I have to confess that a good deal of what I’ve been reading the last few months has been easy to read historical romances (I have all kinds of recommendations if you’re interested), but the mysteries I have read have been five star.
I gave the first ten ‘Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes’ books by Laurie R. King five stars. Book #11, The Pirate King, was definitely not my favorite, nor were books #12 (Garment of Shadows) or #14 (The Murder of Mary Russell). Which is all to say, you never know what to expect when a series reaches its adolescence. Well, I thought book #15, Island of the Mad, was really excellent. Not my favorite in the series, but most certainly five stars. It’s still only available in hardcover, so expect the trade paperback sometime next year.
I have already been told that I am not allowed to pick a book in the same series by the same author as my book of the year two years in a row, so you should know that barring a miracle, my official pick for 2018 will be my second favorite book. That’s because I thought Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw, the second book in her Dr. Greta Helsing series, was just wonderful. Really. This series is so fun and fresh and different and ticks all my boxes (strong female protagonist, vampires, werewolves, and romance). These are the smartest paranormal fantasy books I have ever read. If you found Gail Carriger’s books a little twee, this serious will be the balm you were looking for. We’ve got Strange Practice, book #1 in the series, in stock for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure. Book #3, Grave Importance, should be released next summer.
But look, there is hope. My To Read pile is a mile high. There is the new Deborah Harkness in her new series, Time’s Convert, to come in September. And book #3 in Sherry Thomas’ ‘Lady Sherlock’ series The Hollow of Fear. Plus, I didn’t actually read Strange Practice, my book of the year last year, until a week or so before I had to make my selection.