Friday, September 02, 2011

Two Cozies

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure and Crocodile on the Sandbank.

I haven't really read any cozies in many years but after struggling with the Castle for so long I was just in the mood for something light. These are not great literature but were quick afternoon reads that I found refreshing before moving on to something more substantial.

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure is the first in the Haunted Bookshop series by Alice Kimberly. The heroine, Mrs. McClure has just moved to a little town in Rhode Island to assist her aging aunt with her bookstore. As Mrs. McClure attempts to revitalize the bookstore with a famous mystery author event, her famous author drops dead and it looks like it was murder - GASP! As the quiet town reacts to this extraordinary event Mrs. McClure realizes that the bookshop might be haunted by a ghost who is connected to the murder. But don't worry Mrs. McClure solves the mystery and all is well, as is always the case with cozies.

The Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Amelia Peabody is a woman of independent means who in 1884 wishes to visit the pyramids in Egypt. While visiting a archeological dig there is an attempted kidnapping, attacks and even a crazed mummy terrorizing the camp. Luckily Amelia uses her wits to figure it out and save the day.

While the Amelia Peabody series is very well known I must confess that I enjoyed the Haunted Bookshop more. Perhaps I am just a sucker for anything set in a bookshop but the Crocodile on the Sandbank just kept reminding me of the dated Sunday afternoon movies on tv I watched while growing up involving mummies and tombs set in Egypt. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them both, the Haunted Bookshop just seemed more original to me.

The Imperfectionists

by Tom Rachman

I picked this up at an airport bookshop one day when I was spending way to much time in airports. I thought it looked like a good diversion and I was really pleasantly surprised. It was a very fast read, I finished it before I reached my destination, but it kept me entertained and I really enjoyed the characters.

The novel is made up of the individual stories of various people connected to an English language newspaper in Rome. While I am not always fond of this style, in this instance it really worked. The individual characters were really interesting and the individual stories worked together to give a wonderful sense of the newspaper.

Overall I found it well crafted, humorous and entertaining. And as this was the author's debut novel I will definitely check out his next effort.


I cannot believe it is time once again for Carl V's RIP challenge. For information on the challenge go here, for the review site go here. As September is the hottest month where I am, it doesn't feel much like fall, but I am ready anyway. As I love the flexibility and also expect a busy September/October, I am signing up for Peril the Third which requires one book - but I hope to read more.

I have two books that have been waiting on my shelves just for this challenge:
The Historian and
Something Wicked This Way Comes.

I will definitely be reading Something Wicked This Way Comes and will have a go at the Historian. There are also some short story collections I would love to dip into:

THE WEIRD: A Compendium of Dark & Strange Stories, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
The Essential Works of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Best of Arthur Machen: 15 Tales of Horror

Unfortunately the Weird is not due out until sometime in October but I have the other two loaded onto my Kindle at the ready.

And if miraculously I have more time I would also love to read:

Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt
Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edogawa Rampo
Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter