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lady narcissa

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  1. I think was thinking about this earlier. I think it feeds into my thought that in series like these, it seems the male and female main character co-workers will not get together if the female has been rendered undesirable to the reader. The male can be completely unattractive and have a drinking problem and the personality of a boot but the female character will still end up with him. If the female character has those traits, they won't ever get together and the reader will not expect or hope for it. I mean look at the description of Havers on wikipedia compared to that of Lynley: "...Lynley, the handsome and urbane Eighth Earl of Asherton, has a gilded existence as a member of the nobility, whereas the working class, unattractive and socially inept Havers finds life a struggle. Helping her aging parents is a particular grind..." I hope there are exceptions to this and I would love to read them if there are (!) but it came to mind when I was comparing the two Ann Cleves series I'm currently reading - the Shetland and Vera Stanhope ones. In the Shetland ones, the detective, Jimmy, is a nice enough middle-aged guy but not the greatest catch and comes with a lot of baggage and yet he has no problem getting into a relationship with his female boss. Vera is in many ways a female version of him - middle aged woman, equally not the best catch, and yet it is never even considered to have her in a relationship with anyone, most especially her junior male coworkers. Jimmy reminds me of Strike in some ways and Vera sort of reminds me of Havers in that sense. Although I am reading mysteries for mysteries, not romantic relationships, I don't mind romantic relationships in mysteries. But I guess if they are going to be there, I'd like to see a bit more balance.
  2. I super enjoyed the first three Strike mysteries....although less the serial killer element of the third...but I really did not enjoy Lethal White. It was tedious to read and I basically trudged through it grudgingly - mainly because I flabbergasted I was not enjoying it and kept hoping it would pick up. I did not like the murders or the "guest" characters in the book and felt the White Horse elements and the Ibsen analogies were a bit overdone. (I think it ruined Rosmersholm for me. I'll never be able to read or see it now.) But most of all I hate the now inevitable coming together of Strike and Robin. Can we not have a series where the male and female characters work together and have a good working relationship and then go home to their respective lives without romantic entanglement? I really enjoyed in the first books how Robin had her relationship with her long term boyfriend and Strike had his series of girlfriends and so the focus was more on Robin and Strike developing a working relationship and navigating that dynamic. I dislike how Matthew has been rendered into such a complete ass. I think it would have been much more interesting to keep him a bit paranoid about the working relationship between Robin and Strike and having him and Robin work through that together. But it is what it is at this point. Should another one come out I'll check it out but it won't be a rush out to get when published priority. And if I don't enjoy that one I might reexamine continuing.
  3. Back to back posting but I just came across an article I thought I'd share here. I don't know about any of you but I don't limit myself to "adult" books. I still read picture, children's, middle grade, and YA books. As I mentioned in the first thread it was the Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Trixie Belden girl detective series that got me hooked on mysteries when I was a tween. So I've got a special fondness for girl detective series like that. Just read this article about such a series that I've been meaning to check out - the Murder Most UnLadylike series by Robin Stevens. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/murder-most-unladylike-the-robin-stevens-series-brings-the-whodunnit-to-young-readers-1.3892209 I don't know if anyone has an interest in this or has a tween/teen in their life who might find it of interest. But I thought I'd share in case.
  4. This thread has gone from slightly dangerous to downright deadly. I'm going to have to use serious willpower to not order every book that sounds potentially interesting this month and hope I find a bunch of them at the used book fair later this summer.
  5. OOo you enjoy Sansom and C.S. Harris? I will for sure try the Sir Robert Carey series. I read the first Lady Emily book but I didn't continue. It was back around 2008 so I think its because the others weren't out at that time and I just failed to pick them up.
  6. I agree not his best but compared to others, still very good. But nothing will ever equal Heartstone for me. That is my absolute favorite. Regarding Kett's Rebellion, that was actually something covered in some of my college Tudor history classes. But I didn't remember any of the specifics other than it was one of the many Tudor rebellions we had covered. I came away with a clearer understanding of it after reading Sansom, however, than I did in those classes back then! Of the series you listed, I've read a couple of the Falco. I enjoyed those. My mother has acquired a few more so I will continue with those. I've had the first SPQR book sitting on my bookshelf for a good few years now, I keep meaning to start it but I did pick it up after a friend highly recommended it. As for a recommendation for a medieval mystery, Sharon Kay Penman - who is a most excellent historical fiction writer whose historical is always incredibly accurate - wrote a 4 book mystery series. The Queen's Man is the first in the series. As I mentioned above, I was a huge fan of any mystery book based on a PBS Mystery series in the 1980s. They did some Campions back then and I found the series through that although I only read a few. I've got The Fashion in Shrouds on my shelf which was my favorite of the tv series. I need to read more though. I've read one of the M.C. Beaton Hamish MacBeths. It was set a Christmastime - I'm big into seasonal holiday reading. amazon regularly puts those on offer so I might pick up a few more next time they are on offer. My mom has been piling the Louise Penny's up on me. I've got a huge stash. I would really like to read an Australian based mystery! Sadly I think other than The Thorn Birds and a few historical romances, I've never read a book set in Australia. That should change. Speaking of locations, I also have a stash of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti mysteries set in Venice that I also want to read. Anyone read these?
  7. I would not normally know so much about him but it was only because of the lack of information for 4 years about the next book that sent me hunting down every little corner of the internet every 6 months or so desperate for an update. I must have just looked right before Tombland was announced because I didn't find anything last year and then when I looked again this winter, it was already out! I was going to link the video of the interview Sansom gave for the release of Tombland whilst in Norwich Cathedral but sadly they've made it password protected. Too bad, it was really interesting as he talked about his research and various characters and events in the story as well as other things Tudor such as Elizabeth and his admiration for Catherine Parr.
  8. I've read and enjoyed a few Josephine Tey's but I've a few more to go. Ruth Rendell I've tried and enjoyed a few. The others are all new to me so that is great! Ha ha yes this is a problem for me too. I have a ton of books on my TBR pile but I am still greedy to learn of and accumulate more. Lots of new-to-me suggestions here! Shall for sure check out the Boris Akunin one. And regarding Sansom, yeah he I think is in remission currently but cancer is what greatly delayed his most recent book. At one point he feared he would die before he finished it and sounds like he went into great depression over this which delayed it even further. He thinks he has another idea for a next one but wants to be more detached from it and wants it to be shorter in case his cancer comes back because he can't handle the idea of not finishing a story he starts. There was an interview he did in conjunction with the release of his last book that is about an hour long and interesting that I will hunt up in case any other Sansom fans are interested. Christie is just so timeless. Throughout her books she's got these observations on people that even though they were written decades ago could be written today. People and human nature doesn't change and her books reflect this. I enjoyed them a lot as a teen but I really enjoy them now. And I better appreciate things in them now that I missed back then. I no longer have my paperback collection as I got rid of them in a misguided I'll never reread these again period in my 20s but I'm slowing acquiring them in ebook format now. amazon has them on offer every now and then for $1.99 so I scope them up when they do.
  9. Oh come back and report after you've read them. I haven't heard of either. I picked up a Swedish mystery and I believe a Norwegian mystery that are both new to me authors and series - the names of which I cannot remember as they are at home - but which seemed interesting. And I'd like to read more mysteries that take place in places other than the US and the UK. You mentioned Rankin, I read one of his and really enjoyed it. They are just on the pricey end in the US. I share mysteries with my mom so I always purchase physical copies and it ends up being cheaper to order them from the UK amazon then getting them in the US. As soon as we finish the Anne Cleves series we will probably move onto these. I believe I have the first Tana French Dublin Murder Squad. I need to give that one a go. Did you make it through the last Sansom? It was perhaps just slightly more than I ever wanted to know about Kett's Rebellion but I enjoyed it. I hope he is still able to continue writing despite his cancer.
  10. Ever since I was a tween and discovered the Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton and Trixie Belden girl detective series, I have been a huge fan of mysteries. As a teen I graduated to my grandma's Agatha Christie collection and then onto P.D. James and then basically any book that a PBS Mystery series was based on in the 1980s. And that was just the beginning. I've always gone through phases with certain genres but mysteries have remained a constant for me. How about you? Any favorites? I'm always looking for new-to-me mysteries. I will probably pass on the cat mysteries, however Current series and authors I am enjoying now... C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series - Tudor England historical C.S Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr series - Regency England historical J.K. Rowling...aka Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike series - contemporary England Anne Cleves - contemporary mysteries in the North East of England and the Shetland Islands Peter May - contemporary mysteries set in various locations but his Lewis Island trilogy is a stand out Some old favorites that I never tire of rereading... Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody Victorian era Egyptian archeology series Elizabeth Peter's Vicky Bliss Art Historian with a side of the dashing John Smythe art thief series. Sarah Caudwell's Hilary Tamar contemporary Inns of Court series And of course, Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie.
  11. I totally agree! Except then there is nothing worse than really liking an author as a person - maybe from seeing them like this at a convention or from their posts on social media - and then trying their books and disliking the books! (There are a number of authors with whom this has happened to me with. I still follow them but I don't read their books!) So its a magical combination when you find an author where you like both the books and the person. Zahn continued to be the winner of the weekend at Star Wars Celebration. Saw a story on Del Ray's twitter today about a very sad woman who had missed out on all his signings and he magically appeared at her side to sign a book for her. I did end up with a copy of Master and Apprentice so I will give that a look some time. Third time is the charm is it not?!? Or its a strike out with Grey for me!
  12. Lemons..lol...spell check is not my friend! Think I will just leave as is, however. I rather like being a lemon and not a lemming...
  13. Well I got my Heir to the Empire trilogy signed by Zahn and I've got to say he is the nicest. Such a professional. Most other authors are just doing hour signings here and there. He is signing every day for a couple of hours but even then starts early and will stay until the last person in line has gotten their books signed. And he is just friendly and attentive to everyone. His staff is great too. This might sound like its as it should be but I've been to a lot of book signings and its not always the case. Especially when there are so many people in line and so many books to sign. Really positive experience! Of course when I went through the chunk of my line was all people my age with their original HTTE hardbacks. We are all Gen-X lemons.
  14. So Star Wars Celebration is this week and I must deal with my biggest problem which is while I am normally a very cheap book buyer - as in I try and wait till I can get an ebook on offer for $1.99 - everything gets thrown out the window when confronted with authors in person and the ability to get autographed books. So I might have waited till I could get the Claudia Grey Star Wars ebooks I've read until they were $1.99 and I might not have liked either of them but I just know when I see her there with the special Celebration hardback edition of her newest book I will get sucked into her signing like there is a tractor beam pulling me in. And I really have no interest in reading the Padme YA book but again I'll see EK Johnston sitting there with her special edition of that book and...*doomed* On the other hand, I'm considering dusting off my old Heir to the Empire hardback and having Timothy Zahn sign it. This would sound frugal except for the fact I must purchase a new book of his in order to get the old book signed. And I already own them all as ebooks. So egg me on or reign me in...what would you do book buying/signing wise if you were going to Celebration?
  15. Well I'm going to Star Wars Celebration in a few weeks so I thought I'd get myself geared up by reading some of the recentish SWs novels. It hasn't started well. I tried one of the Claudia Gray Leia novels - Bloodlines - which I got on special for $1.99 sometime last year. How do you make a novel about Leia boring? Well Bloodlines is incredibly boring. I can't say its the politics or endless senate procedures because I wasn't bored when I read any of the prequels with their endless trade negotiations and politics. But after the first few chapters of Bloodlines, I was forcing myself to read it and it was painful and I finally skipped ahead and read the last few chapters and I just don't care about what happens in between so I guess I'm done with that one. It could be I'm just not a fan of Grey's writing as I wasn't a fan of Lost Stars either - although I was not bored to death by that one. But I'm not sure I will continue with any others before Celebration after this bad start.
  16. Yeah, I just double checked my kindle purchase record and I purchased it on December 18th.
  17. The Thrawn ebook was on sale over the holidays for $1.99 so I picked that up. Also one of the Claudia Grey Leia novels. I haven't read them yet. I find it very odd that The Last Jedi novelization isn't being released until March. Is this the first time they've delayed like that? I know The Force Awakens came out at the same time as the movie. The prequel novels were all released in time with the movies - I know this because I can remember skimming through The Attack of the Clones in the bookstore for spoilers right before seeing the movie on the day it was released.
  18. Thanks for posting that information here, Luga. I didn't know there was a website so its nice to have the information here for everyone to read.
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