A bit busy at the moment and thus several book reviews behind on here. So, this is a 'catch up' post, wherein I make an effort to be brief and fail dismally.
First up, Death on the Riviera by John Bude.
This has got to be one of the best British Library Crime Classic books I've read so far. I really enjoyed the setting of the south of France, and feel the author got the hedonistic lifestyle of some of the foreigners who lived there spot-on. I'm currently reading a non-fiction book about it and although it deals mainly with a slightly earlier era, the details haven't changed much and John Bude clearly knew his stuff. This one was written and set in the early 1950s and the war was still very fresh in people's memories, but it still came as quite a shock to me to see Dunkirk described as still wrecked and practically unnavigable. Little things like that bring history home with a jolt and I like these reality checks. There's a touch of romance in this, humour, skulduggery, food and drink porn, and an excellent sense of place... loved it.
Next up, Valour's Choice by Tanya Huff.
I gave this 3 stars on Goodreads which was possibly a bit miserly of me. 3.5 would've been more accurate as I enjoyed it and read it quite quickly. It comes under the heading of 'Military Science-fiction' I believe... these days science-fiction seems to have been compartmentalised into far more categories than it ever was years ago... and I'm not sure it's my thing precisely. I'm OK with it in small doses perhaps but endless battle scenes do bore me a bit and about half of this book concentrates on the long battle to survive against the rampant young males. I did think the various alien races were well imagined and depicted, especially the Silsviss and their planet. I'm curious about The Others as not much is said about them in this book. And I rather liked Torin Kerr as the main protagonist, her honest, no nonsense approach to everything was refreshing. So, whether I'll read more in this series is uncertain. It's a trifle too military for me *but* the world building and characterisation are both really excellent. Perhaps I'll see where the next books are in the Devon library system and go from there.
Lastly, Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers.
I gather Dorothy L. Sayers wrote this as a love story about Peter and Harriet after their wedding, with a little murder and mayhem thrown in to keep crime readers happy. It's not the place to start if you've never read any of her Wimsey books as this is the last novel she wrote about him, the final volume being a book of short stories I believe. I thought it was delightful, full of humour, quite a lot of romance, and the murder aspect was actually very good. I didn't solve it and had no idea who the culprit was until it was revealed at the end. The thing about Harriet and Peter is that they've neither of them had an easy time of it. Harriet was accused of murdering an ex-lover, culminating in a notorious court case (Strong Poison), and Peter has not been the same since he fought in World War One (the same can be said for the men I knew who fought in World War Two). So it's brilliant to have a book where they've both found happiness at last and I can't help but feel they're perfect for each other. I have an anthology of all of the Wimsey short stories Sayers wrote, Lord Peter, and I honestly can't wait to read them now, plus I have a few of the early Wimsey novels still to read.