Weekly Reading Round-Up

From the French countryside to a land just this side of Faerie to a mid-century British market town, I’ve been all over the place this week.  Reading-wise, at least.

There’s something very soothing about the familiarity of a mystery series, and Martin Walker’s Bruno, Chief of Police series is particularly good at recreating a familiar world in each book, in which justice is always served in the end, and a lot of good food is cooked.  This time, I finished up book– six, I think?– in the series, The Resistance Man, in which a modern murder is linked to the hijacking of a train of Vichy money back in the last days of World War II.

From there, I plunged into the magical world of Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Thorns, in which armed librarians combat books gone rogue– and sometimes sorcerers gone rogue.  For anyone else who grew up loving Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown, I strongly recommend Rogerson’s Enchantment of Thorns, in which a heroine raised in a library finds herself the last bulwark against a sorcerous plot.

And now I’ve gone back to an old favorite with Josephine Tey’s Franchise Affair— which is really the literary equivalent of pouring a nice cup of tea and curling up with a woolly blanket.  In this book, two women are accused of having kidnapped a young girl and it’s up to a lawyer from a small market town, who never expected to experience anything more dramatic than getting the wrong biscuits with his tea, to unravel the girl’s story and discover what truly happened at the house known as the Franchise.

Oh, and in exciting news, Team W member Beatriz Williams’s The Wicked Redhead (the sequel to her Prohibition drama, The Wicked City) is out this week!  Wicked Redhead is an Indie Next pick, which is not a designation granted lightly– so run and check it out!

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Alex on December 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Re-read MM Kaye’s Trade Wind and now have an extraordinary book hangover. Any suggestions of a good, romantic historic epic? I seem to have read most of them out there…

    Can’t wait for your new book out Lauren!

    • Therese on December 15, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Hi Alex – Have you read Luc & Lisette’s story by Fiona McIntosh? WW2 in France the first is called The Lavender Keeper and there’s 2 books. Also I enjoyed Diana Norman’s Makepeace Hedley series, the first called A Catch Of Consequence, and I think she has 3 books. Lastly Sara Donati’s Wilderness series which has 6 books. I tried to find some of the more unknown ones, maybe one of these will work for you!

    • Lauren Willig on December 16, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Isn’t that the best? One of my favorite books of all time. Have you stumbled on Valerie Fitzgerald’s “Zemindar” yet? India, 1857, same epic, sweeping feel. And one of the best romances in any of those 80s epics.

  2. Joan on December 13, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I’ve been reading Murder In St. Remy by Susan Kiernan Lewis. It’s the 15th in this series about an American expat married to a French vintner living in the south of France.

  3. DJL on December 14, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Love The Franchise Affair! Read Donna Andrews Owl be home for Christmas–her holiday mysteries always put me in the jingly spirit 🙂

  4. Alexa on December 14, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Just re-read Trade Wind by MM Kaye and now am nursing an extraordinary book hangover. I am looking for another romantic, historical epic, but seem to have read a lot of similar books – any suggestions?

    Can’t wait for your new book Lauren!

    • Tara on December 14, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      Bertrice Small- wonderful historical romance
      Cynthia Breeding- amazingly detailed historical romance- King Arthur/Medieval
      Alison Weir- delightful historical fiction
      Margaret George- historic epics
      Karen Essex- delicious historical fiction with romance intertwined

    • Lauren Willig on December 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      I feel like I should do an epic reads rec post! Definitely Valerie Fitzgerald’s “Zemindar”, which is really the closest in feel. Also Sara Donati’s “Into the Wilderness”, Karleen Koen’s “Through A Glass Darkly”, Carole Nelson Douglas’s “Fair Wind, Fiery Star”– I feel like there’s something obvious I’m forgetting!

      • Therese on December 22, 2019 at 10:11 am

        Ohh I love this idea!! Also loved Karleen Koen’s series. I must check out your other suggestions here.

  5. Kay on December 14, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Also read Owl Be Home for Christmas by Donna Andrews (her mysteries are always fun.)

  6. Therese on December 15, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I just read The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah. I quite enjoyed it bouncing back and forth between 2015 and WW2 in Burgundy region of France. Started A Fire Sparkling by Julianne Maclean also WW2 and going between present and past. I definitely have book type 🙂

  7. Rachel Adrianna on December 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Not to nitpick Lauren, but did you mean Sorcery of Thorns? Enchantment of Ravens is the author’s other title which I think you also recommended 🙂

    This week I read The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell and The Death of Mrs. Westway by Ruth Ware! Both EXCELLENT.

    • Lauren Willig on December 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Yes! Thank you. Scrambled brain….

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