Happy Friday, all!
I hope everyone is staying as cool as they can in the scorching heat! Summer for me means a new Riley Sager book, in this case The House Across the Lake, his homage to Rear Window. In keeping with tradition, I stayed up way too late and read it one night. I’ll just say… there’s a twist. The twist is not one you would have guessed. (Unless you were paying more attention than I was early in the book.)
After that, I found it very hard to settle to a book. I re-read the fourth (and my least favorite) in Charlotte MacLeod’s Janet and Madoc Rhys series, Trouble in the Brasses, in which the Mountie gets stranded in a faux ghost town with an orchestra en route to a festival– and someone starts getting murder-y. After that I started Georgette Heyer’s The Foundling and Veronica Bond’s new cozy mystery, Death in Castle Dark, but couldn’t quite focus on either (it was me, not them), so just gave up and decided to read through some of my rather alarmingly large ARC pile:
— Nicola Harrison’s upcoming Hotel Laguna, a story of reinvention and found family, in which a young woman who took a factory job during World War II finds herself displaced when the men come home, and, out of desperation, takes a job as assistant and model to an elderly artist in Laguna Beach, which turns out to be much more complicated, but also more rewarding than she imagines;
— Lynne Olson’s Empress of the Novel, a beautifully written biography of a ground-breaking French archeologist who pushed her way into a male field, faced down Nazis, and saved the Temple of Dendur. It’s one of those marvelous micro-histories that illuminates not just the subject, but also the wider world in which she lived, and you’ll feel like you’ve had a whirlwind tour through the 20th century;
— Deborah Goodrich Royce’s Reef Road, a wonderfully twisty thriller set in pandemic Palm Beach, based partly on a true crime, interweaving thriller and true crime in a fascinating way (and giving me a great deal to think about as I work on a book based on a true crime!). Royce is one of those rare authors like Lynda Loigman and the late lamented Judith Merkle Riley with a truly unique voice and style. This was another one that kept me up way too late in the night.
After my orgy of ARCs, which spanned a variety of genres (historical fiction, biography, thriller), I felt it was time for an ARC break, so I pulled Beth Moran’s Just the Way You Are from the TBR pile, about a young woman who extricates herself from her needy and emotionally manipulative mother and moves to a cottage in a small village where in the course of trying to find her own feet she finds herself unexpectedly adopting a dog, helping a family in trouble, and becoming increasingly attached to the local forest ranger. Sometimes, a bit of Trisha Ashley-ish British chick lit is just what you need.
What have you been reading this week?