Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday, all!

This week, I read Susanna Kearsley’s latest, The Vanished Days, which felt both like a departure for her (no modern frame story, no paranormal element) but also an entirely logical next step (a beautiful and nuanced deep dive into late 17th/early 18th century Scottish history).  It’s the story of Adam, who’s been sent to investigate the claim of a woman seeking restitution after the failed Darien expedition.  If she can prove she was married to one of the fallen members of the expedition, she gets the payout.  But can she?  And was she?  And it’s the story of Lily, the woman he’s investigating.  It’s a wonderful exploration of the way high matters of state trickle down to upend the lives of normal people and intrigues touch even the ordinary, especially in so small and fraught a world as that of 17th century Scotland.

Other than that, I’ve mostly been clutching my comfort reads.  I started Steven Rowley’s The Guncle, which is just as marvelous as everyone says, but put it aside for when I can truly enjoy it, and, instead, went back to core comfort reading: Charlotte MacLeod’s The Plain Old Man, which is who-even-remembers-which-number in the Sarah Kelling mystery series in which skullduggery dogs a Gilbert and Sullivan production, and the fourth in Jonathan Stroud’s ridiculously addictive Lockwood & Co. series, The Creeping Shadow, in which psychic agents battle ghosts in an alternate England beset by paranormal problems, or, as they call it, The Problem.

This weekend, of course, I’ll be reading The Orchid Affair, for our rescheduled Read Along meeting this coming Wednesday, October 13th!

What have you been reading this week?

p.s. if you’re in the New Jersey area, head over to Morristown tomorrow for my one and only in person pandemic appearance for Band of Sisters!  I’ll be chatting historical fiction with Sadeqa Johnson in the tent at 3:30, and signing books in the signing tent immediately after.  You can find details at https://morristownbooks.org/.  It’s a great time to stock up on personalized books as holiday gifts!


  1. DJL on October 8, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Re-read The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas (a phenomenal historical novelist!) set during the days of Mary Stuart’s personal reign of Scotland, with the main character one of her ladies in waiting Rinette Leslie who becomes caught up in the non-stop intrigue surrounding the Queen and her marriage options. Sooooo good!
    Then diving back into the Lymond Chronicles, Book 2: Queen’s Play. Still in keeping with Mary Stuart, though a slightly earlier period–during her childhood years in France–with Francis Crawford of Lymond along for all the intrigue of the French court.

  2. Pat Dupuy on October 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I read The Vanished Days too. When I got to the ending I had to go back and check some earlier scenes!

  3. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on October 8, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    I went off on a totally unexpected “let’s read Halloween stuff” bent. So first there was ‘Our Last Echoes’ by Kate Alice Marshall about an island off the coast of Alaska were the mist is dangerous and people disappear. It was OK. Now I’m deep in some Urban Fantasy about a werewolf who’s a book nerd and runs a bar/bookstore in San Francisco and in the first book someone is out to kill her. Addcitively readable, as in I’m staying up to late to read… It’s called ‘The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar’ by Seana Kelly.

  4. Betty Strohecker on October 8, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    I read Murder on Wall Street and am now reading The Romance of the Forest and Pumpkin Patch Sweethearts.

    • Lori on October 9, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      As in Romance of The Forest in Jane Austen’s Emma?

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