Bonus post ahoy! Yes, I know we’re already well into half term (my bad) but here are some reading suggestions never the less.
Firstly, there’s a new Sinclair’s Mystery out from Katherine Woodfine. I’ve mentioned this middle-grade historical mystery series set in the Edwardian era before (in my Christmas books post), but they’ve never got a proper review for some reason. Book Three is The Mystery of the Painted Dragon sees Sophie and Lil and the gang investigating the theft of a painting from an exhibition at Sinclair’s department store. There are a lot of mystery books aimed at this age group – I’ve spoken at length about Robin Stevens’ Wells and Wong series (for example here, here, here and here) and obviously there’s lots of Enid Blyton mysteries, but this is unusual in that the teenage characters are neither at school nor on school holidays – they’re out at work. This makes for different challenges and opportunities as well as for an exciting air of independence for the characters. If you’ve got an upper primary school child who’s bored this holiday, this would entertain them for an hour or two. And if you’re a big kid like me, it’ll do the same for you too.
Off to the beach? Then try Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife. I finished this last week and it’s a big old doorstop of a book telling the story of a fictional First Lady. It’s very clearly based on Laura Bush – in fact when I went to read Mrs Bush’s biography after reading the book I was surprised how very close it was and it made me feel a little uneasy. But then I read books that are fictionalised versions of historical people’s lives all the time and that doesn’t make me feel squicky, so it’s a bit of a double standard. Anyway, Alice is a great character to spend time with – although I liked the two thirds to three quarters of the book where she’s not in the White House much more than I liked that final section.
If you want something historical, I’ve just finished Beatriz Williams’ latest The Wicked City. This is a time slip novel involving a flapper in 1920s New York and a forensic accountant in the city in the late 1990s. If you’ve read any of Williams’ other novels there are a few familiar faces popping up too. It’s been a while since I read my last novel and I’ve missed a couple so I’m starting to lose track of which Schulyers are which – I think that means I need to do a re-read!
And if you fancy some crime, Fahrenheit have just pubished the fourth Christy Kennedy book, The Ballad of Sean and Wilko, I haven’t read it yet, it’s waiting for me on my kindle for one of my nightshift commutes, but I’ve really enjoyed the first three, and there are 10 altogether, so if you’re in the mood for a new series to binge read, this could be for you.
None of these appeal, well then go and have a look at some of my recent Book of the Week posts – Crooked Heart, Miss Treadway or Semester of our Discontent would work, or go back further into the archives for The Rest of Us Just Live Here, The Madwoman Upstairs or even last year’s February picks.