Tuesday, January 23, 2024

What's In My Reading Basket?

 Books I'm Reading

Hi friends!  My reading basket is chock full of books right now-some I've already finished, some I'm reading right now and some that I have yet to read. So today, I'm sharing what's in my reading basket with you in case you need some ideas for a good read. A few of the authors represented here are tried and true authors that I have followed for years and others are new-to-me authors. I did a bit of book shopping for Christmas and scored some really good titles. Combine that with a gifted book from a friend and you can see I will be kept busy reading for quite a while!

I just finished reading, "Devil's Delight," an M.C. Beaton book with R.W. Green. I have loved these Agatha Raisin mysteries for years and was happy that after Marion Chesney's death (M.C. Beaton) her friend and colleague was going to continue writing books about the character. This book was a cute and fun read in which Agatha is up to her old tricks running her detective agency and solving a mystery which takes her to a nudist colony! Although Bill Wong and James Lacey play a very small part in this book, I was happy to see that Charles, Simon, Patrick, Mrs. Bloxby and Toni are all present and accounted for. The mystery itself was interesting and held my attention throughout. I do feel, though, that Agatha has lost a bit of the "edge" that I enjoyed when M.C. Beaton was still writing these books. It's so hard for a new author to write in the style of someone else, in my opinion, and I have seen this happen with other favorite books. This won't stop me from reading future Agatha Raisin mysteries penned by R.W. Green, however.

I'm in the middle of reading two books right now; "Home for Christmas" by Andrew Greeley and "An Unsuitable Attachment" by Barbara Pym. The Andrew Greeley book was a Christmas gift from a friend and is the first book by this author that I have read. Since Greeley was a Catholic Priest it is no surprise that this book has a religious theme. It is the fictional story of a soldier turned unwilling hero who is "killed" in battle and goes to heaven in what is later termed a "near death experience." While in heaven, the soldier meets people he knew on Earth and has an interview with God who is called The One. I must say that this book is taking me a long time to read because I find myself savoring each reading session and then needing to chew on what I have read before continuing once more. I have a feeling I will be reading another Andrew Greeley book in the future. 

This is the third Barbara Pym book that I have read and so far, "An Unsuitable Attachment" is holding my attention. All of the Pym books I have read take place in England and have a vicar in the story. This book is no exception. I'm enjoying the librarian of the story, named Ianthe Broome, and wondering if there will be a romance blooming between her and Rupert Stonebird, the anthropologist. Or am I completely on the wrong track? This book seems to contain quirky characters with equally quirky names and has been a fun read so far. This author was originally recommended on a book site I follow as comparable to my beloved author, Miss Read. I do not really see any comparison between Miss Read and Barbara Pym other than both authors wrote books that took place in England and had Church of England priests in them. To me, the comparison ends there.

"Hooked on a Feline" by Sofie Kelly and "Time of Fog and Fire" by Rhys Bowen both contain stories about characters that I have read about before many times and enjoyed. Sofie Kelly is the author of the "Magical Cats" series which I love and I look forward to reading "Hooked on a Feline" soon to see what mystery those crazy and magical cats, Owen and Hercules, are going to help solve this time! If you like cats and mysteries I highly recommend the Magical Cats series to you. 

This particular Rhys Bowen book is a Molly Murphy Mystery and takes place later in this particular series. I have read a few Molly Murphy mysteries before and have enjoyed them. I mostly know Rhys Bowen's writing through her other series, "Her Royal Spyness" and have read and enjoyed several books in that series. This particular Molly Murphy book takes place in 1906 in New York City and follows Molly to San Francisco where she attempts to help her police captain husband solve a mystery. Molly reminds me, in a small way, of the Maisie Dobbs character in the books by Jacqueline Winspear. I'm looking forward to reading this particular book soon.

A totally new-to-me-author is Hazel Holt who wrote the Mrs. Malory Mystery series. I found out about this author on a book site I follow on FaceBook and decided to give her books a try. The book I found at our local used book store is actually the final Sheila Malory mystery so I'm starting the series at the very end. We'll see after I am finished with this book if I want to go back to some of the earlier titles and read more. 

So that's what is in my book basket right now. Are you familiar with any of these titles? Have you read any of these authors before? What is in your book basket (or night stand or book shelf) right now? Be sure to share so we can all learn about some new reads! And be sure to check back on Friday for another Faithful Friday devotional!

Until Next Time,


Sharon said...

Thank you for the great book recommendations. I'm putting them on my "books to read" list. I'm familiar with Rhys Bowen, but I haven't read the particular series you reference, so I'm going to look for those books soon--especially since Molly Murphy reminds you of the character Maisie Dobbs.

Iris said...

Goodness, you have a lot of books going on at one time. I can't do that - I can only concentrate on one at a time and I've had a hard time finding new ones that suit me lately. I like the 'cozy mysteries' - not blood and gore, fowl language and sex. The problem I've enountered with so many that I've tried is that they're all alike. At least give me something interesting.

SO, that being said, I'm currently reading a series that I've probably read half a dozen times - and always seemt o enjoy them. I have every one that I collected years ago. It's the "cat who" series by Lillian Jackson Braun who herself has been gone for a number of years. Maybe one day I'll find a different author to follow.
Good hearing from you, Iris

Debbie Styles Life said...

Hope you enjoy the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen. I'll let you know what I think of this latest book I plan to read.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Iris, I love the Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun. I have the whole collection and re-read them frequently. I'm with you. It's hard to find cozy mysteries and books that don't have lots of gore and sex in them. Plus bad language. If you have never read the Fairacre Series and Thrush Green series by Miss Read you might enjoy them. They are available on Amazon and at your local library I'm sure. Have a great week!