Best read: The Eloquence of Blood, by Judith Rock. Another murder mystery featuring Jesuits and ballet, set in the Paris of Louis XIV.
Right under that: Sabriel, by Garth Nix, and A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab, both fantasy titles with unusual magic systems and good world-building.
Weirdest: The Awakening of Miss Prim, by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera.
Worst: April Lady, by Georgette Heyer, which I'm tempted to down-grade to 2.5 stars, for the gratuitous anti-semitism. (Are any money-lenders in Regency London, per Ms. Heyer, not Jews? Are any of them decent people?)
It was a great month of reading for me with Nancy Bilyeau's books my clear favorites.
I also finished up a couple of books that I've already featured in a few posts:
It's exciting to have finished more books than the 10 I'm able to feature! Before you know it, I'll be creating fancy images of my reading list like some of you creative folk out there!
What was your favorite read for June?
This was a book that had been recommended to me by several people as I lamented the fact that I had run out of Shardlake books to read. Some elements of Gregory's writing were reminiscent of Sansom's, even if I didn't feel quite the affection for Matthew Bartholomew as I did for Matthew Shardlake.
Bartholomew's story takes place significantly earlier than Shardlake's as well. The plague rages through England in 1348, and he finds himself one of the few physicians willing to treat and comfort the suffering poor. However, the plague is only the backdrop of the mystery that consumes Bartholomew's thoughts and threatens his life.
Residents of Michaelhouse at Cambridge are dropping like flies, and not just of the plague. As the bodies pile up, Bartholomew has suspicions of everyone surrounding him. He is intelligent, if a little naive, but is still shocked to the core when he discovers the truth behind the murders.
This plot is full of twists and turns, some of which are slightly implausible. I found it a fun read, satisfyingly sprinkled with historical tidbits. At times the story was too convoluted and the "Let's summarize what we know" moments were annoying, but it was a good enough introduction to make me want to read more about the selfless physician, Matthew Bartholomew.