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text 2017-02-06 19:39
The Best Laid Plans-February Edition
Martyr - Rory Clements
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles - Margaret George
Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey - Nicola Tallis
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales) - Bernard Cornwell

I had planned on writing out my reading plans for February last week. Then the flu decided to rear its ugly head and tear through my house like my four olds tore threw Christmas presents. Of course the one time a year I happen to get sick also happens to be the time the other adult in my house decided to have dental work done. If I'm praying to the porcelain god and he's delirious from the pain medication, who exactly is watching our children? A Kindle and some Legos watched my oldest. Twin B was worshiping next to me. Twin A was hanging out outside of the bathroom door crying because we put her twin in quarantine. Where's a grandma when you need one? 


Anyway enough about my problems. Let's talk about my books! I am off to a great start this year. My personal reading goal for the year is 75. That's a bit under last year's goal of 175 but last year I was at home all day, every day with my kids until I decided to start working again in December. I've also recently become part of a crusade to get a referendum passed so my children can go to school in a building that doesn't have condemned classrooms and fungal issues. I've been spending a lot of my spare time consuming massive amounts of wine after explaining to people why they should care about the future of their children's education. Apparently around here we are suppose to care more about the future of old bricks and concrete than the flesh and blood and brains inside said bricks and concrete. Ugh. 


Seriously, I ramble. I can't help it. Those of you who take the time out of your day to stop and read this are the closest thing I get to adult interaction sometimes. I work at an elementary school. Sure there are adults there but who has time to talk to them? 


Anyway. Really this time, I'm going to tell you what I want to read in February.


At the beginning of the month I wanted to finish Martyr by Rory Clements. By the time I've gotten around to writing this post, I've finished. It checks of one of my Monopoly spaces.

-Side note: Over at Goodreads, I'm a member of a Historical Mysteries group. For 2017 we are playing Historical Mystery Monopoly. Want to join us? Come on over! 



This month I also desperately want to finish Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles by Margaret George. I have been reading this book since the end of August 2016. It's not that I don't like George's work. I loved her novel about Henry VIII. It's just that I have such a hard time with Mary, Queen of Scots. She is just not very bright. I spend a lot of time wanting to throw my books. It's a pretty big book so I should probably avoid throwing it. 


Carrying on with the theme of finishing things, I am also looking to finish Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis. So far it is excellent. At times, I have to remind myself I'm reading non-fiction. I'm pleasantly surprised by the author who is said to have honed her craft at the feet of Alison Weir. 


Finally, I want to finish The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey and The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley.


Hopefully by the time I am done finishing books I will have time for some new books. 

Some of those books I hope to read include:

The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (my next Monopoly square)

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

A Perilous Undertaking by Deana Raybourn

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell





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review 2017-01-25 07:05
A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn

I've been looking forward to this second book for months and while it wasn't quite as good as the first book, it definitely wasn't disappointing.


In the first book, startling revelations about Veronica were a big part of the plot, and Stoker's past was shared in teasing bits here and there.  I suppose, given those revelations, the author couldn't resist using them to prop up the plot in this book, but I'll admit I found the device (especially the you must investigate this!) trite.  At a guess, the family angst bit was perhaps meant to show Veronica's vulnerability and humanity - we all just want to be accepted and loved, dammit!  But it just didn't work for me.  I found the scene with the butterfly in the garden to be far more effective and moving, without being a cliché.  I did enjoy learning more about Stoker's family though.


A BookLikes friend of mine wrote, in her review, that the themes throughout this book seemed chosen as much for their shock value as for their ability to showcase Veronica's conscious independence.  She's not wrong.  I'm not sure if the author wanted to shock, or just combat the general assumption that Victorian England was the apex of prudishness, purity and virginal thinking, but either way, this book is not for anyone who prefers a chaste story.  There's no overt sex, but boy howdy, is it talked about.  A lot. 


The murder reveal didn't surprise me; the more the author asserts a character's innocence, the more I suspect them, but I hardly cared.  The banter between Stoker and Veronica–actually the banter between anyone and Veronica–were what I enjoyed the most about this book.  If you want a strong, intelligent, pragmatic, rational female heroine you cannot do much better than Miss Speedwell.  Raybourn knows how to write.


My favourite highlights: Patricia the Galapagos tortoise, and that final scene between Stoker and Veronica.  That final scene might, in fact, make my top 5 favourites of all time.



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review 2017-01-18 19:40
A Perilous Undertaking
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn

Hmmm. Can't do a synopsis since it's second in the series and spoilers and all. Soooo...


What I liked:


The Banter between Victoria and Stoker is on point. It was enjoyable to read. 


The writing was solid. 


The characters are engaging.


What I didn't like: 


Some of the plot devices seemed to be there for pure shock value.  This is not a book to read if you like your historical mysteries squeaky clean is all I'll say. It got to be a little much. I  get Victoria is supposed to be a forward thinking female... but I thought that was more about her profession, not sex. 


This book left me with a ho-hum feeling.  





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text 2017-01-03 00:20
January TBR 2017
Victoria: A Novel from the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS - Daisy Goodwin
Mata Hari's Last Dance: A Novel - Michelle Moran
Assault and Beret - Jenn McKinlay
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn
Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois - Sophie Perinot
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd - Jim Fergus
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel - Susan Jane Gilman

Hello everyone!


One of my reading goals for 2017 is to read from a set TBR. I found in 2016,  I wasted a lot of time searching for my next read. I want to pick up the next book on my listed TBR and if it doesn't wow me in about 50 pages, just move along. Since I get most of my books from the library I don't have an issue with a ruthless DNF. In reviewing my goals from last year, I did pretty well with reading from different genres and reading more than watching television. So I'm going to stick with that for this new year and start off 2017 by focusing on some historical fiction. I have two much anticipated new mystery releases I will be reading as well.


I look forward to reading some of your goals as well! I find they inspire me to stick with mine.


Happy reading!





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review 2016-12-23 02:23
A Perilous Undertaking (A Veronica Speedwell mystery)
A Perilous Undertaking - Deanna Raybourn


A Perilous Undertaking is the second Veronica Speedwell mystery by Deanna Raybourn but my first introduction to the character. Other than the phallic humor which is a bit much, the characters of Veronica and Stoker are delightful and the story entertaining. Although the second in the series, the story of this lepidopterist turned detective with connections to the royal family can stand alone.


Read my complete review at Memories From Books - A Perilous Undertaking


Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.



Source: www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2016/12/a-perilous-undertaking.html
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