I’ve had a run of really good books lately, but no time at all to blog about them. So in an attempt to catch up, here are quick summaries of some recent reads that I really really enjoyed.
Gaudy Night (Dorothy L Sayers) – Well, Rosario assured me I would love this, and I did. This is the book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series where Peter and Harriet finally get engaged, and it’s part-mystery, part-romance. There’s a poison-pen writer in Harriet’s old Oxford college, whose pranks are slowly escalating to violence. I found the academic Oxford setting fascinating – it was a wholly different and new world to me. The mystery itself is actually quite suspenseful, maybe because it was more psychological, rather than straight physical violence. And finally, I was wondering how the romance would play out – all I can say is that the way it happened was just perfect for Peter and Harriet. Umm… and in case you’re like me and wonder what the heck is meant by certain passages in the book – here’s a website that explains some of the more obscure references scattered throughout. Grade: A-
Furies of Calderon (Jim Butcher) – I’ve read a couple of his Dresden Files books, and while I enjoyed them, I never felt the need to rush out and buy the rest. This, however, is different. It’s an epic fantasy in the most traditional sense. The protagonist is an oddity – in a world where each person can command furies (fire, water, earth and air elementals), he doesn’t have any powers. But yes, he ends up saving the world anyway. I’m making it sound very simplistic, but it’s not. It’s a great story where good triumphs over evil in the end. Even though there are numerous characters and multiple storylines running through this book, I was never lost. A great read and a fascinating world – I’m hooked. Grade: A
A Mortal Bane (Roberta Gellis) – I bought this after Ms Gellis guested at the Word Wenches blog because I was intrigued by her comments about this series. It’s a medieval mystery with a difference – the main sleuth runs a whorehouse, which is not a profession you’ll find in other books! When a visitor is murdered practically on her doorstep, she has to clear her name – together with a knight who’s been assigned to find the killer. So there’s the romance bit sorted *grin*. There’s obviously an attraction, and I’m keen to see where it’s going to lead. Having said that, this is not a romance, it’s very much a mystery – and a good one too. Ms Gellis brings the medieval world to life with her rich language and detailed knowledge of the politics of the era, yet never falls into the trap of completely confusing or boring you with overuse of information. On an aside, I wasn’t aware that “Hey, chick!” was a term used back then, but you know what? If it’s in this book, I’m sure it was! Grade: A