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Recent Reads

Friday, October 27, 2006
Before I left SC, I made one last stop, which was also a first stop. I'd encountered Aliens and Alibis during the South Carolina Book Festival, but never made the time to get to the shop. I finally did and I could just kick myself for missing it before! The store specializes in mystery, fantasy and science fiction and they are great supporters of local authors.

One of the owners, Deb Andolino, as well as her book cats, Serena and Bertie, were a great help to me in finding books by authors I'd heard of, but never read before.

For instance, I've already blogged about Storm Front, the Harry Dresden book by Jim Butcher, as well as a couple of others, but yesterday I finally finished the pile.

Let's see. I'd recently begun hearing about steampunk, for which I refer you to Eva Gale's blog. Deb was unfamiliar with it, but she directed me to a Victorian mystery time-travel called Sojourn from Dragon Moon Press by Jana Oliver. It was the most fun I've ever had with the Jack the Ripper mystery! The time travel aspect was especially well done, there was a hint of romance, and I'm considering it as an addition to my keeper shelf.

Then I read my first ever Terry Pratchett novel, Carpe Jugulum. I know, I know! Don't throw things. She didn't have Guards!Guards! on hand, so I started with CJ. O. M. G. I was practically crying with laughter. Igor was far and away my favorite character. I want one of him. I also want to read more Terry Pratchett.

The next was a mystery in a very new-to-me setting -- Laos in 1976! I'm a fan of Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe and I was looking for something similar. Found it! Kind of. The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill. Interesting tidbit: Cotterill has lived in SE Asia for the last several years. It certainly explains how he was able to bring the landscape to life so well. I enjoyed the mystery, and the connection to the setting was bone deep. It was an eye opener for me, not so much politically, but socially. My favorite aspect was the main character, a 72 year old doctor, Dr. Siri, who has become the national coroner, though he has neither the experience nor the proper facilities. The only issue I had was that a paranormal element was introduced that didn't feel right. Unfortunately, it was so tied in to the climax that I felt the book ended on a somewhat silly note. Too bad, although I'd still like to read more about this character.

Finally, last night I finished a truly odd book. The Tenor Wore Tapshoes: A Liturgical Mystery by Mark Schweizer. The books are published -- and this is unusual -- by a music publisher. No kidding. St James Music Press. It's the third in a series, after The Alto Wore Tweed and The Baritone Wore Chiffon. According to Amazon, they don't have to be read in order and it certainly didn't seem so. Funny, quirky, self-aware and mocking. The mystery was terrible. I still haven't figured out how the characters figured out who-dun-it, but don't read it for the mystery. Read it for the characters. Borrowing *heavily* from Lilian Jackson Braun's Jim Qwilleran, the main character is a man who came into a heap of cash and now spends his time as the full-time police chief in tiny St Germaine, NC, the part-time choirmaster at the Episcopal church (shades of Mitford), and an aspiring (and stunningly awful) noir crime novelist. It was a fun read, just for the spoof factor. Raymond Chandler makes token appearances as the ghost haunting the typewriter the chief uses.

So that's been my reading lately. I still have a few books in the pile.
10/27/2006 10:34:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments


That is a very interesting pile of books.

By Blogger S William, at 11:43 AM  

I forgot one! John Scalzi's OLD MAN'S WAR. I'll blog it tomorrow. It was exceptional.

It was actually a little unusual for me to take such an extended break from romance. I'm ready to get back to reading Happily Ever Afters!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 12:03 PM  

Migod, you've read everything, Sela!

By Blogger ivan, at 6:33 PM  

Old Man's War? Hmm...I have an addiction... when I hear a book title, I run to Amazon and read reviews. Your post alone cost me 2 hours of my life! Thank you ;)

Anyone have a 12 step?

By Blogger S William, at 1:28 AM  

One good thing about St. Louis:
The Cardinals took the World Series.
One bad thing about St.Louis:
All the Toronto hoods now want to
move there since Ontario police put the heat on.

By Blogger ivan, at 10:12 AM  

It's always a bit sad when you find a great place just before you move away.

Look forward to seeing you settled and back more soon Sela!

By Blogger Sandra Ruttan, at 12:38 PM  

You sitting on a couch yet?

By Blogger Eva Gale, at 10:20 PM  

Awfully quiet.

By Blogger ivan, at 11:09 PM  

Couch! Yes! I have a couch! That's all I have. And only because we actually went out and bought a new one. The old one had served us well for 12 years and now retires to the basement in its old age.

And yes, awfully quiet. I'm so sorry I wasn't able to sign off, but we moved out of the hotel on Nov 1 and it's only today that we were finally able to hook up our DSL. I'll blog tomorrow hopefully, but I'm not dead!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 3:32 PM  


By Blogger ivan, at 6:40 PM  

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