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.