Newsletter - Bumsted Picks - Sian

Friday Nov 29 2013
by Sian

When it comes to picking my book of the year, I usually scan through my Goodreads list to look for mysteries I gave five stars to and go from there. Awkwardly, this would have put my pick this year as something by Ben Aaronovitch, so on that topic I’ll just say he’s an excellent writer, ‘Rivers of London’ is an excellent series, and if Mum, Michael and I can all agree it on it MUST be something special.

But that leaves me with having to pick something else, and if I cast my mind back over the last year, the books that stand out as bringing me the most joy are from Charles Finch’s ‘Charles Lenox’ series. So I’m going to cheat a little bit a recommend the whole series (sassy of me, I know). There are seven books in the series, starting with A Beautiful Blue Death, the first six of which are available in trade paperback. The newest book, An Old Betrayal, is in hardcover with the paperback coming in August. I enjoy the period and place (Victorian London), I enjoy the strong female character (Lady Jane Grey), I enjoy the glimpse into upstairs/downstairs life (my Honours thesis was on 18th century domestic servants), and I very much enjoy the mysteries. There’s really something for everyone in these books, and they constantly have me putting non-fiction about the period on hold from the library. Charles Lenox is a gentleman and a scholar, but not afraid to talk to anyone, and I very much look forward to continuing to observe his adventures.

Finally, since I already cheated a bit, let me make a quick pitch for Gail Carriger’s ‘Finishing School’ series. The first book, Etiquette & Espionage, is now an extremely afford $11 in paperback and the second, Curtsies & Conspiracies is an equally affordable $20 hardcover. Either, or both, would make an excellent stocking stuffing for the sophisticated young (or mature) woman in your life.

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