The Reminiscences of Solar Pons by August Derleth

The Reminiscences of Solar Pons by August Derleth

I love a good Sherlock Holmes pastiche. I picked up The Reminiscences of Solar Pons at a used book store based on the cover alone: "If there's ever to be another Sherlock Holmes, it's Solar Pons. 'Readers with a taste for genteel crime . . .could hardly do better." Solar Pons is undeniably and unapologetically based on Sherlock. When Derleth asked permission from Conan Doyle to take over the writing of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Conan Doyle declined. Derleth then created a clone of Holmes with Solar Pons, Dr. Parker his chronicler, Mrs. Johnson the landlady, Inspector Jamison of Scotland Yard, older brother Bancroft who works for the government, and the Praed Street Irregulars. This is the fourth collection of stories, but the first I've read. I definitely need to go back and read the others. I'm happy to see they're available as ebooks in case I can't find print copies. Solar Pons, like his predecessor, has excellent powers of observation...
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The Tomb of the Chatelaine by Karen Baugh Menuhin

The Tomb of the Chatelaine by Karen Baugh Menuhin

Lord Sinclair's chauffeur is dead. It looks like an accident, but it occurred right after Sinclair received a mysterious package containing a dead man's gun. Lennox and Swift arrive at Lanscombe Park at the behest of Lennox's on again-off-again love interest, Persi, to investigate. Turns out it wasn't Persi who called him, but there's still a mystery to solve. Then there's another death, also arranged to look like an accident, and the situation becomes more tense. I like Lennox. He's a bit bumbling, especially when it comes to women, and a bit introverted, more likely to leave Swift to deal with any crowds right up until the denouement, when Lennox takes over. He travels with his dog and cat whenever possible, which is adorable. His butler also goes with him; I would take my butler too if I had one. Lanscombe Park is full of quirky characters, most of whom have to fall under suspicion. There are secrets and lies in the...
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Life in a Country Album: Poems by Nathalie Handal

Life in a Country Album: Poems by Nathalie Handal

I don't read much poetry. It takes a savoring, a slow reading, that I'm not good at, that I should practice more. I am glad that I picked up Life in a Country Album, the poems are beautiful and touching and challenging. I read Handal's mini-biography before I bought it, but was unprepared for how much French was in the first section. I have a little French left from my high school years, enough to get the gist of some of it, but not all. On the other hand, maybe that's not important, maybe it's the sounds and the flow and the contrast. For Handal, it seems the world is home. She's connected to places and shares those, but she's not tethered to any, and that's a piece of what she's exploring. ...
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Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

I enjoy every visit to the Scottish Bookshop. Delaney and her friends, and her new husband, Tom, are just a lot of fun to spend time with. Delaney works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, a book store/warehouse full of neat stuff. Delaney can't pass up Shelagh O'Conner's tresure hunt. First, a treasure hunt is right up her alley or close, since we're in Scotland. Second, Shelagh's library is fabulous. But when a man is killed and Shelagh is kidnapped, Delaney feels like finding the treasure may help them find Shelagh. So Delaney and her friends are working on deciphering the treasure hunt clues while trying to catch a killer and save Shelagh. All the characters are well-developed and engaging. Their interactions feel real and I like a.) that Delaney shares everything with the police and b.) that people are given the benefit of a doubt. Just because someone doesn't tell you something you think is important, doesn't mean they...
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Lie of the Needle by Cate Price

Lie of the Needle by Cate Price

Daisy Buchanan is the owner of Sometimes a Great Notion, a vintage sewing notion and antique shop. She is also intrigued with history and an active participant in her town's Historical Society. The ladies of the society have planned a fundraiser to raise money to help save an old farmhouse from a developer who wants to purchase it and the surrounding land. They are working on a Men of Millbury calendar that features men about town scantily clothed. All is going well until the photographer and a friend disappear. Daisy gets caught up in the mystery surrounding the disappearances, a mystery that soon becomes a murder investigation. This book is the 3rd in a series and I have not read the previous two, but I felt Price did a good job introducing Daisy and her family and friends. It worked fine as a stand-alone. The characters are just the right amount of quirky and I could picture the town...
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The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is historical fiction, imagining what may have happened when Agatha Christie "disappeared" in early December 1926. The facts are there, the car, the letters, the search, but around this Benedict wraps a fictional story of the Christies' first meeting through their married life. The majority of the book alternates between a manuscript Agatha wrote chronicling their lives together and the events around the disappearance, starting with the discovery of her empty car. The problem is no one is likable. Archie is a jerk. Agatha is too desperate to please him and right until the end too gutless to stand up for herself. I couldn't even really care about the daughter, Rosalind, who when she showed up in the tale, was too calm and pulled together. The grand reveal at the end wasn't really grand or much of a reveal. It did redeem the rest of the book a bit, making you look a little differently at...
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