“A Curious Beginning” & a Curious Heroine

23160039A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
NAL: September 1, 2015 (Historical Fiction; Historical Mystery)*

The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh)

A Curious Beginning is the launch of Raybourn’s newest series featuring amateur sleuth, adventuress, lepidopterist, and lover of foreign men, Miss Veronica Speedwell. Veronica has just buried her spinster aunt, her last living guardian, and she’s ready for another adventure. However, this adventure is much closer to home than she could have anticipated. Arriving home from her aunt’s funeral she surprises a burglar and hitches a ride to London with a German baron that claims to have known her mother and father, both of whom Veronica has no remembrance of.

Once in London, her self-appointed guardian stashes Veronica with a trusted ally, Stoker. Stoker is none to happy to have Veronica as a guest; he is not impressed with her opinions on his collection, but he nonetheless complies. When the baron is murdered, Veronica and Stoker are suddenly on the run. Stoker is the prime suspect and doesn’t quite trust the fact that Veronica wasn’t complicit in the murder of his friend. And well, Veronica, she’s not one to turn down an adventure. (more…)


Trade Secret: A disappointment for a dedicated fan of the Liaden Universe

tradesecretTrade Secret by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, November 5th, 2013 (Science Fiction / Space Opera)*

My rating: Vacation by the beach

Disclaimer: The Liaden novels are some of my all-time favorites, and I am devoted to Lee and Miller.

This latest installment just did not achieve the greatness of all the other stories in the Liaden Universe. I felt confused throughout the first half, and certain things still did not make sense even by the end. I ended up reading the whole thing without trying to go back and make sense of it. Would I have done that if I were reading a paper copy? I’m not sure – but on an eReader, it’s not worth it.

The first of Jethri’s stories was published with the Crystal Variation omnibus (loved that one! The stories about how the Korval clan got its start, and especially the anthropomorphic tree!). I read it two years ago and could not remember the context for this follow-up. Which really hindered my ability to understand the plot in this one. I would have found a preliminary summary of what went before extremely helpful in understanding the events that take place in this book.


On the ninth day of Christmas, we take you away from it all…

winter getaway titles… with nine books that will have you slavering for white sand beaches, bright sunshine, and hot deserts. Or, they might help you get away from the cold wintery weather you’re probably experiencing.

What follows is a painstaking list (painstaking because apparently I don’t read many books set in hot places or seasons), a somewhat random selection of books that I hope are well-suited to helping readers escape from winter weather and suffering. Runs the gamut of genres, with nonfiction, rom-com, fantasy, thriller, historical fiction, and science fiction. (more…)