Isn't this a stunning cover? I love that the script also has images within in. Strangely, I haven't read any Anne Cleeves' books before this particular one, nor have I seen the show created from this series. It's on my list! I'm just very, very behind on TV shows. The show is called Shetland (and the cinematography gorgeous because they filmed in the Shetland Islands). Well, okay, I saw the first few minutes of it, which doesn't truly count.
Raven Black is the first book in the series. I picked up the second one yesterday (it's called White Nights). The setting is the Shetland Islands which are apart of Scotland.
Georgette Heyer is considered one of the earliest modern romance writers. While I've read some of her romances, I tend to like her country house mysteries. They are cozy, which is not my normal mystery-sub-genre love, but it works.
I have no idea why PBS doesn't make a whole masterpiece mystery about them. I guess licensing won't allow it. Or perhaps there's some other reason I'm missing.
Anne Stuart is probably one of my favorite authors. I tend to go to her when I get in a book slump (the Ice and Fire series usually). She bounces around different sub-genres in the romance genre, so she's done romantic-suspense, gothics, historical, contemporaries, etc. This one follows a bit of noir bent (in the sense that it plays with it).
I found this one in my local used bookstore, but some of her older releases can be rough to find! Sometimes she releases a kindle version, so that's been great. She has a lot of books out...like a lot. She's a reader's dream come true. I've seen this likened to Catspaw, and I can see it. It's a bit zanier than that one to me, but I get it!
I have not read any part of this series (the Phryne Fisher series) in order. I have some on my kindle (with the 1920s illustration type covers), some paperback (with the TV tie in covers, which I actually like) and one audiobook.
I'll be honest, some of the books I like quite well and some I don't love as much. I suppose it's because I started the TV series first so I'm quite in love with the actors portrayals. The books are different with the characterization and storylines. For instance, the romances that Miss Fisher has are vastly different and Dot's whole personality is different. The mysteries are much more fleshed out in the books, which can be thrilling. This particular book has some interesting sub-plots that don't make it into the TV show.
Also of note, Greenwood has done so much research into food, clothing, and lifestyle. At times, it veers into the cozy-extra detailed that I despise but overall, I enjoy Greenwood's writing and style.
This book takes place in Queenscliff, while Miss Fisher is on vacation with her family. There's a murder, missing gold, a movie shoot plagued with problems, a hair snatcher, and a group of surrealists.
Ah, I think hurricane season is totally starting. Well, I mean, it picks up around this time. Tropical Wave/Storm Fred flamed out and went away. Not that it would have really gotten to me to do any damage but sometimes we get some rain if they're strong enough. I mostly only panic if they're coming up the coast towards me.
Anyways, this book was quite fun. Catherine Ryan Howard is a new author to me but I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up because I saw the Edgar Sticker (it's been removed on that book). I tend to really enjoy Edgar Awards and Edgar Nominees. I also liked that the paperback that I picked up is taller than normal, I don't know why but it felt like it fit well within my hands.
Anne Stuart is such an "instant buy" author for me. Even the books she writes that I don't adore are solid 3 or 3.5 stars. That's pretty amazing.
Her "Fire" series is a spin-off from her "Ice" series. While the Ice Series is set in the UK as a home-base, the Fire series is based in America. Specifically in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the third book in the series and introduces two new characters, both tangentially related to the infamous Committee, the shadow spy agency.
I have read a lot of 'ugh' books recently. UGH books. Books I did NOT like. It's been a struggle.
I did read the newest Janet Evanovich and while it's not quite like the earlier books (and there's still an annoying love triangle), it seemed less phoned in. I'm still not rushing out to buy her books but I'll pick the next up from the library.
I read this book a few weeks ago. It was a spur of the moment library book based totally on the cover. It's not my normal type of book to be fair, as it has some horror elements. It's really delightful. Well, horror infused delight? I read it all in one sitting because I was hooked.
I have a feeling this hurricane season is going to be not fun. Mostly because that tiny little tropical storm (well, it did kill people, so not tiny) Claudette took me out for a week. I still have a twitchy eye from the migraine. UGH!
Anyways, I didn't get a lot of reading done this week because of it but I'm back in the saddle. I managed to get most of my mail sorted and my desk is a little more clear.
Let's get to the book! I think Emma Mills is one of those authors that I just enjoy. I discovered her through a book subscription and then kept up with her output. Lucky Caller is the last book I read from her. She (or the publisher) has changed the artwork cover, which is very annoying mid series but since her books are stand alone - I can deal with it. It is sad how they don't match (since the others do). Her old books were re-released with new covers so that's nice. For other people.
This is a YA contemporary romance, set in a large high school in the States. It features two friends who had drifted apart end up in the same group in their elective class.
Today is just not a "get dressed" day. I've been having a slow start. I had a doctor's appointment and apparently I'm Vitamin D deficient? So...I've been trying to go out in the sun a little. Which is odd because normally I try to stay way out of the sun!
This is the exciting book where Darcy and Georgie get married! Well, mostly. There is a mystery before the wedding, and there is some luck that Georgie falls into, and of course the wedding.
Well, I accidentally took a week off. I was supposed to go to the beach this weekend but the gas pipeline ransom thingy caused a rush on the gas stations (like all the people who panic when a hurricane comes and buy stupid crap in bulk...or all the toilet paper). So I just met a friend for lunch and shopping at Ulta.
Ulta was slammed too! Like, everyone was there getting their stockpile back up. I needed more foundation and perfume so it worked out just fine. It's too bad about the beach because the weather was perfect.
I'm not happy about any of the decoration decisions I've made in my home office/library set up. So I'm still working that out. It's just a mess in this room.
The book on review is called It's Always the Husband. I thought the blurb was interesting, although I figured it was most likely going to be more of a thriller than mystery led. It started slow but I think picked up at the end.
I've managed to stain my bathtub red and I think I'm going to have to bleach it to death to get it off. It was a bath bomb that did me in. I normally keep up with the tub better but I didn't really deep clean it after this bath because I was getting a migraine. And now it's set in a bit. Oh well.
I was just talking to a girl on bumble bff, we were discussing how nice it would be to have a month extra a year where we could just get stuff clean and all these extra chores done. Riveting stuff to be sure. There's just a backlog that doesn't seem to end.
Well, lets get on to the books. As we left the last one on a cliffhanger, it luckily resolves quite quickly. While both books begin in England, they move off to other areas. Both feature reoccurring characters and I quite enjoyed them.
I managed to get my kitchen mostly clean, it's still very dated in decor/looks but it's on the list for a renovation. I know some people managed to gut their house during Covid but I have not had the time to get that going. Also, I can't quite figure out what I want. Part of me wants a really basic white-neutral kitchen while the other part wants striking colored cabinets. Like black, green, or blue. Not yellow, orange, or red. Decisions!
Continuing on with this series. I've officially read all the books published in it so far (a new one is coming out...and I've put in a purchase for a pre-order). So one of these books takes place mostly in America and the other takes place back in London. They're both quite fun but I have to admit really enjoying the Queen of Hearts mostly for the Hollywood tie in. Malice at the Palace was also interesting, it has more of a true historical bent (far more royal as well).
I've started a new podcast that seems to have promise (or might be the weirdest thing I've ever listened to). This week is already starting oddly. I started the past weekend with a migraine, but was able to figure out my "trigger" for it fairly fast. Since I caused the migraine, it was pretty bad and my sleep schedule is still pretty messed up.
The cause of my migraine was carpet cleaner! Apparently this is known but I didn't know because I've just not been around when the carpets were cleaned. I bought a little Bissell machine because my old one died after more than a decade and I had spilled foundation on my white carpet. So, I guess it was worth it.
Anyways, lets get back to the books!
I've given the other Rhys Bowen series a try but I can't get into them as much (I think they're more "cozy" in genre than this one?). These are from her "Her Royal Spyness" Series, which is so amusing for me as I'm not a monarchist and they are cozy. Cozy mysteries are not my jam. I get so utterly frustrated with them for silly reasons. During Covid, I gave some of the cozy books in my TBR pile a go and it seemed to work out better (well, I only hated most of them).
This was a poor introduction, but anyways. The next two books in the series don't take place in the UK as much. Instead, they take place on the European continent. Many of our favorite characters make appearances. This is also the first appearance of Rhys Bowen taking themes from classic literature. I enjoy retellings or hints to the classics for the most part, so I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I'm going to try and give them both good reviews (as in, me writing the review well) as I have a migraine starting and it's rudely not getting better even though I took medicine. This weather is going to be the death of me.
I've been trying more podcasts. I stumbled upon a design and arts one but I'm not too sure I can get with it. A lot of the guests are more woo-woo (design wise and medically) than I'm comfortable with. I think I avoid the woo because when you get sick, people push nonsense on you all the time and it's so annoying and unhelpful. No, your MLM shakes/oils/weight bands are not going to cure me.
I always know when Dr. Oz is on TV peddling bullshit, because someone calls me to tell me about some silly "cure" that works wonders and encourages me to try it. I lost my patience with my Aunt when she suggested I snort pepper (for real!). I asked if she even liked me! Who wants to willingly snort pepper when my actual, real doctor has prescribed real medicine that works?!
That was a bit of a tangent wasn't it. Whoops. Okay, this series! I have some of Rhys Bowen's other series. I couldn't really get into her Evans mysteries, set in Wales. I also am not totally sure on her Molly Malone series but I have a few more books to give a whirl on that so I might change my mind. There's just a form of a love triangle, which I don't adore. It's not a trope I give a lot of time too. I have finished this series, well, all the books that have been written so far. I still think its really fun and I hope to continue it in the future.
Alright, I'm going to intersperse these with other books, but I'll probably do two at a time. More or less. The first book is a novella and the second book is actually the first official book.
So Bumble BFF is going...semi okay. At first, I swiped right (or "yes") on anyone breathing. I didn't get a lot of responses right away...except from the people who had filled out their profiles. So then I decided to just swipe right on potential gal pals who had filled in their profiles. Except if their entire profile was 420 themed. Like, that's fine, you do you...but I'm going to want to talk about if Armie Hammer is a cannibal...not your favorite strand of weed. I'm not being a straight laced person here...everything was weed related. I have a friend who thinks these are dealer profiles. That would make sense, because it was a very specific type of call out.
Today, one of the not-filled out profile gals matched with me, so I checked out her profile. The only thing listed was her job and that she wanted to meet people. So I wrote to ask how she was doing and what her job was like. She wrote back that it was an odd question and then "fine." No further comments. Am I supposed to continue this conversation(?) and how was that an odd question? It was all I had to go on! Like, I have stuff to do and there's nothing on my list saying "bully someone into talking to me." Obviously, filled out profiles are the way to go. Everyone else wants to talk about if Armie's weird ass tendencies with me.
Let's just move on. Otherwise, I'll write a whole blog post about weird men with money and their odd requests in bed (yes, I'm still talking about Armie). I bought this book as it fits some of my checklist for this subgenre I'm quite interested in. It's set in the time period of 1900-1940 (this one is set in 1919) and is a mystery that's not too cozy. I've been having quite a few misses in this category so I had middling hopes for this book, but I think it's much better than I was expecting.
Gosh, I'm glad I don't sell books. I did not give this one a good introduction. This was a pretty good book with shades of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (we're not doing any title but that one). It was a fairly intricate mystery with an absolute twist ending.
Oh my gosh, what a week! It's been non-stop hasn't it? I had been at the doctors (migraines, yuck) and I had just finished filling out my Bumble BFF profile when all those nutters stormed the capitol. I guess backwards America invaded America so then America had to invade backwards America to get America back on target. The plague kept America at home!
In all seriousness, it's pretty messed up. I read the capitol has not been invaded since 1814 when the British (technically, Canadian) troops torched it. I'm glad that so I don't know anyone who was part of the insurrection...although when I posted a meme from it (obviously against these people) my cousin liked it...until she saw that part where I called them treasonous scum. Then she unliked it. I don't talk to that side of my family anyways (mostly because of other reasons pre-Trump). The only thing they ever gave me for Christmas was whatever they couldn't sell from their various MLM schemes. It's not a loss.
Whatever. Trump is gone in two days. Although I'm sure he'll seethe in south Florida. Lucky them.
I picked this book up a long time ago. It's been sitting on my TBR shelf for awhile (because I'm slooooow) but with the "Great Reading" of 2020, I picked this up. It's based off a movie. The movie is based off the fairy tale.
Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice + some other quick reviews (The Thousandth Floor, Quiet Neighbors)Read Now
My detox lasted for about eight days. So that was exciting. I tried to start some new shows, some new books, and some new hobbies. I didn't do my normal "admin" for the website so I don't have any pictures uploaded so I thought I'd go through my backlist and talk about some books that I didn't have any plans for a full review on.
Pride and Prejudice
The starting book is a "manga" or illustrated classic. I'm a big fan of multi-media approaches to literature because I feel that everyone learns differently. Also, sometimes reading the original text can be rough, but seeing a play/movie/radio adaption etc., can do wonders. It also tends to force me back to the source material to read again. I don't think Austen's works are that hard to follow but I will admit that sometimes I struggle through following the historical notes or satire that is throughout her works. I have a few of the Shakespeare illustrated/graphic novels/manga (I don't quite know the correct term for the oeuvre here) and I think they're great. I did give away some that I didn't love as much (one of Shakespeare's Tragedies, an Austen that I didn't love as much, and a duplicate copy that was sent to me) to a classroom near me.