And it isn't even as if I haven't been reading, because I have. Four books this month as a matter of fact. So I thought I'd do a very quick word about each of them to bring me up to date.
The first book of the month was a reread of my favourite Georgette Heyer - Sylvester.
Sylvester, Duke of Salford has decided it's time he married. He's not in love, or of a romantic persuasion so just needs a suitable girl. He goes to check out Phoebe Marlow, the daughter of a late friend of his mother's who lives, not that happily, with her father and step-mother and sisters. Phoebe takes offense at being looked over like a horse and takes flight with a child-hood friend, Tom. Sylvester has already lost interest in the girl and leaves but comes upon the two in an inn after they've crashed their carriage. Thus begin his adventures looking after the two and escorting Phoebe to London, where Phoebe turns out to be not at all biddable and falls into scrape after scrape. I've read this one four or five times now, and it's always fresh and delightful. I have other favourite Heyers, Frederica, Arabella, Venetia, The Black Sheep and so on but Sylvester is the one that keeps asking to be read... and so I do.
Next, Kisscut by Karin Slaughter.
I'm pinching the Amazon synopsis for this as the book went back to the library. When a teenage quarrel in the small town of Heartsdale explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton - paediatrician and medical examiner - finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. And what seems at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation. Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, but the children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime. And unless Sara and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it's going to happen again... Not for the faint-hearted this one. I mean *really* not for the faint-hearted. It involves child-abuse which is something I'm normally not happy reading about but Karin Slaughter's writing tends to carry you through and so it did this time. An excellent read and I'm happy to have book 3 of this Grant County series on my library pile.
Next, The case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn.
Daisy is in New York meeting her publisher while husband, Alec, is in Washington advising a gov. dept. She's staying in the Chelsea hotel and soon becomes entangled in the various comings and goings of the other guests. Visiting her publisher, Daisy sees one of the hotel guests is there, a newspaper man, Otis Carmody. Suddenly there is a shot and Otis Carmody plummets to his death down a lift-shaft. Daisy's done it again - fallen over a dead body. Eventually, Alec joins her and the two set about trying to find out which of the hotel guests was the murderer. Another delightful Daisy Dalrymple book. I loved the 1920s American setting, the quirky guests in the hotel - especially the two elderly sisters - and the flight across America that Alec and Daisy end up taking in order to get their man. Huge fun.
Lastly, Snuff by Terry Pratchett.
Sybil has taken her husband, Sam Vimes, Commander of the Anch-Morpok city watch, away for a holiday. This is problematic partly because Sam is addicted to his job, but also the place he's being taken to, Sybil's ancestral home, is in the *country*. Sam is a city boy through and through and wants no truck with the countryside. Young Sam, their son, is in his elememt though as his new obsession is animal poo, of which there is an abundance out in the country. Once there, it doesn't take Sam long to discover that something isn't right. But what? His policeman's nose can sniff a mystery a mile off but first he has to find out what the secret is. It doesn't take him long. Unfortunately it also doesn't take him long to get himself arrested for murder... I think this is book 8 of Terry Pratchett's Sam Vimes books, which is also part of his larger, Discworld series. I've read and loved them all and this one's no exception. In fact, I thought this was the best, although The Fifth Elephant is very close behind. The mix of comic fantasy and mystery is a brilliant one, and Terry does humour better than anyone writing today, in my opinion. It's subtley done and I chuckled my way through the whole thing. Aside from that there is a serious theme to the story... that of how we treat a race of beings we consider to be vermin despite the fact that they have artistic and musical talent and language. Extremely thought-provoking. I wish some of the biggoted idiots we have in the world today could be force-fed Terry's books. Simply wonderful, this book, likely to be in my top ten for 2012.
So that's it from me for a while. RIP might be my next post at the end of the month, or there may be Welsh photos, we'll see.