books · Children's/YA

The Xanadu Adventure – Lloyd Alexander

This is the only Vesper Holly I never read… This is what pre-young-adult novels used to be. Smart, funny, with a hint of romance and lots of adventure – this is a G-rated (G-rated, do you hear me, all you writers of angels and vampires?), heroine-fronted (heroine! Legitimate heroine! Not a bimbo!) version of Indiana… Continue reading The Xanadu Adventure – Lloyd Alexander

books · mystery

The Swimming Pool – Mary Roberts Rinehart

Oh, I liked this. Mary Roberts Rinehart should still be every bit as popular as she once was, as popular as Agatha Christie and the rest of the Golden Agers. She knew what she was about. And her writing was a joy. After all, the human individual universally has two eyes, a nose, a mouth,… Continue reading The Swimming Pool – Mary Roberts Rinehart


The Lodger Shakespeare – Charles Nicholl, Simon Vance

Originally posted on Stewartry:
I pounced on this because I enjoyed/admired/appreciated Charles Nicholl’s The Reckoning, about the murder of Christopher Marlowe, and because I was mad about Simon Vance’s reading of Dust and Shadow. Those two, plus Shakespeare, indicated an instant win. Well… mostly. First of all, I’m going to try to remember not to…

books · historical fiction

Sawbones – Melissa Lenhardt

If you look over there to the book description, you will probably see “Outlander meets post-Civil War unrest”. Now, a few years back I did a whole bunch of research into what a whole bunch of people said about writing and promoting and getting an agent and so on. And I remember reading with dismay… Continue reading Sawbones – Melissa Lenhardt

books · historical fiction

Late Harvest – Fiona Buckley

Fiona Buckley is another author who has been on my list for some time; I read some of her Elizabethan mysteries, and partly had her on the List so I could keep track of them. I didn’t quite leap at this book – a departure for her, set in the very early 1800’s – but… Continue reading Late Harvest – Fiona Buckley

books · historical fiction

At the Edge of the Orchard – Tracy Chevalier

I keep a List of the writers I want to keep an eye on. It originated before Goodreads and LibraryThing made it so easy to watch for new books and keep track of what I’d read and hadn’t and what I owned and so on. Tracy Chevalier, rather predictably, made the list after [book:Girl with… Continue reading At the Edge of the Orchard – Tracy Chevalier


Brighton Belle – Sara Sheridan

You would think that after decades of reading, and decades of disappointments, I would have learned that – sometimes – there really is truth to that old saw about a book by its cover. But sometimes you can judge a book! And look at this one! It’s gorgeous! Dammit. So the story goes that Mirabelle… Continue reading Brighton Belle – Sara Sheridan