New-to-me Authors

I’ve just taken a look at books I read in May and June so far – 32 books, written by 18 authors.  Probably somewhat skewed by the fact I had a Eloisa James mini-glom (seven books). 

Anyway, out of the 18 authors, five were new to me:

  • Jacqueline Winspear (post-WWI mystery series) – The first book was an impulse buy, mainly because the latest book had just come out and was prominently displayed on one of the front tables in Borders.  So I picked it up, read the first couple of pages, realised it was part of a series, bought the first book, loved it and bought all the rest.  So there you go – position matters!  Oh, and it helps if the entire series is available as well…
  • Laura Lee Guhrke (historical romance) – “And Then He Kissed Her” was getting rave reviews all around the internet.  So I bought it – and was not disappointed.  Loved the whole “girl-bachelor” storyline and the chemistry between the h/h.  I’m slightly hesitant about getting her backlist (as there were mixed reviews on her previous books) but I’ll definitely be getting her next book “The Wicked Ways of a Duke” (January 2008).
  • Jill Churchill (Cosy mystery) – Again, came across her books while browsing through the Mystery section in a bookstore.  She writes two series, “Jane Jeffry” (suburban single mum series) and “Grace and Favor” (Depression-era brother/sister series), and I bought the first book in each.  Of the two, I preferred the “Grace and Favor” book – maybe it’s the setting that appeals to me more – and have ordered more in the series from Amazon.
  • The books of the final two authors, Margaret Ball (SF) and Rob Thurman (urban fantasy), were unfortunately a bit, well, blah.  Ms Ball’s book “Disappearing Act” was okay, but nothing special.  As for Ms Thurman’s book “Nightlife” – I struggled to finish it, and ended up flipping through the last half.  Interesting premise (two brothers, one being a half-demon), but it just didn’t capture my imagination. 

So out of the five, I loved one, and liked another two.  Pretty good going, I think.

As an aside, I’m listening to the Wimbledon coverage in the background – or rather, the non-Wimbledon coverage, as it’s been raining for the past three hours.  After lots of chat about the new-look Centre Court (no roof this year), Andy Murray’s wrist injury and last-minute withdrawal, Federer, Nadal, etc, the BBC presenters have finally resorted to re-screening the French Open final.  I bet they’re using up all their “filler” on the first day!

10 thoughts on “New-to-me Authors

  1. Oh, so that’s why they were showing last year’s final on ESPN! I just had it on for a sec, while I was getting dressed before coming to work, and I wondered if I hadn’t mistaken the timetables.

    I mean to read the Laura Lee Guhrke, because I’ve heard very good buzz about it. Honestly, her European historicals have been just ok for me, but I LOVED Breathless, an early 20th-century American-set book.

    Oh, and I did read the first Maisie Dobbs book. It was a bit slow at first, but I ended up liking it quite well. I’ll be posting my review soon, I hope.

  2. I read that Winspear is contracted to do Maisie Dobbs through 6 books at present, so we’ve got at least 2 more coming. 🙂

    I forgot about Wimbledon!

  3. Wimbledon: I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve now heard the phrase “new-look Centre Court”! It’s a very wet day – typical Wimbledon weather. I think they’re just about to resume play now though…

    Jacqueline Winspear’s books: Upon reflection, I think the first one is slightly different to the other three because you have Maisie’s back story as well, so it’s very much two stories in one. The next books focus much more on the current mystery. Rosario/Keishon – will look forward to reading your take on them!

  4. Thanks for elucidating that point in Winspear’s novel because when I finished posting my comment, I remember I had started reading the first book when it first came out and there was a lot of good buzz surrounding it and I remember thinking that the book was “slow going” but I think much of it was backstory. So, I’ll try again.

  5. What I love most about her books is the post-WWI setting and the London details – that completely grabbed my attention the first time I read it. I think the first book is the “slowest” of the lot, because you have two different story strands being brought together, and the mystery plot gets slightly neglected.

    I’ll stop plugging Maisie Dobbs now – hope you like it! 🙂

  6. Completely unrelated to this post and triggered by the comments on TSK at Dear Author: You say there’s going to be a new Vorkosigan book. Do you know when it will be set—after the last one or filling in a hole somewhere? Because she didn’t write the series in chronological order, did she?

  7. Erin – if you like period mysteries (along the lines of Agatha Christie / Dorothy Sayers), I’d def rec Jacqueline Winspear, or if historical romances are your thing, then the LLG book is worth a try.

    Jennie – no idea on when the new book will be set. Good question on whether she wrote the series in chronological order – at first I thought not, then maybe yes, because “Diplomatic Immunity” was definitely the latest book published. I may be confusing her with Catherine Asaro, whose Skolia series was definitely written out of chronological order. I’m a bit torn, on one hand, I’d quite like Miles on one of his ImpSec missions, on the other, I’d love to see him with his kids!

  8. Jennie – Okay, I was curious and did some Googling: from, her Vorkosigan books:

    Ethan of Athos (1986)
    The Warrior’s Apprentice (1986)
    Falling Free (1988)
    The Borders of Infinity (1989)
    Brothers in Arms (1989)
    The Vor Game (1990)
    Mirror Dance (1994)
    Cetaganda (1995)
    Memory (1996)
    Komarr (1998)
    A Civil Campaign (1999)
    Diplomatic Immunity (2002)

    You’re right – it looks like the earlier books were published out of chronological order, but the last four are more or less sequential.

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