Weekly Reading Round-Up

Happy Friday, all!

It’s a wonderfully stormy day here in New York right now (I do so enjoy a good rainy fall day), and all I want to do is read Simone St. James’s The Book of Cold Cases, which magically zapped itself onto my Kindle last night– but I’ve got just two chapters (and an Epilogue) left to write of the new book, so I’ve promised myself I’ll try to stick it out and finish my book before treating myself to Simone’s.

The struggle is real.

Meanwhile, despite preschooler quarantine and deadline brain fog, it’s been a wonderful reading week.  I’ve been chain-reading my way through Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious series, which is a bit like The Westing Game spread over four books with many more dead bodies.  Set between the 1930s and the present day, it revolves around a series of unsolved murders at a boarding school founded by an eccentric millionaire– and the present day student who’s determined to solve both the cold cases and the new deaths that have followed her attempts to look into the old ones.  This week I gobbled up books two and three, The Vanishing Staircase and The Hand on the Wall.

I also had the privilege of an advance read of Maya Rodale’s upcoming historical novel about the notorious Nellie Bly, The Mad Girls of New York, a lively reimagining of Nellie Bly’s first and most daring stunt: infiltrating Blackwell’s Insane Asylum as a patient.  What makes a person take that kind of risk?  Mad Girls gives us a look into what made Nellie Bly who she was– and the lengths to which women had to go to be taken seriously in the boys’ club of nineteenth century journalism.

What have you been reading this week?


  1. Diane Stiles on November 12, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    I am reading way out of my comfort zone this week. My book club chose fantasy as the genre, so the book is The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. I can’t say I’m enjoying it much. I’m almost halfway through, and I don’t like the torture element. I also don’t like the vague setting that seems to be Europe reimagined. Yet onward I push!

  2. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on November 12, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    Finishing up my re-read of “The Garden Intrigue” during a sadly very busy and not heavy on the reading week. Thankfully I have Emma and Augustus!

  3. Alex on November 12, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Can’t wait for your new book Lauren!
    I am thinking about starting Sharon Kay Penman’s Here Be Dragon series (there is three of them). Have you by chance read them? I do like to have a wonderful romance in my books, and am afraid there might not be a good one for the effort (The trilogy is massive). Just wondering…
    Thanks for the Maureen Johnson recs! Those look great!

    • Lauren Willig on November 23, 2021 at 11:14 am

      I read those Sharon Kay Penman books back when I was a teenager! I don’t remember them well, but I do remember there being romantic elements (within the context of real historical people).

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