I have… quite a few things to talk about, so we’re going straight in here. You can listen instead of read if you’d like, check the Youtube channel link on the side.
First off I forgot to talk about a book last week, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton. This was a very fun, very light cozy mystery. I’d heard all sorts of things about this over and over and finally put it on hold and I do not regret that decision. Agatha Raisin is a smart and assertive businesswoman who retires and decides to move to the country into a cottage. Once settled she decides to enter a cooking contest to try and get invested into the community. As you can guess from the title, that goes south. Thankfully this isn’t a heavy drama or tension sort of book (just the right thing for me right before bed). In fact at one point Agatha refers to someone as a ‘fart face’, that is pretty much the tone of the book. I loved it. If you want a cozy mystery, like something to take to the beach or to read before bed I recommend this one. I love it.
Now onto this list! I’m going to group these by type, not order read. So starting off, I read two romances this week! A Night Like This by Julia Quinn was the first I grabbed, which is the second in the Smyth-Smith series. I definitely liked this one, it was a solid 3 star book, but it wasn’t as good as the first novel. This one is a ‘governess and lord’ love story so if that’s your thing this is one to pick up. I find that power balance sometimes a little weird, but as far as I noticed she did okay with it. There was a nice mystery and dramatic ending as well to top it all off!
The second romance I picked up was The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. This one was the better of the two. In terms of density and weight A Night Like This might be a bit more substantial. This is a pure catnip novel, light and fluffy and exactly what escapist literature should be. It’s about a marriage of convenience between a spirited seamstress and a scarred and ‘disfigured’ duke. Lots of melancholy laments of his appearance cut through with her oblivious and sweet light heartedness made for a very funny book. The occasional political jabs at things like fake news also caught my eye and made me laugh.
The next thing I read that was definitely in the vein of funny was Giant Days Volume 6. I can’t say anything new about Giant Days without spoiling it but it’s still going strong, doing what it does best. I love this series a lot, and I’m guaranteed to laugh. I say keep reading the series if you have been, it’s more of the same but if you like that then you’re set.
I picked up a magazine as well as the comic, continuing my quest to read some of the magazines I have stockpiled up for who knows when. That was Lightspeed Issue 88. This was overall a good issue. Everything in this was strong if not really strong. The standout stories to me though were Blue Ribbon by Marissa Lingen, The Last Cheng Beng Gift by Jaymee Goh, and Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine. Blue Ribbon was I think my favorite as it stuck out to me the longest, it’s something I need to see if she’s written more in that world because I’d definitely read that.
Two more to go! I found The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg. I can’t say a lot about this as it didn’t have much to it. I wasn’t much of a fan and the two big flaws to this were big enough that I finished it and just walked away with an ‘eh’. The story felt structured damn near to identical to The Sign of Four, which was strange because other cases that ‘Watson’ recorded were mentioned and referenced but never once did they call on The Sign of Four even though what they were facing was just like it. Additionally the characters were very two dimensional feeling. We had the cutout of Watson, a younger Watson, a cut out of Lestrade, and a cutout of Sherlock but as a woman. It felt a bit phoned in. And I refuse to believe that our ‘daughter of Sherlock Holmes’ would be able to do physics in her mind, and had been working as a nurse during the war and NOT know what a Star of David is. I don’t see that working at all.
Finally my non-fiction read for the week was Education of a Coroner : Lessons in Investigating Death by John Bateson. This was interesting, though I wouldn’t buy that subtitle. This seemed more a ‘History of a life investigating death’. Mr. Bateson interviewed one particular coroner about the course of his career. The different ‘weird’ cases interspersed with the more mundane. Overall it was definitely a morbid read and one that the squeamish or anxious would probably want to avoid. The nice touches at the end about grief and death I liked but I kind of expected more of that. Not a flaw, just not precisely what I thought would come from the piece.
A full week! I didn’t really realize how much there was till I sat down to write this. What has everyone else read, how did everyone else’s week go? I also read one book for my final Victober wrap-up. I was going to talk about it here but let’s be honest, this is way to long already.