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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the second book that I've bought double copies of. I rely on book covers far too much but in this instance, it's because the title has been changed. It's okay though. I don't really adore either covers as I've become quite fond of the super art deco covers with gilded flourishes.
No matter what cover, the editions are the exact same inside.
This is not quite a romantic story, which Heyer is famous for. It is part of her "country house mysteries," which are slightly cozy but more so a comedy of errors. I've really enjoyed the ones I've picked up in this genre (although her romances are fun little romps too).
I woke up late today. I just slept through my alarm clock. Never have I been more glad to be working at home because of the pandemic because my little slip up went by unnoticed. Silver linings I guess.
I'm currently filing papers in my office. I guess I went through a stage where I wouldn't toss anything just in case but it's time for some of this stuff to go. I've reorganized my office trying to find a system that works and I think I did find one. It's working out so far, but it's mostly a weekly to-do list and I get to it as I get to it. It's slightly unstructured but it's so when I have a good day I can work a little longer and when I have a bad day I can take off. Then my work won't suffer.
I read this book back in August. I picked it up at the bookstore because it was a mystery set in a new-to-me time period for mysteries. The majority of my murder-mystery books are modern ones, I'm dipping my toe into the more historical settings. This book is also set in England and America.
I have these four books on my kindle tablet. It's a four book series that follows a family, The Morgans, as they solve four different crimes. It's pure romantic suspense, with each of the four members of the Morgan family getting their own book and their own romance. I found these to be solid mysteries, solid romances and my ratings ranges from 3* to 4*. Sometimes I found the men to be extra grumpy and I didn't like the lady lead (which kinda makes a hard start). Burton's female leads tend to be harder as characters and her male leads tend to be closer to the "alpha" stereotype. There's nothing wrong with this of course, it's just not my favorite so I do struggle with that. My favorite book of the four was I'll Never Let You Go, which did have a mystery but was done differently than the other three.
These were written between 2014-2016. I love a good romantic suspense (heavy on the mystery more than romance) book where there's a capture of a serial killer or deranged killer. The themes in these book deal with possibly wrong convictions, stalking, abuse, and forensics to solve old cases. I understand there are some real bad apples (or, in some cases, departments) that are wrecking the ideal of policing in real life. I haven't really resolved my favorite trope with real life as of yet. It's a worthy discussion though.
I know there's drama in another sphere when it spills over into my fairly dull Twitter feed. I mean, I like my Twitter feed but it's pretty much news, politics, world news, world politics and science. So if literary or make-up or video game stuff gets big enough and spills onto my feed it's because it's gotten much larger.
The latest "thing" is Shane Dawson and Jeffrey Star being...themselves? Which, having seen enough of them both, is a seemingly racist, misogynist, nasty personality set. I guess Dawson was pretty nasty about children, including Jada Pinkett Smith's child (who was very much a child at the time, not sure how old she is now). Jada is not happy about it (perfectly normal) and responded on Twitter. Star always seems to be involved in drama (sometimes seemingly inserting himself). I don't have the time to even follow along with this one, but I'm team anyone who isn't team-Star.
On to the book! This book also has a movie, but I haven't seen it. I like Anna Kendrick (one of the main characters), Blake Lively is okay but not exactly my cup of tea, and Henry Golding is hella hot. Which uh...I mean, he's more than that of course. I do believe the movie has a different ending than the book.
I thought the book was alright. It wasn't my absolute favorite mystery but some aspects really stood out to me as exceptional. I have this a solid good book. Decent writing and nicely plotted structure. I figured out parts of the "mystery" whilst reading, which is always a bit of a bummer.
I'm still sloooooowly cleaning my office up. There's just a lot of stuff packed in here at the moment. I think some of my problem is that I only go through the hoard when I'm feeling like tossing things. Otherwise I'll just convince myself to keep it. I think I'm a secret pack rat at heart. I've moved half my "to-be-read" books off my massive pile (group of piles) and into a tall bookshelf.
I've also managed to read three books this weekend, but that's because my sleep schedule is still wacked from the migraine and there's not much else to do at 3 AM. I am technically 17 books ahead of schedule (according to Goodreads). I've set my goal for 230 and I've read 125 books.
Well, it's still a mess out there. I'm starting my quarantine over (I had to go to the grocery store yesterday) to be on the safe side...so day one! It's still not widespread in my area but to be fair...there aren't many tests (and it takes a long time to get results back) so I suppose the information I'm receiving is from two or so weeks ago.
I'm focusing on work (which has mostly collapsed) and cleaning my house. I haven't been able to sit still to watch new TV shows, although my friend has been pushing me to watch Tiger King on Netflix. Also, I still haven't seen Miss Fisher's new movie. I think I need to stop reading so much of the news, it's all anxiety-inducing for me.
Reading has also been much slower, mostly because of the inability to sit still and relax. I'm in the process of reading three books, Emma (the annotated version) by Jane Austin, The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne (the first chapter isn't doing much for me but I have hope) and The Impersonator by Mary Miley. Maybe I can swing through those soon.
I just finished Ayoade on Top by Richard Ayoade. I enjoy Ayoade's humor and he was promoting this on Graham Norton's show so I ordered it (from the UK) and it's adorable. Adorkable? Mostly, it's intelligently sarcastic, witty and has a grammatically correct triple apostrophe. Be still my heart. If you're trying to determine where you've seen Ayoade, he's been in several TV shows, directed some movies, written a few books, appeared on panel shows, is currently hosting a game show in the UK AND played Moss on the IT Crowd.
I think because my anxiety is so high I haven't really sat down to make this week's posts. I'm all over the place on it. So, instead, I thought I would show some of the YA books I enjoyed (but passed on to teachers). I wouldn't normally go into a longer post about them but hey, maybe I should do shorter posts anyways.