Quick Lit: Recent Series Reads

Harry Potter 1 2 3I’m in the midst of a Harry Potter readathon (so fun!) and have completed the first three books, and am thisclose to finishing book four. I’ve been listening to them all via Audible and while it takes longer (which is why I’m only just now almost finishing book four), I’m really enjoying the slower pace and wonderful accents that Jim Dale brings to it. Years ago I listened to some of them on CD, but it’s different hearing them now, after a break, and after completing the series.

Among the MadAmong the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6). I think I enjoy this as a series more than any one book in particular – I like Maisie as a character quite a bit, and Billy is great too. I’m anxious to continue reading the series to see what happens with them both. Does Maisie find love again? Does Billy’s wife improve? Do Billy and his family move to Canada?

Flavia de Luce 6 and 7The Dead in their Vaulted Arches and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce books 6 and 7). I’d been trying to read this series s-l-o-w-l-y because I don’t want to reach the point of no more to read. And now all I have left is a short story, The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse. I shouldn’t have too long to wait though, as book #8, Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d is releasing September 20th. I’m planning on pre-ordering the Audible version as soon as it’s available.

The Mystery of the Blue TrainMystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot #6)
Fairly convoluted plotting, but I still enjoy Christie and will keep reading her.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Quick Lit July 2015
Two years ago: Favorite Books from the first half of 2014
Three years ago: Best Books {from the first half} of 2013

Quick Lit: Recent Fiction Reads

Playing catch-up with reviews:

The Big FourBig Four: A Hercule Poirot MysteryBig Four: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie
Probably my least favorite Poirot so far – it was laughably ridiculous with the plot devices (Super villains! A secret lair! Poirot cheating death at every turn!). Read it only if you are insistent on reading all of Christie’s work, but otherwise skip it in favor of some of her other books.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads


Speaking from Among the BonesSpeaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce NovelSpeaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

I still love Flavia, and still adore the audio versions of these books. Don’t start with this one though – begin with the first in the series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. If you are at all a fan of mystery books, give Flavia a try.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads


An Incomplete RevengeAn Incomplete RevengeAn Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs Book 5) by Jacqueline Winspear by Jacqueline Winspear

It took me FOREVER to get through this one, and I’m not sure why. I like the Maisie Dobbs series, but this one was not as compelling for me. I’m still looking forward to continuing on with the series however, as I do love Maisie’s character.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads


A Curious BeginningA Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell MysteryA Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn by Deanna Raybourn

Fun elements to it, but not to the “you’ve got to read this book!” level. I may look for the second in the series when it’s published next year, because I am curious about where she goes with the characters, but it’s not a super high priority.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads


GodmotherGodmother: The Secret Cinderella StoryGodmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon by Carolyn Turgeon

I don’t even know how to write about this one without giving spoilers galore. It’s a sort-of retelling of the Cinderella story, so if you like re-imagined fairy tales you may want to give this a try. This one is definitely darker, tilting away from the Disney side of the fairy tales spectrum towards the original, Brothers Grimm version side. It’s likely to stick with you though – I’m still thinking about it.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Goodreads

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Books I’m Looking forward to Reading in 2015

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows

I Am Half-Sick of ShadowsI Am Half-Sick of ShadowsI Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4) by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

I’m trying to take my time with Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series, but I’m still going to end up running out of books this year. In this fourth installment, it’s Christmastime and Flavia is attempting to set a trap for Father Christmas. Why does this not surprise me? The only real question is what will end up happening with that trap since (spoiler!) it doesn’t actually trap Saint Nicholas.

As in the previous installments, Flavia is the star of the book, but Dogger runs a close second in my affections – I love getting to know him more. The rotten sisters are still there, and still rotten, but there are moments when they get theirs back which is quite enjoyable. 🙂

While I missed Flavia trundling around Bishop’s Lacey on her bicycle Gladys, it was kind of fun having the book all take place at Buckshaw. It is a fabulous setting, and I enjoyed envisioning it. The plot is somewhat weak, but I read this series more for the characters than the plots. In this installment, it takes quite awhile to even get to the murder that ostensibly serves as the main action in the story. The motivations for the murder didn’t fully work for me either, and yet I still enjoyed the book.

If you haven’t liked Flavia or her books before, this one won’t change your mind. And if you’re new to the series, start with the first one, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley. It’s not absolutely essential, but it does add to the enjoyment to follow her story in order.

Finally, if you like audio books, I really enjoy the narrator for this series, Jayne EntwhistleI Am Half-Sick of Shadows: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwhistle. I’ve yet to finish an entire book via audio, but I dip into and out of it while also reading the Kindle version. [Read more…]

A Red Herring without Mustard

A Red Herring Without MustardA Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce NovelA Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

Flavia is back for a third entry in her series, and I think this was my favorite one yet. The beginning is the sort that would usually stress me out, with the accidental fire (maybe I can too easily imagine myself being the one to inadvertently start a fire like that). This happens at the very beginning of the book, so don’t worry that I’ve spoiled events by disclosing that.

So, yes, that fire got my attention right away, and then I was right there with Flavia throughout all the rest of the events. Just reading the description below might make it sound impossible to fit it all in the book without it becoming ridiculously jumbled or contrived, but Bradley pulls it off.

I especially enjoyed seeing Flavia’s relationship develop with Inspector Hewitt. The hardest part to read continues to be related to Flavia and her sisters – they’re horrid to her, and all I can do is imagine my older two treating my baby that way and it’s devastating.

The series is still a favorite, and I’m forcing myself to not race through it in an attempt to draw out the enjoyment. Although, since I’ve already read the next one, I Am Half-Sick of ShadowsI Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4) by Alan Bradley, before managing to get this review posted I’m not sure I’m doing that well in that attempt. 🙂 [Read more…]

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's BagThe Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag: A Flavia de Luce NovelThe Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

The second book in the Flavia de Luce series, and I might have liked this one even more than the first, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley. Flavia is a fantastic character, and I was easily pulled into her world and could imagine her peddling about on her beloved bicycle Gladys.

I listened to about the first third of ths book, before having to return the audio copy and finishing it in a kindle version. The narrator is excellent and if you are at all interested in audiobooks, this is definitely one to try

Lots of fun, and I couldn’t wait long before diving into the third in the series. Recommended, and although it’s not as essential as it is with some series, I do think it’s worth starting with the first book before reading this one.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:

Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?

Book Details

Title: The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag: A Flavia de Luce NovelThe Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
Author: Alan Bradley
Category: Fiction / Mystery
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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Twitterature: Recent Re-reads

recent reads, twitterature-style

For various reasons, I’ve reread several books recently. I wrote full reviews of two of those re-reads (Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate PotSorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (The Cecelia and Kate Novels, 1) by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer and The Grand Tour: or the Purloined Coronation RegaliaThe Grand Tour: or the Purloined Coronation Regalia (The Cecelia and Kate Novels, 2) by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer), but the others are getting highlighted here:

Garlic and SapphiresGarlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in DisguiseGarlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl. Day 31 of 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Books / Great Nonfiction Reads by Ruth Reichl

Why did I reread it? It was book club pick’s for October, and I wanted to refresh my memory on the specifics.

How was it as a reread? Excellent.

Our Only May AmeliaOur Only May AmeliaOur Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm by Jennifer L. Holm

Why did I reread it? Trying it as an audio book.

How was it as a reread? Terrific – and it worked really well as an audio book. Highly recommended! Although I have some cautions if you’re considering it for your children – sensitive readers beware. (It’s still a great book, and I’ll spoil events if I explain more.)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce NovelThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley

Why did I reread it? Book club’s December pick, and I read it so long ago that I’m a bit shaky on the details.

How was it as a reread? Great, and I listened to the first quarter or so, before having to return the audio book. It was a wonderful audio book with a fantastic reader!

Murder in the MaraisMurder in the Marais: An Aimee Leduc Investigation, Vol. 1Murder in the Marais: An Aimee Leduc Investigation, Vol. 1 by Cara Black by Cara Black

Why did I reread it? Trying again for a novel set in Paris. Not a fan.

How was it as a reread? I shouldn’t have bothered, or stuck with it.

Simple Scrubs to Make and GiveSimple Scrubs to Make and and Give by Stacy Karen

Why did I reread it? Skimmed it as I got ready to write about a package deal of which it’s part.

How was it as a reread? Fine – it’s hard to get as excited about a nonfiction book like this one, but I do like it and think it’s got good information.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!