||[Jun. 30th, 2015|05:56 pm]
The Monogram Murders - Sophie Hannah
Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover - Sarah MacLean
Say Yes to the Marquess - Tessa Dare
The Secret Place - Tana French
Last month I asked folks here for recommendations as to what I should read on my holidays, I got some excellent recommendations which I dutifully loaded onto my kindle, then, as you do, I bought a paperback in the airport...
Sophie Hannah got permission from the Agatha Christie estate to publish a new Poirot novel, which was... fine. The Monogram Murders is not up there with the likes of Murder on the Orient Express, nor is it as bad as the worst of Dame Agatha's; it's a solid, if unmemorable, Poirot novel. On the plus side, I didn't know who the murderer was until Poirot got all the suspects together in a room, which is a first for me; less because I am good at figuring this stuff out, and more because the David Suchet Poirot series is rerun constantly here, and I usually get about thirty-five pages into any given Agatha Christie before I go: Oh, I know who did it!
File under: reasonably solid published fanfic.
After I'd finished that my hosts kindly loaned me Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover, the latest in a series of regency romances I'd been following. The really, really awesome thing about this book is that Chase, the slightly sinister owner of the gambling hell the books revolve around, turns out to be a woman. And I'd had no idea. A+ pronoun game there. I'm glad I read the paperback instead of the e-book, because I very much enjoyed the picture of the girl in the buckskin trousers on the cover, which I'm told is the first time a regency romance has had a woman in trousers on the cover.
Actually my problem with this book wasn't with the book (which is a perfectly lovely example of its genre) it was with me. As soon as you introduce a crossdressing woman to a story that's the book I want; I wanted an entire book of Georgiana scheming against the ton, and wearing trousers, and wrangling at least three separate identities.
I am completely loving Tessa Dare's Castles Ever After series (very excited for the third one coming out in a couple of months.) In Say Yes to the Marquess our heroine is trying to convince her absentee fiancé's disreputable brother to call off their engagement, the brother is trying to plan them an extravagant wedding, and there is an elderly bulldog; hijinks, and food fights ensue, and it is entirely delightful.
Also, Tessa Dare writes some of the most smoking sex scenes I have ever read, which I was of course reading while my plane descended into Glasgow, and I was sitting next to the sort of Glasgow granny who can sense impure thoughts a mile off.
The thing is, the more I fall into historical romance, the sadder I get that there aren't a bajillion f/f examples of the genre for me to read. I wants it, my precious.
The Secret Place is the latest, and in my opinion the best, installment in the Dublin Murder Squad series. The body of a teenage boy has been found on the grounds of a girls boarding school, and a year later the investigation is reopened.
There's been a reoccurring theme in the series about police partnerships souring and going wrong, and I liked that this one featured an unlikely partnership working out. It's got a really good take on friendships between teenage girls, how they can seem cliquey and claustrophobic from the outside, and be super important to those involved -- it's sort of what I'd wanted The Fever to be and had been disappointed.
There's also -- the more I think about it, perhaps there's always been a thread of magical realism in the series, what with what happened to Rob's childhood friends and what may or may not have been living in Pat's walls. But it's more explicit and yet never addressed here, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.
I have been feeling nostalgic for 90s Star Trek (first fandom!) so I am dipping in and out of the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy. There's obviously an ongoing post-shows book series into which I have plunged heedless of continuity. On the one hand Ezri Dax is a ship captain, which is awesome, and the cast of characters is super diverse, both the human characters, and having really alien aliens; on the other Janeway has been killed off and Paris and Torres broken up, both of which are completely unacceptable. Also, for a trilogy purportedly about a war between the Borg and the Federation, needs more Borg. But mostly, Star Trek!
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