June has been an excellent reading month so far. Y'all know what I like. Mysteries with a pinch of fantasy or a dab of history always rank high on my lists. It's even better when a book has both of those elements plus lots of laughs. That was the case with my #1 book this month which is the latest in my #1 favorite mystery series.
Well, it's one of my three #1 favorite series. Make that fo -- actually, there's gotta be eight or nine at least, and I'm not even thinking hard. Whichever one I'm reading at the moment is the best.
A quick round-up then for June as of today -
Ben Aaronovitch's London series starring PC Peter Grant is new to me but quickly becoming necessary. To my well-being. Grant has been assigned to The Folly, the home base for the supernatural crime unit. In MOON OVER SOHO and WHISPERS UNDERGROUND, the 2nd and 3rd books, we see him progressing with his Latin and learning a few basic spells that aid his investigations.
MOON OVER SOHO has Grant searching for a killer whose victims are jazz artists, and as the case unfolds, it looks like the killing entity has been at it for decades. The search goes all the way back to the forties, to the night a German bomb destroyed a jazz club during the Blitz.
Mayhem continues in WHISPERS UNDERGROUND during which Grant is forced to wade and squelch through some rah-ther nah-sty wet tunnels. The good thing is that where there is water, there is a
young river goddess or two to help out. As with the previous two books, the history and sights of London make solid supports for these unique, engaging, funny stories.
Fast-reverse to England during the War of the Roses. THE WHITE QUEEN by Phillipa Gregory is an excellent historical about Elizabeth Woodville Grey, wife of King Edward IV. The story begins when she meets the young Edward, not long after her first husband died in battle.
Not a mystery, but very well written and recommended for history buffs.
Now this is a hard one to describe.
THE LEFT HAND OF GOD by Paul Hoffman begins in a very bleak place. The hero, Cale, was given to the Redeemer Sanctuary when he was a very young boy. He is one of thousands of boys in the enormous religious warrior training facility, a horrible place where punishments are brutal and food is scarce. Luckily, Cale is smart. He escapes along with a few other inmates, and they strike out into the world that they know absolutely nothing about. I particularly liked how this installment ends, with just a faint hint of Cale's real destiny.
And now for something different -
Okay, raise your hand if you have five or more organizing books. Yeah, me too. They all have good ideas to help get your life and your stuff together. UNSTUFF YOUR LIFE! had something that the others I've read did not. It 'talked you down' from the ledge first. Now, I listened to the audiobook, so maybe I felt that way because of the author's voice, or his compassion for those of us who get so overwhelmed sometimes that we don't even know where to begin. All in all, it's an excellent, thorough guide to organizing sanity.
From which we flip to delightful insanity. Cue uproarious laughter -
Oh my goodness, this was so funny. I laugh every time I see this cover art because it's of a hilarious scene that takes place in total darkness. Oh, he's good. Is it a mystery? It does involve a theft. And Jeeves lies and says he's a Scotland Yard detective, but only because he had to get Bertie out of a pinch. All right then. A crime novel it is.
AND NOW .....
The #1 favorite book of the month and my #1 favorite series of all time .....
I love Dr. Siri so much. He and the wonderful Lao gang are all here in THE WOMAN WHO WOULDN'T DIE. A strange thing happens in a village outside Vientiane. A housekeeper hears gunshots inside her rich employer's house and, a bit later, the sound of a truck driving away. She finds the lady of the house dead on the floor with blood pooling around her head. After an investigations, the dead woman is cremated. A few days later, the dead woman is seen about town, talking and walking about. There's no doubt it is the same woman. Is she a ghost? Since she now can see the dead, she is "hired" to find a boat of missing and presumed dead sailors in the Mekhong River.
Wonderful writing, great humor, outstanding portrayal of characters and their relationships, new revelations about Madame Daeng's past, and a big surprise at the end that makes me wish I could read the next book now.
Tell us what you're reading too! Love to get recommendations.