I’ve been a huge Simone St. James fan since her first book, The Haunting of Maddy Clare, came out in– well, rather a while ago. So you can guess what I’m reading right now! Her latest, The Sun Down Motel, in which a present day woman tries to figure out what happened to her aunt back in 1982, came out this Tuesday, so in between chugging along on the Smith Book, I’ve been snatching chapters of Sun Down Motel whenever I can.
I’ve also been on a Mary Roberts Rinehart kick– the woman called the American Agatha Christie, credited with helping to inspire the writer of Nancy Drew. This week, it’s been her “Miss Pinkerton” series, about a nurse named Hilda Adams who’s called in by the police when they need someone on the spot in cases of mysterious death. Living in the household, who knows what Nurse Adams might see? Her forthright, slightly sarcastic tone is a direct precursor to the Elizabeth Peters mystery novels I always loved so much. I’m also fascinated by the world of Rinehart’s novels, which reminds me a lot of the Americana of Nancy Drew, or, in a darker way, of Shirley Jackson, an American once upon a time where the characters live in indeterminate cities (unnamed) of which the “first families” live in old mansions around which the city is gradually closing in.
What have you been reading this week?