What I'm Reading by Sian - Newsletter

Wednesday Jul 27 2011
by Sian

First off, can I just say how thrilled I am that so many of you took my advice and gave the Sarah Caudwell ‘Hilary Tamar’ series a try. Wasn’t it totally wonderful? If it made you think of another series, please let me know as I would love to read more like it.

I’d like to be using this space to gush about HEARTLESS by Gail Carriger, but no sooner had my mother handed me my copy, my sister ran off with it promising she’d finish it before our visit was over. She didn’t, and I am HEARTLESS-less, and shall have to wait until my visit to pick up another copy. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying it. I’m jealous of anyone who hasn’t started reading the series yet, because it means you can read all four, one after the other, without having to wait in desperate suspense like I did. Copies of all four, starting with SOULLESS, are available in the store.

Speaking of my sister, she recommended Deanna Raybourn’s ‘Lady Julia Grey’ series to me. I’m not usually much of a historical mystery kind of person, but with the Steampunk in Gail Carriger’s books and Carole Nelson Douglas’s ‘Irene Adler’ series, I’ve been finding myself slowly going back in time. The series starts in Victorian London with SILENT IN THE GRAVE. Lady Julia Grey has just watched her husband die, though not altogether unexpectedly. A private inquiry agent, Nicholas Brisbane, suggests that the death was not as natural as it seemed. From there, Lady Julia finds herself chasing a killer (and maybe Nicholas Brisbane as well). I think part of what I love about the book is that the family Lady Julia comes from is totally quirky and reminiscent of the Radlett family from Nancy Mitford’s LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE and THE PURSUIT OF LOVE. Beyond that though, Raybourn can write a story and I found I could barely put it down. I managed to read SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY, SILENT ON THE MOOR, and DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING in short order (always a treat to read a series all at once), and THE DARK ENQUIRY just came out, so it will soon be waiting for me on the shelf at Whodunit. I think this new genre will lead me to Tasha Alexander’s ‘Emily Ashton’ series next.

Probably much like you, whenever I’m in the store I like to take a scan of the covers on the back wall and put some orders in for new series. I really liked Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine’s PHOENIX RISING (first in the ‘Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ series). It’s steampunk, and actually almost a combination of Gail Carriger and Deanna Raybourn (funny that). I’ll look forward to future books in the series. I also ordered A TASTE OF THE NIGHTLIFE by Sarah Zettlel, based purely on the cover. I really loved it, not just because the writing was topnotch and the romantic relationships were compelling. It’s a combination of some recent mystery trends of vampires and food, and it really works. This is the first modern series that Sarah Zettel has written, and I think she really nailed it.

I’ve already recommended Julie Kramer’s ‘Riley Spartz’ series, so I’ll just quickly say that KILLING KATE (#4) is another fantastic addition to the series. The series is getting darker, but the writing is still so breezy and smart that I didn’t find myself minding that much. SILENCING SAM (#3) just came out in mass market, so the first three titles are available in that format for an indulgent weekend of reading.

On a quiet afternoon in the store on the May long weekend, I had enough time to get through Brenda Cullerton’s THE CRAIGSLIST MURDERS. It’s one of those odd books where the protagonist is the killer (like Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter or Chelsea Cain’s Gretchen Lowell). Set in New York City, Charlotte Wolfe is an interior decorator with a murderous hobby. I don’t want to spoil the end, but the last couple chapters are like watching a movie. I don’t think I took a breath (or a sip of my slurpee) until the book was over and even then I had to go back and re-read it to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

And finally, as we start thinking about fall, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for some upcoming events. We’re posting movie trailers, interesting articles, and news from the mystery world all the time. I’m also working on doing an event starring, well, me, sometime in the fall or early winter. We’ll have some cupcakes and talk about the books that I’m excited for in 2012.

As always, find me via email at mysterysian@gmail.com or on GoodReads (www.goodreads.com) to see what I’ve been reading under the same name.

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