Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Astor Place
(Gaslight Mysteries #1)
by Victoria Thompson

MurderAstorPlace

FirstChapFirstPara

 

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

At first Sarah thought the tinkling of the bell was part of her dream. It sounded so sweet and soothing, and she was following it across a sunlit meadow, as if it were a golden butterfly. But then the pounding started, and she knew this wasn’t a dream at all. Dragging herself away from the meadow and out of the depths of sleep, she forced her reluctant eyelids open. Sure enough, someone was pounding on her office door.

“Hold your horses,” she muttered as she threw off her covers. The night air was chilly for early April, and Sarah recalled the freak storm that had stuck yesterday, dropping several inches of snow on the city. Shivering, she felt around in the dark for her slippers but failed to locate them. Padding barefoot through the darkness toward where she knew the bedroom door to be, she snatched her robe from the foot of the bed and shrugged into it as she went. “Coming!” she called, wondering if whoever was knocking could hear her over the racket he was making.

 

BooksBeat

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s Books and a Beat or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

 

You’ve wasted a trip and bothered us for nothing, and I must say, I plan to complain to Teddy about this. That’s Police Commissioner Roosevelt to you. His mother is a dear friend of mine, and I used to dandle him on my knee when he was a boy.

 

*****

This is the first book in Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mysteries which is now up to number nineteen. I’ve been meaning to try this series for a long time and am so glad I finally got around to beginning it. Have you read any of them?

 

 

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City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen

City of Darkness and Light
(Molly Murphy #13)
by Rhys Bowen

CityDarknessLight

*****

FirstChapFirstPara

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

Like many Irish people I have always been a strong believer in a sixth sense. In fact I had prided myself on mine. I credited it with alerting me to danger more than once during my career as an investigator. So I can’t explain why it let me down on such a critical occasion, when an advance warning might have spared us all such grief. Maybe the perpetrator of this evil had not planned it in advance. Maybe it had been a last-minute order from above, so I had not been able to sense his intention or his presence . . . or their presence. I’m sure there must have been more than one of them. That was how they worked.

*****

BooksBeat

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s Books and a Beat or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

From their letters they seemed to be having a roaring good time, while I missed them terribly. I had come to count on their comforting presence across the street, their extravagant parties, and their bohemian lifestyle that Daniel only just tolerated for my sake.

*****

Let’s hope Molly’s thirteenth mystery isn’t unlucky! What are you currently reading? Do you have anything to share with us?

The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman

The Shape Shifter
(Leaphorn & Chee #18)
by Tony Hillerman

ShapeShifter

*****

FirstChapFirstPara

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, retired, stopped his pickup about a hundred yards short of where he had intended to park, turned off the ignition, stared at Sergeant Jim Chee’s trailer home, and reconsidered his tactics. The problem was making sure he knew what he could tell them, and what he shouldn’t, and how to handle it without offending either Bernie or Jim. First he would hand to whomever opened the door the big woven basket of fruit, flowers, and candies that Professor Louisa Bourbonette had arranged as their wedding gift, and then keep the conversation focused on what they had thought of Hawaii on their honeymoon trip, and apologize for the duties that had forced both Louisa and him to miss the wedding itself. Then he would pound them with questions about their future plans, whether Bernie still intended to return to her job with the Navajo Tribal Police. She would know he already knew the answer to that one, but the longer he could keep them from pressing him with their own questions, the better. Maybe he could avoid that completely. It wasn’t likely. His answering machine had been full of calls from one or the other of them. Full of questions. Why hadn’t he called them back with the details of that Totter obituary he wanted them to look into? Why was he interested? Hadn’t he retired as he’d planned? Was this some old cold case he wanted to clear up as a going away present to the Navajo Tribal Police? And so forth?

*****

TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s A Daily Rhythm or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

Leaphorn wandered to the back door, noticing how lines of dust blown in through the vacant windows had formed across the floor, observing the piles of leaves in the corners, thinking how quickly nature moved to restore the damage done by man. He looked out at the burned remains of the gallery section, remembering how a typical torrential rain of the monsoon season had arrived in time to save this part of the Handy’s establishment.

*****

The Shape Shifter (2006) is the last Leaphorn & Chee book published before Tony Hillerman’s death in 2008. I was saving it and now am finally reading it. Thanks to Betty Louise, I know that his daughter, Anne Hillerman, is continuing the series.

Have you read any of Hillerman’s mysteries?

Discovering a Centuries Old Library

TravelingWithDead

In the end she turned the key but left it in the lock, and stepped cautiously through the door she had opened into what had probably been a dining room but was as large as the ballroom of her aunt’s house in Mayfair. It was lined floor to ceiling with books: goods boxes had been stacked on top of the original ten-foot bookshelves, and planks stretched over windows and doors so that no one square foot of the original paneling showed and the tops of the highest ranks brushed the coffered ceiling. Yellow-backed adventure novels by Conan Doyle and Clifford Ashdown shouldered worn calf saints’ lives, antiquated chemistry texts, Carlyle, Gibbon, de Sade, Balzac, cheap modern reprints of Aeschylus and Plato, Galsworthy, Wilde, Shaw.

Traveling with the Dead (James Asher #2) by Barbara Hambly

 

*****

Need I say that the name Balzac grabbed my attention! There is another great quote from later in the book when one of the vampires says, “We follow families, names, neighborhoods for years, sometimes decades. To us, chains of events are like the lives of Balzac’s characters, or Dickens’. The nights are long.”

I was unfamiliar with the name Clifford Ashdown. Research showed that it is a nom de plume used by Richard Austin Freeman and John James Pitcairn for books on which they collaborated.

Mystery Characters Quote

FoolHoney

 

 

I woke up on a floor, a cold concrete floor. It was in a windowless room lit by a bulb hanging from a cord in the middle of the ceiling.

My mouth was dry as cotton and my head hurt like hell. I tried to lift it, and the effort left me shaken and nauseated. I satisfied myself with just shifting my eyes around. I thought of all the books I’d read, all the mysteries. Spenser wouldn’t have ended up this way. Neither would Kinsey Millhone. Or Henrie O. Or Stephanie Plum. Well, yeah, maybe Stephanie Plum.

 

A Fool and His Honey (Aurora Teagarden #6) by Charlaine Harris

Traveling with the Dead by Barbara Hambly

Traveling with the Dead
(James Asher #2)
by Barbara Hambly

TravelingWithDead

*****

FirstChapFirstPara

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

The house was an old one, inconspicuous for its size. Curiously so, thought Lydia Asher, when she stood at last on the front steps, craning her neck to look up at five stories of shut-faced dark façade. More curious still, given the obvious age of the place, was the plain half timbering discernible under centuries of discoloration and soot, the bull’s-eye glass of the unshuttered windows, the depth to which the centers of the stone steps had been worn.

Lydia shivered and pulled closer about her the coat she’d borrowed from her cook–even the plainest from her own collection would have been hopelessly fashionable for these narrow, nameless courts and alleys that clustered behind the waterfront between Blackfriars Bridge and Southwark. He can’t hurt me, she thought, and brought up her hand to her throat. Under the high neck of her plain wool waist she could feel the thick links of half a dozen silver chains against her skin.

*****

TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s A Daily Rhythm or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

It was one thing to speculate about the physiology of the house’s owner in the safety of her own study at Oxford, or with James close by and armed.

It was evidently quite another to go up and knock on Don Simon Ysidro’s front door.

*****

This supernatural mystery series features humans James and Lydia Asher and ancient vampire Don Simon Ysidro. I’m just beginning Traveling with the Dead, but it looks like this one focuses on espionage. See the post on Those Who Hunt the Night for a list of books in the series and a link to Barbara Hambly’s website.

What are you reading this week?

Dead Man’s Island by Carolyn Hart

Dead Man’s Island
(Henrie O #1)
by Carolyn Hart

DeadmansIsland

*****

FirstChapFirstPara

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

I don’t consider myself an angel, avenging or otherwise, but I can’t always accept fate as the answer. Timing makes all the difference.

There exists a rather charming school of thought that the motorist who looms out of the fog at precisely the right moment or the fatherly old man who takes a lost child’s hand and leads her to safety are heaven-sent messengers.

Unknown to themselves, of course.

*****

TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s A Daily Rhythm or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

The young woman he recalled was almost lost in the mists of memory, and those partaicular memories I had no intention of resurrecting. The reckless young reporter whom Chase had known so well was now a woman who had spent five decades covering fires, disasters, wars, revolutions, murders, and public scandals.

*****

I read a number of Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series years ago, but have only discovered the delightful Henrie O. It looks like there are seven in the series. Have you read any of Hart’s books?

The Heist by Evanovich and Goldberg

The Heist
(O’Hare and Fox #1)
by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Heist

*****

FirstChapFirstPara

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To play along, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon.

Kate O’Hare’s favorite outfit was her blue windbreaker with the letters FBI written in yellow on the back, worn over a basic black T-shirt and matching Kevlar vest. The ensemble went well with everything, particularly when paired with jeans and accessorized with a Glock. Thirty-three-year-old Special Agent O’Hare didn’t like feeling exposed and unarmed, especially on the job. That all but ruled her out for undercover work. Fine by her. She preferred a hard-charging style of law enforcement, which was exactly what she was practicing on that 96 degree winter afternoon in Las Vegas when she marched into the St. Cosmas Medical Center in her favorite outfit with a dozen similarly dressed agents behind her.

*****

TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate. If you’re new to Teaser Tuesdays, the details are at Jenn’s A Daily Rhythm or on my Tuesday Memes Page.

There were half a dozen identical Las Vegas Aerial Tours choppers in the airspace above the Strip, and even though only one of them had a man hanging from a landing skid, by the time she got the word out Nick’s helicopter had disappeared. It didn’t help that in all the excitement, she’d failed to notice the chopper’s tail number and had nothing to give to the air traffic controllers so they could track its transponder.

*****

At about a quarter through the book, I am enjoying the first in this series. There’s plenty of Evanovich’s trademark humour and the collaboration seems to be working well. Goldberg has worked on numerous television programs and written series based on Mr. Monk and Diagnosis Murder. This is the first I recall reading by him. Have you read any of his work?

Reading Challenges – 4th Quarter and 2015 Wrap-up

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*****

RMFAO2015

RMFAO 2015 Classics Challenge

With the top level being Level 5: Professor – 12 or more books, this one was a piece of cake for me and was completed during the second quarter. Extras added this quarter:

30. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells
31. Mont Oriol or A romance of Auvergne by Guy de Maupassant
32. Notre Coeur or A Woman’s Pastime by Guy de Maupassant
33. Evan Harrington by George Meredith
34. The Distracted Preacher by Thomas Hardy
35. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris
36. Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

October – Horror (Level 4: Bibliophile – 4 books)
1. Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
2. A Touch of Dead (collection of the Sookie short stories) by Charlaine Harris
3. After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris
4. Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher #1) by Barbara Hambly

November – Historical (Level 1: Casual Reader – 1 book)
1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

December – Adventure/Fantasy (Level 2: Frequent Reader – 2 books)
1. The Martian by Andy Weir
2. Shackleton’s Forgotten Men by Leonard Bickel

A success with at least one book for each genre. February – Crime/Mystery, with eight books read was my biggest month, followed by May – Classics/Literary with seven books.

RMFAO 2015 Series Challenge

The same as Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015 below with the addition of:

AMELIA PEABODY series by Elizabeth Peters
18. Tomb of the Golden Bird

A miserable fail! Out of five series I had planned to finish, I only finished one (the Stephanie Plum series shown below).

*****

Yvonne2015

What An Animal Reading Challenge VIII 2015

Level 2 – Read 7-12

7. Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
8. The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L’elegance du herisson) by Muriel Barbery
9. Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18) by Elizabeth Peters
10. A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2) by Charlaine Harris
11. The Octopus: A Story of California by Frank Norris

Completed. Luckily for me, the qualification rules are very broad.

Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more

17. Death of a Liar (Hamish Macbeth #31) by M. C. Beaton
18. Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum #19) by Janet Evanovich
19. Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum #20) by Janet Evanovich
20. Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21) by Janet Evanovich
21. Tomb of the Golden Bird (Amelia Peabody #18) by Elizabeth Peters
22. A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2) by Charlaine Harris

Successfully completed and loads of fun doing it!

Finishing the Series Reading Challenge 2015

Level 4: Expert series reader – Complete 4 or more series. A massive failure. It seemed so doable in January, yet I only managed to complete one series. There were seven unread books on the list (eight counting the extra series for the RMFAO Challenge). I blame my failure on getting hooked on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and reading nine of them in 2015. They weren’t on the list – but it was worth it as I really enjoyed the series.

Books read this quarter and the only series completed this year:

STEPHANIE PLUM series by Janet Evanovich
19. Notorious Nineteen
20. Takedown Twenty
21. Top Secret Twenty-One

*****

Riedel2015Mystery

My Kind Of Mystery 2015

February 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016

Level 5: Invisible Floor 41 or more:

33. Roadkill by Kinky Friedman
34. Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
35. Death of a Liar by M. C. Beaton
36. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
37. Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
38. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
39. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
40. Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
41. A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

Since this is not a calendar year Challenge, there is still one month to go. But it is already completed, so – success!

*****

GoodReads2015

My 2015 Goodreads Challenge was 100 books. Success! Completed on the last day of the year.

Special Collection: The Works of Patricia Wentworth (1878-1961)

How wonderful! I read a couple Miss Silver novels years and years ago and quite enjoyed them. Thanks for bringing all these to our attention, Laura.

Pleasure of Reading

Dora Amy Elles (November 10, 1878 – January 28, 1961) wrote under the pen name of Patricia Wentworth. She was a British crime writer, best known for her Miss Silver Mysteries, though she also wrote romantic novels. Miss Silver is frequently compared to Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple, though Patricia Wentworth’s first Miss Silver novel pre-dated Agatha Christie’s first Miss Marple novel by two years, and may well have inspired Agatha Christie.

Unmarked works which are hyperlinked are available on Faded Page.

Works marked with a * are currently under development at Distributed Proofreaders Canada and will be made available over the next few months.

Works marked with a † are available on the Project Gutenberg US site.

Miss Silver Novels

  1. Grey Mask (1928)
  2. The Case is Closed (1937)
  3. Lonesome Road (1939)
  4. Danger Point (1941) aka In the Balance
  5. The Chinese Shawl (1943)
  6. Miss Silver Intervenes (1943) aka Miss…

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