Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Some Series Stuff

I've been reading & listening to plenty of series, again, some more.

Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries)So much of this summer fun has been discovering Dorothy L. Sayers, and her charming Lord Peter Wimsey. I've  been reading in order of publication (excepting the stories), so I've just now finished a popular favorite, Murder Must Advertise. Oh, if I didn't love him already, Lord Peter undercover always just wins my heart in the most through fashion. Could he be more tongue-in-cheek? Could he be cleverer? More insightful? A better cat playing with mice? And although I missed Bunter, as I always do when he plays a small or absent part in the plots, I enjoyed the large doses of domesticity at the home of Lady Mary and Chief Inspector Charles Parker, wedded in bliss. All this, plus drug smuggling and deadlines!

The Franchise AffairNot enough English detective fiction for you? Or for me, as the case may be? Well, not to worry, I've also continued with Josephine Tey's Inspector Grant - so far, I've read through The Franchise AffairAlthough Grant appears only tangentially in this one, I very much enjoyed Tey's twists and turns and the characters she created for this mystery. I like Grant and wish him well (you know, in that "I'm not crazy for wishing a fictional character by a dead author well" sort of way), but I became very quickly caught up in the life of sedate country lawyer Robert Blair. His interactions with home-keeping aunt, flashy business-partner cousin, and mysterious clients are all finely drawn and deeply felt, for all of his quiet solidity. I felt outrage, and yearning, and helplessness, and determination, and joy. So good.

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack Adventures)And to jump ship entirely from the detectives, I hopped on board Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer. Young orphan Mary, seeking a life better than that she has with a London street gang, dresses in trousers and talks her way on board the HMS Dolphin as a ship's boy named Jack. There, predictably, she encounters a few difficulties hiding her gender, but the Dolphin is mostly a safe haven, with regular meals (never mind the weevils), music, friendship, and adventure. Through no fault of her own - or mostly no fault of her own - Jacky becomes a bit of an epicenter of trouble on board. She handles everything with excellent spirit, cringe-inducing naiveté, bravery, tenderness, and determination. I've also listened to the second book - Curse of the Blue Tattoo - and prefer the first. But Meyer's character and Katherine Kellgren's narration have me eagerly lining up the rest.

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