Weekly Reading Round-Up

It’s been a rather crazy week– and a strangely long one– so I’m having the hardest time thinking back to what I might have read!

I went seasonally inappropriate with Susan Wittig Albert’s Christmas-set mystery, The Mistletoe Man, Book 9 in her China Bayles series about an attorney who leaves her Houston practice to open an herb store in a small town in Texas.  I read the first few in this series a very, very long time ago (how long ago?  let’s just say they’re still on my pre-college bookshelves at my parents’ house!), so I was a little worried about missing context, but I found it very easy to jump back into the series, even with a gap of twenty years and roughly six unread books in between.  In this one, a surly mistletoe farmer is found dead.  Victim of a hit and run?  Or is it murder?

Moving from modern Texas to revolutionary France, I was so thrilled to receive an advance copy of The Queen’s Fortune from Allison Pataki, her upcoming novel about Désirée Clary, Napoleon’s first love, who went on to become Queen of Sweden.  I was absolutely obsessed with Anne-Marie Selinko’s YA novel, Désirée, circa 5th grade, so it was such a treat to take another look at the fascinating life of a woman who had a front row seat for most of the major upheavals of the early nineteenth century, but was herself really something of a girl next door.

Someone, somewhere, mentioned Josephine Tey, so, of course, I had to go back and re-read Brat Farrar, which holds up just as well on a re-read as it did initially.  This is one of Tey’s stand alone novels, in which an orphan is offered the chance to impersonate the missing (presumed dead) heir of a minor English estate, but discovers that the situation is far trickier than he could have imagined.  As always, with Tey, both the writing and the characterizations are absolutely gorgeous, and it’s written with a subtle, sly wit.

I was meant to be reading more ARCs now, but I made the mistake of wandering into Barnes & Noble and coming out again with two Georgette Heyer mystery novels I somehow never read before in beautiful new Art Deco editions from Sourcebooks.  So, really, how could one resist?

What have you been reading this week?



  1. Rachel Adrianna on August 30, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Bella Figura by Kamin Mohammadi, similar to but (dare I say it?) MUCH better than Eat, Pray, Love. Then , an ARC of Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore… delightful!

  2. Sheila on August 30, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Lauren, I made a snarky comment about covers on your FB page, but I am sincerely thrilled to finally get Beatriz Williams’ The Golden Hour. I have only read chapter one so far, but am loving it

  3. Pat Dupuy on August 30, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. The View From Alameda Island by Robyn Carr. The Book Supremacy by Kate Carlisle. A Plain Vanilla Murder by Susan Wittig Albert. Trap Lane by Stella Cameron. I’m just about to start Murder at Crossways by Alyssa Maxwell.

  4. Kristen A. on August 30, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I read A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole and The Helpline by Katherine Collette. Now I’m starting Hither Page by Cat Sebastian.

  5. Susan Collins on August 30, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I just finished Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. I liked the story, but parts were intense & disturbing.

  6. Lori Kramer on August 30, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    I think Sourcebooks or another publisher are reissuing Georgette Heyer books-more are coming out!
    I started Devoted but too creepy. I have to like a character somewhere. Started The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins and also read The Lager Queen of Minnesota.
    Did you read The Accidental Empress?

  7. DJL on August 30, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Love and Death among the Cheetahs by R Bowen was light & fun way to round out the summer.
    I, too, adored Desiree by Selinko, and Brat by J Tey!
    Speaking of Tey, perhaps it’s time to dig out The Franchise Affair for a re-read…

  8. Bev Fontaine on September 2, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Lauren, I must have read Desiree at least 20 times. I, like you, was obsessed. But the movie was deeply disappointing – Marlon Brando as Napoleon!? I ask you!!! I read Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, as have several others. Lady Georgie is never a disappointment. I’ve been re-reading some Georgette Heyer as well recently.

    I happened across C. W. Gortner’s The Romanov Empress in the library a couple weeks ago, but I found it to be a bit hard going. Just didn’t appeal particularly.

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