Newsletter - What I?m Reading

Wednesday Oct 12 2011
by Sian

I’ve only been talking about it for months, but I finally got around to reading Heartless by Gail Carriger. I needed the perfect conditions; it’s not a book to be read on a busy subway when you can’t fully pay attention. At any rate, as expected, I completely loved it and it was everything I wanted it to be. Lady Maccon is trying to navigate her pregnancy with grace and ingenuity, but various supernaturals in the form of doting werewolf husbands and murderous vampires keep getting in her way. I’m loving that Carriger is on a two book a year schedule (for now), so we have Timeless to look forward to in February. Get your pre-orders in now! And if you’ve not embraced the Alexia Tarabotti series yet, you should pick up Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless.

Last we spoke, I was raving about Deanna Raybourn (another recommendation from my sister), and since then I’ve gotten totally caught up with the series. The Dark Enquiry, book five, came out in June and it was just as good as the previous four books. Back from India, Lady Julia is still trying to find a way to get her husband to include her in his work in a meaningful way. Now, a scandal involving her brother Lord Bellmont threatens not only the harmony of her relationship, but also her family. I believe this is the last in the series for a while (if you’ve not tried it, pick up Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor, and Dark Road to Darjeeling as well), as she’s got a standalone coming next set in Kenya. From the details she’s been sharing on Twitter, it sounds like it’s going to be really interesting.

Goodreads kept telling me that if I liked Deanna Raybourn, I was going to like Tasha Alexander, so last time I was at the store I collected her entire backlist (in used, thank you previous owners). Not very long into the first book, And Only to Deceive, it became clear that these series are very similar indeed, but in the best way possible. Here, we have another young widow, Lady Emily Ashton, left with a lot of money and not willing to bend to society’s expectations of what a widow should be (especially once she’s shed her widows weeds). We’ve also got a handsome investigator and the discovery that the husband may have been helped off this mortal coil, despite all appearances to the contrary. The first five books in the series are all delightful (also A Poisoned Season, A Fatal Waltz, Tears of Pearl, and Dangerous to Know), set in lots of interesting locations around the world, and book six A Crimson Warning will be available in hardcover at the end of this month.

You all know how much I loved Carole Nelson Douglas’s ‘Irene Adler’ series, and to prepare for running out of her books I’ve been stockpiling Laurie R. King’s ‘Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes’ series. But for some reason, whenever I was looking for something to read, I kept passing over them. One quiet weekend I finally picked up The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and, predictably, I couldn’t put it down. I blew through A Monstrous Regiment of Women and A Letter of Mary, picked up The Moor, O Jerusalem, and Justice Hall on my last visit home, and further acquired The Game and Locked Rooms. I even tweeted that I was rationing them out, and Laurie R. King herself responded that I shouldn’t worry because I still had several to go. I like to think this was my summer of reading about women ahead of their time, and Mary Russell certainly fits in that crowd. I just love this series so much, from the tenacity and brilliance of Mary, to the unexpected tenderness of Sherlock Holmes. I get sad when all series end, but I know I’m going to have particular trouble letting go of this one. Still, I’ve got three more books to go (The Language of Bees, The God of the Hive, and Pirate King), so lots to look forward to yet.

So that pretty much sums of what I’ve been reading, but naturally I’ve got a lot that I’m looking forward to. Ghoul Interrupted, book six in Victoria Laurie’s ‘Ghost Hunter’ series is coming in January in mass market. That series takes a second for me to the ‘Abby Cooper’ series, but I still like it a lot.

Carrie Bebris’s next ‘Mr. and Mrs. Darcy’ book, The Deception at Lyme, will be out in November. I admit to being puzzled that P.D. James is coming out with a book with such a similar premise, but I’ve been looking for an avenue into reading P.D. James, so Death Comes to Pemberley might be my way in.

I am nervous though that my ‘to read’ pile is getting awfully light. There’s nothing like the anxiety one feels when one isn’t staring down the barrel of a brand new, multi-book series. But you guys know what I like more than anyone. What should I be reading next?

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. If you want to see me in action talking up one of my favorite series, check out: http://simonandschustercanada.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/simon-recommends-1/.                



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