The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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November 30, 2012

In November I also read...

  1. A Fatal Winter, by G.M. Malliet.  This is the second book in a new series about Father Max Tudor, the 'civilized, thoughtful and dead-sexy' MI5-agent turned vicar of a small English village.  When the village is called Nether Monkslip, and the murder victim's name is Lord Footrustle, you know that you're not going to be reading anything very deep. :)  I was a little underwhelmed by the first book in the series, and with this one too, but it was fun to read in a cozy-English-village-mystery-with-a-sleuth-who-looks-like Hugh-Grant-and-a-preposterous-storyline  kind of way (and there's nothing wrong with that).  It's written with a sense of humor, too (when Father Max is called in to help with the investigation, and wonders whether it's legitimate for him to be there, there's a funny bit about Inspector Japp calling in Poirot, who doesn't have any business getting involved either). 
  2. A Bitter Truth, by Charles Todd.  I always look forward to both their series (Charles Todd is a pseudonym for, I think, a mother-and-son writing team). This book is a Bess Crawford mystery; when Bess (a World War I British nurse) comes home on leave, she meets and befriends a young wife running from her abusive husband and gets involved in a extended family saga, a murder, and the search for a missing child in France. This series is kind of serious (a little like the Maisie Dobbs mysteries), and I could even say it has an autumnal feeling to it - so this book (listened to as an audiobook) was good company on my walks.
  3. The Richest Woman in America:  Hetty Green in the Gilded Age, by Janet Wallach {as an audiobook, read by Coleen Marlo}.  This book intrigued me because I've read several books about the Gilded Age in the last year or two, and I had never heard of Hetty Green.  Now that I've read about her, it's easy to understand why.  She was an heiress (although her inheritance was disputed) from New Bedford -- when she met the Prince of Wales in the early 1860s, she introduced herself as the Princess of Whales -- and a Quaker (I had never associated the Quakers with New England). Hetty added to her wealth as an investor (in railroads, municipal bonds, and other endeavors) and Wall Street financier; she was famous in her time -- or infamous, because she lived very austerely, dressed very shabbily, and chewed on baked onions to ward off colds, and didn't fit the mold of a Gilded Age millionaire -- but almost forgotten afterwards {her two children inherited her two-billion-dollar estate but it was dispersed when they both died without children to pass it on to).  A very different view of this era and good company on the Thanksgiving drive.
  4. Eleven Pipers Piping, by C.C. Benison.  Another vicar-in-a-village, and another second book in a series, This one is about Father Tom Christmas (get it?), who has moved to the village of Thornford Regis with his daughter after his wife is murdered. Tom is chaplain to The Thistle But Mostly Rose South Devon Pipe Band, and when he reluctantly goes to their annual Robert Burns supper, there is a snowstorm, a death {from a poisoned haggis?), and a mysterious but friendly visitor. A very traditional cozy village mystery, and maybe one that takes too long to go anywhere, but the right kind of book to dip into now and then on a long weekend in a house full of family. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I recently finished Fatal Winter and I'm currently reading Eleven Pipers Piping! I like Eleven Pipers Piping better though. I'm getting a bit tired of hearing how good looking Max Tudor is. Plus, I thought the plot of Fatal Winter was a bit dull. Just my two cents.

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