This week I’ve been mostly reading crime. After finishing Blood Oath (very good – I’ve reviewed it on the Paisley Piranha site if you want details), I had a cruise through my kindle to see what was lurking unread. I found The Big Overnight by Libby Kirsch, which I’d started and not finished weeks ago. I dug into that and enjoyed it so much I went straight on to The Big Weekend and polished that off in the space of a day.
Years ago I used to read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries (until she became too dithery and I couldn’t believe two intelligent adult males would genuinely remain interested in her), and I loved Jennifer Crusie’s small town romances which were full of humour.
Libby Kirsch’s mysteries have elements of both. Stella Reynolds is a fabulous character, intelligent and determined, and with an eye to the injustices and absurdities of modern life, while the plots are twisty enough to keep me interested as I try to figure out what’s really happening a step or two behind Stella.
If you read crime (cosy rather than gritty) these are highly recommended.
Now, it’s probably back to YA speculative fiction for me. Check back next week to see what I’ve been reading.
I read a lot of YA fiction. Reading is a high priority in my life. I work, I’m a mum, I write books myself (45.5k words through Nanowrimo – whoop!) and I still squash in reading 2 – 3 books a week. I’d be lost without them. But I can get a bit jaded. Just to check if I was tiring of my free reading challenge I decided to shake things up. Instead of YA I picked a few books from other genres to read.
What a pleasure!
First up was Libby Kirsch’s The Big Lead. This is part-romance, part-crime and a whole lot of fun. It reminded me of the Jennifer Crusie novels I read years ago to de-stress when I was in the middle of exams. It was an absolute pleasure – small town America with some glorious, off-beat characters to brighten the place up. Plus, I never read crime. I know there were clues there, but they didn’t impinge on me. I was simply along for the ride, so when it all came together in a fabulous, heart-pounding finale I was completely taken by surprise. I’ll definitely look out for more!
Short and far from sweet
Next up was a collection of short stories. I love short stories (a great way to fill a few unexpected minutes queuing or similar) and I probably don’t read enough. That was certainly my opinion after reading these. I downloaded Icy Sedgwick’s Checkmate: Tales of Speculative Fiction. Woah, they were seriously good – creepy and high unsettling as well as being gorgeously imaginative!
Kept in suspense
And finally, for something completely different I picked up Tracey Pedersen’s All Adrift. I’d probably tag this as romantic suspense as it’s very definitely a romance, but with a strong crime/suspense element.
Also unusual for me, it’s the third in a series. I’m glad to say that didn’t spoil my reading pleasure at all. I was hooked into Jenna and Ryan’s romance from the start, and wanting to find out what was going on with the mysterious, unknown (or was she?) woman. I’m delighted to say all my guesses were completely wrong in a very satisfying way!
Note: putting in links to the books I apologise if they aren’t showing free for you – I think they may have been on a free offer rather than permafree when I picked them up. Having read them, I would say they’re all worth paying for, though!