This is my first week participating in It’s Monday! What are you Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.
I am currently reading the following books:
- Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran. This is an e-galley from the publisher, received via NetGalley. Claire DeWitt is a bit different than your average private investigator found in mystery novels. The concept is fresh, and I look forward to finding out how everything ties together.
- Spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley. I picked this up at the library a week or so ago. My nook needed to charge, so I took a break from Claire DeWitt and started this no-brainer, second book in the DIY mystery series. It is a nice, quick read and was handy for reading at the lake. Yes, I got brave and went swimming in a power plant cooling lake!
- Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn. This is the second book in the Chet and Bernie series, which is a favorite of mine. Dog as narrator! Chet reminds me of my goofy dog, Sherman, right down to the mismatched ears. I am listening to the audiobook, as I did with the first in the series.
Speaking of dogs, I would like to introduce you to the pack! I made a quickie page for them today. I hope to add the details surrounding their adoptions at a later date. Of course, the pack includes myself and the mister. We are going to start a new dog training class later this week. We might have some stories.
Last week I finished reading and reviewed:
- The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths – My Review
- Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters – My Review
I also joined the Goodreads Book Club Challenge and plan to read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I am excited about this since I don’t belong to any in-person book clubs, and this book has received a lot of hype!
I joined Copia. I am still trying to get a feel for the whole thing. So far I prefer the Goodreads interface, but maybe that is just because I am more familiar with Goodreads.
Has anyone else joined Copia? What do you think?
My Copia ID is ReaderOfThePack. If you are there, let’s be pals!
Have you ever read a book that is absolutely adored by many, only to find yourself bored out of your mind? This happened to me while listening to Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. This series is wildly popular and the blurb was so promising. Unfortunately, this series just isn’t for me. Maybe I’m too lowbrow.
Positives: The strong, feminist aspects of Amelia Peabody. The Egyptian setting. Light humor. Amelia Peabody is a fantastic name.
Negatives: So little mystery. Fluffy romance.
Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella. On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover. Together the two women sail up the Nile to an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers – the irascible but dashing Radcliffe and the amiable Walter. Soon their little party is increased by one – one mummy, that is, and a singularly lively example of the species. Strange visitations, suspicious accidents, and a botched kidnapping convince Amelia that there is a plot afoot to harm Evelyn. Now Amelia finds herself up against an unknown enemy – and perilous forces that threaten to make her first Egyptian trip also her last.
Book: Crocodile on the Sandbank | Author: Elizabeth Peters | Published: Blackstone Audiobooks; December 28th, 2000 | Format: CDs
Source: Library | Rating: 3 out of 5
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths picks up just a few months after The Crossing Places. ** Spoiler ** Ruth Galloway is pregnant with Detective Harry Nelson’s child. She is committed to raising the child on her own since Detective Nelson is happily married with two daughters.
In this installment, Ruth finds herself involved with two archaeological digs. One of the digs takes place on the site of a former children’s home. A developer is in the process of tearing down the house and turning the site into apartments, but the requisite archaeological dig unearths the skeleton of a young girl. The bones are first thought to be those of a 1970s runaway from the children’s home, but a filling in the girl’s tooth proves the skeleton more likely died in the 1950s. After she examines the bones, someone begins to frighten Ruth by leaving items, such as a dead bird and Ruth’s name in blood, on the site of the second dig that Ruth is involved in. These items cause Ruth great distress.
The big mystery surrounds the identity of the skeleton. Interspersed with the main story are chapters written from the point of view of the murderer. The murderer is well educated in history and mythology. In fact, both Ruth Galloway novels have integrated mythology and history into present day stories. In The Janus Stone, Janus is referenced as the god of beginnings and transitions. Janus acts as a gatekeeper, which includes doorways. The girl’s skeleton is found under the doorway to the home. Thus, the archaeologists think that the child may have been a sacrifice to Janus.
The Janus Stone is a good read, but I recommend starting with The Crossing Places. Many of the characters and events from The Crossing Places are referenced in the second novel. At the end of The Janus Stone, there is a teaser for the third novel, The House at Sea’s End. The first few chapters are promising. Minor characters are revisited and a sea setting is prominent. The saltmarsh environment is a large part of what drew me to this series so I will definitely return to this series when it is released in the United States.
Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with an e-galley, via NetGalley.
Book: The Janus Stone | Author: Elly Griffiths | Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; January 21, 2011 | Format: e-Galley | Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5
I like to read cozy mysteries from time to time. They are usually quick reads that do not involve a lot of thinking. As such, cozies tend to be good for a quick break between heavier reads. I am also a fan of library, archives and museum settings. Fundraising the Dead by Sheila Connolly fit both my cozy need and my love of collecting institutions.
Connolly is pretty spot on with her description of working in a special collections institution. She nails a lot of the details. The plot is straightforward and the suspect is unveiled fairly quickly in the story. Most of the novel is set around how to capture evidence of the suspect stealing collection materials.
This is the first novel by Sheila Connolly that I have read, but I plan to continue reading this series since the setting is too good to pass up.
At The Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiques, fundraiser Eleanor “Nell” Pratt solicits donations-and sometimes solves crimes. When a collection of George Washington’s letters is lost on the same day that an archivist is found dead, it seems strange that the Society president isn’t pushing for an investigation. Nell goes digging herself, and soon uncovers a long, rich history of crime.
Book: Fundraising the Dead | Author: Sheila Connolly | Published: Berkley; October 5, 2010 | Format: Paperback | Source: Library
Rating: 3.5 out of 5