Newsletter - BUMSTED PICKS OF 2012 - Sian's Picks

Monday Dec 03 2012
by Whodunit

Sian's Picks

The problem with writing a bi-monthly review column is that by the time December rolls around, I’ve told you about all the books I’ve loved. It’s worse this year, because I’m a student again who has very little time for recreational reading. My ‘to read’ pile has actually expanded into an entire bookcase.

First up is actually a doubleheader, which I’ve previously recommended. I read Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery Of Witches on my iPhone of all things and was enchanted. It’s now available in trade paperback and the second book in the trilogy, Shadow of Night, is in hardcover with the trade paperback coming in the spring. If you love history, witches, vampires, academia, time-travel, a mystery, or any selection of the above, you will adore the world that Deborah Harkness has built. Truly, A Discovery of Witches would be the perfect book to settle into on Christmas Day, after your guests are gone, the presents are opened, and you’re left with warm drinks and more treats than you know what to do with. (Read an excerpt of A Discovery of Witches here.)

After having spent much of 2011 being captivated by the romance of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, I was disappointed in Laurie R. King’s 11th book in the series, The Pirate King. I had read an excerpt from Garment of Shadows in the summer before it came out, but was still wary. I needn’t have been. Garment of Shadows is Mary and Sherlock at their best, working both together and separately with some much-loved characters making their returns. It’s at this point in a series that you start to worry the author may be tiring of it, but I’m actually just about ready to start again with the first book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. It would make a lovely stocking stuffer, in trade paperback, for anyone who loves a strong heroine in a historical setting. (Read an excerpt of Garment of Shadows here.)

Look, I never want to be one to flog a dead horse (or something), but I have two things to say to you:

1) ‘Izzy Spellman Mysteries’ by Lisa Lutz (Read an excerpt from The Spellman Files here.)

2) ‘Alexia Tarabotti’ series by Gail Carriger (Read an excerpt from Soulless here.)

There are 5 books in each series. The first series is available in trade, the second series in mass market. I know that lots of different kinds of people read the books I recommend, but if you have an intelligent and witty daughter between the ages of 17 and 100, please promise you’ll buy the first book from one of these series for her for Christmas/Hanukkah. Even if she thinks she doesn’t like mysteries. I promise she’ll love it.

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