I managed to get a fair amount of reading done last month — not nearly as much as some times, but not bad, either.
I read one non-fiction book, as usual. This one was The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground by Michael Harris. It was fascinating. I knew very little about this period of our history, and I am glad that I now know at least a little more — even though what I learned isn’t pretty. Harris served in the Army and lived through about a dozen H-bomb tests in the Pacific in 1955-56. Finally, 50 years later, wrote about the experience. I am glad I read the book.
I read three mysteries:
- The Thirteenth Room by Adam Croft is the fourth book in Croft’s Kempston Hardwick series. I think it was my favorite. Kempston and Ellis are really working well as a team now, and it is a joy to read. The mystery is a good one, although it is a little difficult to believe the police would think the murders are suicides — especially after the second one! But I enjoyed this book a lot. I hope Croft will write more in this series. The characters are delightful and the mysteries are always interesting.
- Don’t Mess With Mrs. Sedgewick by Marie F. Martin was a fun read. The idea of four “old” friends selling their houses and moving into adjoining condos was a hoot. (If you were thinking about this as a life plan, let me tell you that it wasn’t necessarily always as much fun as the ladies had hoped!) The women all have secrets, and a maid is determined to profit from them. I have a difficult time believing the women got hooked up with the maid in the first place and that she is able to discover the long-help secrets so quickly and easily, but getting past that, the story was good.
- Blood Silence by Roger Stelljes is a Mac McRyan story, and a very good one at that. On a personal level, Mac’s life is working out quite nicely, but a new “case” seems determined to change that. This series is one I really and truly love. The characters are multi-faceted. The stories are complex. If you don’t read Stelljes yet, please start now!
I read four pieces of speculative fiction:
- Mercenary Instinct by Ruby Lionsdrake is billed as a “Science Fiction Romance” by the author. Ruby Lionsdrake is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, so I knew I would love this one before I started it. It is a romance, but there is a lot of space adventure thrown in, too! I think you might like it!
- The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross was the tor.com ebook club selection for February. It was wonderful! It is the first two books in the Merchant Princes series. It involves three interconnected worlds and the people who have the ability to travel between them. I started out wondering what the speculative part of this book was going to be because it started off in our world in a very normal way — someone losing her job because she was looking into something her bosses didn’t want her investigating. It didn’t take long, though, for the other worlds to enter into the picture. It was a great story, and I hope to read the rest of the series.
- The Ghost and The Graveyard by Genevieve Jack was another romance — paranormal this time. A girl is given a chance to live rent-free in a house her father inherited. Great, huh? It borders on a cemetery, which is a real negative as far as she is concerned. But the caretaker at the cemetery isn’t bad, so… This is a fun read.
- Encrypted is by Lindsay Buroker, so you know I loved it, right? This series takes place in the same world but prior to her Emperor’s Edge series. The two main characters are really smart, and that makes the book a joy to read. This is fantasy with some romance thrown in for good measure. (There seems to be a strong element of romance in almost everything I read last month. Hmm…. Maybe I can blame it on Valentine’s Day.)
I read two pieces of historical fiction:
- The Fourth Horseman by Sarah Woodbury is another of her Gareth and Gwen (I always say Gwen and Gareth, but she lists them the other way!) mysteries. The story was good. The characters are interesting. I liked it a lot. There are 10 books in the series, and I have only made it through the first 4 so far. I plan to get to all of them eventually.
- Arthur Britannicus by Paul Bannister is the first book in the series and the last one for me to read. I have enjoyed the entire series, and I have to say reading this one last did nothing to diminish my enjoyment of it. Bannister has other series, and I think I will give them a try.
I also read two shorter works of fiction:
- The Bard’s Daughter by Sarah Woodbury is another in the Gareth and Gwen series of mysteries. It is actually a prequel to the series. I loved it! Woodbury writes well and te66lls good stories. Her
- A Mother’s Day Murder by Dee Ernst was one that really kept me guessing. I never saw the killer coming — just like the victim, I suppose.It was a good story and seemed much longer (in a good way!) than the 35,000 words Amazon says it is. I recommend it if you want a fun, quick cozy mystery.
So that’s it: 12 books in February. Let’s see how I do in March!