This month’s reads are primarily fiction, as befits the beginning of summer! I just made it to my goal, finishing book six while visiting my husband’s family in Baltimore. A couple of these books were provided to me for free in exchange for my honest review–I will let you know which ones those were below.
Curtain by Agatha Christie is an old favorite. My daughter picked up a copy for me from a used bookstore. Before our house burned down I had amassed an almost complete collection of the works of Agatha Christie, which is around 80 titles in all. I still have most of them but they are covered in soot and stored in the garage, so it has been awhile since I have read them. This is one of two titles that the author put into safe storage during the Blitz in case she was killed. Those works (the other was Sleeping Murder, Miss Marple’s last case) were published upon the author’s death which thankfully did not occur till the 1970s. Written at the height of her powers, this novel is much better than works written later but published earlier.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was a Christmas gift that I have been reading for awhile. Read it if you are a writer! It’s a little goofy at times but I found kernels of wisdom therein.
Seeking Tranquility by Amy Schisler is one of the free books I mentioned. It’s a Catholic romance novel, something I used to wish for back when I was reading a lot of Christian romance novels under the Steeple Hill/Love Inspired imprint. She puts the setting–Chincoteague Island–to great use. Faith is part of the story for sure, but it’s more a natural backdrop than the entire focus of the story. And the story was absorbing with everything from NASA to the mob with a side of wild ponies.
The Heretic’s Apprentice by Ellis Peters is the next Brother Cadfael mystery and this one is more overtly theological than most, centered as it is around issues of what Catholics are required to believe and what is open to discussion. I am over halfway through with this series now and I am going to be so sad when I finish them.
The Vows We Keep by Victoria Everleigh is the second book I received for free. It’s another Catholic romance starring a former priest whose re-entry into the dating world is adorably awkward. I enjoyed the characters and the story and especially the twist ending that I totally did not see coming.
The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray was pure delight. Several of Jane Austen’s characters from various books are gathered for a house party (hosted by Emma Knightly) when who should show up but the odious Mr. Wickham! Everyone has a motive for murdering him so when he turns up dead two of the house guests decide to play detective. These sleuths are the author’s creation, being children of Austen’s characters. One of them is clearly autistic, and I really appreciated the way he was portrayed. This is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year and I wish she would write another one like it.
As ever, I’m linking up with An Open Book! Be sure to check out other great reads there!