Happy Friday, all!
I have a pile of new books I ought to be reading (and two books I ought to be writing!) but I’ve retreated back to my happy place, the village life of an England that never was but ought to have been (as George MacDonald Fraser would say) with a combination of Golden Age mysteries and Angela Thirkell.
I’d forgotten just how much I adore Agatha Christie’s harum scarum mystery novelist Mrs. Ariadne Oliver. (Don’t you think she and Harriet Vane would have a wonderful time at cocktail parties?) I visited with her in Cards on the Table and Dead Man’s Folly before moving sideways from Agatha Christie’s mid-century England to Patricia Wentworth’s mid-century England and her omniscient knitting spinster detective with Dark Threat (not one of my favorite Wentworths because spoilers) and Latter End (absolutely one of my favorite Wentworths).
After that, it was just a short hop and a skip to Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire. For those who haven’t read her, I always like to describe Thirkell as a cross between P.G. Wodehouse and Nancy Mitford. She writes incredibly funny but also very gentle satires of English village life, in which there’s a always a young man down from Oxford, a sweet-natured heroine, domineering schoolboys, delightfully distracted but universally adored ladies of the house, some sort of theatrical production or village fete, and nannies called Nannie. I started with one of my absolute favorites, August Folly, and then moved on to Wild Strawberries.
What have you been reading this week?