When in Rome by Ngaio Marsh

When in Rome is my first TBR challenge pick. I haven't decorated my TBR jar yet, but when I do I'll post a picture. I have a jar and put about 11 titles in it, but I'll add to it as the year goes by. They're a mix of ones that have been sitting on my shelf for a while and recent additions to the list. Usually I wouldn't read two Marsh's so close together, but you just can't argue with random from a jar. When in Rome was first published in 1970 and you can tell in some of the dialogue and phrases, like groovy. It's also very drug heavy and there's a "party" that fits into the fictional version of the era. Aside from that, it's a typical Marsh mystery. Some interesting characters, Inspector Alleyn being his usual handsome, intelligent self.  The characters are a particularly interesting lot: a Dutch couple clearly in love; a man and his aunt, both rather...
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A Demon Summer by G. M. Malliet

Good points - I like Max. He's a good guy with a true calling who doesn't judge others. For a not necessarily "Christian" mystery, I think it's better at presenting religious lessons than some of the preachier ones. He makes sense as a detective, too, since he's former MI5. It's reasonable that the bishop would send him to investigate. The abbey is a good setting and the nuns are an interesting lot. Each has a past, but those don't count anymore, since they've joined the sisters. The nuns are walking a fine line between being separate from the world and making money by selling their products and having guests stay. Max's relationship with his pregnant girlfriend, Awena, stays in the background. I was afraid it would dominate this one after the end of #3, but it didn't. Awena's a great character, very in touch with nature and the seasons, but I don't necessarily like an overly complicated romance to intrude on a mystery. The...
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