Happy Friday, all!
It’s hard to believe we’re only a week from Christmas when it’s sixty degrees in New York. Between that and my preschooler being back in quarantine, there’s a bit of a Never Never Land, which-day-is-it-again? feel right now, and this week’s reading is equally without theme.
I started off with Margaret Rogerson’s latest, entirely absorbing fantasy novel, Vespertine, in which a young woman finds herself unexpectedly vested with incredible but dangerous power and must navigate all sorts of treachery to save the country from a terrible threat. For anyone who loves Robin McKinley’s Damar books or Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion (oooh, I should re-read Curse of Chalion!), Vespertine reminds me so much of both of those: innately decent characters struggling to do the right things in situations they never anticipated. I love those sorts of heroines.
After that, it was back to the comfort reads with the third book in Charlotte MacLeod’s Janet and Madoc Rhys mysteries, A Dismal Thing to Do, in which our heroine accidentally stumbles on a crime in progress and almost becomes a casualty herself. Not my favorite of the series (in fact, possibly my least favorite of the series, tied for that honor with Trouble in the Brasses), but still weirdly comforting in the way that old books so often are.
Right now, I’ve ventured on to a new historical mystery series I’ve been meaning to try for a while: Kate Saunders’s Laetitia Rodd books in which a Victorian archdeacon’s fifty-two year old widow takes up an unexpected sideline investigating delicate matters for her barrister brother. I loved Saunders’s The Marrying Game and The Bachelor Boys back in the chick lit days of the aughts, and I’m finding her Rodd equally pitch-perfect and compelling. Right now I’m about a third of the way into the first book, The Secrets of Wishtide, so more on these later….
What have you been reading this week?