November was an extremely murder mystery month, apparently.
I enjoyed the two Enola Holmes movies on Netflix, mainly because I liked the actors and less so because the movies were spectacularly good, then discovered that they were based on books. So I went ahead and read the books, which are YA, but still fun and frequently fairly dark. Also, Enola Holmes is a much more entertaining character in the books than the movies.
I recently signed up at BookBub.com, which emails you every day with bargains on books from categories you select, which is where I found The Searcher and the ACF Bookens “cozy mysteries.”
The Searcher was excellent – retired American cop moves to Ireland and stumbles into a dark mystery in the quaint, country village where he settles. Easily the best read this month. I’ve really enjoyed Tana French’s other books, too, so I’m looking forward to anything else she writes.
The ACF Bookens mysteries started strong – Crossed by Death was quite good – but rapidly got more outlandish and tedious as the series went on. I assume these things come out on a yearly schedule, so they probably suffered from being read back to back to back. A lot of series are more enjoyable when you’ve had a year away to miss the characters, and these books are apparently mostly about the characters and the slice of life feel than the mysteries.
- The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- The Case of the Disappearing Duchess: An Enola Holmes Mystery, Nancy Springer
- Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche, Nancy Springer
- Enola Holmes and the Boy in Buttons, Nancy Springer
- Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade, Nancy Springer
- The Searcher, Tana French
- Crossed By Death (Stitches In Crime Book 1), ACF Bookens
- Bobbins and Bodies (Stitches In Crime Book 2), ACF Bookens
- Hanged by a Thread (Stitches In Crime Book 3), ACF Bookens
- Counted Corpse (Stitches In Crime Book 4), ACF Bookens
- Stitch X For Murder (Stitches In Crime Book 5), ACF Bookens
- Sewn at the Crime (Stitches In Crime Book 6), ACF Bookens
- Blood and Back Stitches (Stitches In Crime Book 7), ACF Bookens
- Fatal Floss (Stitches In Crime Book 8), ACF Bookens
- Strangled Skein (Stitches In Crime Book 9), ACF Bookens
- Publishable By Death (St. Marin’s Cozy Mystery Series Book 1), ACF Bookens
I started with The Wee Free Men near the end of September, and plowed through the rest of the Tiffany Aching books in October. These are re-reads, so nothing new here. The Shepherd’s Crown always makes me a little sad, in much the same way that Raising Steam does. Both books were written right before Pratchett passed away, and neither of them were exactly… finished. You can sort of see the books they were meant to be, but you can also plainly see where the Alzheimer’s wasn’t letting Terry write the books the way he meant to.
- A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett
- Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett
- I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett
- The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett
The 9/11 history was a rough read – brutal, visceral, heartbreaking – but very good. If you like history, I highly recommend it. The Kaiju Preservation Society was lighthearted, delightful, and fun. Made a great palate cleanser after the history. Fairy Tale was also a great read, reminded me a lot of King’s older novels. And of course, anything by Terry Pratchett is always fantastic.
- The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, Garrett M. Graff
- The Kaiju Preservation Society, John Scalzi
- Fairy Tale, Stephen King
- The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett
Not a huge fan of the Wayward Children books, as it turns out. They’ve won a bunch of awards, including a Hugo for Best Series or some such this year, but they’re not my cup of tea. They’re pretty obviously for younger readers, for starters. Heavy on the telling not the showing, kind of light on plot. Didn’t care for them.
The Law was fun, a short little side-trip into the Dresden universe to see what’s up since the last book.
Sympathy for the Devil was surprisingly good. I’ve really enjoyed The Orville anyway. The book is built off a script that didn’t get used during the most recent season due to plague/timing problems, I think. Kind of a shame – I’d have loved to see it on the TV show.
After having watched The Sandman on Netflix, I decided to go re-read the comics. I have no idea how to count a run of comics. There are 75 of them, but y’know, comics. Not a ton of reading happening. It was fun to revisit them, but I had completely forgotten how butt-ugly the art was for a lot of them, particularly the first couple dozen or so. Ug.
I also chewed through the most recent October Daye novel. It was fun, light reading.
- Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children Book 1), Seanan McGuire
- Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children Book 2), Seanan McGuire
- Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children Book 3), Seanan McGuire
- In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children Book 4), Seanan McGuire
- The Law, Jim Butcher
- The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil, Seth MacFarlane
- The Sandman, 1-75, Neil Gaiman (comic books)
- Be the Serpent (October Daye), Seanan McGuire
Busy month, with too much going on at work to get much reading done. Unfuck Your Habitat was a fun read, with lots of good, realistic tips for keeping up on housework. I picked it up mostly because I follow Hoffman’s Twitter account.
- Unfuck Your Habitat, Rachel Hoffman