Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blogroll Updated

Of Wimseys and Wellesleys is taking a week off. I'm now on my fifth day of the Worst Cold Ever, and I find myself lacking the energy to contemplate common fictional errors in 19th century British inheritance law. It'll be back next week, or perhaps the week after, since next Sunday is Easter. If I can just get my voice back by then I'll have a full day of choir, following which my husband will cook me a delicious dinner prominently featuring pork (preferably in the form of a ham).

I did, however, update my blogroll today. Please check out the new additions, especially soon-to-be-published historical mystery author Gary Corby's A Dead Man Fell from the Sky, my cousin-in-law Mary's adventures as a children's librarian, and the always amusing Unhappy Hipsters.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This Week in Books

I seem to be falling into a pattern of one Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery and one other book per week. I'll be sad when I catch up on this series--what will I read then?--but that doesn't seem to be slowing me down.

This week's "other" was Chalice of Roses (Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Karen Harbaugh, Barbara Samuel, 2010). It's an anthology of romantic novellas featuring heroines from assorted historical eras who are charged to use the Holy Grail to bring peace and/or protect England. I enjoyed it, though the romances were a bit too magically predestined for my taste.

To Darkness and to Death (2006) is another unconventional mystery--it doesn't open with a body, but with a missing person the reader knows to be still alive, and solving the murder that eventually occurs doesn't even remotely solve the story problem. Oh, and Russ and Clare's forbidden bond continues to grow more complicated and poignant.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Of Wimseys and Wellesleys: Dukes

Post moved to Susanna Fraser blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I seem to be having better luck finding fiction I enjoy this year than I have in awhile, which is a good feeling. There's nothing more relaxing for me than escaping into a good fictional world.

This week's reading had an unlikely commonality: time-line jumping.

Out of the Deep I Cry (Julia Spencer-Fleming, 2005) is the third mystery featuring Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and small-town police chief Russ Van Alstyne. Rather than the usual mystery pattern of a dead body in the first chapter or two, this entry gradually reveals what happened in a missing person case from the 1930's that's left a long impact on the people of Millers Kill. The book flashes back and forth from the present to various points in the past, and it's very effective. (I do love this series and am rushing to catch up with it in time for One Was a Soldier to come out next month.)

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Lauren Willig, 2005) is a swashbuckling romantic romp set among English spies operating in Paris during the Peace of Amiens in 1803, with a framing device of a present-day history student finding a cache of papers revealing the long-hidden identity of the super-spy previously known only as the Pink Carnation. I liked the 1803 story much more than the modern bits (of course I did, since a good 90% or more of the fiction I read is set in the past), but I thought the whole thing was fun in a smart chick-lit way. I'll definitely seek out the rest of the series.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Of Wimseys and Wellesleys will be back next week

My blog feature on British titles and forms of address will return next week because tonight I'm watching the Oscars. So far Penelope Cruz and Queen Latifah's dresses are my favorites. And this year I really need to get out more. The only movies I saw in the theater last year were Up, The Princess and the Frog, and Star Trek. Yes, I have a five-year-old, and we live far away from our extended families. Why do you ask?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Recent Books

I've been on an old-school Regency romance kick of late (as my sidebar bears witness, if you're looking at this post anywhere close to the date I wrote it--I hit a used bookstore this morning that always has a shelf or two in stock, since the owner is fond of them).

This week I read Elyza (Clare Darcy, 1976) and Improper Relations (Janet Mullany, 2010). So, one old book and one new but both delightful, relaxing romps to read.