Happy New Year! Here’s to a really wonderful 2021 (fingers crossed!).
The first book of the year is a Christmas-themed book. It’s a cozy murder-mystery by Georgette Heyer, A Christmas Party. The plot is set over Christmas in a Tudor-era home in England. So far, I’m liking it a lot. I also love the ambience of the Tudor estate. (Fun fact: I once stayed in a Tudor estate.) Though, I have to admit, most of the characters are completely unlikable. Since I don’t read murder-mysteries often, I wonder if that’s the point? If I’m supposed to figure out who committed the murder, then I can’t find every character charming, right?
A colorful assortment of guests at a festive holiday house party discover there is a killer in their midst when their universally reviled host is found dead-in a room locked from the inside.
For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, the investigation is complicated by the fact that every guest is hiding something-throwing all their testimony into question and casting suspicion far and wide. The clever and daring crime will mystify readers, yet the answer is in plain sight all along…
It’s time for my reading wrap-up for the first quarter of 2019.
I read romances (of course!) and books on photography and fashion. All in all, a very successful first quarter. This is a long post so get yourself a cup of tea and settle in for a fun read about books.
Coming Home for Christmas – A Christmas anthology by Lindsay McKenna, Delores Fossen and Geri Krotow. This anthology features three stories, all military-themed. If you like military-themed romances, then this anthology of three novellas is for you. It’s perfect to read during the festive season (so make a note of it for Christmas 2019). The stories were well-thought out, with rich plots and fleshed out characters. And there is always something romantic about a hero coming home from war.
Except…truth be told, I didn’t realize I would not find this theme romantic. I’ve had a brother and a husband go to war and it was stressful and scary and anxious. And I’ll always have the gray hair I got while my husband was in Afghanistan for one year. I probably won’t be reading military-themed romances again. You learn by reading and I learned that it’s too soon for me to read these types of stories. Nevertheless, the stories were well-written and penned by female military veteran writers and I was happy to support them by buying this book.
A Christmas Railway Mystery by Edward Marston. This book was a treat. It’s actually part of a series, but I was able to enjoy this book without having read any of the other books. Set in December 1860 in a small town outside London, a detective is on the hunt for a murderer. I played a game with myself to figure out who the murderer is while reading this book, but I was dead wrong with my conclusion (pun intended)! The murderer was someone I least suspected. I’m not sure what Christmas-time and murders have in common, but nevertheless I loved reading this book and I will seek out more English mystery/detective books next Christmas.
Paris for One by Jojo Moyes. This was a very charming short story. The main character is a young British girl (somewhat depressed) who is stood up by her boyfriend at the train station. This forces her to travel to Paris alone. But this is good because she embarks on an entirely new adventure in the City of Light. By the end of the story, our heroine discovers that she deserves to be treated well and learns how to live more daringly. I won’t say anything else, as I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. But if you have an afternoon to spare, this book is a must-read. Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman. This is another short story. It starts out sweet and funny, but quickly becomes action-packed and leaves you at the edge of your seat. Our main character Lisa is a withdrawn woman (and easily overwhelmed by life) and doesn’t trust anyone because of something bad that happened to her. We don’t find out what that bad thing is until the end of the story. Most of the story takes place while Lisa is driving to Cornwall with a small group of Poldark fans (who dubbed themselves “Poldarlings”) riding along in her car. As they are driving to Cornwall, chaos ensues which leads to soul-searching and self-discoveries for all the characters. This is another quick afternoon read, perfect for summer. Go for it.
Wild Wyoming Nights by Joanne Rock. This was a very romantic, feel-good Harlequin novel. I wrote about it in a previous blog post.
PrettyCityLondon by Siobhan Ferguson. This book is a gorgeous read about London’s most scenic neighborhoods and gives you tips on photography. It inspired me to dust off my old camera.
Kate: How to Dress like a Style Icon by Caroline Jones. I bought this book because I wanted to learn tips on how to dress more stylish. It has pages and pages of gorgeous photography, fashion tidbits, outfit ideas and acts as a look book. I’m so glad I bought this book. It gave me hours of enjoyment. Do I dress more stylish? The verdict is still out.
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