took me a little while to wrap my head around the fact that this psychological drama (and, belatedly, murder mystery) set at a school for PE teachers in England was by the same woman who had written one of my all time favorites, The Daughter of Time. As always with Tey, it’s beautifully written, with finely drawn characters, and flashes of insight into human nature. My copy is crumbling apart and I’m oh so delighted I stumbled upon it all those years ago.

— Juliana Gray’s A Most Extraordinary Pursuit. This isn’t out yet, but eventually it will be, at which point fans of Deanna Raybourn and Elizabeth Peters should rejoice, because Miss Truelove, the heroine of this new mystery series, is very much in the vein of those intrepid Victorian maidens. (Also Veronica Speedwell of Deanna’s latest, A Curious Beginning— although I have the feeling that Miss Speedwell and Miss Truelove might take umbrage with each other and have to be refereed by Amelia Peabody). A rollicking good adventure! (Full disclosure, Juliana Gray is the pen name of my bestie and Forgotten Room co-writer, Beatriz Williams– but I would have enjoyed this book just as much if it had been written by someone I severely disliked. Although in that case I would have probably been annoyed by enjoying it so much.)

— H.P. Wood’s Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. Another book that’s not out yet and one that wasn’t at all what I expected. When I saw the blurb about a lost English girl winding up among the sideshows of Coney Island, I’d imagined a gently satirical coming of age story. It’s certainly a coming of age story, but a very richly textured, multi-narrative, dark and gripping coming of age story set against a plague epidemic, a government cover-up, and the best and worst of human character that comes out in those sorts of desperate circumstances. Narrators include Kitty, the English girl; Zeph, a legless African-American man; Ros, a transvestite; and a host of others. Fascinating and deeply compelling. Definitely an “I can’t put it down” book with compulsively readable prose.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Make Kay on March 11, 2016 at 10:28 am

    YES! *feverishly adds A Most Extraordinary Pursuit* to Get to Read list*

  2. Christina on March 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Since my last post here I’ve read and loved Sorceror to the Crown by Zen Cho, Overseas by Beatriz Williams, and Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice.

    • Miss Eliza on March 11, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Woo Hoo Sorcerer to the Crown love!

  3. Sheila on March 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I finished Fall of Poppies last night and liked it very much indeed.

    Also read and enjoyed a mystery called Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler, an old Kasey Michaels, Masquerade in the Moonlight, Barbara Hinske’s Uncovering Secrets, and Peter Mayle’s A Good Year.

  4. Amy on March 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I’m totally confused/speechless over how Juliana Gray and Beatrice Williams are the same person! What! Totally shocked!

    Anyway I read
    Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

    Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

    Playing by the Greek’s Rules by Sarah Morgan

    Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

  5. Christine on March 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read more Karen White and the library had “Falling Home” available pretty much immediately for kindle so I read that and loved it.

  6. Miss Eliza on March 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I’ve been working my way through all the Graphic Novels I got at the library…

    Other than that, I’ve been reading the Leland Sisters books by Marissa Doyle, think Regency Magic, but set during Queen Victoria’s rise to power. It has a very Lauren does YA vibe to it, so I think everyone here would love it.

  7. DJL on March 12, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Mama read The Bespoken Mile by March Cost, also Mignon G Eberhart mysteries With this Ring, Speak No Evil & Hangman’s Whip. I finished My American Duchess (first Eloisa James, loved it), then read Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (my first exposure to her, also great!) and now am reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s a bit slow going, but I’m gonna stick with it because heard so much good stuff about it.

  8. SuzanneH on March 16, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I read Beatriz Williams’s Tiny Little Thing and Along The Infinite Sea. One follows on from the other but Infinite Sea is not strictly speaking a sequel. It is for one of the main characters, Pepper, but the story told in flashback is a stand-alone and is like chalk and cheese against Tiny. I think that’s why I loved it so much, it was totally unexpected. Actually I loved them both even though they were so very different from each other.

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