by Mary Saums
Just a few words about the books I've been enjoying this month. All are top-notch. I've realized they also fall neatly into my three preferred reading categories:
Category #1 - THE SHERLOCK FIX
THE MURDER OF MARY RUSSELL by Laurie King
Oh, such a cruel, cruel title. :) But what a fabulous book. It begins in Sussex, with Holmes out gallivanting in the countryside, Mrs. Hudson out shopping, and Mary Russell at home alone. When a stranger appears at the door, Russell doesn't like the look of him. However, when he claims to be the son of Mrs. Hudson and produces sufficient evidence, she feels she must invite him in, wary and suspicious as she may be.
A couple of hours later, Mrs. Watson returns to find no one home. She feels something isn't right immediately, and after walking slowly about, she discovers large smears of blood on the floor and a bloody dagger stuck into a wall.
Thus begins the search for the missing Russell, as well as the unraveling of Mrs. Hudson's deep dark past. I know I've said it before, but will say again that this series is the real, true Holmes story to me. It makes no difference if others disagree. I couldn't care less if some Sherlock expert or purist or numnut scholar/nonfiction writer thinks otherwise. This is the real stuff. Highly recommended.
2: THE MAGIC FIX
A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab
This is book #2 in the Shades of Magic series. In the first, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, we meet Kell, one of very few remaining Travelers who can move between the alternate worlds of London. Red London is his home, where he is a powerful magician and an adopted member of the Royal Family. The king sends Kell periodically to Gray London to deliver letters to its ruler, Mad King George. While there, he meets Delilah Bard,a sneaky street thief on the run, who forces him to take her with him, back to Red London.
In A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, Red London will host an international competition for the world's most powerful magicians. Kell will be Red London's champion. And among the other 11 competitors is Delilah, hiding behind a mask. Her boss for the past few months is a sexy pirate captain ... okay now you know why I liked this book .... who has a few serious secrets up his sleeve.
Looking forward to the third book coming out in February.
3: The British-Comic-Wodehousean Fix:
FLORA MACKINTOSH AND THE HUNGARIAN AFFAIR by Anna Reader
This book was such a delightful surprise! It was one of the free-or-very-cheap Kindle books noted on the Crime Thru Time yahoo list for historical mysteries a while back. I read the first sentence or two and was immediately pulled in, hog-tied and charmed. Flora Mackintosh is a world-wise teenager stuck in St. Penrith's boarding school for girls. She receives a mysterious telegram from an uncle she's never heard of and then sneaks out and hitches a ride to London. From there, she intends to find a way to Hungary and to her father's castle as the telegram instructed.
Loved this short book, only 215 pages, that is full of wit and fun surprises.
Okay so that's me ..... what have you been reading lately?