Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three More From Rhys Bowen

After reading Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen I immediately picked up the next three books in the series.  A Royal Pain, Royal Flush and Royal Blood fit into my schedule perfectly, which currently does not allow for the time or the energy to think too hard.  So, if YOU are looking for easy/breezy/lighthearted reading, these are the books for you.  I plan on reading her latest book, Naughty in Nice, but I'm going to wait for the paperback.

Cheerio for now!
The Book Chick

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Escapism... necessary for my sanity.  I don't often read pure fluff, but I have to say that my recent discovery is a tad on the fluffy side, and I liked it!

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen is a lighthearted mystery set in 1930 England.  Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie is 34th in line for the throne, and she is also flat broke.  Unfortunately, it is inappropriate for a member of the Royal Family to work for a living, but if she doesn't find a way to support herself soon HM the Queen will be shipping her off as Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria's only surviving daughter. (Think very old and very boring.)  So what is a young royal to do?  First, learn to light a fire in her family's frigid London house.  Second, clean other people's homes, incognito of course.  Third, go to house party in country to spy on Wallis Simpson and the Queen's playboy son, on secret orders of Her Majesty. If that isn't enough, someone seems determined to remove her from the list of Who's Who, permanently.

Her Royal Spyness is the first in this Rhys Bowen series.  A Royal Pain, Royal Flush, Royal Blood and Naughty in Nice are next in my queue. Expect a report soon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Angel with Two Faces

Playwright Josephine Tey is back in Nicola Upson's Angel with Two Faces. Huzzah! It is 1935, and Josephine has escaped to Cornwall for a much needed rest from the world of London theatre. She is staying on the country estate of her friends Lettice and Ronnie Motley, who also happen to be cousins with Archie Penrose, Josephine's Detective Inspector complicated-sort-of-love-interest.  Archie has also come to his ancestral home for summer vacation, but of course, murder gets in the way. Will Josephine be able to help Archie sift through the secrets, lies and red herrings perpetuated by the tight-knit community of the Penrose Estate?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

What I find so interesting about Nicola Upson's work is that it has such a basis in real life events.  Josephine Tey was the pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh, a successful author and playwright.  This book is set on the Penrose Estate, which is a real estate in Cornwall now run by the National Trust.  The outdoor Minack Theatre featured in the story is also a real place, which actually did produce a 1935 production of The Jackdaw of Rheims, also part of this novel.  Nicola is an expert in weaving together fiction and non-fiction, leading the reader deep into a story of her own.  I hope you enjoy her books as much as I do!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Dog Who Knew Too Much

Chet and Bernie are back!  Yeah!!  Actually, they came back last fall, but I just now caught up with their latest shenanigans.  What?!  You say you don't know who Chet and Bernie are???? Well, let me fill you in...

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn features one of my MOST favorite teams of crack private investigators.  Bernie is ex-military, and he's an ethical, honorable and capable PI.  Chet is his dog.  Now, he's not just any dog, he is definitely Bernie's right hand man.  (Or right canine paw, if you will.) In fact, Chet is SO important that he is the one who tells the story, but sometimes he gets distracted by squirrels, other dogs, shiny things, smelly things, cats, people food, kibble...perhaps he has ADD.  Despite the obvious disadvantages of being a dog in a human world, he usually does have his hyper-sensitive nose pointed in the right direction, if only he could get Bernie to pay attention.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much finds Chet and Bernie in the mountains searching for a young hiker who's disappeared from the Big Bear Wilderness Camp. But a simple search and rescue mission soon turns into a rotten stew of greed, gold, drugs and dirty small-town cops. Things start to look grim for our heros, but Chet helps Bernie find his way out of the stickiest of situations. And then he'd lick that stickiness right off, because that's what dogs do.

Enjoy Chet and Bernie!  Can't wait for the next one...