Happy Friday, all! We’ve suddenly gone from rain to sun in New York, and it’s starting to feel like it might actually be May after all. (Which is shocking. How is it May already? I need at least a month back….)
In the meantime, this has been an excellent reading week, with a mix of old and new. I’m finally starting to go through some of the books that have accumulated on my TBR while I’ve been reading nothing but mid-century mysteries.
On the top of that pile, Candace Carty-Williams’s Queenie, about a young woman navigating racism, sexism, and crap men in contemporary London, learning her own strengths, and dealing with her past. My first instinct was to call it a more serious Bridget Jones, but I’m not sure if that does it justice. I read it in one sitting, reading in the dark next to my daughter’s bed, and found it both painful and riveting.
I didn’t say I was giving up mysteries entirely, did I? After that it was back to Brother Cadfael, skipping way ahead to somewhere in the middle of the series to re-read The Rose Rent, which I vaguely remembered reading a few decades ago, in which a widow’s rose bush is found mutilated and one of the monks murdered as someone tries to prevent the paying of a symbolic rose– but why? And who?
Since I’m writing a book set in the 1890s right now, I decided it sort of counted as work to read the first Mary Roberts Rinehart novel, The Circular Staircase, published in 1908– and bounced off it for the second time in five years. This is her most famous book, the one that launched her and made her career. The narrator has a strong voice that reminds me, at times, a bit of Elizabeth Peters. And for some reason I just can’t read it. It’s a strange alchemy, what makes some books work for you and some books not.
Right now, I’m indulging myself in the seventh book of Jodi Taylor’s St. Mary’s series, Lies, Damned Lies, and History, about a bunch of tea-soaked disaster magnets (aka historians) who bounce around the timeline recording events and getting into trouble. This one begins with the coronation of George IV and a memorable appearance by Caroline of Brunswick. Also King Arthur. Need I say more?
What have you been reading this week?
Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, Team W is having a free, virtual Mother’s Day event this Saturday at 4pm EST, hosted by Warwick’s books. Details here.