I am still reading all of the required books for an upcoming romance workshop and have to admit that I’m struggling with the last few because they are in digital format. By the end of my writing day my poor eyeballs are tired of staring at a screen and the last thing I want to do is settle down with a good book–on an e-reader or my laptop. So, I’m struggling. I did however read some good books and I latched onto a new author with a creative time travel/mystery/romance series that I absolutely love. So here are a few of the books I read in August that stood out for me:
Cover Her Face, P.D. James, copyright 1962. A young ambitious maid is murdered and everyone in the family she works for has a reason to want her dead. P.D. James is a master of mystery. Cover Her Face was her first book and while it is not an exciting whodunit James does not disappoint. I love her work and was curious to see the progression in her writing.
The Shadows in the Streets, Susan Hill, copyright 2011. Susan Hill’s detective, Simon Serrailler’s fifth mystery tackles the dangerous lives of prostitutes, a segment of society that is high risk and brings out strong feelings in others. We meet most of the characters through the eyes of Simon’s sister Cat, newly widowed and struggling to put her life to rights. I love Susan Hill and I love this British series.
Fiddlers, Ed McBain, copyright 2005. A series of seemingly unconnected murders that turn out to be connected after all. This was the last 87th Precinct novel published after the author’s death. All the players are here, including Steve Carella’s wife and the twins. I am a huge fan of McBain’s books and this series. Born Salvatore Lombino, McBain also wrote under the Evan Hunter name but I know him best for the 87th precinct. I’m sorry there won’t be more.
Not Always A Saint, Mary Jo Putney, copyright 2015 This is my first Mary Jo Putney, one of her Regency romances. A dedicated doctor who focuses on the under-privileged inherits wealth, a title, and the lands that go with them. A beautiful woman with a terrible secret and a young daughter needs protection. I was disappointed in the female character. Enough said.
Northanger Abby, Val McDermid, copyright 2014. Val’s version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Fun read but nothing new. Even my husband enjoyed it which surprised me.
Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey, copyright 2019. Fun little romance with a main character who grew up on Nora Ephron movies and wants her own Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan moment.
A Murder In Time, Julie McElwain, copyright 2016. This was my BIG find in August. A time travel romance that blew me away it was so well done. Modern day female FBI agent gets trapped in early 1800s and hunts a serial killer. Clever and satisfying. First in series. (And I must admit that I am jealous she thought of this before I did and wrote a superb book.) highly recommend.
I also read A Twist In Time (2017) and Caught In Time (2018) by Julie McElwain, same series as A Murder in Time. I only wish she wrote faster.
The Summer of Sunshine and Margot, Susan Mallory, copyright 2019. Typical Mallory romance. Fraternal twins with dismal love lives try to change things up and since this is a Mallory, they succeed. Family drama, wit, and as always, Mallory puts heart into her stories.