January 14, 2015

Quick Lit (January 2015)

Between snow days and a whirlwind trip without kids (two flights worth of uninterrupted reading time!) January is off to a great start, book wise. Today I'm sharing short reviews of my latest reads and linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit (formerly known as Twitterature). Pop over to her site for more suggestions!  You can also check out what I'm reading or adding to my enormous to-read list over on Goodreads, and say hello while you're there!

Garden Spells-Sarah Addison Allen

Allen weaves magic into all of her stories, but it is the kind of gentle, believable magic that we all can connect with. In Garden Spells, Claire Waverley has her very structured world turned upside when her rebellious sister Sydney returns home with a daughter of her own. The three learn to trust and support each other, and make peace with their special gifts. This is one of those books that I started reading, and the next thing I knew I was 100 pages in! There's a sequel coming out soon too…

Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody

Kate Shackleton takes on her first professional case as a private investigator when a friend from her days as a nurse in WWI asks her to find her missing father. As she goes deeper into the mystery, Kate struggles to create an identity for herself, rather than just her husband's widow. While the tone is very different, Brody's England post WWI is just as evocative as the one Jacqueline Winspear creates in her Maisie Dobbs mysteries. It's the first in a series, and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness is back! In this outing, Lady Georgiana (35th in line to the throne!) heads to America with her mother. A typical 1930's English country house murder mystery transplanted to Hollywood, with a nice blend of humor and romance. A solid mystery (I didn't figure it out too early) and always fun.

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night by James Runcie

The second book in the series, this is another set of short stories. This time covering a wider time period, but it moves Sidney's sleuthing further into the Cold War, which is an interesting side note to his growing romance with a German widow. The Masterpiece Mystery series called Grantchester premieres this weekend and is based on the series, so I'm very curious to see how it is adapted for tv.

Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

This was originally published years ago under a different name, but Kearsley's new American publisher re-released it this past year. In the early 1900's an actress named Celia Sands disappears on the night she is to premiere a play written for her by her famous playwright lover in Italy. In the modern day, another actress named Celia Sands is asked to star when the playwrights grandson revives the infamous play. There are mysteries in the present and the past, as well as romance and like every other book I've read by Susanna Kearsley,  I couldn't put it down and was totally bereft when I finished.

Beauty by Robin McKinley

I don't know how I missed reading this when I was growing up! A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I read this one for the Young Adult Book and Movie Club with Jessica from Quirky Bookworm (you should join in!)  It was lovely and such a fun escape-I'm so glad I finally found it.

Next up…Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter! I'm only about half way, but loving it so far.

What are you reading right now? 

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