Adventure, Authors I love, Book of the Week, historical, Series I love

Book of the Week: Imprudence

This may be one of the least surprising BotW picks ever, considering that the first book in the Custard Protocol series was a BotW,  as were several of Gail Carriger’s other books (Sumage Solution, Manners and Mutiny and Timeless) and she was one of my discoveries of the year back when this blog was but a child.  In fact, the only question you have may be: What took me so long to read Imprudence, given that it came out in July last year.  Fear not.  There are answers ahead.

The paperback of Imprudence on a shelf next to Prudence

Firstly though, the plot:  Rue and her crew are back in London after the events of Prudence, which have landed her in a whole heap of hot water with the powers that be.  On top of this, her best friend keeps getting engaged to unsuitable military types and there’s something going on at home.  Rue’s vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is not himself, and her mother is being even more difficult than usual.  What is going on?  Finding out will take the Spotted Custard and her crew to Egypt and beyond

Now, part of the reason this has taken so long for me to read is that it was all boxed up with the to-read pile at the back end of last year, but the reason it was still waiting to be read at that point was a line in the blurb: “her werewolf father is crazy”.  Having read Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, I had a fair idea what was going on there, and I was worried about how it was going to resolve itself.  I love and adore Rue’s Paw – Conall Maccon and although he has his stupid moments (to whit, his idiotic behaviour in Blameless) I was a bit worried about what might happen to him.  And I had a few rocky moments early on in the book, which involved near tears and sniffling.  But I got through it and I was ok.  And that’s as much as I can say without it all being a big old spoiler.  And while we’re talking about the Parasol Protectorate, I found myself wishing that I’d re-read Timeless before I read this, because a lot of the action is in Egypt and there’s a lot of references to the events of that book.  It did all come back to me, but I think I would have been cooing with delight sooner if I’d done a reread first.  And so of course now I need to go and do that reread to check if there were any references that I missed in Imprudence.  There are old friends here – and some who are less friendly.

If I have a quibble, it’s that everything is wrapped up very quickly in the end – the main romantic through line and the adventure-quest one.  I could have read another 50 pages of that resolving itself.  But maybe that’s just me.  And if you’re wondering what prompted me to read this now, it’s the fact that the latest novella that Carriger has written is set after this book, and I *really* want to read that and so needed to do things in order. Because I’m like that.  And we all know that I’ll be pre-ordering the next in this series, Competence, just as soon as there’s a paperback preorder link.  Because I’m like that too.

As always in posts like this, I’m going to remind you all that this is the second in this series, but really actually the seventh if you’re counting Parasol Protectorate (which as you may have guessed have a fair bit to do with this) and eleventh if you’re going chronologically and including the spin-off prequel Finishing School YA series.  So don’t start with this one.  If you’re impatience, go and read Prudence first, but really, what you want to do is start with Soulless and work your way through Alexia’s story before you come to Rue.  And then do the Finishing school, because that is so much more fun once you start to work out who everyone is and how it all fits together.  Just my two-penneth.  They’re all available in Kindle and Kobo and Audible* and you should be able to order the paperbacks from any good bookshop.  Like the Big Green Bookshop.

Happy Reading!

And for longtime readers: No, I still haven’t sorted out the size mismatch issue with my Parasol Protectorate books, I still don’t know the best way to shelve them, but at least I haven’t caved in and bought a second copy of Heartless! There’s still time…

*Although NB, the first audiobook pronounces Lord Akeldama’s name wrong.  It’s Ak-el-dama not A-keel-duhma or however she says it.  It’s fixed by book 2 and I can just about cope with it in book one, even if my brain does repeat it pronounced correctly after every time it’s used.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: November 13 – November 19

Still too many on the still-reading list, but I’m working on it.  I’m also still working on my #Noirville entries. And regular readers may already have an idea as to what tomorrow’s BotW might be…

Read:

Clouds in my Coffee by Julie Mulhern

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

My Name is Markham by Jodi Taylor

The Perfect Storm by Jodi Taylor

Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon

A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilber

A Gentleman of Fortune by Anna Dean

Started:

Gone Gull by Donna Andrews

Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

China Court by Rumer Godden

Marling Hall by Angela Thirkell

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Still no books bought. But I’m not getting ahead of myself and getting smug, no indeed, because that way lies complacency and book buying!

Adventure, Young Adult

Book of the Week: A Spy in the House

This is quite a short post this week, because I’ve been busy with those #Noirville entries, but what could be more up my street than a Victorian-set adventure mystery with a feisty teen girl as a heroine? Not a lot, and that’s why Y S Lee’s A Spy in the House is this week’s BotW pick!

Paperback copy of the Agency

Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows by a school for girls that’s actually cover for a female spy agency.  At 17 she gets her chance to prove herself when she’s sent to help with an investigation by taking a job as a paid companion to the daughter of a shipping magnate. Once she’s in the house though she ends up getting more involved than she’s meant to and soon she may be in over her head. On top of all this, there are secrets in Mary’s past which seem like they may be linked to the mystery.

Mary is an interesting and feisty heroine and the story is fast-paced and exciting. I think this is aimed at a YA audience and it would make a great next step for teens who’ve outgrown (or want the next step) from the Wells and Wong series or the Sinclair mysteries and who aren’t quite  ready for full on-adult mysteries yet. This has a developing love interest, but nothing too full on or adult-contenty if you know what I mean.

This is the first in a series and I’ll definitely be looking out for the others.  You should be able to get hold of a copy from all the usual sources (like Big Green Bookshop)- and it’s available on Kindle and Kobo too.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: November 5 – November 12

I officially have too many books on the go at once.  Admittedly some of them are hardbacks and I’ve been staying away from home a lot, but some of them are books I’ve started and not got into and ended up leaving in favour of something else.  So this week I’m going to try and do something about that – either finish some of them or give up and cull them.   And I’ve still got more #Noirville entries to read too…

Read:

Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis

Altered to Death by Christina Freeburn

A Spy in the House by Y S Lee

The Deep End by Julie Mulhern

Paper Girls Vol 3 by Brian K Vaughan et al

The Very First Damned Thing by Jodi Taylor

The Great St Mary’s Day out by Jodi Taylor

Started:

Imprudence by Gail Carriger

Clouds in my Coffee by Julie Mulhern

Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

China Court by Rumer Godden

Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon

Marling Hall by Angela Thirkell

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

No  books bought at all – although 2 pre-orders did arrive on my Kindle.

Book of the Week, Series I love

Book of the Week: The Days of Anna Madrigal

Quite a short BotW post this week, for a multitude a real life reasons, so sorry about that.  Any way, this week’s pick is the final (for now at least) Tales of the City books.

Library copy of Days of Anna Madrigal
In case they’ve somehow passed you by, the nine Tales of the City Books tell the interconnected stories of the residents of a house in San Francisco, starting in the 1970s and going up until pretty much the present day. Written by Armistead Maupin, the books started off as a newspaper column in the San Francisco Chronicle. Most of the books are episodic and jump between the different characters’ points of view. 

True to my no-spoilers policy, there’s not a lot about the plot of this that I can tell you, except that we rejoin the redoubtable Anna Madrigal, now in her 90s and some of her former tenants as she prepares for a road trip that will see her revisit her past and try to resolve some unfinished business. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, please don’t start here, go back to the start and read Tales of the City and follow them through. It’s taken me three years to do the whole series, and it’s been so worth it.

This isn’t my favourite of the nine, perhaps because I knew it was the last one and I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters, but it’s still a wonderful trip with old friends, who you feel like you know inside out because you know them so well. A bittersweet end to the journey.

My copy of The Days of Anna Madrigal came from the library, but you should be able to find it in all good bookshops. 

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 30 – November 5

Round Two of #Noirville arrived this week, so that’s where some of my reading time has gone, but it’s also been a super busy week.  It happens.

Read:

My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

The Wyndhams Went To Wales by Mabel Esther Allan

Seeds of Revenge by Wendy Tyson

Only Beloved by Mary Balogh

Started:

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

A Spy in the House by YS Lee

Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

China Court by Rumer Godden

Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon

Marling Hall by Angela Thirkell

 

books, stats

October Stats

New books read this month: 25*

Books from the to-read pile: 13

Ebooks read: 11

Books from the Library book pile: 0 (although I have a couple on the go)

Non-fiction books: 2

#ReadHarder categories completed: 0

Most read author: Jill Shalvis (two read and a third started)

Books read this year: 262

Books bought: 8 (all ebooks)

Books on the Goodreads to-read shelf: 525 (I don’t have copies of all of these!)

Till eight categories left to cover but only two months to go…

*Includes some short stories/novellas/comics (1 this month)