BOOK & BLOG
January 7, 2012
Books of the Week
As you can see, my reading during the holiday season consisted mostly of comfort reads. I think I’ve now caught up on my G.M. Malliet; Death at the Alma Mater was weaker than her other books, but nonetheless a pleasurable way to spend some hours. Malliet applies a modern sensibility to a traditional genre, and though your aged aunt could read her work without blinking, there’s nothing staid about it.
Simon R. Green has long been on my “must read” list, and The Bride Wore Black Leather is true Green. John Taylor is marrying Shotgun Suzie, and the night before the wedding events in the Nightside take a terrible turn . . . of course. It’s up to John Taylor to solve one last case before he walks down the aisle. But this time, even his usual sidekicks turn against him, and things look pretty bleak for our favorite anti-hero.
Georgette Heyer’s No Wind of Blame is one of her traditional mysteries, and though it seems a bit creaky now, it’s still a great read. She seems to have an endless supply of charm and sly amusement with her characters.
I read three Jane Austen-derived novels. Of course, Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James was a must-have. A mystery titan like P.D. James, writing about Jane Austen’s characters? Had to have it. Was I a bit disappointed? Yes, just a bit. I expected to be knocked sideways, and instead it was another entertaining read. I’m not going to say “just” another entertaining read, because that’s a great thing in and of itself. I think the way James chose to depict the way a murder investigation would have worked in Lizzie Bennet Darcy’s time was unexpected and interesting, and this is a book worth reading.
Mansfield Park and Mummies is quite funny almost in spite of the mummies. Vera Nazarian’s revisiting of Austen’s Mansfield Park has a light-hearted air about it, and some really amusing passages. If you’re an Austen devotee, as I am, you’ll have some happy hours with it.
Now that the holidays are over and we’re all buckling back down to work – we are, aren’t we? – I’m ready to be bowled over by a fabulous book. I sure read some great ones last year, as I look through my Book & Blog columns.
What do I anticipate in the coming year? So much! Of course, the publication of Deadlocked, and the tour, which this year will be concentrating on a part of the U.S. I felt had been neglected in previous years – yes, South! I’m coming! So be alert for the tour schedule to be up when my publicist at Penguin, the amazing Jodi, has finalized everything.
Then there’ll be the publication of An Apple for the Creature, the fifth anthology Toni L.P. Kelner and I have worked on together. And we still speak to each other on occasion! (Actually, Toni and I and Dana Cameron email each other every single day, I think.) We’ve had amazing luck in picking really good contributors, even when they hadn’t even thought of writing a paranormal story. The mixture of mystery and science fiction writers has worked really well for us.
The fifth season of “True Blood” will air, and we’ll find out what startling developments Alan Ball and his team have in store for us. Chris Meloni, for one! He’s going to play a vampire, and will be a series regular. Pretty darn good, I say.
My overseas travel plans for the year continue to be a bit uncertain, but when I have something concrete to report you’ll hear it here.
In a family of five, there’s always something going on in my personal life, too. One of my children got married this past year. In 2012, if (God willing) all goes well, I will become a grandmother, courtesy of another of our offspring.
I hope all of you look forward to this year, and I hope that wonderful things happen to you in 2012. And I look forward to seeing you somewhere on the road.
© 2012 Charlaine Harris