One of my favorite Heyer books was the perfect reread at the beginning of a very stressful month. This is one of the funniest of her books and is always a delight.
Bodies in a Bookshop, by R.T. Campbell
A mystery about antiquarian booksellers in 1946 London. The mystery itself was a little ho-hum, but the insight into the bookselling circles was fascinating. Worth reading just for that.
The Spare Man, by Mary Robinette Kowal
I loved Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series and love the film, The Thin Man, so I had high hopes for this book, but it was only OK. The main characters are based on the Nick and Nora characters from the movie/book, but have their own, late-21st century foibles. Tesla Crane is one of the wealthiest and most well-known persons in the world. On a cruise ship to Mars for her honeymoon, Tesla ‘s husband is arrested for a murder committed near their suite. Tesla uses all her formidable resources (mostly money and clout) to solve the murder(s). The setting is fun, the characters flat. Tesla’s whole personality is a mash of PTSD, chronic pain, and spoiled. The best thing about the book is the cocktail recipe that heads up each chapter. I’m still having fun with those recipes.
The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan
Another reread. This is my favorite of Colgan’s booksellers romance series. Set in Edinburgh at Christmastime, it really feels like you could step into the story. Really enjoyed it and it will probably be a regular holiday read for me.
Enola Holmes & the Elegant Escapade, by Nancy Springer
Yay! Another installment to one of my favorite series. This time we get to know Enola’s friend, Lady Cecily, even better as Enola has to break her out of her prison—her bedroom in her father’s house. With Sherlock playing a larger role again, this is another fun installment in the series.
Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn
I saw this title, and had to pick it up. I read what it was about, and I had to buy it. Its about four sexagenarian women who have spent their lives as elite assassins for a secret group that tries to make the world a better place by murdering the bad guys. Now that they are about to retire, their organization has turned against them. Good thing they are really good at what they do. This was the perfect potato chip read. Twisty, action-packed, with well-realized characters and motivations. It was a blast!
A Very Merry Bromance, by Lyssa Kay Adams
I started reading this series ages ago and enjoyed the first two. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of them and now book five is out (this one). Famous country singer Colton is falling hard for Gretchen, a woman in his extended friend group. After a one night stand a year ago, he can’t quite get over her. Gretchen is an immigration attorney devoted to her job. When her wealthy family offers a chance to make some real change, all she has to do is to get Colton to sign up as the spokesperson for her family’s business. With his Bromance book club friends to support him, Colton now just might have a chance with her. As with the other two I’ve read, fun, fun, fun.
The Witcher Ronin, by Rafal Jaki
This is the Witcher we all know and love from the TV series but now in comic book form. Set in Japan he faces yokai and oni while searching for Siri. Great story, but the art wasn’t my thing. A little too 70’s superhero comic for my tastes.
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins, by Terrance Hayes
A book of poetry in my favorite format, sonnets. Hayes’s words are powerful and jarring. The Assassins in the tile are the oppressors of black Americans, whether white or brown or black. He writes from a personal view of small issues to the overall treatment of blacks across history. Not an easy read—some of the poems were a bit too scatological and referenced things I didn’t know, but overall worthwhile.
The Color of the Sky is the Shape of the Heart, by Chesil
A story of a Korean-Japanese girl and the prejudice, bullying, and displacement she experiences. Ginny Park’s family is Korean, but have lived in Japan for generations. She is one of the Zainichi, ethnic Koreans who face extreme racism in the country they should call home. She is about to be expelled from school, again, and must confront her past to understand why she acts like she does. Short and powerful, this is a eye-opening story about racism as trauma.