Well, at least for now! I've read a bunch of books this past January, and two of them were too good NOT to share. Here's the whole pile:
Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
If you like food and pirates, (and who DOESN'T?), then you must drop everything and read Cinnamon and Gunpowder. This is a seriously one-of-a-kind book that has something for everyone: action, adventure, romance, intrigue, delicious dishes, oh, and did I mention PIRATES? Set in 1819, the story follows the plight of talented but kidnapped chef-to-the-English-gentry Owen Wedgewood as he attempts to save himself from the plank by cooking incredible dishes from a not-so-incredible pantry aboard the dreaded Flying Rose. If he fails to impress Captain Mad Hannah Mabbot with his culinary genius, any manner of torture could follow. But luckily for Owen, Mad Hannah has a number of other things to think about, including avoiding vicious privateers and the English Navy while she plots the destruction of the Opium trade in China. Slowly Owen begins to see that Hannah is not as mad as everyone thinks. Cinnamon and Gunpowder is simply a delicious story. I would love to go back for seconds!!
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
I never really thought about it before I read The Gods of Gotham, but the fact is that the idea of a police force was very controversial when our country started. In fact, the New York City Police Department was founded in 1845 amid accusations that it was a standing army among the free citizens of New York. At the same time NYC is being overwhelmed by mostly unwelcome Irish immigrants as the Potato Famine is devastating Ireland. So, newly-minted "Copper" Timothy Wilde has a daunting task in front of him, made even more so when he literally runs into ten-year-old Bird Daly. Bird tells him that dozens of Irish children have gone missing, and she knows where the bodies are buried. Is this young Irish orphan telling the truth? Is there a serial killer on the loose? Can Tim help to keep the lid on the tinder box of simmering fear and prejudice that is New York City in the summer of 1845? These are all questions that will be answered for you if YOU read The Gods of Gotham. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!