What I'm Reading

Tuesday Jun 07 2011
by Sian

What I’m Reading by Siân

Over Christmas, I took the opportunity to go through all the shelves in the store and write a list of every book I was even remotely interested in reading. My theory was that there were some books whose covers I was intrigued by that I was less interested in once I read the jacket copy, but kept picking up repeatedly because of a striking cover, and some that I kept looking at and thinking “that might be good” but not going any further than that because I already had a stack of books on the hold shelf and then promptly forgetting about them.

Sarah Caudwell’s (pseudonym for Sarah Cockburn) THE SIBYL IN HER GRAVE, with its Edward Gorey cover, ended up on the “to read” list. I quickly discovered that it was in fact book four of four and that I needed to track down THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED, which was out of print. First. I trawled my used bookstores until I found a copy and then set out to collect THE SHORTEST WAY TO HADES and THE SIRENS SANG OF MURDER first before I started reading. To make a long story short, I finally started on THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED on my vacation, couldn’t put it down, and then hated myself for five days for not having brought the other books. I’m not almost finished book three and I feel confident in telling you that this is the loveliest series I have read in quite some time. The characters are five young London barristers and a Professor of Medieval Law at Oxford who, thanks or no thanks, to many coffee hours and evenings spent drinking wine, manage to help each other out of criminal and life-threatening scrapes. The bad news first: Caudwell died in 2000 having only completed the four novels mentioned above and THUS WAS ADONIS MURDERED is not available in new at the present. The good news is that even if you start with book two (which IS available new), you are in for a serious treat. And should you be lucky enough to find a copy of the first book in used, you’ll be able to go back to the beginning and see where it all started.

Another book that found itself on my “intriguing” list was Heather Webber’s TRULY MADLY. Starring Lucy Valentine, the daughter of a world renowned matchmaking family blessed with a gift by Cupid, the book chronicles her attempt to use her particular gift (finding lost objects) instead of her family’s special talent. I gobbled up DEEPLY, DESPERATELY and ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY just as fast. These are the perfect summer reads. Light, funny, and enough to keep you turning the page.

I’d been desperately awaiting Jasper Fforde’s ONE OF OUR THURSDAY’S IS MISSING and it did not disappoint in the slightest. If you haven’t read his ‘Thursday Next’ books (or the ‘Nursery Crime’ books, for that matter), get to the store, buy THE EYRE AFFAIR and then send me a thank you email for making your summer.

Similarly, I finished Carole Nelson Douglas’ ‘Irene Adler’ series with the triumphant SPIDER DANCE. I have come to love Irene, Nell, Godfrey, Quentin, and even the irascible Sherlock Holmes as some of my favorite literary characters ever. You are doing yourself a real disservice if you don’t give these books a try.

And finally, I would be remiss in reminding you that Gail Carriger’s HEARTLESS comes out June 28th. Best pre-order your copy, so we can call you the second it arrives.

As always, find me via email at mysterysian@gmail.com or on Good Reads to see what I’ve been reading under the same name.



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