Wednesday 8 February 2023

Books I’ve been reading

Lost in the Moment and Found by award-winning author Seanan McGuire, the latest entry in her Wayward Children series. This book focuses on Antsy, who we first saw in Where The Drowned Girls Go. It is a challenging book that includes parental death and a manipulative stepparent, but also victorious as Antsy runs and learns to saves herself.

A Man Lay Dead, Enter a Murderer, The Nursing Home Murder, Death in Ecstasy are all Inspector Alleyn mysteries by New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh. As an adult Ngaio Marsh divided her time between Britain and New Zealand and was considered one the “big four” British Golden Age mystery writers, along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham. These first four books read as a mix of police procedural from a newspaper reporter’s viewpoint. I’m currently reading Vintage Murder, which opens with Alleyn on a train on the North Island of New Zealand.

The Case of the Missing Marquess and The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. These are young adult mysteries by Nancy Springer that inspired the Enola Holmes movies on Netflix. The books are not the movies and that is fine. The scale is sometimes smaller (no bombs or martial arts studios) but Enola is solving cases on her own and finding her feet. Springer has done research and it shows.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. This book is both a contemporary whodunit and a period whodunit. We have an introductory chapter from Susan Ryeland, a book editor at a small publishing house, introducing their new best-seller-to-be from Allan Conway. We get the first 6 chapters of Allan’s manuscript, set in 1955 in a small English village. And then we get Susan’s reaction to the not having the final chapter of Allan’s book and to the news that Allan died over the weekend in what is presumed to be an accidental death. Thus begins the contemporary mystery as Susan tries to find the rest of the manuscript and begins to wonder if the accident was possibly murder. We do get the last chapter of Allan’s book. BritBox and PBS created a six-episode adaptation which is quite good (but structured differently.)

The Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler is a cozy mystery. Seattle teacher Hayden McCall wakes up in a new friend’s bed. Where is the friend? Why’d he leave his dog? Why are the police knocking on the door? Naturally, Hayden takes in the dog, starts searching, and eventually finds the answers to these (and other) questions. Fun, humor and diverse characters.

Dashing Through the Snowbirds was this year’s Donna Andrews Christmas mystery, as usual featuring Meg Langslow and her family, pets, and visitors – this year included Canadians on a business trip. This is the 32nd book in the series, and Donna has allowed characters to change and grow over time (sort of). Meg was introduced in the first book as single blacksmith who did the craft show circuit around Virginia. Since then she’s gotten married and bought a house. The teenager she used to ask to help with computer stuff leads a team at a local software company. Meg had twins that are now teenagers. That said, pets and grandparents continue to thrive. Absolutely jump in now if you want, but if you’d like to back up a bit, Murder With Peacocks is the first book.

(Full disclosure: I purchased Dashing Through the Snowbirds and Lost in the Moment and Found. The other books I accessed as ebooks via my county library system.)

via Living ~400lbs