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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Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

Royal Flush
(Royal Spyness #3)
by Rhys Bowen

RoyalFlush

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.

 

Rannoch House
Belgrave Square
London. W.1.
August 12, 1932

It is my opinion that there is no place on earth more uncomfortable than London during a heat wave. I should probably qualify this by confessing that I have never gone up the Congo River in the Heart of Darkness with Conrad, nor have I crossed the Sahara by camel. But at least people venturing to those parts are prepared to be uncomfortable. London is so seldom even vaguely warm that we are always caught completely unprepared. The tube turns into a good imitation of the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta and the smell of unwashed armpits, strap-hanging inches from one’s face, is overwhelming.

 

TeaserTuesdaysADailyRhythm

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.

 

I do usually try to avoid the tube, however. For a country-bred girl like myself the descent into that black hole has always been a cause for alarm–and more so since I was almost pushed under a train by a man who was trying to kill me.

*****

What are you reading now? Do you have anything to share?

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone
(The Great Library #1)
by Rachel Caine

InkBone

Jacket blurb:

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn….

 

***

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 first clue Jess had that his hiding place had been discovered came in the form of a hard, open-handed slap to the back of his head. He was engrossed in reading, and he’d failed to hear any telltale creak of boards behind him.

His first instinct was, of course, to save the book, and he protectively curled over the delicate pages even as he slid out of his chair and freed his right hand to draw a knife . . . but it wasn’t necessary.

***

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.

The paper was the morning edition, and it must have just turned evening, because as Jess handed it back, the newspaper erased itself, and filled line by line with new words. The ink-licker stayed front-page news, which probably would have pleased the vile old creature.

***

I can’t resist. Here is another quote from this world where censorship is rampant and it is illegal to own an actual paper and ink book. If you happen to visualize the concept of a press-printer, it’s best to keep quiet and not propose a demonstration.

The pernicious heresy that began with Gutenberg once again appears among us, as if some great and sinister force insists on destroying the greatest institution of learning humankind has ever known. That it should spring from the mind of one of our most valuable and well-regarded Scholars, one so closely connected to the Iron Tower itself, makes it even more disturbing.

As with Gutenberg and all others who have followed, we must destroy this heresy immediately and completely. We have no choice.

***

This YA book isn’t my usual fare, but I am really enjoying it. The story is pulling me along at a rapid pace. Thank you to Selah for bringing it to my attention.

What are you currently reading? Do you have anything to share with us?

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

*****

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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?

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?

A Gentleman of France by Stanley Weyman

A Gentleman of France
Being the Memoirs of Gaston de Bonne Sieur de Marsac
by Stanley Weyman

GentFrance

*****

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 death of the Prince of Conde, which occurred in the spring of 1588, by depriving me of my only patron, reduced me to such straits that the winter of that year, which saw the King of Navarre come to spend his Christmas at St. Jean d’Angely, saw also the nadir of my fortunes. I did not know at this time–I may confess it to-day without shame–wither to turn for a gold crown or a new scabbard, and neither had nor discerned any hope of employment. The peace lately patched up at Blois between the King of France and the League persuaded many of the Huguenots that their final ruin was at hand; but it could not fill their exhausted treasury or enable them to put fresh troops into the field.

*****

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.

I think, as we sat our horses in the rain, the holly-bush not being large enough to shelter us all, we were as sorry a band as ever set out to rescue a lady; nor was it without pain that I looked round and saw myself reduced to command such people. There was scarcely one whole unpatched garment among us, and three of my squires had but a spur apiece.

*****

From the Stanley J. Weyman site:

Admired by renowned authors such as Stevenson, Wilde, and Rafael Sabatini, Stanley John Weyman is today a forgotten literary giant of the late 19th century. While for years his best-selling historical romances enchanted thousands of readers, today his books are mostly neglected.

One of his most well known novels was A Gentleman of France, which describes the “grand climacteric of a man’s life”.  Forty-year-old M. de Marsac is in the process of losing his finances and gentleman status. He has been forced to groom his own horse by cover of night and faces ridicule because of his tattered appearance when he goes before the court of Henry of Navarre seeking a commission. . . . . A silent film in 1921 was based on the novel.

For lovers of historical novels, A Gentleman of France (1893) is available free at Project Gutenberg in numerous formats. I’ve heard it described as The Three Musketeers without the tedious bits.

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?

The Octopus by Frank Norris

The Octopus
A Story of California
by Frank Norris

TheOctopus1

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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.

Just after passing Caraher’s saloon, on the County Road that ran south from Bonneville, and that divided the Broderson ranch from that of Los Muertos, Presley was suddenly aware of the faint and prolonged blowing of a steam whistle that he knew must come from the railroad shops near the depot at Bonneville. In starting out from the ranch house that morning, he had forgotten his watch, and was now perplexed to know whether the whistle was blowing for twelve or for one o’clock. He hoped the former. Early that morning he had decided to make a long excursion through the neighbouring country, partly on foot and partly on his bicycle, and now noon was come already, and as yet he had hardly started. As he was leaving the house after breakfast, Mrs. Derrick had asked him to go for the mail at Bonneville, and he had not been able to refuse.

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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.

When Presley reached Annixter’s ranch house, he found young Annixter himself stretched in his hammock behind the mosquito-bar on the front porch, reading “David Copperfield,” and gorging himself with dried prunes.

Annixter–after the two had exchanged greetings–complained of terrific colics all the preceding night.

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The Octopus is the current group read (through January 2) at the 19th Century Literature group. It is available in numerous formats from Project Gutenberg and in audio from LibriVox. Visit Becky’s Books for extras (historical information and related photos).

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What are you currently reading?