November 15, 2013

Reading Roundup

I haven't done very much reading this month. I went into that stupor that sometimes happens after you finish a book that was and you can't find anything else that sparks your imagination right away. Or is that just me? Avoiding that is often why I have two or three books going at once.

Let's start with the one that I couldn't stop thinking about then, shall we? The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James is the story of young woman in the 1920's who is working for a temp agency. Sarah gets matched with a "ghost hunter" trying to study the spirit of a young women who committed suicide. She was afraid of men in life and became even more scared and angry after her death. This haunting is all too real, and Sarah must solve the mystery that underlies the haunting before the ghost destroys them. I'm a wimp and usually can't handle scary stories. This one was chilling, haunting and so good I just couldn't put it down. It's the kind of book that you are still thinking about even when you aren't reading. St. James has written two more and I can't wait to get my hands on them.

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Melton. My expectations were too high with this one. I don't follow Melton's blog, but I have really enjoyed several of her posts that had gone viral. I heard amazing things about the book, and jumped on it when I saw it go on sale for the kindle. I think that if you are already familiar with her blog, then you will love this. I was not and so the jumping around in the chronology of the posts and the choppiness of some of the chapters got to me. The thing is though…the good stuff is REALLY good. It almost makes up for the chapters that were just "meh". I really think that my expectations were just too high for this to be a game changing book for me-if only I had read it when it first came out! 

Spider in the Cup by Barbara Cleverly. Finally, finally, finally the character of Joe Sandilands is as good as he was in the early books! This is a long running series that follows a Scotland Yard detective who spent several years (and the first few books) on assignment in India after WWI and then returned home to London about halfway through the books. He was always an appealing character. An intelligent man that was more concerned that justice was served somehow, even if the villain couldn't be touched by traditional police work. It can be difficult to satisfy the reader's need for closure when bringing high level politics into a mystery and it's been a struggle over several books for Cleverly to do this. In this one she is perfect. The subplots add depth to the central mystery, favorite characters are back, and Sandilands himself is the Sandilands I got hooked on, and not the version who floundered in the middle of the series. An international monetary conference sets the stage for a murdered ballerina and assassination attempts on a high level American advisor. The power plays of nations between WWI and WWII are deftly written and provide a tense backdrop to the story. 

I'm just starting Susanna Kersley's The Winter Sea. I should have read it before The Firebird as it tells the backstory to some of the minor characters in that book. Set at Slains Castle in Scotland, a novelist uses the name and location of one of her ancestors for her new novel…and then begins to discover how  her book and her family history are intertwined. I was really impressed with Kearsley the last time, and so far she is living up to my expectations! 

What are you reading? If you're looking for more suggestions, check out the Twitterature linkup over on Modern Mrs. Darcy's page!

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  1. The Haunting of Maddy Clare looks amazing! I'm adding it to my list right now. I need another fabulous read after my last few.

  2. The Haunting of Maddy Clare looks really good, I'll add to my list. =) Carry On, Warrior was a good book for me but because I had already read some of the reviews. I read each chapter as a stand alone and really appreciated it. I don't regularly read her blog either.

  3. The Winter Sea looks awesome! I have never heard of any of the fiction books you mentioned and they all look great. I've read Carry On, Warrior and the essays were hit or miss for me, too!

  4. I wish I had approached it that way! I think I would have enjoyed it more. I may go back and reread in a few months…sometimes it's the right book, but not the right time, you know?

  5. I'm really enjoying The Winter Sea so far. I was so excited after I read the Firebird and realized she had written so many other books-nothing like an author with a big back catalog to make a book lover happy :)

  6. I hope you like it! St. James is a pretty awesome storyteller!

  7. I just added the Haunting of Maddy Clare to my library list. It sounds great, thanks!

  8. Some of these look really good! Adding a few to my list now :)


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