I Spy Something Splendid!

images-1India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy is number trois in the clever Carol K. Carr’s historical fiction series (set in Victorian England), and as I always say, this one is my favorite.

From Mrs. Drinkwater, who’s name somehow highlights both her lack of cooking skills and fondness for stealing India’s liquor, to the stinky Vincent, who’s still not allowed on the cushions due to his eau de filth, India is at her smartest, most sarcastic self. Through twists and turns among the villainous anarchists, India reveals just enough to let us wonder what she’s up to.

The spy stuff is brilliant, but those tantalizing personal pieces of the puzzle—moments with French, the mystery surrounding her mother, and oh, those notes to and from the Marchioness Tullibardine, (which could be a short story itself!)—tie the whole adventure together. We are amused.

Rating: Inhaled!

Still not convinced? Then check out her short story, India Black and The Rajah’s Ruby.

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For Pete’s Sake!

I don’t really know who Pete is, but anytime my Midwestern roots are showing, you better believe Pete will be there, too.

Meet my BFF, whom I’ve never actually met, for Pete’s sake, author Jess Riley. In Closer Than They Appear, a chance encounter at a stop light begins the quest that had me Midwestern rooting for her charming, quirky characters.images

But let me back up, for Pete’s sake. Jess had me at her intro, up through and all the way to the bonus vegetarian recipes at the end, (that I will never, ever make), best served with Tostitos and cabana boys named Gustavo!

bingoHey Jess, I will see your Festival Bingo (you’ll have to read about it yourself!) and raise you my adult relationship-building coloring book, Men Are From Jupiter, That’s Why They’re Stupider!

Where’d You Go, Maria Semple?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? has to be my favorite book of the year. Bernadette is a woman after my own heart, so too, by extension is her creator, Maria Semple. I love the way she makes me laugh at the sadness of life.

Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 9.34.53 AMI am sure Ms. Semple isn’t sitting around Googling herself (like some insecure misfits I could name), but if she was, I’d like to think that maybe she saw me raising a fruity, pineapple toast in her direction.