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September 2022 Reading Round Up

September might have been, again, less than I used to read, but the reading was good. And in rabbit news they are on long-term medication so hopefully those days of emergency visits are, cross fingers, behind us. Just the idea that it might be helps massively. It’s incredible how much space unpredictable/predictable medical trips can take up, mentally. I’m hoping it works and I can start reading more again, writing more again.

All books are works of fiction.

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Cecelia Tichi: A Fatal Gilded High Note – Val thought they were done with solving murder mysteries but when she and her husband, Roddy, find the occupier of the next door opera box dead, they are pulled into the detective work. Set in 1890s’ US, this is a cosy mystery (the third in a series) with people of different classes, looks into the beginning of worker’s rights for women, and is steeped in the culture of the Gilded Age.

E C Fremantle: The Honey And The Sting – The Duke of Buckingham wants his illegitimate son and Hester wants to be far away from him. She, her son, and her sisters flee to a secret house in the forest. But Buckingham won’t let it go and hires a ex-lover and military friend to get the boy back. A fictionalised story of what might have led to John Felton’s killing of George Villiers in the 1600s, this is an incredibly well written and drafted pacey Stuart thriller.

Kate Glanville: The Peacock House – Bethan’s going to Wales to interview her grandmother’s friend, Evelyn, in a bid to jumpstart her journalism career; Evelyn is a famous author with a massive backlist. In Wales, in her ninetieth decade, Evelyn’s fallen over and is waiting for someone, anyone, to find her. Bethan may end up staying longer than she thought, learning war stories she knew nothing of, and not going on the holiday with her boyfriend they’d planned. A great dual-narrative story of returning romance, old houses, and community.

Kerstin Gier: Sapphire Blue – The continuing story of Gwenyth as she is inducted into the secret society of time travellers and travels back in time for their missions. Only, this time, she is starting to consider everything she’s hearing. So long as you can put the completely un-British dialogue and descriptions aside, this one is better than the first, although we’ve still the problematic romance.

I enjoyed my reading so much in September that I pulled a muscle in my back – I’m (still, given it took a week to recover) reading the third book in Gier’s trilogy which is far, far, better than the other two, and enjoyed it enough that I kept reading even when I realised I wasn’t holding the book comfortably. I’m now being more careful because I want to finish it and watch the adaptations which, I’ve heard, have changed the storyline a bit; if it’s anything like the decisions made for storylines in the adaptation of the Outlander series, where the adaptation has made the story better, it’ll be great.

Of the books I finished this month, there was much enjoyment also. Gier’s second is indeed better than the first. Kate Glanville’s The Peacock House has a particular atmosphere and reading experience I’ve not experienced before – there’s something wonderful about her writing, a certain peace and stillness that made me reluctant to turn the final page. I’m looking at reading her other books in the hope of getting that experience again. The Fremantle was stunning in its ‘devoidness’, so to speak, of any filler content. (The story is good too, and there’s diversity to the cast in a good few ways, but the precision and focus is bar none.) And lastly, though firstly on this list, the way Tichi matched a very busy, industrious, and wealthy (for some) age, with the cosy mystery elements was fab.

So, as noted, I’m reading Gier number 3, Emerald Green. I then plan to go back and read the final book in Sylvia Mercedes’ Venatrix Chronicles series – I’ve put it off because I don’t want it to end. And I’ve some more fantasy recommendations from my friend.


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