So, it's almost mid-June and I've yet to post about any books, even though I've been happily reading away as usual. I have several unreviewed books so to catch up I'll do a quick chat about each of them.
First up, The Burning Issue of the Day by T.E. Kinsey.
Lady Hardcastle and her maid/companion, Flo, set out to help a young suffragette who has been arrested for arson. A young, male journalist was killed in the attack, the police think it's an open and shut case but the woman protests her innocence. The leader of the local suffrage group, Lady Bickle, engages the two female sleuths to find out who did the deed. Helping them is their foe from a previous book, the female journalist, Dinah Caudle. There's antagonism at first but the three settle eventually to helping the local constabulory solve the crime. If your bag is angsty murder mysteries full of gritty realism and violent death then this series is certainly not for you. I hesitate slightly to call them 'cozies' though. True, there's no blood and gore and they're very gentle mysteries. But there's intelligent social comment in every book, and often historical detail I wasn't aware of. For instance I didn't realise there was quite so much opposition to women getting the vote and that it was often led by women themselves. The other thing that raises this series is the wonderful banter, it's genuinely funny the way Lady H. and Flo speak to each other. So yes, the books are cozy, but there's a lot more to them than that and I really enjoy the series.
Next, my first book for the 20 Books of Summer challenge, Fur Babies in France by Jacqueline Lambert.
This is book 1 in the author's 'Adventure Caravanning with Dogs' series and relates how the author and her husband were both made reduntant from their jobs at the same time and had to re-evaluate their lives. Somehow they made a decision to sell up, buy a caravan and use it to tour Europe along with their four dogs. Jackie and Mark are both keen wind-surfers and generally quite out-doorsy types so that added to the attraction, the idea that they could park up near beaches and spend long weeks indulging in their favourite pastime. For their first expedition they decide on France and we follow them as first-time caravanners, complete novices learning how to cope with life towing a caravan and living on caravan sites. I enjoyed this very much. Jackie Lambert writes very well and doesn't skimp on the details of their various learning curves and disasters and she describes it all with a great deal of humour. There are four books so far, charting their trips to Germany and Romania and then the fourth book is about the pandemic. I have all of them as I bought them as a job-lot for my Kindle. I think I'm going to enjoy reading them.
Lastly: Beach Read by Emily Henry, which is my second book for the 20 Books of Summer.
Romance author, January Andrews, has been left a house near a beach somewhere on the shores of Lake Michigan. It's been left to her by her late father who died suddenly, and who she has discovered was living a double life, he had a girlfriend that he sometimes lived there with. January has a deadline for her next book but has writer's block and decides to go and live in her father's house. Next door lives Augustus 'Gus' Everett. January and Gus knew each other in grad school when they were both doing a writing class. She felt he had looked down on her romance genre because he was a writer of literary books. But now both of them have writer's block. So they decide to swap genres, Gus will write a romance novel and January will write a 'serious' literary book. That will work, won't it? So. This is a hugely popular book that I thought I would love and then didn't. I didn't hate it, not at all. It's well written, has a lot of humour and the setting on the lake was different. I think I just reached the end of my tether with the two main protaganists quite quickly. They annoyed me with their self-absorption, there was too much wallowing, too much non-communication. I wanted to yell, 'For PITY'S sake, get a grip!' So there you go, each to his own, lots of people loved this and I can see why, I just don't think it's aimed at Cynical Old Biddies like me.
I hope your June reading is going well?