Before the Stay Home Stay Safe order came down, I rushed to the library to stock up on books. There was a reserve waiting for me, but nothing I wanted in New Arrivals (it was my first experience with a shelf picked bare due to quarantine) so I stormed the Mystery section and pulled several titles off the shelves. Fortunately, I enjoyed all of them, and I present:
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – a young girl in the early 1900’s embarks on a fantastic journey via a strange book and a series of magical doors to find her family and her own identity. Despite the promising premise, I would say this just passed the time for me. It had some shiny moments but ultimately fell flat.
The Return (Inspector Van Veeteren #3) by Hakan Nesser. (modeled by Sarge in the pic above.) Love a good gloomy Nordic mystery. When kids find a headless, legless, footless corpse (always a great set up), Inspector Van Veeteren, scheduled for surgery, becomes embroiled. Told in many flashbacks as the Inspector comes to suspect that a notorious double murderer may actually have been innocent. Not the best Van Veeteren I’ve read but it was solid.
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. A girl seeking a new opportunity answers an ad for a live-in nanny position. Suspense ensues. Gah. I can usually tolerate Ruth Ware but this one felt like a slog. The twist felt completely unbelievable and the ending was irritating.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley. In the summer of 1950, precocious chemist and amateur investigator Flavia de Luce – age 11 – stumbles across a series of alarming events, including a man breathing his last in the cucumber patch. Flavia sets out to solve the crime and vindicate her father AND torment her older sisters. Although this series could get overly saccharine, I liked this book a lot and found it a great antidote to quarantine. I’d love to see Flavia as a young adult.
A Bitter Truth and A Casualty of War (Bess Crawfords #3 and #9), by Charles Todd – I’m reviewing these together because no need to go into a lot of detail on the plot points. A WWI nurse from a good family solves crimes against the backdrop of the war. Enjoyed – I like Bess as a heroine and that time period is very interesting to me, the plots were a little more forgettable.
The Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes. Now that I’ve plowed through the library hoard, I’m falling back on Kindle deals. Never read anything by JoJo Moyes but got sucked into this one, set in 1946, about a bunch of Australian brides sailing to England on a decommissioned war ship to meet the men they wed in wartime. I liked the characters and the descriptions of them taking over the war ship like a raging bunch of old-timey sorority girls.
And that’s my offering for this April Tuesday, still in quarantine. Take what you’d like and leave the rest. I look forward to seeing what you’ve all been reading during this crazy month. Be well and see you next month. xo