I’m chugging away on my writing deadline but wishing I had more time to read. This month I’ve read a few general market books, so besides letting you know what I thought about the story I’ll give you a heads up on language so you can make the decision that is best for you.
This month seemed to be heavy on books that contain a mystery. Which I guess was a subconscious thing since I’m currently writing such a book. So here we go!
Bloodstains with Bronte by Katherine Bolger Hyde
I’ve been wanting to read a book in this series for awhile, because I met Katherine eons ago (ok, maybe 15ish years ago!) when we were both in a writing workshop at a conference. She is writing a series of mysteries called Crime with the Classics which each have the flavor of classic literature but they are modern day mysteries set on the West coast. Even though this was book 2, I caught on to the characters pretty quickly. Great cast of characters that reoccur with an entertaining mystery. Can’t ask for much more than that! (There are a few cuss words. Not a ton, I’d set this at PG, but a few.)
Remembering Jamie by Nichole Van
Oh. My. This was the 5th and final book in the Brotherhood of the Black Tartan series, set in Regency-era Scotland. I have adored these books and been anxious to read this one which finally tied up the mystery that overarched all the books. It was a worthy culmination to a series whose characters will definitely stay with me!
Autumn by the Sea by Melissa Tagg
Maine. Autumn. Romance. And, yes, mystery. A mystery which, apparently, we’ll have to read the other books to find the conclusion to! Thankfully, book two comes out in a few months. And I’m looking forward to it not only for the mystery to move forward, but because the family that ties the books together are characters I want to know more about. All different and compelling. And Melissa never fails to deliver on the romance, either.
Your Inner Hedgehog by Alexander McCall Smoth
If you enjoy PG Wodehouse (the Bertie Wooster books) humor, you will love the Professor Dr. Von Inglefeld series. This is the 5th book and every single one has made me laugh out loud. It’s kind of Bertie Wooster in the German academic world. And it is a hoot! We found the first three of these books when we were in England in 2005, after we’d just started reading Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and have been a huge fan ever since. But again, you have to appreciate this kind of humor. Which I do.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederick Backman
I’ll confess that the first few chapters of this book had me scratching my head. It was chaotic storytelling. Which went with the main character, but still. It was written so differently than the other Frederick Backman books I’ve loved (A Man Called One and Britt-Marie was Here.) But my husband kept saying it was good so I kept reading. And of course he was right. As usual in a Backman book, I was crying at the end. (Warning: this one had some consistent coarse language. I just wanted you to know in case you steer clear of that.)
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
I’ve been wanting to read this book from the moment I realized it was about the explosion of the steam ship Pulaski. Most people have never heard of it, but it has haunted my memory for years! I first read of it in Eugenia Price’s book Stranger in Savannah, book 2 of her Savannah series, which made me fall in love with a city I’d never been too. In fact, my first visit there for our 25th wedding anniversary celebration! I was able to go back with my husband on a business trip this past spring, so I loved that all the places were fresh in my mind since this story is a dual timeline story. I loved that I even knew some of the names of those who were really aboard from Eugenia Price’s book. But I also loved learning some of the new information that has been learned since then.
But beyond my desire to revisit that story from my teenaged years, I was captivated by this story in and of itself. The contemporary timeline tugged at my emotions while also fascinating me with tidbits about historical preservation and historical research. And the story of those who were on the ship was as horrifying and heartrending as you might expect, given that this shipwreck is sometimes called the Titanic of the South. It was one of those dual timeline books where both storylines kept me equally engaged. (Tiny bit of language in this one. Not much, not terrible, just wanted you to know.)
When We Were Young & Brave by Hazel Gaynor
Yet another fascinating piece of WWII history I didn’t know! This story takes place in China during WWII. A group of English-speaking school children—children of missionaries and diplomats—and their teachers were deemed enemies by Japan and taken to a civilian prison camp. It is a story of resilience and hope. I especially loved the one historical character who showed up in this story because he was really there! (I won’t give it away.) I had no idea.
That’s it for October! I’ve got a few I’m finishing up or already slated to read next month, but then it will be on to Christmas novels and novellas! I’m so excited!
Love reading your list! I have a couple on my TBR. Just added the first in the Nichole Van series due to your recommendation.
I think you’ll like that series!
Polly (Faust) Smith
D’Ann, I have been wanting to broaden my reading list of authors. Your blog helps a lot. Glad you have seen Savannah. My husband and I were there for a day tour, a memorable side trip after a visit to Andersonville prison site. keep up the good work fro your Huntingdon, Pa. friends
So glad my reading list is helping you build yours! 🙂