What I learned from my Recreational Reading: Part One

This past week I got sidetracked from writing (after 3 weeks in a row where I achieved my stated goal of 5000 words a week) because I was putting together all the figures l needed for my 2016 taxes. However, in the process I made a list all the books I bought in 2016, whether or not they were ebooks or print, and what I paid for each, and this has prompted me to do a little more analysis on my reading patterns. First of all, I was pleased to discover that I had bought 65 books this year and Read more…

Review of Rubies of the Viper

Rubies of the Viper is a fast-paced, suspenseful and romantic historical novel by Martha Marks, and a totally satisfying read. Set primarily in Rome at the time of Emperor Nero, Rubies of the Viper tells the story of Theodosia, who is a young single woman without family to guide or protect her when she suddenly inherits her family fortune at the death of her half-brother. The mystery surrounding that brother’s death, the confusion of competing suitors, the secrets surrounding her own background, the machinations of unknown enemies, and her conflicted relationship with her household slaves keep Theodosia off balance and Read more…

Review of No Game for a Dame and Tough Cookie: A Gendered Twist on the Classic Detective Genre

As any one who has read my own work might guess, I enjoy historical mysteries with a strong female protagonist who is working. And, therefore, it is no surprise how delighted I was when I found M. Ruth Myer’s mystery series featuring Maggie Sullivan, a sassy female detective. I initially gave the first book in Myer’s series, No Game for a Dame, a try because I am a fan of the hard-boiled detective mysteries of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett that are set in the 1930s and 1940s. And boy, am I glad I did. What fun it was to Read more…

Historical Fiction that Influenced Me

I have decided to start putting up reviews on my blog. These will be primarily of interest to those people who are fans of my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series and might therefore be interested in what books I like to read. I remember how Dana Stabenow in one of her earliest Kate Shugak mysteries listed the books in Kate’s cabin. I assumed they reflected Stabenow’s own literary tastes, which were very similar to my own, and I remember thinking this was one of the reasons I enjoyed these mysteries set in the Alaskan wilderness so much. So I thought Read more…