Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So mysterious!

I have been reading, just not posting much about it. I've mostly been on a mystery kick:

Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron. Since posting a review of the first, I've read #2 (Jane and the Man of the Cloth) and #3 (Jane and the Wandering Eye) and they did not disappoint. There's something a little poignant in knowing Jane Austen's biography when reading these--I know how many years she has left to live, and I know the outcome of her romantic entanglements. But somehow, this doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the stories, which is a credit to Barron.

The Flaming Luau of Death by Jerrilyn Farmer. This is the most recent (out in paperback, anyway...I don't buy mysteries in hardback) in her series about Madeline Bean, a party planner in LA. She has two fun assistants, and her parties always end one way...with police tape and a chalk outline. Seriously, who would hire this woman to plan a party after a half dozen or so The first in Sympathy for the Devil. I rather like these, and this latest was very enjoyable.

Re-reading the Diane Mott Davidson series. The first is Catering to Nobody. These are about Goldy, a caterer with a son who goes from around 10 years old into his teenaged years. She gets married during the course of the series. Each book includes a handful of recipes, some of which are really excellent. I have mixed feelings about these. I always enjoy them, but there are little annoyances. For example, in every book she has Goldy look in the mirror and describe herself, which is a pretty lame device. In every book, she brings up the thumb that her ex-husband broke in three places. Arch (her son) can be a real pain in the patoot, but she puts up with his moodiness and flat-out jerky behavior. She uses adjectives like there might be a shortage soon. And a lot of her causes of death are really convoluted, on par with the terrorist plot in Snakes on a Plane for sheer plausibility. That said, I like them anyway. Maybe I cut her some slack because I *adore* her recipe for Grand Marnier Cranberry Muffins, but I like Goldy, and the investigations are always interesting. So if you're looking for a new series to try, give the first book a read and see how much these things bother you. I can obviously get past them, since I'm re-reading the series for the umpteenth time.

That's it for now!

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