Sunday, August 13, 2017

Have You Fallen in (Literary) Love This Summer?

Michael with Lucy

LUCY BURDETTE
Several weeks ago, Michael Connelly was coming to our neck of the woods and speaking at a lunch sponsored by RJ Julia booksellers. My good friend and writing buddy, Angelo, suggested that several of us attend. I've heard Michael before and long been a fan of his books and characters, especially Harry Bosch. And what's better than lunch with friends while hearing an admired writer talk? So of course I said yes!

He was completely charming and we all bought books and stood in line to have them signed. Mine was signed for John's birthday, but I didn't think he'd mind if I read it first. (Especially if he didn't know, LOL.) The Late Show introduces a new character, a female cop who works the night shift at the LAPD. I didn't expect to get swept into her life and her story so quickly, but I loved it. 

And Lord knows, with the world in a scary shambles lately, one of the things that really helps get my mind off what I can't control is good books. Now I am finishing up Rhys's new Royal Spyness mystery – Georgie is the perfect antidote for anxiety. If you haven't started this series, you have a giant treat ahead of you. I have Joshilyn Jackson's new book lined up next. But after that…You know I always get a little desperate that the next read won't be quite as good…

So have you fallen in literary love this summer?

73 comments:

  1. I, too, read and loved Michael Connelly’s “The Late Show” and am looking forward to more stories in this series.

    Other recent reads include Lisa Gardner’s “Right Behind You” . . . Neal Stephenson/Nicole Galland‘s “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O” . . . William R. Forstchen’s “The Final Day” . . . Brad Parks’s “The Girl Next Door” . . . Ace Atkins’s “The Fallen” . . . Marcus Sakey’s “Afterlife” . . . Patrick Hemstreet’s “The God Peak” . . . . Jeff Abbott’s “Blame” . . . Gin Phillips’s “Fierce Kindom” . . . .

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  2. Most of the excellent books I've read lately I discovered through Jungle Red! Those include Owen Laukkanen's "The Forgotten Girls," Meg Gardiner's "Unsub," and Hallie's "You'll Never Know Dear." I just finished Claire Booth's "The Branson Beauty," and Melissa Lenhardt's "Sawbones" is on the top of my TBR pile. However, I dropped by Debs' house for wine the other night, and found she was clearing out her inbox of new novels. She was kind enough to share a few with me, and I'm currently enjoying Amanda Kyle Williams' "Don't Talk to Strangers"--a really intriguing book about a former FBI profiler at work. So many books, so little time!

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    1. We do get great suggestions here, don't we? thanks for these Gigi.

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  3. Martin Walker's The Templar's Last Secret, an Inspector Bruno mystery. What's not to love about Bruno and his little town in the Dordogne? Terrorism, ancient cave paintings, food, wine, his basset hound and horse.

    Daniel Silva, House of Spies, best airplane read ever.

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    1. We took at lovely vacation in the Dordogne two years ago, just in the hopes of meeting Bruno. And I think we did. We got stuck going the wrong way in a parking lot, and this charming gendarme came over, understood our bastard French, and got us turned around and going the right way. Love Martin Walker and also read The Templar's Last Secret earlier this summer.

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    2. I cannot believe I haven't read Martin Walker's book--although I do have a Bruno book on my too-read SHELVES. I will get to them!

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    3. Thanks for the Daniel Silva suggestion, Margaret. Will put on Kindle of my upcoming long flights!

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  4. I absolutely loved The Late Show! (And Michael, too, who I was lucky enough to interview at Brookline
    Booksmith!
    I've loved Anthony Horowitz's The Magpie Murders, which is terrific and so clever. Mary Kubica's Every Last Lie and Matt Goldman's Gone To Dust, where the bad guy leaves a victim (one Page one! covered in vacuum cleaner dust so there's an incredible amount of DNA.
    And watch for Second Story Men by Charles Salzberg-- it is wonderful. Oh! The The Woman at the Window by AJ Finn. (Remember that!)
    Xxxxc

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    1. ON page one, not (One Page one. Sorry.

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    2. Yes to the Magpie Murders. But I've never read Michael Connelly. Is that a deal breaker?

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    3. Ann, not a deal breaker but I'm jealous... so much to look forward to. My favorite of his up to now was THE LINCOLN LAWYER.

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    4. You'll love THE LATE SHOW! And we are thinking of you!

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    5. Thanks so much for the plug, Hank! You're the best. And Second Story will be out in mid-March.

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  5. And thank you for all the great ideas!

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  6. Of course I've fallen in literary love this summer, slut that I am. I've read Rhys's latest, On Her Majestiy's Frightful Secret Service, one of Lucy/Roberta's earliest, An Appetite for Murder, Hank's Say No More, Hallie's You'll Never Know, Dear, Laura Lippman's Wilde Lake, Mark Billingham's and Michael Robotham's newest, Love Like Blood and The Secrets She Keeps, The Flight of the Maidens by Jane Gardam, The Birdwatcher by William Shaw, History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, Kaaterskill Falls by Angela Goodman, Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Child by Fiona Barton, The LIttle French Bistro by Nina George, The Dying Detective by Lief GW Persson, He Said She Said by Erin Kelly, The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, Theft by Finding, David Sedaris, And I'm going to stop here before I put everyone to sleep

    Presently I am into 4321 by Paul Austen, long listed for the Booker. It's an 800 page tome. I can do this!

    Tomorrow is the big day, and I will be taking a Kindle full of books with me to the hospital. Thanks to all of you for your support and good wishes. This is the ninth surgery on this leg but what could go wrong? LOL

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    1. The above list is by no means complete. I just got tired of typing. And just so you know, the newest Louise Penny ARC is in the mail!

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    2. And we wish you good luck Ann, hope you are back to reading quickly, and walking quickly after that. XO

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    3. Ann, we wish you the best and will be sending you healing thoughts! Do keep us updated!!!! xxx

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    4. Julie will post updates on Facebook until I am over the anesthesia hangover

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    5. I hope this tenth surgery is the last, and will look forward to your witty return to the blog soon! I'm curious what did you think of the ending for The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffith? You don't have to give away any spoilers, just your general reaction to it. I did not like it and felt like here we go again. Happy reading and recovering!

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  7. Whoa, what great lists! (Ann, I am in awe)
    I just finished MAGPIE MURDERS and loved it so much... it's a mystery writers' read. The guy's a genius.
    Queued up to read next is THE LATE SHOW, THE MOTHERS, THE CHILD (Fiona Barton), and THE SECRETS YOU KEEP (Kate White).

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    1. I haven't read the child or the secrets you keep, but you are going to love the late show and the mothers! I'd like to be starting at the beginning of those two…

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    2. I've read The Secrets You Keep, and really liked The Child although it isn't quite the book The Widow was. Magpie Murders was incredible.

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    3. Hallie,
      this book is on my TBR list.

      Diana

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    4. Diana, DO NOT READ ANYTHING ABOUT IT before you read it. Seriously. The surprises are amazing.

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    5. Yes, just read it, Diana. LOVED it! xoxoo . SO clever.

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    6. Hallie and Hank, which book are you referring to? Did you mean the Magpie Murders book that is on my TBR list?

      Diana

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  8. Agreed that good books are the perfect antidote to the chaos going on in the world. Loved Rhys Bowen's new Lady Georgie book. Currently reading a children's book by Linda Fairstein. I am in a strange mood. For some reason, I cannot read anything but children's books this week. I tried to read a new mystery by a debut novelist and could not focus. I tried other books by authors and could not get into them either. Right now I can get into the Devlin Quick mystery by Linda Fairstein. I just finished The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner (not sure if it is a mystery novel) and I loved it.

    On another topic, did Jungle Reds ever write a post about "happy books" I asked because I was wondering if there are books that leave you feeling happy. I just finished a novel by Alexander McCall Smith. I call his books "my happy books".

    Happy Sunday,
    Diana

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    1. We haven't done that exactly, Will have to make a note of that as a topic. I think you put your finger what I was trying to say here! Rhys's series one of those, right? I will have to look at Jennifer weiner book--I usually like hers and sometimes need a break from mysteries...

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    2. YA books--try A Certain Kind of Happiness, and OCDaniel. And Summerlost. SO GOOD!

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    3. Lucy, I loved Jennifer Weiner's early books more than the recent books. Her YA book, the Littlest Bigfoot, is wonderful. I loved it!

      Hank, thanks for the recommendations.

      Diana

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    4. Lucy, I agree with you re: Rhys' books.

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  9. p.s. I read the happy book last week.

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  10. Do the JRW's know that you have together written almost 100 titles? I am still diffing into y'alls turf. Recent reads from you, Jenn's Caramel Crush, Ingrid's Brutality, Hank's Say no More, Hallie's There was an Old woman. Hallie scares, I am girding my loins for You'll Never Know dear. I will start In Fairleigh Field tomorrow. My late August treat will be Garden of Lamentations. I am eagerly waiting for Lucy/Roberta to finish her latest Key West, I have devoured (pun intended) the rest of the series.

    I really miss Julia Spencer-Fleming. I hope she is all right, and I hope she can continue her world building in upstate New York. Her writing brought me to JRW.

    Other stand outs this summer that were introduced by this blog: The Marsh King's Daughter, A short Time to Die, Nick Petrie's Peter Ash series --Peter is better than Jack Reacher --. Last, I was totally stunned by Marcia Clark's Blood Defense. I did not anticipate the twist ending. Samantha Brinkman, her character, needs more 'therapy' than Ingrid's Fina -- who tells me she is perfectly okay thank you.

    Like Ann, my list is not complete, just the ones that popped up before I had my morning tea.

    Namaste to all you word spinners.


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    1. I was just wondering about Julia, too, and wishing her well, wherever she is.

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    2. Julia has had to take some time off from the blog for family health issues. We hope she will be back by November, but we'll keep you posted. I know she has been chipping away at her WIP--yay!

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    3. Hallie, you are right. I recounted the titles, including all the pen names I could find. The total out put today for you ladies is 149 titles. wow.

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    4. We really miss Julia, too, and hope she'll be back with us soon!

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    5. Oh, you are fabulous, Coralee! Yes, we miss Julia, too, but she is seeing your love!

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  11. Lucy/Roberta - Your comment about " . . . that next read won't be quit as good" is SO true!!! Just over the past couple of days I have struggled to find the right book after reading a slew of very good ones. So last night (yesterday was a sad hard day, wasn't it?), I settled down with Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. A re-read, of course, but one I know will be enjoyable.

    Literary love this summer has included (some of these are ARCs and may or may not be available yet) Rachel Caine's Stillhouse Lake, Margaret Maron's Take Out, J P Monninger's The Map that Leads to You, Hallie's You'll Never Know, dear, Alice Hoffman's The Rules of Magic, Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders, all four of Ingrid's series, Eleanor Brown edited an anthology that I love - A Paris All Your Own, and Louise Penny's Glass Houses. So yes - yes, it's hard to find something to live up to all these!

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    1. Kaye, I would love to reread Harry Potter right now. Alas, I don't think I can indulge myself with so many other books to read;-( But we just finished watching The Tunnel, Sabotage (series 2) and I'm very tempted to go back and watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to see Clemence Poesy as a teenager again. She's become such an interesting actress.

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  12. Rhys's latest, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service, was so good I didn't want it to end.

    Annette Dashofy's new book, With a Vengeance, is also very good. Her paramedic character is great.

    Right now I'm reading Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, by Jennifer Chiaverrini. It's really good so far.

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    1. I've just finished listening to Rhys's Crowned and Dangerous for the second time (that way my 'happy book' last week) in preparation for On Her Majesty's FSS. Up next. I think I will need Georgie this week even more...

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  13. I have fallen in love with Alexia Gordon's Gethsemane Brown Mystery series -- Murder in G Major and Death in D Minor. Gethsemane is an awesome character, and the mysteries are wonderful!

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    1. I read the first one, in ebook form, I think. Good to know there's a second. I really enjoyed her character.

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  14. I did! I have been reading Lindsey Davis's new series, set in ancient Rome just like her long series about "informer" Falco, but about his daughter, also an informer, twenty years later, in the frightening reign of Domitian. After one, I wasn't sure if I liked Alba or the new-ish setting. But. But I kept thinking about what happened after the end of the book. So I read the others and got the newest one, The Third Nero,as soon as possible. Sounds like love, doesn't it?

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  15. I don't know that I would call it literary love but I just finished reading an advance copy of Nick Wilkshire's 2nd Foreign Affairs Mystery book featuring Charlie Hiller, a Canadian consular officer and I liked it a lot. Can't say more since it was for a review for MS but I do want to read more from the author.

    Also, check out Christina Kovac's The Cutaway and Nick Petrie's two books! There's more to be sure, but that's a good start. Oh and if anyone has been foolish enough to put off reading Ingrid Thoft's Duplicity...STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND READ IT NOW! I've been saying that since January but it bears repeating as often as possible without becoming annoying about it.

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  16. Thanks, Jay! You're such a great cheerleader!

    I've recently finished THE LATE SHOW, BLAME, THE CHILD, and VISCIOUS CIRCLE by CJ BOX. I can't wait to read THE FALLEN by Ace Atkins, THE MAGPIE MURDERS, and FIERCE KINGDOM. So many good books!

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    1. My pleasure Ingrid.

      I also read Vicious Circle by C.J. Box and I loved that one.

      I read The Fallen but had a different opinion about the story than others seem to have had.

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  17. Thank you, Lucy , Diana and Karen! I'm so glad you enjoyed my latest. It may be an antidote for current craziness but I have to point out that it is set against a background of growing Nazi aggression. Let us not forget our history.

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    1. Good point and so timely– You must be prescient!

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    2. Yes, I noticed! And I thought it was prescient of you to write about it, long before all this nonsense was going on.

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  19. One of my unexpected literary love affairs of the summer was meeting Beatriz Williams at her signing here in Dallas (at Interabang, the new independent), then reading Cocoa Beach, which I LOVED. Beautiful writing, wonderful gothic atmosphere, layered timelines--a book to lose yourself in.

    I've just finished Mark Pryor's newest Hugo Marston, The Sorbonne Affair, which we'll be talking about week after next!

    But my very favorite book of the summer is a book called Blood, Bones, and Butter, a memoir by chef Gabrielle Hamilton. Gorgeous prose (she has an MFA in Creative Writing,) fascinating story, and the food bits are wonderful, too. I carried it around with me and read every second I could squeeze in.

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  20. I love anything and everything written by the 3 Ws: Karen White, Lauren Willig, and Beatriz Williams. I also recently raced through the Bourbon Kings trilogy by J.R.Ward, set in Kentucky and putting the Ewings and the Carringtons to shame. Right now I am re-reading Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd. Her Virtue Falls novels are hard to put down.

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  21. A Gentleman in Moscow. Lexicon. The latter's from 2012, but I just found it. Fascinating.

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    1. I though it was wonderful, too, as was his first, very different book, Rules of Civility. He is a very unusual writer.
      '

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    2. I just finished reading The Rules of Civility! Such a good book.

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  22. My summer joy was reading Kristan Higgins's On Second Thought -- after seeing her speak at the Poisoned Pen way back in March. Both the talk and the book were delightful!

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    1. She is SO wonderful! What an amazing talent, and such a lovely person!

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    2. Totally agree on both counts, she's a must buy for me!

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  23. I am polishing up my review of Hollywood Homicide, the debut from Kellye Garrett. Run, don't walk, to get a copy of this book. It's wonderful!

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  24. I was just looking at the tower of books that I have still waiting from this summer's publications, and it is daunting indeed, but oh so much great reading to look forward to. The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horrowitz, Blame by Jeff Abbott, Deadfall by Linda Fairstein, The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase, The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (for those of us who love Lizie Borden related material), and Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett.

    Now, for the great reading I have done this summer! One of my favorites, because I needed it so badly this summer, is Rhys' new Lady Georgie, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service. Hallie's You'll Never Know, Dear was an amazing start to my summer reading. Others that have just been stellar reads, too, are Cast the First Stone by James Ziskin, The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne, The Birdwatcher by William Shaw, Love and Death in Burgundy by Susan Shea, Lockdown by Laurie King, The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore (can't believe I didn't read it when it first came out last year), Brooklyn Wars by Triss Stein, The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal, Path into Darkness by Lisa Alber, The Barbary Mark by Anne Cleeland, and I finally read My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier (a group read with my daughter and teenage granddaughter). My surprise read of the summer was a novel from last year that I only came across this year, Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase. I picked it up from the library as an audio book for a car trip and ended reading it with the printed format. I just found this book so dear. That's why I have Eve Chase's new book, The Wildling Sisters waiting to be read.

    I am so embarrassed that I haven't read Michael Connelly, but I do hope to do so in the next year.

    And, I have been missing Julia, too, and wish her all the best.

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  25. I think I'm getting better all the time at choosing reads that I will like. Here are some of the standouts: Lorna Landvik's Once in a Blue Moon Cafe, Amy Poeppel's Small Admissions, Hester Young's The Shimmering Road, Annie Hogsett's Too Lucky to Live, Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Olyphant is completely Fine, Leslie Budewitz's Treble at the Jam Fest, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich's The Fact of a Body, Phaedra Patrick's Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders, Fredrik Baackman's Beartown, Katherine Heiny's Standard Deviation, Adriana Trigiani's Kiss Carlo, Benjamin Ludwig's Ginny Moon, Ann Kidd Taylor's The Shark Club, Nina George's The Little French Bistro, Sarah Creech's The Whole Way Home, Matthew Sullivan's Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Philip Gulley's A Gathering in Hope, Laurel Snyder's Orphan Island, Hillary Manton Lodge's Jane in Austin, Ellen Kirschman's The Fifth Relection, Jane Green's The Sunshine Sisters, Rhys Bowen's On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service, Meg Gardiner's UNSUB, Kevin Kwan's Rich People Problems, David Rosenfelt's Collared, Agnes Nixon's My Life to Live (showbiz autobiography), Laura Dave's Hello Sunshine, Annie Hartnett's Rabbit Cake. Jenny Colgan's novels always make me happy--the latest is The Cafe by the Sea. And I've just discovered Lucinda Riley's The Seven Sisters series. I just read the first (The Seven Sisters) and absolutely inhaled it, and there are two more on the library shelves. It's to be a 7-book series!

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  26. Like many books listed plus all 3 of Allen Eskens, beginning with the The Lfe We Bury, In the Guise..and The Heavens May Fall.

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  27. Just finished Strange the Dreamer. I don't normally read fantasy, but it was gorgeously written.

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  28. Thank you all...I have just added many books to my reading list.! One book I really enjoyed was Manderlay Forever by Tataina de Rosnay a biography of Daphne du Maurier.

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  29. I love Emma Jameson's Lord & Lady Hetheridge series about two Scotland Yard detectives as well as her Dr. Bones series, which takes place in Cornwall during World War II.

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