Happy Friday, all! It’s been a blur of a week racing to finish up Smith Book II– but, I have to confess, I didn’t manage to hold out against the lure of Simone St. James’s Book of Cold Cases.
I’d meant to save The Book of Cold Cases as a reward for finishing the new book. Instead, I gave in and read it pretty much immediately. Set in the northwest, in a small town rocked by two major crimes at two different times, The Book of Cold Cases is a little bit thriller, a little bit mystery, a little bit ghost story, and a lot about the ways in which women’s stories are told. The heroine is a classic St. James heroine (I love that she has such likeable, sensible heroines in the old Mary Stewart gothic mold), with something in her past still haunting her and casting its shadow over her life, driving her to try to find the solution to an unsolved crime from the 70s, the infamous Lady Killer case.
After that, I went back to the Truly Devious series with Book IV, The Box in the Woods, which takes the classic summer camp slasher story as its inspiration. Can a cold case from the 70s (hmm, sort of a theme here) be solved by a teenager with a passion for true crime? This is a bit of a departure from the first three books in the series, which were three parts of the same whole, in that this functions as something of a stand alone within the series, but with the same characters and the same snark. Come for the crime, stay for the internal monologues?
Right now, I’m moving away from unsolved 1970s crimes and getting in touch with my 6th grade self by re-reading Victoria Holt’s On the Night of the Seventh Moon, which contains all the classic Holt elements, including a mysterious and possibly duplicitous hero and a strong-minded governess heroine. I’d forgotten just what fun those Holt heroines could be. Side note: this book caused me a ridiculous amount of annoyance back in the early aughts because the title is nearly identical to that of another Holt book. I’d loved this one back in the 80s and wanted to re-read it. I knew it had Something of the Something Moon in the title. And I kept picking up The Time of the Hunter’s Moon and wondering why, if the title was right, the plot was all wrong…. But this! This was the moon I was looking for!
What have you been reading this week?