Happy Friday and happy September! Can you believe it’s fall already? I hope everyone stayed safe through this crazy start to September….
I ended August with Dame Ngaio March’s first Inspector Alleyn mystery, A Man Lay Dead. Somehow, in all my years of reading Christie and Sayers and Allingham, I missed out on these. I like the banter, but Alleyn feels a little facile so far. I’m curious to see if he’ll grow and develop over the course of the series.
In a marked change of pace, next up was Lindsay Cameron’s new psychological thriller, Just One Look, in which a disgraced lawyer turned staff attorney who is already tottering on the brink becomes obsessed with a partner at the firm. It brought back very vivid memories of my law firm days– it captures that particular world (and particularly the joys of doc review!) perfectly.
After that, it was back to the soothing world of the civil wars between Stephen and Matilda in 12th century England with our old friend, the Poirot of the monastery, Brother Cadfael, in Dead Man’s Ransom. I’ve realized that what I adore most about the Cadfael books is what generally good people all of the characters tend to be. Yes, people are complicated, and sometimes not altogether pleasant (these are murder mysteries, after all, and people are people), but, for the most part, people are doing their best, muddling along through complicated times, and don’t mean ill. I do love books that are less about people plotting evil and more about people who are neither altogether good nor altogether bad making decisions that plunge them into tangled situations that take on their own complicated logic: no criminal masterminds, just ordinary human frailty and sometimes good intentions gone wrong.
I have some wonderful new books lined up, but between book deadlines and natural disasters, I think it might be time for some more comfort reading first….
What have you been reading this week?