Monday, February 7, 2022

What We’re Reading




LUCY BURDETTE: Ok Reds, time to restock the TBR piles! The past month has been so hectic, with a cross country trip to visit the new grandbaby, lots of Friends of the Key West Library work, and my own work too. I have been reading though–especially on that plane trip. (It kept my mind off the prospect of virus particles circulating…). In the department of Francophile lit, I enjoyed THE KEEPER OF HAPPY ENDINGS by Barbara Davis about a family of women who made magical wedding gowns, and LOVE AMONG THE RECIPES by Carol M. Cram, Paris and food–what else to say?


I also finished Mia Manansala’s ARSENIC AND ADOBO, a charming foodie cozy set in the restaurant of a Filipino family, and at the exact opposite end of the spectrum, BLACKTOP WASTELAND by S. A. Cosby. That book is a wow–the tension, the pace, the violence, the writing! Our pal Barbara Ross interviewed Sean for our Friends’ speaker series–you’ll want to listen in!


At the moment, I’m reading THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE, by Richard Osman. I’m late to this phenomenon–what a hoot! (You'll also see some upcoming reads in that stack of mine.)


HALLIE EPHRON: I loved THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE. So very clever. 


Next up in my TBR pile are books my daughters gave me for Christmas. Looking forward to Elizabeth Strout’s OH WILLIAM! (her OLIVE KITTERIDGE is one of my favorites of all time) and Susan Orleans essay collection ON ANIMALS. 


Then moving on to Lee McIntyre’s THE ART OF GOOD AND EVIL. I read an early version of this book years ago and I am really looking forward to seeing it newly polished. Lee is a philosopher and the questions he raises in his writing set his mysteries in a class by themselves. Is crime ever justified?  I can’t wait to see what he does with that fundamental question.


RHYS BOWEN: I haven’t had much time for reading, recovering from fifteen guests for Christmas and then proof reads for one book, polishing the next Royal Spyness and then starting on the next stand alone. Then the reading I’ve done is almost all blurbs—one of which I thought was fantastic. It’s called Widowland by C J Carey (who also wrote a Berlin series as Jane Thynne that was really good). It has been published in UK but will be released here in May, I believe. 


The story has the same feel as The Handmaid’s Tale—dystopia, women suffering. The premise is that England surrendered to Germany in WWII and now life is regulated with awful punishments. Widows are at the bottom rung of society because they are no longer useful. But maybe they are cleverly plotting against the government. Great tension and lots to think about!


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I am on such a run of incredible books!  I just finished Adele Parks’ WOMAN LAST SEEN–Adele is amazing. Brilliant book.  Another definite absolute must read is Janice Hallett’s THE APPEAL. One of the cleverest most intriguing books I have ever read–it’s all in emails and documents, and my first thought was “NO I am NOT reading this.” But I had to, to do an interview with the author, and I am still thinking about it. She is a genius, and completely deconstructs the way we look at storytelling. It’s almost–interactive. Read it, you’ll see what I mean. And I cannot wait for her next book, The Twyford Code. 


I am now in the happy midst of THE DEPARTMENT OF RARE BOOKS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS by Eva Jurzyk. And as you can tell by the title, it’s sort of quirky Agatha Christie meets The Midnight Library. I love it. And: do not miss THE MAID  by Nita Prose. So so so good! A locked room mystery in a grand hotel–and the main character is the most charmingly unique person ever.


DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm afraid I'm writing writing writing so am hardly reading at all at the moment. My treat at the end of the day is a chapter or two of Rhys's GOD REST YE ROYAL GENTLEMEN, which I saved for a Christmas read and am just now getting to! Such fun!


Next up in my to-read stack are Karen Odden's DOWN A DARK RIVER and Richard Osman's THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB. And I have on order the new Charles Todd Ian Rutledge novel, A GAME OF FEAR, the new Stephanie Barron Jane Austen, JANE AND THE YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER (out Tuesday!), and the new Elly Griffith's Ruth Galloway book, THE LOCKED ROOM, which is just out in the UK. It doesn't publish in the US until June and I didn't want to wait, so ordered it from the UK.


JENN McKINLAY: SO many great books! I’m listening to PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir - it’s brilliant - the narrator makes the story so incredibly engaging. I’m reading LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood and so far it’s ridiculously charming, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid and, as always, I am blown away by her writing, and rounding it all out, I just started Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien and it is perfection because Vivien is just that good.


JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I need to subscribe to some publisher’s newsletters or something, because I am hopelessly behind on what mysteries and thrillers are coming out and when. Right now, my nonfiction read is THE BRIGHT AGES: A New History of Medieval Europe by Matthew Gabriel and David M. Perry. It’s a fascinating, well-told survey of the recent scholarship which reveals Europe in the Middle Ages was far more sophisticated and globally connected than we’ve all been told. My fiction right now is a re-read: MURDER IN AN ENGLISH VILLAGE by my friend Jessica Ellicott. If you like Rhys’s Lady Georgie books or Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, you will love Jess’s Beryl and Edwina series. Finally, my audiobook is DEEP WORK by Cal Newport, pursuant to my word of the year, which was DEEP!


How about you Reds, what are you reading?


92 comments:

  1. What have I read lately? THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave . . . a children’s book by Laura Gehl and Patricia Metola, APPLE AND MAGNOLIA that’s absolutely captivating . . . THE GATEKEEPER by James Byrne . . . THE LIES I TELL by Julie Clark . . . THE PLOT by Jean Hanff Korelitz . . . MALICIOUS INTENT by Lynn H. Blackburn . . . THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET by Diane Chamberlain . . . .

    Right now I’m reading THE PARADOX HOTEL by Rob Hart . . . .

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    1. It was good . . . I'd been told that the ending was disappointing, but I found it to be quite in keeping with the story.

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  2. I've been on a run of wonderful reading. Just finished Ann Parker's The Secret in the Wall and Reavis Wortham's The Texas Job. Now I'm in the midst of S.A. Lelchuk's One Got Away, Australian Chris Hammer's Opal Country, and Preston & Child's Diablo Mesa.

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  3. I've recently enjoyed MURDER IN THE MOUNTAINS, the second DESTINATION MURDERS anthology, and THE TWIST AND SHOUT MURDER by Teresa Trent. Not completely sure what is on my TBR pile immediately. I have a rare opportunity to pick whatever I want to read for a couple of books, and I'm drowning in possibilities. The new book I know is on my list is Rhys's new Molly Murphy mystery for review on 3/1. Can't wait to visit Molly agian!

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  4. I just finished THREE DOORWAYS DARK by Keith Donnelly. I love this series which is mostly unknown by others. While I wait patiently for the release of ABANDONED IN DEATH by J.D. Robb on Tuesday, I'm reading MURDER IN THE MOUNTAINS anthology.

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  5. Like HANK, I enjoyed reading THE DEPARTMENT OF RARE BOOKS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS by Eva Jurzyk. It's set a rare books library on the downtown University of Toronto campus. I worked on that campus from 2001-2005 so I can totally picture those scenes in that area. THE MAID by Nita Prose is another debut by a Toronto author with the quirky Molly working as a maid in a boutique Toronto hotel.

    ROBERTA: Both Richard Osman's books were among my top reads of 2021, so I am glad you enjoyed reading THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE.

    And I am currently reading DARK HORSE, Orphan X Book 7 (ARC) by Gregg Hurwitz. The complex character arc for Evan Smoak continues and each book is better than the previous one. After that, I am planning to read UNDER SKELETON LOCK & KEY (ARC), a new series by Gigi Pandian, and THE SECRETS WE SHARE (ARC), a stand-alone by Edwin Hill, and the MURDER IN THE MOUNTAINS anthology (like Dru).

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    1. Oops, spelled the first author's name wrong. It's EVA JURCZYK!

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    2. ROBERTA: Believe me, my ARC pile is out-of-control. I am several books behind where I would like to be this year, but I'm trying!

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    3. GRACE,

      THE MAID was wonderful!

      Diana

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    4. LOve that we're reading the same things!

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    5. There. I've just reserved both The Maid and The Department of... at the Toronto Public Library. I'm at the end of yet two more very long lines. :^) Of course, I haven't bought very many books yet this year, so that's a possibility too.

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    6. SUSAN: I miss TPL's extensive library system. I think it is the largest one in North America?

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    7. Apparently in the world. Or at least it has the most loans, user interactions, ebook loans, audiobook loans, etc etc. 100 branches. We're spoiled for choice here.

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  6. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge (not a mystery) is hands down my favorite book in a long, long time.

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    1. Wow, what a story! Thanks for the tip, Marianne.

      Only drawback is that it does not seem to be published in electronic format, but it sounds like a perfect book club selection.

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    2. Marianne, I forgot to mention this one in my upcoming reads, but I'm really looking forward to reading West with Giraffes. Good to hear how much you liked it.

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  7. So many great suggestions! I'm rereading THE CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR to finish off my year of reading her entire series, in preparation for the new book next month. Thank you for featuring her here last year and getting me started on a series I should have been reading all along.

    Next up is Joanna Schaffhausen's new LAST SEEN ALIVE, followed by Cate Conte's WITCH TRIAL. I also can't wait for the new Molly Murphy!

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    1. EDITH,

      Every year I reread the entire series and this month I am buddy reading THE CONSEQUENCES OF FEAR with a book friend who started reading Maisie Dobbs based on my recommendation. And I look forward to the new book next month. I just finished a non fiction book BEAUTY IN BREAKING by Michele Harper, MD.

      So many wonderful recommendations in today's post for me to add to my tbr!

      Diana

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  8. Recently I've finished these books:

    BATTER OFF DEAD by Maddie Day
    LAST SEEN ALIVE by Joanna Schaffhausen
    MURDER IN AN IRISH BOOKSHOP by Carlene O'Connor
    A THREE BOOK PROBLEM by Vicki Delany
    MERCY by David Baldacci

    Next up for me is DARK NIGHT by Paige Shelton.
    IN DEEP by Sharon Ward

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  9. I am currently reading: Tara Brach RADICAL COMPASSION, Matt Haig THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, Diana Wynn Jones, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, and Martha Carr's CHAOS AND GUNFIRE. I just completed reviewing, SUCCUBUS REVEALED, THE PARADOX HOTEL,19 YELLOW MOON ROAD, and A WIZARD'S GUIDE TO DEFENSIVE BAKING. My TBR pile includes, UPGRADE by Blake Crouch, All the little liars, Charlaine Harris, Arsenic and Adobo, and Network Effect by Martha Wells.
    Today if all goes well, I will write my 400th review for Goodreads. I would love to booktalk any or all of the above titles. We could be here until summer solstice.

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    1. A WIZARD'S GUIDE TO DEFENSIVE BAKING - What a title!

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    2. I thought the same thing! And of course it's no surprise that title caught my eye.

      CORALEE: Congratulations on soon posting your 400th Goodreads review. That's a wonderful milestone and accomplishment!

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    3. Thank you Grace appreciate that. Wizards guide is by T. Kingfisher, who walked away with most of the YA book awards for fantasy YA novels for this work. The hero, Mona, is a 14 yo baker whoaw familiar is a sour dough starter. If that doesn't convince you to try the book, the opening scene involves a body in the bakery.

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    4. What an intriguing premise for a book! So clever.

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    5. Loved WIZARD’s GUIDE! Came to the author through her Paladin series I discovered last year, which are fabulous reads.

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    6. Coralee, you are so right. The book is fascinating and I was hooked by the title.

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    7. Coralee--400! You are amazing and life-changing!

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    8. You got me with The Wizard's Guide, Coralee! Had to buy this one!

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    9. Coralee, Congratulations on your 400th review! That's awesome! Can you tell me where to find that information. I'd like to see what I'm up to in number of reviews.

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  10. I just finished ALL HER LITTLE SECRETS by Wanda Morris. Next up is HER NAME IS KNIGHT, by Yasmin Ngoe. Then I have to catch up on Gabriel Valjean's Shane Cleary series. In between, I'm working my way through Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (the books that awful Amazon series is very loosely based on - I'm up to book four of 14).

    I loved THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE and I'll have to pick up THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB soon.

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    1. LIZ: I enjoyed reading both Wanda and Yasmin ANGOE's debuts.
      And I have Gabriel's books loaded on my Kindle to read sometime this winter.

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    2. Grace, that'll teach me to type a name without looking at it! LOL

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  11. First let me say how much fun I had yesterday "utilizing" (Susan;-)) all of your least favorite words. It was too much fun!
    In early January I was still reading some of the holiday books everyone was talking about in December. The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery, The Matzoh Ball by Jean Meltzer, which is extremely good, and listening to quite a few that I got through Audible Plus. It was really fun to concentrate on so many of romances.
    I read Jenn's Royal Valentine as soon as it arrived on my Kindle, and I LOVED it!
    I read Mercy by David Baldacci, which was a very good conclusion to his 4-book series. Be sure to start with the first book if you haven't read them yet. (NOT cozies.) (Lucy, it didn't disappoint;=))
    I also read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan because Jenn said how much she loved it last month. It is a very sweet romance.
    I finally read Louise Penny's All the Devils Are Here and her The Madness of Crowds is sitting on the table. It has to be next, or the library will come to my house to retrieve it.
    I read Murder on Cape Cod, and I just loved Edith's characters so much!! I have the next two books in the series and will read them this month!
    Then, thanks to you all, I read Alexis Morgan's Death by Committee. It was so good, that I bought the next one immediately and am now reading it and Absence of Mallets by Kate Carlisle at the same time.
    I've listened to several audiobooks including Debs' Where Memories Lie, which is amazing and one of my favorites of Debs' series. (Debs, the narrator does a credible job and while I understand your objection to her voicing of Gemma, it does not affect me the same way.) I also listened to the third Harry Potter Book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. The narrator is incredibly spry with all kinds of voices and accents. Jenn's Killer Research was another audio book that I enjoyed immensely.

    Quick story, I listen to lots of romances on audio and Irwin walked into the kitchen during a particularly steamy scene. Usually, I silence the audio as soon as he walks in no matter what book it is. Anyway, I've never seen that expression on his face before and we've been married for 41 years!

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    1. Lucy's UNSAFE HAVEN and Hillier's JAR OF HEARTS, followed by Cleo Coyle's HONEY ROASTED.

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    2. I adored Jenn's Royal Valentine, too, Judy! And isn't Jim Dale, who narrates the Harry Potter books, amazing?

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    3. Yes, Debs, Jim Dale is fabulous.
      As for "what we are reading," I am overwhelmed every time we discuss what everyone is reading. I don't think that I can read more than I already do and there are still authors and titles that come up here each month that I am dying to read.

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  12. I read such as assortment of things that I won't bore you with a list of all my recent titles. But here are a few I especially recommend: ASK AGAIN,YES by Mary Beth Keane was wonderful --- it left me thinking about the characters for days after I put it down! Another I thoroughly enjoyed was ONCE UPON A RIVER by Diane Setterfield. It was a fairy tale but so much more! I may already have mentioned this one, as it's been a few months since I read it -- but THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow was very special. I guess I'd call it magical realism, though it could almost be classified as fantasy. But if you don't think you like those genres, don't let the label stop you. It's just a captivating tale about fascinating people.

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  13. Oh, and I wanted to say to Jenn: I loved THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, too!

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  14. Such a fun topic. I just re-read Louis Erdrich's The Night Watchman for book group. We all loved it. She's a superstar. This year I've also read John LeCarre's Call for the Dead (I'm going to try to read the Smiley books in order), Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger, Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara (wonderful historical mystery set during WWII in the Japanese-American community), Mink River by Brian Doyle (so beautiful), Dear America, Notes from an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (my friends and I are going to lead a bilingual Lenten Book Study on this for our church) and The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (we were considering this one but decided against it due to salty language, it's wonderful). Currently I'm reading Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford and loving it, getting my Britain fix for sure. I'm also reading El Amante Japonés by Isabel Allende for Spanish class. Happy reading (and writing!) to you all.

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  15. Wonderful post this morning! So many books to add to my reading list.

    Just finished:
    JANE AND THE WORLD WITHOUT A SUMMER by Stephanie Barron
    A GAME OF FEAR by Charles Todd
    BEAUTY IN BREAKING by Dr. Michele Harper
    PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA by Jenn McKinlay
    WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay
    ROYAL VALENTINE by Jenn McKinlay
    A HOME AWAY FROM HOME by Veronica Henry (ebook)

    Currently reading:
    THE DUKE HEIST by Erica Ridley
    A FAMILY RECIPE by Veronica Henry (ebook)
    A DEADLY AFFAIR by Agatha Christie

    This month in February, most of my reading is focused on Romance novels, with a few exceptions.

    Diana

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  16. Oh, Judy. too funny about Irwin!

    Yesterday's conversation was a hoot, thank you. I had to leave the house for the first time in a week, so I didn't get to read the rest of the comments until this morning, but it was still fun. I asked my husband if there were any words he hated, and he said "fart". Who knew?

    This year I started doing something I've never done before, keeping a list of every book I read. So far, 15 since January 1st. Fewer than normal, because I'm trying to watch the Prime Suspect series on BritBox before I close my subscription for awhile. Usually, I just watch Vera on that platform, but I got hooked on Helen Mirren's performance, and I end up watching at least two episodes. Time sink!

    Right now I'm reading Kate Thornton's Kitty Takes a Chance. The other books I've read this year:

    Mr. Flood's Last Resort, by Jess Kidd
    When the Grits Hit the Fan, Death Over Easy, Strangled Eggs and Ham, No Grater Crime, and Nacho Average Murder, all by Maddie Day
    An Uninvited Ghost, by EJ Copperman (I'm trying to get caught up on this series)
    Me & Patsy Kickin' up Dust, by Loretta Lynn (about her friendship with Patsy Cline)
    Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner
    Unsafe Haven, by Lucy Burdette
    The French House, by Helen Fripp
    Do I Know You?, by Sarah Strohmeyer
    The Painted Veil, by W Somerset Maughan (how had I missed this?)
    Twisted Twenty-Six, by Janet Evanovich (I needed some light reading after all that death and angst)
    The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton (I'd read this before, but it's SO good)

    And the TBR pile is spilling into multiple bookcases. I need to stop reading everyone else's recommendations!

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    1. Karen, I agree with Steve, it's a pretty stinky word.
      I have Unsafe Haven and Her Perfect Life sitting out waiting for me. I want to read them soon, but have been choosing less serious topics pretty consistently. I will read and review them this month.

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    2. Can I just say Helen Mirren's performance in Prime Suspect is so brilliant (the only word for it) and brave.

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    3. ALL these wonderful titles--you guys have been backed up! I'll have to give up writing and cooking to get to all of them. Karen, John adores Prime Suspect, has watched it through twice. I guess I'll have to try the series.

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    4. Thank you, Karen! I loved Prime Suspect. Mirren is a jewel.

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    5. Edith, I prefer to read series in order, and I was missing some of that series until recently, so then I binge read! Really enjoyed it.

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    6. I need to check out Prime Suspect!

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    8. Kathy, Jane Tennison is a flawed but amazing woman. I think you'll enjoy the series, knowing how you like Ruth Galloway. It gets dark in the second season, fair warning.

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  17. Reading THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey for book club. Recently finished (definitely in a SFF phase):
    MINOR MAGE by T Kingfisher
    THE RELENTLESS MOON by Mary Robinette Kowal
    UNDER THE WHISPERING FOOR by TJ Klune
    HENCH by Natalie Zina Walschot (a Bibioracle recommendation based on my previous 5 books read, spot on)
    HARLEM SHUFFLE by Colson Whitehead (liked this style more than Underground Railroad)

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    1. Lisa, how did you like Under the Whispering Door?

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    2. I really enjoyed it. Next month for book club is House in the Cerulean Sea, looking forward to that.

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  18. I have just discovered Elly Griffiths and am happily starting The Ruthh Galloway series at the beginning. I finished The Crossing Places early January and am currently reading The Janus Stone. The House At Sea's End is waiting on the table. I read The Artimis Key by Jane Thornely while waiting for The Janus Stone to arrive.

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    1. I absolutely love Elly Griffiths' Brighton Mysteries series, too!

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    2. Deana, what a treat to read the Ruth Galloway books from the beginning! And I've just recently done that with her Brighton series, which I also love.

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    3. Deana, I have been beating the drum for Elly Griffiths for years. I'm so happy that you've found her. The Ruth Galloway series will always be my first love with her books, but her stand-alones and Brighton mysteries and children's Justice Jones series are also amazing.

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  19. Today I finished Steven Burrows' A Pitying of Doves. I think this in my year of the bird, having just finished (with much regret) reading Graham Hurley's Faraday and Winter series, which also features a lot of birds and twitchers. But seriously, Burrows writes a morally complex and thought provoking mystery! Great descriptions of the landscape of North Norfolk and St. Lucia and wonderful character development.

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  20. Don't you love seeing all the similarities and differences? SO interesting!

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  21. I just finished THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE, which we'll be discussing in book club tomorrow. Currently reading WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon, a fun romance.

    My favorite book read last year is LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by debut author Bonnie Garmus. I predict it will be a big seller this year (coming in April) because it is just that awesome, and I hear that it will be a miniseries.

    Recent winners for me: LOVE AND SAFFRON by Kim Fay, THE VANISHING TYPE by Ellery Adams, LOST COAST LITERARY by Ellie Alexander (March), THE BOYS by Ron and Clint Howard, EXIT by Belinda Bauer, THE MAID by Nita Prose, and FLYING SOLO by Linda Holmes (June)--another can't-miss for 2022.

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    1. Margie, I need to add Exit by Belinda Bauer back to my TBR list. I have the book, but I've never gotten to it. I've now seen it favorably mentioned by a couple of readers I really trust.

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  22. Bonnie Garmus: writing it down. Thanks, Margie.

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  23. Speaking of Agatha Christie (someone did)... I can't wait to watch the new DEATH ON THE NILE with Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Annette Bening... though I don't think it was one of my favorites of hers. I shall dig it out and reread it to prepare myself. Then to figure out how to watch it without catching covid...

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    1. Yeah. Almodovar's new Parallel Mothers is in our local screening room. I really want to see it - but do I want to go in person?

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  25. Recent reads:
    THE JOY AND LIGHT BUS COMPANY by Alexander McCall Smith
    VIOLETTA by Isabel Allende
    SMALL WORLD by Jonathan Evison
    THE MIRROR MAN by Lars Kepler
    TO PARADISE by Hanya Yanagihara
    SOMETHING TO HIDE by Elizabeth George
    WHEN YOU ARE MINE by Michael Robotham
    SCOT MIST by Catriona McPherson
    A LINE TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz
    BOMBAY MONSOON by James Ziskin

    Reading:
    WATCHING YOU by Michael Robotham
    THE BODY by Bill Bryson

    On tap: About a jillion more, too many to count or list. In the past almost two years now, I've developed the habit of going to bed promptly at eight p.m., reading until ten, letting dogs out, turning lights down, and resuming reading until I fall asleep.

    My favorites on the read list are SMALL WORLD, TO PARADISE, and SOMETHING TO HIDE. The latter two are both 700+ pages, and all three are amongst the the best of the best. Not to be missed.

    And I was sent an ARC of BOMBAY MONSOON. Thank you Jim Ziskin. You are channeled Graham Greene.



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    1. Your 700+ mentions remind me that I still have Diana Gabaldon's latest Outlander book to read. When oh when will I have time?

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  26. So many new titles to add to my reading list--The Maid and Unsafe Haven are definitely up next. At the moment, I'm reading The Appeal, which is great! Previously was Matrix by Lauren Groff--not a mystery, but I just love her writing. And here's a slow-on-the-uptake comment: I was almost half way through the novel before realizing all the dialog was indirect. Very, very well done. Cheers all! -Melanie

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  27. I'm currently reading A PROMISE OF ANKLES by Alexander McCall Smith. Some of my favorites so far this year are: WISH YOU WERE HERE by Jodi Picoult. WHITEOUT by Ken Follett.
    MR. FLOOD'S LAST RESORT by Jess Kidd. HER PERFECT LIFE by Hank Phillipi Ryan! COLD WIND by Paige Shelton. THE SHOOTING AT CHATEAU ROCK by Martin Walker. THE DARK VINEYARD by Martin Walker. THE RESISTANCE MAN by Martin Walker. IN SPITE OF ALL TERROR by V.M. Knox. WHERE DEATH AND DANGER GO by V.M. Knox. MURDER'S A SWINE by Nap Lombard. A DREAM OF DEATH by Connie Berry. SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE by Claire Keegan. LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN by Christopher Fowler. ALL HER LITTLE SECRETS by Wanda M. Morris. HID FROM OUR EYES by Julia Spencer-Fleming! MURDER AT MALLOWAN HALL by Colleen Cambridge. THE MIDNIGHT HOUR by Elly Griffiths. THE POSTMISTRESS OF PARIS by Meg Waite Clayton.

    I'm intrigued by the Steve Burrows Birder Murder Mysteries which I knew nothing about so thanks to UNKNOWN for that!

    Next up for me is Lucy/Roberta's UNSAFE HAVEN. I saved this one to read while I'm spending a month in Key West. I haven't crossed paths with Roberta yet but the month is still young...

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  29. I’ve found it hard to get lost in books the last couple of difficult years - first time in my life! - but several long time favorite writers have not let me down. These titles/authors will surprise exactly no one:


    S.J.Rozan. Family Business.
    James Benn. Road of Bones.
    Naomi Hirahara. Clark & Division.
    Lori Rader-Day. Death at Greenway.

    I loved Richard Osman's two books and am looking anxiously for more.I read a fascinating work of history, Daughters of Yalta. Right now? I am totally gripped by the story in
    Mountains Wild,by Sarah Stewart Taylor. I'm inclined to think the two time period structure has been overdone but it works very well here and excellent writing. And I will be taking notes from all of your comments too. What's next? I recently realized i have never, ever, read any Ken Follett, so maybe Eye of the Needle. Or new stories by Lindsay Faye, Observations by Gaslight. Or The Sun Collective, not a mystery, by Charles Baxter whose Feast of Love I liked a lot. And I have some convention anthologies...

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    1. Love SJ Rozan, need to get back to those books.

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    2. Also love SJ Rozan's books. I saw her Poisoned Pen interview for Family Business last month.

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    3. Thanks for the reminder about Clark & Division. I heard a review of it that had quite piqued my interest, but I haven't followed through on it.

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    4. I need to re-read SJ Rozan. If you like her, you might also like Sujata Massey.

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    5. Triss, I've had a couple (at least) of reading slumps over the last two years, and most of my reading friends have, too. I love Lyndsay Faye's writing and need to catch up on her books from last year. Clark & Division and Death at Greenway were on my Favorite Reads of 2021 list.

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    6. I love SJ Rozan and Sujata Massey. I just finished Death at Greenway, which I enjoyed, although a little slow and different from what I thought it would be. I am also reading Mountains Wild, and haven't quite decided if I like it or not. My ex is from Ireland, so I've spent a lot of time there, and it's sometimes hard from me to read books set in Ireland from an American's perspective.

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  30. So many good books! I’m hanging on to today’s JRR post as inspiration for the new book club three bright women in my neighborhood and I are starting this month. Also for my own already toppling stacks of TBRs! Can’t wait for Jim Ziskin’s new book, and Naomi’s CLARK AND DIVISION is next up on my Kindle.

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    1. I'm excitedly awaiting Jim's book, too, Susan!

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  31. I read Oh William! and recommended it to the library book club--thought it was very good. Something to Hide by Elizabeth George (Finta, I thought this ham could have been a bit leaner, but I loved the return of some of my favorite characters), also some by Jenny Colgan, thanks to last month's JRW recommendations, and some re-reading some oldies-but-goodies--Charlotte MacCleod's Madoc and Janet Rhys mysteries and the Peter Shandy mysteries. I've also gotten through most of Sarah Graves Death by Chocolate mysteries--I thought how clever to take her characters from her first Eastport, Maine series, give them something different to do, and continue on with the characters. Lots of books here to check out--I'll be making yet another list. Thanks, everyone!

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    1. Oh William! and Something to Hide are both on my TBR pile. I've read a few of Sarah Graves's mysteries -- they're especially fun for me since my mother lives in Eastport, ME!

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  32. And my TBR list just exploded! LOL. Thanks for the recs, all.

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  33. I wish I'd gotten in on the conversation earlier, but I'll jump in now. I love the "What We're Reading" posts. Not that I need any more suggestions, as my running list I keep is an impossible-to-achieve one now.

    First, I'll comment on some of the ones already mentioned, starting with the Reds. Hallie, I loved The Man Who Died Twice and, Debs, God Rest, Ye Royal Gentlemen was such a treat. Hank, your interview with Janice Hallett sealed the deal for The Appeal going in my short stack of TBR. Debs, I'm still waiting for my copy of Elly Griffith's The Locked Room to arrive. I ordered it from Book Depository and from Goldberg's, too, as I wanted a signed copy. Lucy, A.J. Pearce's Yours Cheerfully is on my list, as I loved Dear Mrs. Bird. Rhys, Widowland by C.J. Carey is going on my list. Jenn, I forgot about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I need to put that one back on my list. Hank, I've been trying to get to The Maid. Julia, I may need to read Murder in an English Village. I really enjoyed it, but then I let the series slip away. I'd like to get back to it.

    As for what I've been reading and am now and will soon. January was a catch-up reading month for some books I meant to get to in 2021 or maybe further back. I don't know why I didn't get to Allen Esken's The Stolen Hours before January. I love his writing so much, and this book was another outstanding read. I finally read The Midnight Library and enjoyed it, but I think I might enjoy the one you were talking about more, Hank. Also, I got to Death and the Maiden, the long-awaited last book in the Adelia Aguilar (Mistress of the Art of Death, #5)series. Since Ariana Franklin died, this book was finished up by her daughter, Samantha Norman. Julia, if you like Medieval tales, the five books in this series are so amazing. After my daughter telling me she'd read Clare MacKintosh's Hostage and enjoyed it, I read that from last year. Clare's I Let You Go is one of my all-time favorite books. Reading Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka was certainly a different read, and it's one that ended up staying with me. I finally started Carol Pouliot's Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel series with Doorway to Murder, and I love the travel back to 1934. I just finished Scot Mist by Catriona McPherson, her latest in the Last Ditch Motel series, and it was as funny and wonderful as the previous three.

    I'm expecting Catherine Lea's new book, The Water's Dead, to arrive today. There were some glitches in the e-book she tried to send me, so I went ahead and ordered the paperback that just came out. It involves the Maori tribe of New Zealand, and I'm excited about reading it. Of course, I'm on pins and needles waiting for my UK copy of Elly Griffiths' The Locked Room to get here. I'm carefully avoiding any chats already going on about it. I am currently reading The Lat Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. It was the Goodreads 2021 winner for Best Mystery/Thriller book, and I wanted to see what all the shouting was about. I must say that it's a fast read for me, keeping my interest in a steady, suspenseful flow. I should finish it today, which will be good timing for my Catherine Lea book arriving. Now, if I can just get some reviews written or finished.

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  34. I'm waiting impatiently for new releases from CS Harris and Jacqueline Winspear. I've been looking for Canadian authors so was happy to discover that Thomas King had written a mystery series. His protagonist, in typical King style, is named Dreadful Water. There are 4 books in the series and they were a good bit of fun. For something completely different, I am moving on to Tana French's The Searcher.

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