What We’re Reading–September 2020

Pat here, hosting our monthly wench book review event. We have way too much fun behind the scenes reading each other's recommendations and adding to our TBR piles! We have some great ones this month. And just to keep the bookstores (or libraries) busy, we welcome all reader recommendations in the comments below.

Christina:

The Sea Gate - Jane JohnsonI haven’t been reading much this month, but I couldn’t resist picking up The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson because the cover really appealed to me and I love stories set in Cornwall. This is a gripping and engrossing dual time story, alternating between the present and World War II. And although I don’t normally read much from this period, The Sea Gate gave a whole new perspective on things as the story takes place in a small fishing village on the coast. Here, the war seems far away, but it has a way of finding the protagonists all the same. For 16-year old Olivia, it changes her life in numerous ways, and has repercussions that resonate throughout her long life. In the present, we meet her again as an irascible old lady in her nineties, and I absolutely loved her character! She is refreshingly direct and downright rude, and the sheer strength of her will is remarkable. The story in the present mainly centres on a young relative, however, Rebecca, who has been through the wringer in more ways than one. Lacking in self-confidence and suffering from anxiety and depression, coming to Cornwall to help the elderly Olivia is the making of her. I so enjoyed watching her going from doormat to roaring lion – a favourite trope of mine – and was cheering her on, hoping for a happy resolution to all her problems. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves dual time stories and/or tales of World War II – it’s wonderful!

 

Nicola:

 I usually think that September is too early ,to start reading Christmas stories, but I was in need of something happy and uplifting and when One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan popped up, I couldn’t resist. I’m a huge Sarah Morgan fan having enjoyed her contemporary romances for years and more recently her family-centred novels. Full disclosure – Sarah had referenced my Scottish Regency historical One Night with the Laird a couple of times in the book as the heroine is a historical romance fan, which I am totally thrilled about! One More for Christmas

 One More for Christmas is a joy. (UK link here) There is romance and Christmas spirit aplenty but the heart of the book is the relationship between three generations of women in the Mitchell family. Gail Mitchell has carved out a hugely successful career but it has been at the cost of her relationship with her daughters Samantha and Ella. When an unfortunate (but hilarious) accident brings them back together, the girls reluctantly agree to their mother’s request to spend Christmas as a family in the Scottish Highlands along with Ella’s gorgeous husband Michael and their adorable daughter.

It’s a fabulous set up for a story. The Scottish setting is glorious and made me want to book into a Highland castle for Christmas. What I love about Sarah’s books is the depth she gives her characters and the way she really examines the sort of family interactions and conflicts that we’re all familiar with. She hits the emotional nail on the head every time. The way that Gail and her daughters slowly reconnect and find each other again is wonderful and thought-provoking. The icing on the Christmas cake is a hot Scottish laird and a lovely romance for workaholic Samantha. It’s the best Christmas book I’ve read in ages. It’s out in the US next week and is up for pre-order in the UK, out at the end of October.

 

Andrea:

This month’s reading has been my usual ying and yang between fiction and non -fiction. After working all-out on a new project this spring and summer, I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on my towering TBR pile. Right at the top was Lessons in Enchantment, the first book in our own Pat Rice’s latest Lessons in Enchantment“School of Magic” series, set in Victorian Scotland.

I love Pat’s “Magic” books, which always take us on enchanting journeys, whether they’re set in Regency, Victorian or modern times. And this one is a wonderful addition to her “Magical Malcolms” family tree. As usual, it has a cast of delightfully eccentric characters, and a heroine and hero who are stubbornly passionate about their own personal dreams—but even more passionate about protecting those who are vulnerable and seeing that justice triumphs over evil.

(Pat here: awwww, thank you! Hugs…)

Lady Phoebe a has a gift of communicating with animals, and dreams of going to university to study to be a veterinarian. Alas, poverty compels her to do the bidding of her aunts—who run the School of Malcolms—and serve as governess to the children who inventor Andrew Blair is sheltering for his cousin, whose Malcolm wife was murdered . . .

Little does Blair know that his household is about to be turned upside down . . . children who speak with ghosts and levitate objects that aren’t meant to float . . . a menagerie of animals who help guard the house from the villains seeking to kidnap the children for their nefarious plan. (I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book where a pine marten is one of the heroes! . . .though my mystery series does feature Weasels, ha, ha, ha.) And of course, a feisty heroine who somehow moves all the hidden levers to open his heart.

The story sparkles with wit and humor, and wonderfully explosive chemistry between Phoebe and Drew. Brew a pot of tea, bake some scones or oatmeal-raisin cookies and let the heartwarming story cast its spell over you! The Club

I also finally had a chance to dive into The Club—Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends who Shaped an Age by Leo Damrosch. It’s won numerous accolades and it’s just the sort of history book that I love. Damrosch weaves sensitive portraits of the great men of Georgian England—Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Joshua Reynolds, just to name some of the members who gathered for weekly meetings at the Turk’s Head Tavern in London .

I haven’t finished it yet, but am really loving it. It’s about friendships, foibles, ideas and the interplay between a group of brilliant, imaginative men who, in bouncing ideas off each other and shaping their own thoughts in their respective fields, came to influence their world—and ours. It’s beautifully written and creates such a human portrait of these giants of Western thought. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history!   

Joanna:

Jeannie linThis month, an interesting book set in Tang Dynasty China, The Hidden Moon.(Lotus Palace Mystery #4) from Jeannie Lin.

This is a historical mystery with an intriguing pair of detectives, a scholarly court lady and a streetwise semi-gangster. It's a time and place where a brilliant and intrepid woman could find no role except as the disregarded Middle Sister who needs to be married off; a tough, capable, insightful man, born into dire poverty, could be nothing more than a street hustler. Yet here they are, these two oddly matched people, tracking down a political assassin together.

See Lin's first steps into this delicately incised world and the meeting of Wei Wei and Gao in The Liar's Dice novella.

Anne
My first recommendation is Someone to Romance, the new Mary Balogh historical romance. It's about Lady Jessica, who after several years "out" in society, hasn't yet SomeoneToRomancefound anyone she wants to marry. She was hoping for love, but time is passing and she's decided that this year she'll choose someone — love or not. Her choice narrows down to two candidates — one who smiles a great deal and one who doesn't. You can guess where this is going. It's a lovely romp — and a tender romance. 
 
The Saturday Morning Park Run is a contemporary romance/women's fiction
by Jules Wake. It's about Claire an ambitious (workaholic) young woman who is forced to take medical leave from her job because of stress. At the same time, her single parent younger sister Alice is about to go to India on a yoga trip for a week, and decides that Alice can take care of her two children since she's "on holiday." SatMorningParkRunClaire does, and in the process of caring for two needy young girls, meeting an eccentric old lady who jogs, and a handsome stranger she met on a train, Claire's life is transformed, especially when she gets involved in starting up a "parkrun" community event.
A satisfying and enjoyable read — even the jogging stuff, which I don't do. (g)
 
Lastly, I read and enjoyed Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920's set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. Good fun and I've bought the next two in the series (which were cheaper in a boxed set.)
 

Mary Jo:

I'm not usually fond of books that are spun off of famous existing fictional works, though I can understand the appeal of playing in someone else's much loved world, plus the chance of increasing sales. (A matter of deep concern for all authors!)

So while I was vaguely aware of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series, featuring a heroine who meets and marries The Book of MarySherlock Holmes (really???), I'd never read any of the books. But I've been going through a bit of a reading drought, so I finally picked up a copy of a Mary Russell book that I've had on a shelf for years, A Letter of Mary. And wow!

The books are narrated by Mary Russell, and I love her voice. The superb writing and characterization made me buy into the idea that a 15 year old orphaned Anglo-British, half Jewish heiress might be Sherlock Holmes's soul mate. After the death of her parents in a California car accident, Mary is sent to live with a mean English aunt. She's roaming the Sussex Downs in Southern England when she meets an odd, bony, and terrifyingly intelligent man who is keeping bees there. Hence the title of the first book in the series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. They have very similar kinds of intelligence, though he's a Victorian gentleman and she's a bright young modern woman in 1915.

He's bored and finds her interesting, and she finds him to be a fascinating alternative to time spent with her aunt. Through their intellectually challenging friendship, she learns his methods of observation and deduction that effectively turn her into a detective. And he learns that a woman can be the intellectual equal of a man. (They call each other Holmes and Russell.)

Beekeepers ApprencticeThe first book covers several years as Mary goes to Oxford and Holmes occasionally goes off on mysterious missions for the government. They work several cases together, including one that threatens both of their lives. I find the characters and their relationship compelling, and I've now read several of the books, and bought several more.

Besides enjoying the reading, I learn a lot along the way. And as one reviewer said, the books are clearly meant for people with large vocabularies. Perfect for a former English major like me! I think the series has 16 books, so I have more to look forward to.

 

Pat:Murderbot

For something completely different. . . I'm recommending All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries  by Martha Wells

This is a fun space fantasy with a mechanically gender-neutral robot that apparently possesses some human splicing. It loves soap operas, hates its job, and is shy around humans. Designed as a security guard, it’s programmed to merely throw itself at danger and hope not too much is destroyed so it can be regenerated. But the company that makes it is cheap, the programming that’s supposed to control it is weak, and Murderbot has freed itself from the connection so it can watch soaps all the time. To avoid being taken apart for parts, it does have to follow orders when they’re issued. To its surprise, it has apparently learned emotional reactions from soap operas and becomes attached to the group of scientists it’s designed to protect. In return, the scientists treat the robot as an intelligent equal. Given the dangerous situation they're thrust into, they must learn to trust a machine that has already admitted to killing dozens of humans by mistake. Quite entertaining!

180 thoughts on “What We’re Reading–September 2020”

  1. What a wonderful collection of books you’ve been reading; thank you for sharing. I’ve added some titles to my ever-growing wishlist.
    And I’ll heartily second your recommendation, Pat, of the Murderbot books.

    Reply
  2. What a wonderful collection of books you’ve been reading; thank you for sharing. I’ve added some titles to my ever-growing wishlist.
    And I’ll heartily second your recommendation, Pat, of the Murderbot books.

    Reply
  3. What a wonderful collection of books you’ve been reading; thank you for sharing. I’ve added some titles to my ever-growing wishlist.
    And I’ll heartily second your recommendation, Pat, of the Murderbot books.

    Reply
  4. What a wonderful collection of books you’ve been reading; thank you for sharing. I’ve added some titles to my ever-growing wishlist.
    And I’ll heartily second your recommendation, Pat, of the Murderbot books.

    Reply
  5. What a wonderful collection of books you’ve been reading; thank you for sharing. I’ve added some titles to my ever-growing wishlist.
    And I’ll heartily second your recommendation, Pat, of the Murderbot books.

    Reply
  6. Early in the month:
    — Midshipman’s Hope (The Seafort Saga Book 1) by David Feintuch; this is a military science fiction novel. It is by no means a perfect story; however, it definitely kept my interest and I talked a lot about it with my husband. I would happily read on.
    — Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) by Ashley Gardner which I enjoyed. Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym of author Jennifer Ashley.
    — stayed up late reading the newest Anne Cleeland Acton and Doyle book, Murder in Revelation; I enjoyed it. I’ve given up trying to solve the mysteries in these books which are complex, and I simply enjoy revisiting the characters.
    — Boy Shattered by Eli Easton — this was a poignant story that dealt primarily with the relationship that develops between two highschoolers in the aftermath of a school shooting. Landon, out and proud senior, saves the life of Brian (hmmm, inadvertent Monty Python humor!), popular quarterback/jock. I appreciated the tenderness that is shown in the boys’ relationship as well as the fact that individuals are shown to process trauma in different ways. The identity of the shooters is also a mystery through much of the book; my solution was only 50% correct. I recommend this book.
    — The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic — many trigger warnings for this book (past abuse/torture by a parent; drugging). This is the first of a trilogy; the series might prove to contain a romance but this book did not. I was admittedly confused much of the time I was reading, but the story kept my interest. Neil has spent years on the run from his criminal father. His senior year he joins the Exy team (a sport created by the author) at his high school and ends up being enlisted to play with the Foxes as a college freshman. The story covers about four months of training (with many dysfunctional teammates) and the start of the school year. This book is FREE for Kindle readers and the sequels are each 99 cents. I don’t believe I’ll continue as reviews indicate that the follow on books are very dark; the series as a whole has an average rating of 4+ on Amazon and has many fans.
    — Plumbess Seg by Jude Fawley — is one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read. Select female orphans are raised together and trained to become plumbesses. They learn about toilets, sewers, and pipes of all kinds; they deliver babies, too (you know, from human pipes!). At a certain point in their training, they begin carrying a plunger (it’s akin to a wand). The novel focuses on Seg and Eck as they grow and train and go out into the world (with pipelords and peasants) where a plumbess is a woman of high status. I will likely reread this story and would like to read on in the series.
    — For inspiration for my next art gathering, I enjoyed reading
    Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Genuine D. Zlatkis.
    — the most recent book in an enjoyable series, Death at Brighton Pavilion (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 14) by Ashley Gardner.
    — White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for my book group. It was a sad read dealing as it did, in alternating chapters, with the life of a Korean comfort woman during World War II and with the life of her sister in 2011. It was a quick and gripping story that I read in two days.

    Reply
  7. Early in the month:
    — Midshipman’s Hope (The Seafort Saga Book 1) by David Feintuch; this is a military science fiction novel. It is by no means a perfect story; however, it definitely kept my interest and I talked a lot about it with my husband. I would happily read on.
    — Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) by Ashley Gardner which I enjoyed. Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym of author Jennifer Ashley.
    — stayed up late reading the newest Anne Cleeland Acton and Doyle book, Murder in Revelation; I enjoyed it. I’ve given up trying to solve the mysteries in these books which are complex, and I simply enjoy revisiting the characters.
    — Boy Shattered by Eli Easton — this was a poignant story that dealt primarily with the relationship that develops between two highschoolers in the aftermath of a school shooting. Landon, out and proud senior, saves the life of Brian (hmmm, inadvertent Monty Python humor!), popular quarterback/jock. I appreciated the tenderness that is shown in the boys’ relationship as well as the fact that individuals are shown to process trauma in different ways. The identity of the shooters is also a mystery through much of the book; my solution was only 50% correct. I recommend this book.
    — The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic — many trigger warnings for this book (past abuse/torture by a parent; drugging). This is the first of a trilogy; the series might prove to contain a romance but this book did not. I was admittedly confused much of the time I was reading, but the story kept my interest. Neil has spent years on the run from his criminal father. His senior year he joins the Exy team (a sport created by the author) at his high school and ends up being enlisted to play with the Foxes as a college freshman. The story covers about four months of training (with many dysfunctional teammates) and the start of the school year. This book is FREE for Kindle readers and the sequels are each 99 cents. I don’t believe I’ll continue as reviews indicate that the follow on books are very dark; the series as a whole has an average rating of 4+ on Amazon and has many fans.
    — Plumbess Seg by Jude Fawley — is one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read. Select female orphans are raised together and trained to become plumbesses. They learn about toilets, sewers, and pipes of all kinds; they deliver babies, too (you know, from human pipes!). At a certain point in their training, they begin carrying a plunger (it’s akin to a wand). The novel focuses on Seg and Eck as they grow and train and go out into the world (with pipelords and peasants) where a plumbess is a woman of high status. I will likely reread this story and would like to read on in the series.
    — For inspiration for my next art gathering, I enjoyed reading
    Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Genuine D. Zlatkis.
    — the most recent book in an enjoyable series, Death at Brighton Pavilion (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 14) by Ashley Gardner.
    — White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for my book group. It was a sad read dealing as it did, in alternating chapters, with the life of a Korean comfort woman during World War II and with the life of her sister in 2011. It was a quick and gripping story that I read in two days.

    Reply
  8. Early in the month:
    — Midshipman’s Hope (The Seafort Saga Book 1) by David Feintuch; this is a military science fiction novel. It is by no means a perfect story; however, it definitely kept my interest and I talked a lot about it with my husband. I would happily read on.
    — Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) by Ashley Gardner which I enjoyed. Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym of author Jennifer Ashley.
    — stayed up late reading the newest Anne Cleeland Acton and Doyle book, Murder in Revelation; I enjoyed it. I’ve given up trying to solve the mysteries in these books which are complex, and I simply enjoy revisiting the characters.
    — Boy Shattered by Eli Easton — this was a poignant story that dealt primarily with the relationship that develops between two highschoolers in the aftermath of a school shooting. Landon, out and proud senior, saves the life of Brian (hmmm, inadvertent Monty Python humor!), popular quarterback/jock. I appreciated the tenderness that is shown in the boys’ relationship as well as the fact that individuals are shown to process trauma in different ways. The identity of the shooters is also a mystery through much of the book; my solution was only 50% correct. I recommend this book.
    — The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic — many trigger warnings for this book (past abuse/torture by a parent; drugging). This is the first of a trilogy; the series might prove to contain a romance but this book did not. I was admittedly confused much of the time I was reading, but the story kept my interest. Neil has spent years on the run from his criminal father. His senior year he joins the Exy team (a sport created by the author) at his high school and ends up being enlisted to play with the Foxes as a college freshman. The story covers about four months of training (with many dysfunctional teammates) and the start of the school year. This book is FREE for Kindle readers and the sequels are each 99 cents. I don’t believe I’ll continue as reviews indicate that the follow on books are very dark; the series as a whole has an average rating of 4+ on Amazon and has many fans.
    — Plumbess Seg by Jude Fawley — is one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read. Select female orphans are raised together and trained to become plumbesses. They learn about toilets, sewers, and pipes of all kinds; they deliver babies, too (you know, from human pipes!). At a certain point in their training, they begin carrying a plunger (it’s akin to a wand). The novel focuses on Seg and Eck as they grow and train and go out into the world (with pipelords and peasants) where a plumbess is a woman of high status. I will likely reread this story and would like to read on in the series.
    — For inspiration for my next art gathering, I enjoyed reading
    Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Genuine D. Zlatkis.
    — the most recent book in an enjoyable series, Death at Brighton Pavilion (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 14) by Ashley Gardner.
    — White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for my book group. It was a sad read dealing as it did, in alternating chapters, with the life of a Korean comfort woman during World War II and with the life of her sister in 2011. It was a quick and gripping story that I read in two days.

    Reply
  9. Early in the month:
    — Midshipman’s Hope (The Seafort Saga Book 1) by David Feintuch; this is a military science fiction novel. It is by no means a perfect story; however, it definitely kept my interest and I talked a lot about it with my husband. I would happily read on.
    — Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) by Ashley Gardner which I enjoyed. Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym of author Jennifer Ashley.
    — stayed up late reading the newest Anne Cleeland Acton and Doyle book, Murder in Revelation; I enjoyed it. I’ve given up trying to solve the mysteries in these books which are complex, and I simply enjoy revisiting the characters.
    — Boy Shattered by Eli Easton — this was a poignant story that dealt primarily with the relationship that develops between two highschoolers in the aftermath of a school shooting. Landon, out and proud senior, saves the life of Brian (hmmm, inadvertent Monty Python humor!), popular quarterback/jock. I appreciated the tenderness that is shown in the boys’ relationship as well as the fact that individuals are shown to process trauma in different ways. The identity of the shooters is also a mystery through much of the book; my solution was only 50% correct. I recommend this book.
    — The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic — many trigger warnings for this book (past abuse/torture by a parent; drugging). This is the first of a trilogy; the series might prove to contain a romance but this book did not. I was admittedly confused much of the time I was reading, but the story kept my interest. Neil has spent years on the run from his criminal father. His senior year he joins the Exy team (a sport created by the author) at his high school and ends up being enlisted to play with the Foxes as a college freshman. The story covers about four months of training (with many dysfunctional teammates) and the start of the school year. This book is FREE for Kindle readers and the sequels are each 99 cents. I don’t believe I’ll continue as reviews indicate that the follow on books are very dark; the series as a whole has an average rating of 4+ on Amazon and has many fans.
    — Plumbess Seg by Jude Fawley — is one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read. Select female orphans are raised together and trained to become plumbesses. They learn about toilets, sewers, and pipes of all kinds; they deliver babies, too (you know, from human pipes!). At a certain point in their training, they begin carrying a plunger (it’s akin to a wand). The novel focuses on Seg and Eck as they grow and train and go out into the world (with pipelords and peasants) where a plumbess is a woman of high status. I will likely reread this story and would like to read on in the series.
    — For inspiration for my next art gathering, I enjoyed reading
    Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Genuine D. Zlatkis.
    — the most recent book in an enjoyable series, Death at Brighton Pavilion (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 14) by Ashley Gardner.
    — White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for my book group. It was a sad read dealing as it did, in alternating chapters, with the life of a Korean comfort woman during World War II and with the life of her sister in 2011. It was a quick and gripping story that I read in two days.

    Reply
  10. Early in the month:
    — Midshipman’s Hope (The Seafort Saga Book 1) by David Feintuch; this is a military science fiction novel. It is by no means a perfect story; however, it definitely kept my interest and I talked a lot about it with my husband. I would happily read on.
    — Murder in St. Giles: A Regency Mystery (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 13) by Ashley Gardner which I enjoyed. Ashley Gardner is a pseudonym of author Jennifer Ashley.
    — stayed up late reading the newest Anne Cleeland Acton and Doyle book, Murder in Revelation; I enjoyed it. I’ve given up trying to solve the mysteries in these books which are complex, and I simply enjoy revisiting the characters.
    — Boy Shattered by Eli Easton — this was a poignant story that dealt primarily with the relationship that develops between two highschoolers in the aftermath of a school shooting. Landon, out and proud senior, saves the life of Brian (hmmm, inadvertent Monty Python humor!), popular quarterback/jock. I appreciated the tenderness that is shown in the boys’ relationship as well as the fact that individuals are shown to process trauma in different ways. The identity of the shooters is also a mystery through much of the book; my solution was only 50% correct. I recommend this book.
    — The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic — many trigger warnings for this book (past abuse/torture by a parent; drugging). This is the first of a trilogy; the series might prove to contain a romance but this book did not. I was admittedly confused much of the time I was reading, but the story kept my interest. Neil has spent years on the run from his criminal father. His senior year he joins the Exy team (a sport created by the author) at his high school and ends up being enlisted to play with the Foxes as a college freshman. The story covers about four months of training (with many dysfunctional teammates) and the start of the school year. This book is FREE for Kindle readers and the sequels are each 99 cents. I don’t believe I’ll continue as reviews indicate that the follow on books are very dark; the series as a whole has an average rating of 4+ on Amazon and has many fans.
    — Plumbess Seg by Jude Fawley — is one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read. Select female orphans are raised together and trained to become plumbesses. They learn about toilets, sewers, and pipes of all kinds; they deliver babies, too (you know, from human pipes!). At a certain point in their training, they begin carrying a plunger (it’s akin to a wand). The novel focuses on Seg and Eck as they grow and train and go out into the world (with pipelords and peasants) where a plumbess is a woman of high status. I will likely reread this story and would like to read on in the series.
    — For inspiration for my next art gathering, I enjoyed reading
    Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Genuine D. Zlatkis.
    — the most recent book in an enjoyable series, Death at Brighton Pavilion (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries Book 14) by Ashley Gardner.
    — White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht for my book group. It was a sad read dealing as it did, in alternating chapters, with the life of a Korean comfort woman during World War II and with the life of her sister in 2011. It was a quick and gripping story that I read in two days.

    Reply
  11. More recently:
    Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry’s mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.
    **
    Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher — Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.
    **
    Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox — Felix, a graduate student studying stained glass, meets Lio unaware that he is a prince about to ascend the throne. (Lio’s father is about to ‘retire’ … not abdicate?) Lio, gay and closeted,sees this as a last chance for a fling; however, the two men soon establish an emotional connection. There is a nice supporting cast of family, friends, and staff. I enjoyed this.
    **
    The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital by A. H. Lee — I bought this in May, long enough ago to forget hearing the book ends ABRUPTLY. Be warned! I quite enjoyed this fantasy about Roland, brother of the Queen, who flirts with a man at a tavern only to be horrified to learn the next day that he kissed a necromancer. I definitely will read on.
    **
    Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) — almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn’t interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during this short story as he begins his first relationship. An okay read.
    **
    Worth Searching For by Wendy Qualls was an enjoyable male/male contemporary romance.
    ****
    I read the Taking Shield series by Anna Butler. Ten thousand years ago, ‘the earth went dark’ and people from its colonies went in search of a new home. After three thousand years, they settled on Albion. Some things are familiar – politicians and the military, inches and feet, death (TW for so much) and taxes, Latin in religious ceremonies, homophobia, and size 13 shoes, but much is different – primarily the Maess with whom Albion has been at war for over a hundred years.
    Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield book 1) by Anna Butler –(FREE for Kindle readers) was a reread. Shield Captain Bennet is in an open and tense relationship with his partner, Joss, who is unhappy with his frequent absences. While on assignment, Bennet meets Flynn (a pilot), and they connect on many levels. It’s clear that their relationship will develop as the series progresses.
    Heart Scarab -I was impressed at the author’s ability to make me care for a character who I’d found unsympathetic in book one. This book had me pondering the difficulties of caring for someone with a dangerous profession and considering how relationships can change with time. It made me cry but left me eager to read on.
    Makepeace -this book, set several years after the first, revolves around Bennet’s mission to the planet Makepeace in Maess space.
    The Chains Of Their Sins -this book deals with the ugly aftereffects of the Makepeace mission. Bennet and Flynn are on the same ship but not together due to regulations. This was another book that had me crying.
    Day of Wrath -the final book in the series went somewhere that I never expected.
    This was an excellent series; I recommend it highly to those who might like military science fiction with a side of romance.
    **
    Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper — (FREE for Kindle readers) was a lovely tale of Jacob and Daniel beginning in world war 2, when they meet while serving in the Navy, and following their life together for some sixty years.
    **
    Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures Book 1) by KJ Charles –– was set in London after the Great War featuring a bookseller, Will Darling, and Kim Secretan, a well-to-do young man. There are thugs, spies, various weapons, lies, many books, and a mystery. There is danger that didn’t feel too real to me. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading on in the series.
    **
    I also reread some of James Marshall’s George and Martha books that were family favorites when my daughter was young.

    Reply
  12. More recently:
    Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry’s mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.
    **
    Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher — Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.
    **
    Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox — Felix, a graduate student studying stained glass, meets Lio unaware that he is a prince about to ascend the throne. (Lio’s father is about to ‘retire’ … not abdicate?) Lio, gay and closeted,sees this as a last chance for a fling; however, the two men soon establish an emotional connection. There is a nice supporting cast of family, friends, and staff. I enjoyed this.
    **
    The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital by A. H. Lee — I bought this in May, long enough ago to forget hearing the book ends ABRUPTLY. Be warned! I quite enjoyed this fantasy about Roland, brother of the Queen, who flirts with a man at a tavern only to be horrified to learn the next day that he kissed a necromancer. I definitely will read on.
    **
    Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) — almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn’t interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during this short story as he begins his first relationship. An okay read.
    **
    Worth Searching For by Wendy Qualls was an enjoyable male/male contemporary romance.
    ****
    I read the Taking Shield series by Anna Butler. Ten thousand years ago, ‘the earth went dark’ and people from its colonies went in search of a new home. After three thousand years, they settled on Albion. Some things are familiar – politicians and the military, inches and feet, death (TW for so much) and taxes, Latin in religious ceremonies, homophobia, and size 13 shoes, but much is different – primarily the Maess with whom Albion has been at war for over a hundred years.
    Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield book 1) by Anna Butler –(FREE for Kindle readers) was a reread. Shield Captain Bennet is in an open and tense relationship with his partner, Joss, who is unhappy with his frequent absences. While on assignment, Bennet meets Flynn (a pilot), and they connect on many levels. It’s clear that their relationship will develop as the series progresses.
    Heart Scarab -I was impressed at the author’s ability to make me care for a character who I’d found unsympathetic in book one. This book had me pondering the difficulties of caring for someone with a dangerous profession and considering how relationships can change with time. It made me cry but left me eager to read on.
    Makepeace -this book, set several years after the first, revolves around Bennet’s mission to the planet Makepeace in Maess space.
    The Chains Of Their Sins -this book deals with the ugly aftereffects of the Makepeace mission. Bennet and Flynn are on the same ship but not together due to regulations. This was another book that had me crying.
    Day of Wrath -the final book in the series went somewhere that I never expected.
    This was an excellent series; I recommend it highly to those who might like military science fiction with a side of romance.
    **
    Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper — (FREE for Kindle readers) was a lovely tale of Jacob and Daniel beginning in world war 2, when they meet while serving in the Navy, and following their life together for some sixty years.
    **
    Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures Book 1) by KJ Charles –– was set in London after the Great War featuring a bookseller, Will Darling, and Kim Secretan, a well-to-do young man. There are thugs, spies, various weapons, lies, many books, and a mystery. There is danger that didn’t feel too real to me. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading on in the series.
    **
    I also reread some of James Marshall’s George and Martha books that were family favorites when my daughter was young.

    Reply
  13. More recently:
    Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry’s mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.
    **
    Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher — Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.
    **
    Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox — Felix, a graduate student studying stained glass, meets Lio unaware that he is a prince about to ascend the throne. (Lio’s father is about to ‘retire’ … not abdicate?) Lio, gay and closeted,sees this as a last chance for a fling; however, the two men soon establish an emotional connection. There is a nice supporting cast of family, friends, and staff. I enjoyed this.
    **
    The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital by A. H. Lee — I bought this in May, long enough ago to forget hearing the book ends ABRUPTLY. Be warned! I quite enjoyed this fantasy about Roland, brother of the Queen, who flirts with a man at a tavern only to be horrified to learn the next day that he kissed a necromancer. I definitely will read on.
    **
    Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) — almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn’t interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during this short story as he begins his first relationship. An okay read.
    **
    Worth Searching For by Wendy Qualls was an enjoyable male/male contemporary romance.
    ****
    I read the Taking Shield series by Anna Butler. Ten thousand years ago, ‘the earth went dark’ and people from its colonies went in search of a new home. After three thousand years, they settled on Albion. Some things are familiar – politicians and the military, inches and feet, death (TW for so much) and taxes, Latin in religious ceremonies, homophobia, and size 13 shoes, but much is different – primarily the Maess with whom Albion has been at war for over a hundred years.
    Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield book 1) by Anna Butler –(FREE for Kindle readers) was a reread. Shield Captain Bennet is in an open and tense relationship with his partner, Joss, who is unhappy with his frequent absences. While on assignment, Bennet meets Flynn (a pilot), and they connect on many levels. It’s clear that their relationship will develop as the series progresses.
    Heart Scarab -I was impressed at the author’s ability to make me care for a character who I’d found unsympathetic in book one. This book had me pondering the difficulties of caring for someone with a dangerous profession and considering how relationships can change with time. It made me cry but left me eager to read on.
    Makepeace -this book, set several years after the first, revolves around Bennet’s mission to the planet Makepeace in Maess space.
    The Chains Of Their Sins -this book deals with the ugly aftereffects of the Makepeace mission. Bennet and Flynn are on the same ship but not together due to regulations. This was another book that had me crying.
    Day of Wrath -the final book in the series went somewhere that I never expected.
    This was an excellent series; I recommend it highly to those who might like military science fiction with a side of romance.
    **
    Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper — (FREE for Kindle readers) was a lovely tale of Jacob and Daniel beginning in world war 2, when they meet while serving in the Navy, and following their life together for some sixty years.
    **
    Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures Book 1) by KJ Charles –– was set in London after the Great War featuring a bookseller, Will Darling, and Kim Secretan, a well-to-do young man. There are thugs, spies, various weapons, lies, many books, and a mystery. There is danger that didn’t feel too real to me. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading on in the series.
    **
    I also reread some of James Marshall’s George and Martha books that were family favorites when my daughter was young.

    Reply
  14. More recently:
    Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry’s mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.
    **
    Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher — Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.
    **
    Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox — Felix, a graduate student studying stained glass, meets Lio unaware that he is a prince about to ascend the throne. (Lio’s father is about to ‘retire’ … not abdicate?) Lio, gay and closeted,sees this as a last chance for a fling; however, the two men soon establish an emotional connection. There is a nice supporting cast of family, friends, and staff. I enjoyed this.
    **
    The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital by A. H. Lee — I bought this in May, long enough ago to forget hearing the book ends ABRUPTLY. Be warned! I quite enjoyed this fantasy about Roland, brother of the Queen, who flirts with a man at a tavern only to be horrified to learn the next day that he kissed a necromancer. I definitely will read on.
    **
    Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) — almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn’t interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during this short story as he begins his first relationship. An okay read.
    **
    Worth Searching For by Wendy Qualls was an enjoyable male/male contemporary romance.
    ****
    I read the Taking Shield series by Anna Butler. Ten thousand years ago, ‘the earth went dark’ and people from its colonies went in search of a new home. After three thousand years, they settled on Albion. Some things are familiar – politicians and the military, inches and feet, death (TW for so much) and taxes, Latin in religious ceremonies, homophobia, and size 13 shoes, but much is different – primarily the Maess with whom Albion has been at war for over a hundred years.
    Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield book 1) by Anna Butler –(FREE for Kindle readers) was a reread. Shield Captain Bennet is in an open and tense relationship with his partner, Joss, who is unhappy with his frequent absences. While on assignment, Bennet meets Flynn (a pilot), and they connect on many levels. It’s clear that their relationship will develop as the series progresses.
    Heart Scarab -I was impressed at the author’s ability to make me care for a character who I’d found unsympathetic in book one. This book had me pondering the difficulties of caring for someone with a dangerous profession and considering how relationships can change with time. It made me cry but left me eager to read on.
    Makepeace -this book, set several years after the first, revolves around Bennet’s mission to the planet Makepeace in Maess space.
    The Chains Of Their Sins -this book deals with the ugly aftereffects of the Makepeace mission. Bennet and Flynn are on the same ship but not together due to regulations. This was another book that had me crying.
    Day of Wrath -the final book in the series went somewhere that I never expected.
    This was an excellent series; I recommend it highly to those who might like military science fiction with a side of romance.
    **
    Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper — (FREE for Kindle readers) was a lovely tale of Jacob and Daniel beginning in world war 2, when they meet while serving in the Navy, and following their life together for some sixty years.
    **
    Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures Book 1) by KJ Charles –– was set in London after the Great War featuring a bookseller, Will Darling, and Kim Secretan, a well-to-do young man. There are thugs, spies, various weapons, lies, many books, and a mystery. There is danger that didn’t feel too real to me. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading on in the series.
    **
    I also reread some of James Marshall’s George and Martha books that were family favorites when my daughter was young.

    Reply
  15. More recently:
    Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh — this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry’s mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.
    **
    Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher — Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.
    **
    Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox — Felix, a graduate student studying stained glass, meets Lio unaware that he is a prince about to ascend the throne. (Lio’s father is about to ‘retire’ … not abdicate?) Lio, gay and closeted,sees this as a last chance for a fling; however, the two men soon establish an emotional connection. There is a nice supporting cast of family, friends, and staff. I enjoyed this.
    **
    The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital by A. H. Lee — I bought this in May, long enough ago to forget hearing the book ends ABRUPTLY. Be warned! I quite enjoyed this fantasy about Roland, brother of the Queen, who flirts with a man at a tavern only to be horrified to learn the next day that he kissed a necromancer. I definitely will read on.
    **
    Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) — almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn’t interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during this short story as he begins his first relationship. An okay read.
    **
    Worth Searching For by Wendy Qualls was an enjoyable male/male contemporary romance.
    ****
    I read the Taking Shield series by Anna Butler. Ten thousand years ago, ‘the earth went dark’ and people from its colonies went in search of a new home. After three thousand years, they settled on Albion. Some things are familiar – politicians and the military, inches and feet, death (TW for so much) and taxes, Latin in religious ceremonies, homophobia, and size 13 shoes, but much is different – primarily the Maess with whom Albion has been at war for over a hundred years.
    Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield book 1) by Anna Butler –(FREE for Kindle readers) was a reread. Shield Captain Bennet is in an open and tense relationship with his partner, Joss, who is unhappy with his frequent absences. While on assignment, Bennet meets Flynn (a pilot), and they connect on many levels. It’s clear that their relationship will develop as the series progresses.
    Heart Scarab -I was impressed at the author’s ability to make me care for a character who I’d found unsympathetic in book one. This book had me pondering the difficulties of caring for someone with a dangerous profession and considering how relationships can change with time. It made me cry but left me eager to read on.
    Makepeace -this book, set several years after the first, revolves around Bennet’s mission to the planet Makepeace in Maess space.
    The Chains Of Their Sins -this book deals with the ugly aftereffects of the Makepeace mission. Bennet and Flynn are on the same ship but not together due to regulations. This was another book that had me crying.
    Day of Wrath -the final book in the series went somewhere that I never expected.
    This was an excellent series; I recommend it highly to those who might like military science fiction with a side of romance.
    **
    Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper — (FREE for Kindle readers) was a lovely tale of Jacob and Daniel beginning in world war 2, when they meet while serving in the Navy, and following their life together for some sixty years.
    **
    Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures Book 1) by KJ Charles –– was set in London after the Great War featuring a bookseller, Will Darling, and Kim Secretan, a well-to-do young man. There are thugs, spies, various weapons, lies, many books, and a mystery. There is danger that didn’t feel too real to me. I enjoyed this and look forward to reading on in the series.
    **
    I also reread some of James Marshall’s George and Martha books that were family favorites when my daughter was young.

    Reply
  16. I would endorse Andria’s praise for ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ … I was gifted an ebook version and loved it.
    I have all of MJPs audio books and really enjoyed the latest ‘Silk and Shadows’
    I am also following Mary Balogh’s Westcott series in audio, but have only reached vol 4 ‘Someone to Care’. You are way ahead of me Anne but glad that vol 7 is worth waiting for.
    I liked the sound of ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ which reminded me a little of James Follett’s ‘Earthsearch’ radio series with the robots angel1 and angel2. … adding to my audio wishlist!
    My fav read for the month would be Jojo Moyes ‘The giver of stars’. This is the story of a dedicated group of ladies running a pack horse library in the Kentucky mountains. Like most of Moyes’s stories it is filled with emotional tension … just imagine having a baby as an unjustly arrested prisoner in a filthy cell. Eventually justice is achieved and love finds a route to happiness.
    I have also been enjoying Stephanie Laurens ‘Cynster series’ …. clearing out the garage I stumbled on a pile of audio books, probably from a sale somewhere, and have been enjoying myself exploring. Must explore more of Laurens’s work … the love scenes are stunning *LOL*
    Great book suggestions to explore.

    Reply
  17. I would endorse Andria’s praise for ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ … I was gifted an ebook version and loved it.
    I have all of MJPs audio books and really enjoyed the latest ‘Silk and Shadows’
    I am also following Mary Balogh’s Westcott series in audio, but have only reached vol 4 ‘Someone to Care’. You are way ahead of me Anne but glad that vol 7 is worth waiting for.
    I liked the sound of ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ which reminded me a little of James Follett’s ‘Earthsearch’ radio series with the robots angel1 and angel2. … adding to my audio wishlist!
    My fav read for the month would be Jojo Moyes ‘The giver of stars’. This is the story of a dedicated group of ladies running a pack horse library in the Kentucky mountains. Like most of Moyes’s stories it is filled with emotional tension … just imagine having a baby as an unjustly arrested prisoner in a filthy cell. Eventually justice is achieved and love finds a route to happiness.
    I have also been enjoying Stephanie Laurens ‘Cynster series’ …. clearing out the garage I stumbled on a pile of audio books, probably from a sale somewhere, and have been enjoying myself exploring. Must explore more of Laurens’s work … the love scenes are stunning *LOL*
    Great book suggestions to explore.

    Reply
  18. I would endorse Andria’s praise for ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ … I was gifted an ebook version and loved it.
    I have all of MJPs audio books and really enjoyed the latest ‘Silk and Shadows’
    I am also following Mary Balogh’s Westcott series in audio, but have only reached vol 4 ‘Someone to Care’. You are way ahead of me Anne but glad that vol 7 is worth waiting for.
    I liked the sound of ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ which reminded me a little of James Follett’s ‘Earthsearch’ radio series with the robots angel1 and angel2. … adding to my audio wishlist!
    My fav read for the month would be Jojo Moyes ‘The giver of stars’. This is the story of a dedicated group of ladies running a pack horse library in the Kentucky mountains. Like most of Moyes’s stories it is filled with emotional tension … just imagine having a baby as an unjustly arrested prisoner in a filthy cell. Eventually justice is achieved and love finds a route to happiness.
    I have also been enjoying Stephanie Laurens ‘Cynster series’ …. clearing out the garage I stumbled on a pile of audio books, probably from a sale somewhere, and have been enjoying myself exploring. Must explore more of Laurens’s work … the love scenes are stunning *LOL*
    Great book suggestions to explore.

    Reply
  19. I would endorse Andria’s praise for ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ … I was gifted an ebook version and loved it.
    I have all of MJPs audio books and really enjoyed the latest ‘Silk and Shadows’
    I am also following Mary Balogh’s Westcott series in audio, but have only reached vol 4 ‘Someone to Care’. You are way ahead of me Anne but glad that vol 7 is worth waiting for.
    I liked the sound of ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ which reminded me a little of James Follett’s ‘Earthsearch’ radio series with the robots angel1 and angel2. … adding to my audio wishlist!
    My fav read for the month would be Jojo Moyes ‘The giver of stars’. This is the story of a dedicated group of ladies running a pack horse library in the Kentucky mountains. Like most of Moyes’s stories it is filled with emotional tension … just imagine having a baby as an unjustly arrested prisoner in a filthy cell. Eventually justice is achieved and love finds a route to happiness.
    I have also been enjoying Stephanie Laurens ‘Cynster series’ …. clearing out the garage I stumbled on a pile of audio books, probably from a sale somewhere, and have been enjoying myself exploring. Must explore more of Laurens’s work … the love scenes are stunning *LOL*
    Great book suggestions to explore.

    Reply
  20. I would endorse Andria’s praise for ‘Lessons in Enchantment’ … I was gifted an ebook version and loved it.
    I have all of MJPs audio books and really enjoyed the latest ‘Silk and Shadows’
    I am also following Mary Balogh’s Westcott series in audio, but have only reached vol 4 ‘Someone to Care’. You are way ahead of me Anne but glad that vol 7 is worth waiting for.
    I liked the sound of ‘The Murderbot Diaries’ which reminded me a little of James Follett’s ‘Earthsearch’ radio series with the robots angel1 and angel2. … adding to my audio wishlist!
    My fav read for the month would be Jojo Moyes ‘The giver of stars’. This is the story of a dedicated group of ladies running a pack horse library in the Kentucky mountains. Like most of Moyes’s stories it is filled with emotional tension … just imagine having a baby as an unjustly arrested prisoner in a filthy cell. Eventually justice is achieved and love finds a route to happiness.
    I have also been enjoying Stephanie Laurens ‘Cynster series’ …. clearing out the garage I stumbled on a pile of audio books, probably from a sale somewhere, and have been enjoying myself exploring. Must explore more of Laurens’s work … the love scenes are stunning *LOL*
    Great book suggestions to explore.

    Reply
  21. I finished my Miss Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) binge reading the last 8 books in the series. Then I went back and read the first 10 again to get more details about who appeared on the scene when, and to watch how the characters developed. This time around I picked up a few more bits of history that was thrown in. For those who love her books there is a new one supposed to come out in June 2021. 1st Miss Fisher book in 7 years.
    Then I reread several of Elsie Lee’s books. The Wicked Guardian – a light, charming, witty Regency romance (1973). A circus, spies, smuggling, amnesia. Later I read prior Betrothal, which is also a Regency romance (1973). Also witty, fun and charming. This book has 1 major and 2 minor romances. I had forgotten how fun this book was. Season, Battle of Waterloo, thwarting of a family villain.
    Next up I went on a Anne Gracie re-reading binge. All the Chance Sisters, Devil Riders and then all the Convenient Marriage books. At that point I was ready to read (for the first time) Marry in Scarlet which I totally enjoyed. Definitely it has lived up to all the rave reviews I’ve seen about it.
    Apparently my reading philosophy right now is if I get an “earworm” about a book ie where it keeps popping into my mind, I just go read it and any supporting/Neighbor books. Grin.
    Two other earworm books were by D.E. Stevenson. Both favorites of mine. The Blue Sapphire and The House on the Cliff. Both heroines are somewhat downtrodden but they grow in strength and basically rescue themselves and realize they are “good People” and deserve more out of life than they had before. Plus of course a nice romance going on.
    There were a bunch of meh and oh well books I read for the first time.
    New books I read that I enjoyed were:
    Allison Montclair – A Royal Affair It was an interesting premise for a book and a very complicated cast of characters. An investigation into Elizabeth and Phillip’s romance to make sure Phillip doesn’t have anything nasty in his past that could scuttle their engagement. I’ll continue the series.
    Sabrina Jefferies – Who wants to Marry a Duke. This is the 4th story in the series about Lydia Fletcher and her 5 children. The mystery is still progressing as to who killed her 3 husbands (all Duke’s). It is also a fun romance as well.
    Jennifer Ashley – Alec Mackenzie, Art of Seduction. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to Alec after Culloden and his adventurous romance. This book is set 150 years before the 10 Mackenzie family books. I then had to reread The Devilish Lord Will to straighten out some confusion on my part as to how this 3 story ark tied together.
    All in all, I was quite satisfied with my reading. A few new good books but a lot of old friends as well.

    Reply
  22. I finished my Miss Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) binge reading the last 8 books in the series. Then I went back and read the first 10 again to get more details about who appeared on the scene when, and to watch how the characters developed. This time around I picked up a few more bits of history that was thrown in. For those who love her books there is a new one supposed to come out in June 2021. 1st Miss Fisher book in 7 years.
    Then I reread several of Elsie Lee’s books. The Wicked Guardian – a light, charming, witty Regency romance (1973). A circus, spies, smuggling, amnesia. Later I read prior Betrothal, which is also a Regency romance (1973). Also witty, fun and charming. This book has 1 major and 2 minor romances. I had forgotten how fun this book was. Season, Battle of Waterloo, thwarting of a family villain.
    Next up I went on a Anne Gracie re-reading binge. All the Chance Sisters, Devil Riders and then all the Convenient Marriage books. At that point I was ready to read (for the first time) Marry in Scarlet which I totally enjoyed. Definitely it has lived up to all the rave reviews I’ve seen about it.
    Apparently my reading philosophy right now is if I get an “earworm” about a book ie where it keeps popping into my mind, I just go read it and any supporting/Neighbor books. Grin.
    Two other earworm books were by D.E. Stevenson. Both favorites of mine. The Blue Sapphire and The House on the Cliff. Both heroines are somewhat downtrodden but they grow in strength and basically rescue themselves and realize they are “good People” and deserve more out of life than they had before. Plus of course a nice romance going on.
    There were a bunch of meh and oh well books I read for the first time.
    New books I read that I enjoyed were:
    Allison Montclair – A Royal Affair It was an interesting premise for a book and a very complicated cast of characters. An investigation into Elizabeth and Phillip’s romance to make sure Phillip doesn’t have anything nasty in his past that could scuttle their engagement. I’ll continue the series.
    Sabrina Jefferies – Who wants to Marry a Duke. This is the 4th story in the series about Lydia Fletcher and her 5 children. The mystery is still progressing as to who killed her 3 husbands (all Duke’s). It is also a fun romance as well.
    Jennifer Ashley – Alec Mackenzie, Art of Seduction. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to Alec after Culloden and his adventurous romance. This book is set 150 years before the 10 Mackenzie family books. I then had to reread The Devilish Lord Will to straighten out some confusion on my part as to how this 3 story ark tied together.
    All in all, I was quite satisfied with my reading. A few new good books but a lot of old friends as well.

    Reply
  23. I finished my Miss Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) binge reading the last 8 books in the series. Then I went back and read the first 10 again to get more details about who appeared on the scene when, and to watch how the characters developed. This time around I picked up a few more bits of history that was thrown in. For those who love her books there is a new one supposed to come out in June 2021. 1st Miss Fisher book in 7 years.
    Then I reread several of Elsie Lee’s books. The Wicked Guardian – a light, charming, witty Regency romance (1973). A circus, spies, smuggling, amnesia. Later I read prior Betrothal, which is also a Regency romance (1973). Also witty, fun and charming. This book has 1 major and 2 minor romances. I had forgotten how fun this book was. Season, Battle of Waterloo, thwarting of a family villain.
    Next up I went on a Anne Gracie re-reading binge. All the Chance Sisters, Devil Riders and then all the Convenient Marriage books. At that point I was ready to read (for the first time) Marry in Scarlet which I totally enjoyed. Definitely it has lived up to all the rave reviews I’ve seen about it.
    Apparently my reading philosophy right now is if I get an “earworm” about a book ie where it keeps popping into my mind, I just go read it and any supporting/Neighbor books. Grin.
    Two other earworm books were by D.E. Stevenson. Both favorites of mine. The Blue Sapphire and The House on the Cliff. Both heroines are somewhat downtrodden but they grow in strength and basically rescue themselves and realize they are “good People” and deserve more out of life than they had before. Plus of course a nice romance going on.
    There were a bunch of meh and oh well books I read for the first time.
    New books I read that I enjoyed were:
    Allison Montclair – A Royal Affair It was an interesting premise for a book and a very complicated cast of characters. An investigation into Elizabeth and Phillip’s romance to make sure Phillip doesn’t have anything nasty in his past that could scuttle their engagement. I’ll continue the series.
    Sabrina Jefferies – Who wants to Marry a Duke. This is the 4th story in the series about Lydia Fletcher and her 5 children. The mystery is still progressing as to who killed her 3 husbands (all Duke’s). It is also a fun romance as well.
    Jennifer Ashley – Alec Mackenzie, Art of Seduction. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to Alec after Culloden and his adventurous romance. This book is set 150 years before the 10 Mackenzie family books. I then had to reread The Devilish Lord Will to straighten out some confusion on my part as to how this 3 story ark tied together.
    All in all, I was quite satisfied with my reading. A few new good books but a lot of old friends as well.

    Reply
  24. I finished my Miss Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) binge reading the last 8 books in the series. Then I went back and read the first 10 again to get more details about who appeared on the scene when, and to watch how the characters developed. This time around I picked up a few more bits of history that was thrown in. For those who love her books there is a new one supposed to come out in June 2021. 1st Miss Fisher book in 7 years.
    Then I reread several of Elsie Lee’s books. The Wicked Guardian – a light, charming, witty Regency romance (1973). A circus, spies, smuggling, amnesia. Later I read prior Betrothal, which is also a Regency romance (1973). Also witty, fun and charming. This book has 1 major and 2 minor romances. I had forgotten how fun this book was. Season, Battle of Waterloo, thwarting of a family villain.
    Next up I went on a Anne Gracie re-reading binge. All the Chance Sisters, Devil Riders and then all the Convenient Marriage books. At that point I was ready to read (for the first time) Marry in Scarlet which I totally enjoyed. Definitely it has lived up to all the rave reviews I’ve seen about it.
    Apparently my reading philosophy right now is if I get an “earworm” about a book ie where it keeps popping into my mind, I just go read it and any supporting/Neighbor books. Grin.
    Two other earworm books were by D.E. Stevenson. Both favorites of mine. The Blue Sapphire and The House on the Cliff. Both heroines are somewhat downtrodden but they grow in strength and basically rescue themselves and realize they are “good People” and deserve more out of life than they had before. Plus of course a nice romance going on.
    There were a bunch of meh and oh well books I read for the first time.
    New books I read that I enjoyed were:
    Allison Montclair – A Royal Affair It was an interesting premise for a book and a very complicated cast of characters. An investigation into Elizabeth and Phillip’s romance to make sure Phillip doesn’t have anything nasty in his past that could scuttle their engagement. I’ll continue the series.
    Sabrina Jefferies – Who wants to Marry a Duke. This is the 4th story in the series about Lydia Fletcher and her 5 children. The mystery is still progressing as to who killed her 3 husbands (all Duke’s). It is also a fun romance as well.
    Jennifer Ashley – Alec Mackenzie, Art of Seduction. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to Alec after Culloden and his adventurous romance. This book is set 150 years before the 10 Mackenzie family books. I then had to reread The Devilish Lord Will to straighten out some confusion on my part as to how this 3 story ark tied together.
    All in all, I was quite satisfied with my reading. A few new good books but a lot of old friends as well.

    Reply
  25. I finished my Miss Fisher (Kerry Greenwood) binge reading the last 8 books in the series. Then I went back and read the first 10 again to get more details about who appeared on the scene when, and to watch how the characters developed. This time around I picked up a few more bits of history that was thrown in. For those who love her books there is a new one supposed to come out in June 2021. 1st Miss Fisher book in 7 years.
    Then I reread several of Elsie Lee’s books. The Wicked Guardian – a light, charming, witty Regency romance (1973). A circus, spies, smuggling, amnesia. Later I read prior Betrothal, which is also a Regency romance (1973). Also witty, fun and charming. This book has 1 major and 2 minor romances. I had forgotten how fun this book was. Season, Battle of Waterloo, thwarting of a family villain.
    Next up I went on a Anne Gracie re-reading binge. All the Chance Sisters, Devil Riders and then all the Convenient Marriage books. At that point I was ready to read (for the first time) Marry in Scarlet which I totally enjoyed. Definitely it has lived up to all the rave reviews I’ve seen about it.
    Apparently my reading philosophy right now is if I get an “earworm” about a book ie where it keeps popping into my mind, I just go read it and any supporting/Neighbor books. Grin.
    Two other earworm books were by D.E. Stevenson. Both favorites of mine. The Blue Sapphire and The House on the Cliff. Both heroines are somewhat downtrodden but they grow in strength and basically rescue themselves and realize they are “good People” and deserve more out of life than they had before. Plus of course a nice romance going on.
    There were a bunch of meh and oh well books I read for the first time.
    New books I read that I enjoyed were:
    Allison Montclair – A Royal Affair It was an interesting premise for a book and a very complicated cast of characters. An investigation into Elizabeth and Phillip’s romance to make sure Phillip doesn’t have anything nasty in his past that could scuttle their engagement. I’ll continue the series.
    Sabrina Jefferies – Who wants to Marry a Duke. This is the 4th story in the series about Lydia Fletcher and her 5 children. The mystery is still progressing as to who killed her 3 husbands (all Duke’s). It is also a fun romance as well.
    Jennifer Ashley – Alec Mackenzie, Art of Seduction. I really enjoyed finding out what happened to Alec after Culloden and his adventurous romance. This book is set 150 years before the 10 Mackenzie family books. I then had to reread The Devilish Lord Will to straighten out some confusion on my part as to how this 3 story ark tied together.
    All in all, I was quite satisfied with my reading. A few new good books but a lot of old friends as well.

    Reply
  26. Vicki L mentioned D.E. Stevenson, and my recommendation is her “Miss Buncle’s Book”. Written in 1934, it is definitely of its period. Miss Buncle is a 30-something spinster living in a small English village, and to help make ends meet she writes a book. Adventures and relationships ensue. I tell people the feeling they will get after reading this book is rather like drinking a glass of champagne: fizzy, fun, no nutritional value but a complete delight.
    Also recommend the nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson, a book about the Great Migration of southern Blacks to the American north and west. It’s a big book with many facts, but it’s humanized and made more interesting because she focuses on 3 people and their stories, and we see what drove them out of the South and how they fared in their new homes.

    Reply
  27. Vicki L mentioned D.E. Stevenson, and my recommendation is her “Miss Buncle’s Book”. Written in 1934, it is definitely of its period. Miss Buncle is a 30-something spinster living in a small English village, and to help make ends meet she writes a book. Adventures and relationships ensue. I tell people the feeling they will get after reading this book is rather like drinking a glass of champagne: fizzy, fun, no nutritional value but a complete delight.
    Also recommend the nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson, a book about the Great Migration of southern Blacks to the American north and west. It’s a big book with many facts, but it’s humanized and made more interesting because she focuses on 3 people and their stories, and we see what drove them out of the South and how they fared in their new homes.

    Reply
  28. Vicki L mentioned D.E. Stevenson, and my recommendation is her “Miss Buncle’s Book”. Written in 1934, it is definitely of its period. Miss Buncle is a 30-something spinster living in a small English village, and to help make ends meet she writes a book. Adventures and relationships ensue. I tell people the feeling they will get after reading this book is rather like drinking a glass of champagne: fizzy, fun, no nutritional value but a complete delight.
    Also recommend the nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson, a book about the Great Migration of southern Blacks to the American north and west. It’s a big book with many facts, but it’s humanized and made more interesting because she focuses on 3 people and their stories, and we see what drove them out of the South and how they fared in their new homes.

    Reply
  29. Vicki L mentioned D.E. Stevenson, and my recommendation is her “Miss Buncle’s Book”. Written in 1934, it is definitely of its period. Miss Buncle is a 30-something spinster living in a small English village, and to help make ends meet she writes a book. Adventures and relationships ensue. I tell people the feeling they will get after reading this book is rather like drinking a glass of champagne: fizzy, fun, no nutritional value but a complete delight.
    Also recommend the nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson, a book about the Great Migration of southern Blacks to the American north and west. It’s a big book with many facts, but it’s humanized and made more interesting because she focuses on 3 people and their stories, and we see what drove them out of the South and how they fared in their new homes.

    Reply
  30. Vicki L mentioned D.E. Stevenson, and my recommendation is her “Miss Buncle’s Book”. Written in 1934, it is definitely of its period. Miss Buncle is a 30-something spinster living in a small English village, and to help make ends meet she writes a book. Adventures and relationships ensue. I tell people the feeling they will get after reading this book is rather like drinking a glass of champagne: fizzy, fun, no nutritional value but a complete delight.
    Also recommend the nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson, a book about the Great Migration of southern Blacks to the American north and west. It’s a big book with many facts, but it’s humanized and made more interesting because she focuses on 3 people and their stories, and we see what drove them out of the South and how they fared in their new homes.

    Reply
  31. Thanks for your very kind words about my books, Vicki.
    While you’re waiting for the new Miss Fisher book, can I recommend Kerry Greenwood’s “Corinna” books. Corinna is a baker whose bakery shop is in the heart of the laneways are in central Melbourne. They’re less well known than her Phrynne books, but I like them a lot more.
    And isn’t Jennifer Ashley wonderful? And so prolific!

    Reply
  32. Thanks for your very kind words about my books, Vicki.
    While you’re waiting for the new Miss Fisher book, can I recommend Kerry Greenwood’s “Corinna” books. Corinna is a baker whose bakery shop is in the heart of the laneways are in central Melbourne. They’re less well known than her Phrynne books, but I like them a lot more.
    And isn’t Jennifer Ashley wonderful? And so prolific!

    Reply
  33. Thanks for your very kind words about my books, Vicki.
    While you’re waiting for the new Miss Fisher book, can I recommend Kerry Greenwood’s “Corinna” books. Corinna is a baker whose bakery shop is in the heart of the laneways are in central Melbourne. They’re less well known than her Phrynne books, but I like them a lot more.
    And isn’t Jennifer Ashley wonderful? And so prolific!

    Reply
  34. Thanks for your very kind words about my books, Vicki.
    While you’re waiting for the new Miss Fisher book, can I recommend Kerry Greenwood’s “Corinna” books. Corinna is a baker whose bakery shop is in the heart of the laneways are in central Melbourne. They’re less well known than her Phrynne books, but I like them a lot more.
    And isn’t Jennifer Ashley wonderful? And so prolific!

    Reply
  35. Thanks for your very kind words about my books, Vicki.
    While you’re waiting for the new Miss Fisher book, can I recommend Kerry Greenwood’s “Corinna” books. Corinna is a baker whose bakery shop is in the heart of the laneways are in central Melbourne. They’re less well known than her Phrynne books, but I like them a lot more.
    And isn’t Jennifer Ashley wonderful? And so prolific!

    Reply
  36. I’m off to buy the Jo Jo Moyes book, too — hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for the rec. She’s a fabulous writer.
    As for Stephanie Laurens — yes, phew, (fans self re her love scenes! ) My fave of hers is Devil’s Bride.

    Reply
  37. I’m off to buy the Jo Jo Moyes book, too — hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for the rec. She’s a fabulous writer.
    As for Stephanie Laurens — yes, phew, (fans self re her love scenes! ) My fave of hers is Devil’s Bride.

    Reply
  38. I’m off to buy the Jo Jo Moyes book, too — hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for the rec. She’s a fabulous writer.
    As for Stephanie Laurens — yes, phew, (fans self re her love scenes! ) My fave of hers is Devil’s Bride.

    Reply
  39. I’m off to buy the Jo Jo Moyes book, too — hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for the rec. She’s a fabulous writer.
    As for Stephanie Laurens — yes, phew, (fans self re her love scenes! ) My fave of hers is Devil’s Bride.

    Reply
  40. I’m off to buy the Jo Jo Moyes book, too — hadn’t heard of it. Thanks for the rec. She’s a fabulous writer.
    As for Stephanie Laurens — yes, phew, (fans self re her love scenes! ) My fave of hers is Devil’s Bride.

    Reply
  41. Wonderful column! I just ordered Pat’s Lessons in Enchantment for my Kindle. Thanks, Andrea! The Murderbot Diaries is definitely on my radar now. I’ve always had a soft spot for robots, and can’t wait to read about this one. (I cried at the end of Tanith Lee’s Silver Metal Lover.) I recently discovered Lorraine Heath. After reading my way through her Texas Trilogy, I started in on her British-set historicals. Since I’m not afraid of reading out of order, I read Beauty Tempts the Beast, Book 6 of her Scoundrels for All Seasons. I then read Book 1, Beyond Scandal and Desire. And I recently discovered Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues series) And because I’m always a sucker for more books featuring animals, I discovered Victoria Schade’s Who Rescued Who and just re-read Beth Kendrick’s In Dog We Trust. I pre-ordered Mary Balogh’s Someone to Romance. Hmmm…I may have to check out Laurie R. King. Mary Jo’s description of the series sounds fascinating. So many books, so little time…

    Reply
  42. Wonderful column! I just ordered Pat’s Lessons in Enchantment for my Kindle. Thanks, Andrea! The Murderbot Diaries is definitely on my radar now. I’ve always had a soft spot for robots, and can’t wait to read about this one. (I cried at the end of Tanith Lee’s Silver Metal Lover.) I recently discovered Lorraine Heath. After reading my way through her Texas Trilogy, I started in on her British-set historicals. Since I’m not afraid of reading out of order, I read Beauty Tempts the Beast, Book 6 of her Scoundrels for All Seasons. I then read Book 1, Beyond Scandal and Desire. And I recently discovered Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues series) And because I’m always a sucker for more books featuring animals, I discovered Victoria Schade’s Who Rescued Who and just re-read Beth Kendrick’s In Dog We Trust. I pre-ordered Mary Balogh’s Someone to Romance. Hmmm…I may have to check out Laurie R. King. Mary Jo’s description of the series sounds fascinating. So many books, so little time…

    Reply
  43. Wonderful column! I just ordered Pat’s Lessons in Enchantment for my Kindle. Thanks, Andrea! The Murderbot Diaries is definitely on my radar now. I’ve always had a soft spot for robots, and can’t wait to read about this one. (I cried at the end of Tanith Lee’s Silver Metal Lover.) I recently discovered Lorraine Heath. After reading my way through her Texas Trilogy, I started in on her British-set historicals. Since I’m not afraid of reading out of order, I read Beauty Tempts the Beast, Book 6 of her Scoundrels for All Seasons. I then read Book 1, Beyond Scandal and Desire. And I recently discovered Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues series) And because I’m always a sucker for more books featuring animals, I discovered Victoria Schade’s Who Rescued Who and just re-read Beth Kendrick’s In Dog We Trust. I pre-ordered Mary Balogh’s Someone to Romance. Hmmm…I may have to check out Laurie R. King. Mary Jo’s description of the series sounds fascinating. So many books, so little time…

    Reply
  44. Wonderful column! I just ordered Pat’s Lessons in Enchantment for my Kindle. Thanks, Andrea! The Murderbot Diaries is definitely on my radar now. I’ve always had a soft spot for robots, and can’t wait to read about this one. (I cried at the end of Tanith Lee’s Silver Metal Lover.) I recently discovered Lorraine Heath. After reading my way through her Texas Trilogy, I started in on her British-set historicals. Since I’m not afraid of reading out of order, I read Beauty Tempts the Beast, Book 6 of her Scoundrels for All Seasons. I then read Book 1, Beyond Scandal and Desire. And I recently discovered Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues series) And because I’m always a sucker for more books featuring animals, I discovered Victoria Schade’s Who Rescued Who and just re-read Beth Kendrick’s In Dog We Trust. I pre-ordered Mary Balogh’s Someone to Romance. Hmmm…I may have to check out Laurie R. King. Mary Jo’s description of the series sounds fascinating. So many books, so little time…

    Reply
  45. Wonderful column! I just ordered Pat’s Lessons in Enchantment for my Kindle. Thanks, Andrea! The Murderbot Diaries is definitely on my radar now. I’ve always had a soft spot for robots, and can’t wait to read about this one. (I cried at the end of Tanith Lee’s Silver Metal Lover.) I recently discovered Lorraine Heath. After reading my way through her Texas Trilogy, I started in on her British-set historicals. Since I’m not afraid of reading out of order, I read Beauty Tempts the Beast, Book 6 of her Scoundrels for All Seasons. I then read Book 1, Beyond Scandal and Desire. And I recently discovered Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues series) And because I’m always a sucker for more books featuring animals, I discovered Victoria Schade’s Who Rescued Who and just re-read Beth Kendrick’s In Dog We Trust. I pre-ordered Mary Balogh’s Someone to Romance. Hmmm…I may have to check out Laurie R. King. Mary Jo’s description of the series sounds fascinating. So many books, so little time…

    Reply
  46. Thanks for this list of recommendations.
    Some books mentioned I’ve already bought and read. I don’t read contemporaries so skimmed past them.
    Of the oldies mentioned, I intend to search for the Elsie Lee I haven’t yet read.
    Of the new ones, just off to buy Hidden Moon and the new Patricia Rice (even though fantasy isn’t my thing – just because I enjoy the way Rice writes).
    Agree about Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna books. And Greenwood is one of the kindest, generous, most clever authors around. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally.)
    Love the Captain Lacey series and have bought them all, as well as the early Mackenzie books, but as soon as I see mention of Culloden I turn away from a book, so I’ve never read any of that series – undoubtedly to my disadvantage.

    Reply
  47. Thanks for this list of recommendations.
    Some books mentioned I’ve already bought and read. I don’t read contemporaries so skimmed past them.
    Of the oldies mentioned, I intend to search for the Elsie Lee I haven’t yet read.
    Of the new ones, just off to buy Hidden Moon and the new Patricia Rice (even though fantasy isn’t my thing – just because I enjoy the way Rice writes).
    Agree about Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna books. And Greenwood is one of the kindest, generous, most clever authors around. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally.)
    Love the Captain Lacey series and have bought them all, as well as the early Mackenzie books, but as soon as I see mention of Culloden I turn away from a book, so I’ve never read any of that series – undoubtedly to my disadvantage.

    Reply
  48. Thanks for this list of recommendations.
    Some books mentioned I’ve already bought and read. I don’t read contemporaries so skimmed past them.
    Of the oldies mentioned, I intend to search for the Elsie Lee I haven’t yet read.
    Of the new ones, just off to buy Hidden Moon and the new Patricia Rice (even though fantasy isn’t my thing – just because I enjoy the way Rice writes).
    Agree about Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna books. And Greenwood is one of the kindest, generous, most clever authors around. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally.)
    Love the Captain Lacey series and have bought them all, as well as the early Mackenzie books, but as soon as I see mention of Culloden I turn away from a book, so I’ve never read any of that series – undoubtedly to my disadvantage.

    Reply
  49. Thanks for this list of recommendations.
    Some books mentioned I’ve already bought and read. I don’t read contemporaries so skimmed past them.
    Of the oldies mentioned, I intend to search for the Elsie Lee I haven’t yet read.
    Of the new ones, just off to buy Hidden Moon and the new Patricia Rice (even though fantasy isn’t my thing – just because I enjoy the way Rice writes).
    Agree about Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna books. And Greenwood is one of the kindest, generous, most clever authors around. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally.)
    Love the Captain Lacey series and have bought them all, as well as the early Mackenzie books, but as soon as I see mention of Culloden I turn away from a book, so I’ve never read any of that series – undoubtedly to my disadvantage.

    Reply
  50. Thanks for this list of recommendations.
    Some books mentioned I’ve already bought and read. I don’t read contemporaries so skimmed past them.
    Of the oldies mentioned, I intend to search for the Elsie Lee I haven’t yet read.
    Of the new ones, just off to buy Hidden Moon and the new Patricia Rice (even though fantasy isn’t my thing – just because I enjoy the way Rice writes).
    Agree about Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna books. And Greenwood is one of the kindest, generous, most clever authors around. (Disclaimer: I don’t know her personally.)
    Love the Captain Lacey series and have bought them all, as well as the early Mackenzie books, but as soon as I see mention of Culloden I turn away from a book, so I’ve never read any of that series – undoubtedly to my disadvantage.

    Reply
  51. Thank you, Binnie! I hadn’t realized you didn’t know Lorraine! You’re in for some happy reading.And the King books are fascinating but very detailed, so it takes a while to work through them. And yeah, so very little time…

    Reply
  52. Thank you, Binnie! I hadn’t realized you didn’t know Lorraine! You’re in for some happy reading.And the King books are fascinating but very detailed, so it takes a while to work through them. And yeah, so very little time…

    Reply
  53. Thank you, Binnie! I hadn’t realized you didn’t know Lorraine! You’re in for some happy reading.And the King books are fascinating but very detailed, so it takes a while to work through them. And yeah, so very little time…

    Reply
  54. Thank you, Binnie! I hadn’t realized you didn’t know Lorraine! You’re in for some happy reading.And the King books are fascinating but very detailed, so it takes a while to work through them. And yeah, so very little time…

    Reply
  55. Thank you, Binnie! I hadn’t realized you didn’t know Lorraine! You’re in for some happy reading.And the King books are fascinating but very detailed, so it takes a while to work through them. And yeah, so very little time…

    Reply
  56. There are so very many books to choose from, we have to set parameters–until a book comes along that changes our minds. Thank you for the kind words on my historicals. I hope I balanced the history and characterization enough in my magic books that the “unusual” traits will seem perfectly natural!
    And yeah… Culloden, sigh. Understood.

    Reply
  57. There are so very many books to choose from, we have to set parameters–until a book comes along that changes our minds. Thank you for the kind words on my historicals. I hope I balanced the history and characterization enough in my magic books that the “unusual” traits will seem perfectly natural!
    And yeah… Culloden, sigh. Understood.

    Reply
  58. There are so very many books to choose from, we have to set parameters–until a book comes along that changes our minds. Thank you for the kind words on my historicals. I hope I balanced the history and characterization enough in my magic books that the “unusual” traits will seem perfectly natural!
    And yeah… Culloden, sigh. Understood.

    Reply
  59. There are so very many books to choose from, we have to set parameters–until a book comes along that changes our minds. Thank you for the kind words on my historicals. I hope I balanced the history and characterization enough in my magic books that the “unusual” traits will seem perfectly natural!
    And yeah… Culloden, sigh. Understood.

    Reply
  60. There are so very many books to choose from, we have to set parameters–until a book comes along that changes our minds. Thank you for the kind words on my historicals. I hope I balanced the history and characterization enough in my magic books that the “unusual” traits will seem perfectly natural!
    And yeah… Culloden, sigh. Understood.

    Reply
  61. Y’all got me. I have ordered several of the books you mention. Just what I need more books!
    Also Anne, you read two of the books I recently read. And don’t you just love Heathcliff? (His mother was literary.) Like you, I had to order the next books.
    I thank all of you for sharing your insights with us.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  62. Y’all got me. I have ordered several of the books you mention. Just what I need more books!
    Also Anne, you read two of the books I recently read. And don’t you just love Heathcliff? (His mother was literary.) Like you, I had to order the next books.
    I thank all of you for sharing your insights with us.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  63. Y’all got me. I have ordered several of the books you mention. Just what I need more books!
    Also Anne, you read two of the books I recently read. And don’t you just love Heathcliff? (His mother was literary.) Like you, I had to order the next books.
    I thank all of you for sharing your insights with us.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  64. Y’all got me. I have ordered several of the books you mention. Just what I need more books!
    Also Anne, you read two of the books I recently read. And don’t you just love Heathcliff? (His mother was literary.) Like you, I had to order the next books.
    I thank all of you for sharing your insights with us.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  65. Y’all got me. I have ordered several of the books you mention. Just what I need more books!
    Also Anne, you read two of the books I recently read. And don’t you just love Heathcliff? (His mother was literary.) Like you, I had to order the next books.
    I thank all of you for sharing your insights with us.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  66. What a stimulating list of suggestions.
    The Club and The Hidden Moon both look tempting.
    I can recommend She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India, by Katie Hickman.
    It’s history with lots of colourful detail and glimpses into everyday life of the very adventurous and enterprising women who went from Britain to India in the period from 17th-19th centuries. Well researched and readable too.

    Reply
  67. What a stimulating list of suggestions.
    The Club and The Hidden Moon both look tempting.
    I can recommend She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India, by Katie Hickman.
    It’s history with lots of colourful detail and glimpses into everyday life of the very adventurous and enterprising women who went from Britain to India in the period from 17th-19th centuries. Well researched and readable too.

    Reply
  68. What a stimulating list of suggestions.
    The Club and The Hidden Moon both look tempting.
    I can recommend She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India, by Katie Hickman.
    It’s history with lots of colourful detail and glimpses into everyday life of the very adventurous and enterprising women who went from Britain to India in the period from 17th-19th centuries. Well researched and readable too.

    Reply
  69. What a stimulating list of suggestions.
    The Club and The Hidden Moon both look tempting.
    I can recommend She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India, by Katie Hickman.
    It’s history with lots of colourful detail and glimpses into everyday life of the very adventurous and enterprising women who went from Britain to India in the period from 17th-19th centuries. Well researched and readable too.

    Reply
  70. What a stimulating list of suggestions.
    The Club and The Hidden Moon both look tempting.
    I can recommend She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India, by Katie Hickman.
    It’s history with lots of colourful detail and glimpses into everyday life of the very adventurous and enterprising women who went from Britain to India in the period from 17th-19th centuries. Well researched and readable too.

    Reply
  71. I’m reading Maggie Robinson’s Lady Adelaide books right now. (reviewed here!) So good. I can’t believe the series is ending after the next one. Also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  72. I’m reading Maggie Robinson’s Lady Adelaide books right now. (reviewed here!) So good. I can’t believe the series is ending after the next one. Also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  73. I’m reading Maggie Robinson’s Lady Adelaide books right now. (reviewed here!) So good. I can’t believe the series is ending after the next one. Also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  74. I’m reading Maggie Robinson’s Lady Adelaide books right now. (reviewed here!) So good. I can’t believe the series is ending after the next one. Also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  75. I’m reading Maggie Robinson’s Lady Adelaide books right now. (reviewed here!) So good. I can’t believe the series is ending after the next one. Also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.

    Reply
  76. Totally understand about Culloden feelings since normally I don’t read anything from that era. But since I loved all the other McKenzie books I tried them. Luckily they don’t deal too much with Culloden itself. The run up to it and then how the 3 brother’s find love and adventure and reinvent themselves after being declared dead.

    Reply
  77. Totally understand about Culloden feelings since normally I don’t read anything from that era. But since I loved all the other McKenzie books I tried them. Luckily they don’t deal too much with Culloden itself. The run up to it and then how the 3 brother’s find love and adventure and reinvent themselves after being declared dead.

    Reply
  78. Totally understand about Culloden feelings since normally I don’t read anything from that era. But since I loved all the other McKenzie books I tried them. Luckily they don’t deal too much with Culloden itself. The run up to it and then how the 3 brother’s find love and adventure and reinvent themselves after being declared dead.

    Reply
  79. Totally understand about Culloden feelings since normally I don’t read anything from that era. But since I loved all the other McKenzie books I tried them. Luckily they don’t deal too much with Culloden itself. The run up to it and then how the 3 brother’s find love and adventure and reinvent themselves after being declared dead.

    Reply
  80. Totally understand about Culloden feelings since normally I don’t read anything from that era. But since I loved all the other McKenzie books I tried them. Luckily they don’t deal too much with Culloden itself. The run up to it and then how the 3 brother’s find love and adventure and reinvent themselves after being declared dead.

    Reply
  81. I’ve been reading a mixed bunch this month. Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth for the GR group I’m part of. Not my favorite Heyer but enjoyable none the less.
    Secrets of the Lavender Girls by Kate Thompson was a wonderful read. Loved everything about it and highly recommended for anyone who likes stories set in war time.
    The Thirteen Problems, a Miss Marple book for another book club read and started the month with Andrea’s Murder at Queen’s Landing which is a fantastic read.
    Haven’t read as much as usual. Was in a bit of a slump.

    Reply
  82. I’ve been reading a mixed bunch this month. Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth for the GR group I’m part of. Not my favorite Heyer but enjoyable none the less.
    Secrets of the Lavender Girls by Kate Thompson was a wonderful read. Loved everything about it and highly recommended for anyone who likes stories set in war time.
    The Thirteen Problems, a Miss Marple book for another book club read and started the month with Andrea’s Murder at Queen’s Landing which is a fantastic read.
    Haven’t read as much as usual. Was in a bit of a slump.

    Reply
  83. I’ve been reading a mixed bunch this month. Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth for the GR group I’m part of. Not my favorite Heyer but enjoyable none the less.
    Secrets of the Lavender Girls by Kate Thompson was a wonderful read. Loved everything about it and highly recommended for anyone who likes stories set in war time.
    The Thirteen Problems, a Miss Marple book for another book club read and started the month with Andrea’s Murder at Queen’s Landing which is a fantastic read.
    Haven’t read as much as usual. Was in a bit of a slump.

    Reply
  84. I’ve been reading a mixed bunch this month. Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth for the GR group I’m part of. Not my favorite Heyer but enjoyable none the less.
    Secrets of the Lavender Girls by Kate Thompson was a wonderful read. Loved everything about it and highly recommended for anyone who likes stories set in war time.
    The Thirteen Problems, a Miss Marple book for another book club read and started the month with Andrea’s Murder at Queen’s Landing which is a fantastic read.
    Haven’t read as much as usual. Was in a bit of a slump.

    Reply
  85. I’ve been reading a mixed bunch this month. Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth for the GR group I’m part of. Not my favorite Heyer but enjoyable none the less.
    Secrets of the Lavender Girls by Kate Thompson was a wonderful read. Loved everything about it and highly recommended for anyone who likes stories set in war time.
    The Thirteen Problems, a Miss Marple book for another book club read and started the month with Andrea’s Murder at Queen’s Landing which is a fantastic read.
    Haven’t read as much as usual. Was in a bit of a slump.

    Reply
  86. Oh Culloden, so heartbreaking, and it still moves us all those years later. I remember when I was about fifteen discovering one of my dad’s books by John Prebble, who wrote extensively and beautifully about Scottish history. I lay on the floor (my fave spot for reading) weeping through his book CULLODEN.
    I did the same thing with his book THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES — devastating but wonderful. So often these tragedies are lost, covered up, blurred from history, but these books honour the people who were so ruthlessly ousted from their traditional homes.

    Reply
  87. Oh Culloden, so heartbreaking, and it still moves us all those years later. I remember when I was about fifteen discovering one of my dad’s books by John Prebble, who wrote extensively and beautifully about Scottish history. I lay on the floor (my fave spot for reading) weeping through his book CULLODEN.
    I did the same thing with his book THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES — devastating but wonderful. So often these tragedies are lost, covered up, blurred from history, but these books honour the people who were so ruthlessly ousted from their traditional homes.

    Reply
  88. Oh Culloden, so heartbreaking, and it still moves us all those years later. I remember when I was about fifteen discovering one of my dad’s books by John Prebble, who wrote extensively and beautifully about Scottish history. I lay on the floor (my fave spot for reading) weeping through his book CULLODEN.
    I did the same thing with his book THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES — devastating but wonderful. So often these tragedies are lost, covered up, blurred from history, but these books honour the people who were so ruthlessly ousted from their traditional homes.

    Reply
  89. Oh Culloden, so heartbreaking, and it still moves us all those years later. I remember when I was about fifteen discovering one of my dad’s books by John Prebble, who wrote extensively and beautifully about Scottish history. I lay on the floor (my fave spot for reading) weeping through his book CULLODEN.
    I did the same thing with his book THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES — devastating but wonderful. So often these tragedies are lost, covered up, blurred from history, but these books honour the people who were so ruthlessly ousted from their traditional homes.

    Reply
  90. Oh Culloden, so heartbreaking, and it still moves us all those years later. I remember when I was about fifteen discovering one of my dad’s books by John Prebble, who wrote extensively and beautifully about Scottish history. I lay on the floor (my fave spot for reading) weeping through his book CULLODEN.
    I did the same thing with his book THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES — devastating but wonderful. So often these tragedies are lost, covered up, blurred from history, but these books honour the people who were so ruthlessly ousted from their traditional homes.

    Reply
  91. Annette, I think I picked them up from a wenchly reader comment — I often do, but by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten who recommended them.
    I did love Heathcliff, and had several chuckles when he’s taking about names like Hiram, and saying, “What sort of a name is that? Who names their child that?” LOL

    Reply
  92. Annette, I think I picked them up from a wenchly reader comment — I often do, but by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten who recommended them.
    I did love Heathcliff, and had several chuckles when he’s taking about names like Hiram, and saying, “What sort of a name is that? Who names their child that?” LOL

    Reply
  93. Annette, I think I picked them up from a wenchly reader comment — I often do, but by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten who recommended them.
    I did love Heathcliff, and had several chuckles when he’s taking about names like Hiram, and saying, “What sort of a name is that? Who names their child that?” LOL

    Reply
  94. Annette, I think I picked them up from a wenchly reader comment — I often do, but by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten who recommended them.
    I did love Heathcliff, and had several chuckles when he’s taking about names like Hiram, and saying, “What sort of a name is that? Who names their child that?” LOL

    Reply
  95. Annette, I think I picked them up from a wenchly reader comment — I often do, but by the time I get around to reading them I’ve forgotten who recommended them.
    I did love Heathcliff, and had several chuckles when he’s taking about names like Hiram, and saying, “What sort of a name is that? Who names their child that?” LOL

    Reply
  96. I read the “other” packhorse Library one (by the author who accused Moyes of plagerizing her book) for a book club. It’s a fascinating story of a very hardscrabble existence, especially for women of that time and place. I wish we had read the Moyes sory because I was disappointed with the writing of the one I read.

    Reply
  97. I read the “other” packhorse Library one (by the author who accused Moyes of plagerizing her book) for a book club. It’s a fascinating story of a very hardscrabble existence, especially for women of that time and place. I wish we had read the Moyes sory because I was disappointed with the writing of the one I read.

    Reply
  98. I read the “other” packhorse Library one (by the author who accused Moyes of plagerizing her book) for a book club. It’s a fascinating story of a very hardscrabble existence, especially for women of that time and place. I wish we had read the Moyes sory because I was disappointed with the writing of the one I read.

    Reply
  99. I read the “other” packhorse Library one (by the author who accused Moyes of plagerizing her book) for a book club. It’s a fascinating story of a very hardscrabble existence, especially for women of that time and place. I wish we had read the Moyes sory because I was disappointed with the writing of the one I read.

    Reply
  100. I read the “other” packhorse Library one (by the author who accused Moyes of plagerizing her book) for a book club. It’s a fascinating story of a very hardscrabble existence, especially for women of that time and place. I wish we had read the Moyes sory because I was disappointed with the writing of the one I read.

    Reply
  101. I found the quote about Heathcliff, whose mother was literary, intriguing. What books are these? I tried to follow the comments back but wasn’t quite sure.

    Reply
  102. I found the quote about Heathcliff, whose mother was literary, intriguing. What books are these? I tried to follow the comments back but wasn’t quite sure.

    Reply
  103. I found the quote about Heathcliff, whose mother was literary, intriguing. What books are these? I tried to follow the comments back but wasn’t quite sure.

    Reply
  104. I found the quote about Heathcliff, whose mother was literary, intriguing. What books are these? I tried to follow the comments back but wasn’t quite sure.

    Reply
  105. I found the quote about Heathcliff, whose mother was literary, intriguing. What books are these? I tried to follow the comments back but wasn’t quite sure.

    Reply
  106. Susan, it was in reference to one of the books I mentioned above: Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920’s set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. There’s a link to it in the post.
    The main character, Heathcliff Lennox hates being called Heathcliff and prefers to be addressed as Lennox.
    The author is interesting, too, I think. She started writing when she turned 60, and she’s the daughter-in-law of Yehudi Menuhin.

    Reply
  107. Susan, it was in reference to one of the books I mentioned above: Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920’s set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. There’s a link to it in the post.
    The main character, Heathcliff Lennox hates being called Heathcliff and prefers to be addressed as Lennox.
    The author is interesting, too, I think. She started writing when she turned 60, and she’s the daughter-in-law of Yehudi Menuhin.

    Reply
  108. Susan, it was in reference to one of the books I mentioned above: Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920’s set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. There’s a link to it in the post.
    The main character, Heathcliff Lennox hates being called Heathcliff and prefers to be addressed as Lennox.
    The author is interesting, too, I think. She started writing when she turned 60, and she’s the daughter-in-law of Yehudi Menuhin.

    Reply
  109. Susan, it was in reference to one of the books I mentioned above: Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920’s set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. There’s a link to it in the post.
    The main character, Heathcliff Lennox hates being called Heathcliff and prefers to be addressed as Lennox.
    The author is interesting, too, I think. She started writing when she turned 60, and she’s the daughter-in-law of Yehudi Menuhin.

    Reply
  110. Susan, it was in reference to one of the books I mentioned above: Murder at Melrose Court, a 1920’s set country house murder mystery, the first in a series by Karen Menuhin. There’s a link to it in the post.
    The main character, Heathcliff Lennox hates being called Heathcliff and prefers to be addressed as Lennox.
    The author is interesting, too, I think. She started writing when she turned 60, and she’s the daughter-in-law of Yehudi Menuhin.

    Reply
  111. Thank you, I think. I’ve fallen down the historical mystery rabbit hole — Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey, Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby, Elizabeth Speller’s Laurence Bartram (sadly, there seem to be only two of those), and several others. No shortage of reading material, and may just have to add Captain Lennox to the list.

    Reply
  112. Thank you, I think. I’ve fallen down the historical mystery rabbit hole — Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey, Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby, Elizabeth Speller’s Laurence Bartram (sadly, there seem to be only two of those), and several others. No shortage of reading material, and may just have to add Captain Lennox to the list.

    Reply
  113. Thank you, I think. I’ve fallen down the historical mystery rabbit hole — Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey, Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby, Elizabeth Speller’s Laurence Bartram (sadly, there seem to be only two of those), and several others. No shortage of reading material, and may just have to add Captain Lennox to the list.

    Reply
  114. Thank you, I think. I’ve fallen down the historical mystery rabbit hole — Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey, Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby, Elizabeth Speller’s Laurence Bartram (sadly, there seem to be only two of those), and several others. No shortage of reading material, and may just have to add Captain Lennox to the list.

    Reply
  115. Thank you, I think. I’ve fallen down the historical mystery rabbit hole — Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey, Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby, Elizabeth Speller’s Laurence Bartram (sadly, there seem to be only two of those), and several others. No shortage of reading material, and may just have to add Captain Lennox to the list.

    Reply

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