Posts Tagged ‘maisie dobbs’

My reading goals for 2016 are: mysteries and histories. 

I love mysteries so much, stand alone and those in a series. I want to catch-up with my favorite detectives and if that means a year of not-so guilty pleasures then so be it! Thanks to Hamilton the Musical I’m interested in learning more about American history, so those are on the list too. I think biographies and histories will be a bit more hit and miss. 

I kicked off January with “The Impossible Dead” by Ian Rankin. I’ve fallen big time for Rebus again, and I can tolerate Malcolm Fox. Actually, Fox is growing on me and I love what Rankin has done with Rebus-Clarke-Fox dynamic. It’s all good. 

The rest of January was spend on Ron Chernow’s 800 page tome on Alexander Hamilton. Dear god I love Alexander Hamilton. This is such a good book. It’s a cliche but history is ALIVE on those pages and I learnt so much. I was sad when I finished it. Sad not to be reading about Hamilton at my 5am “me” time slot. (Fresh from reading Hamilton I went to the UK to ready to proselytize and you know what Brits aren’t as interested in our founding fathers as I am. What gives?)

On the audiobook front I finally finished Diana Gabaldon ‘Written in my Own Hearts Blood’. Roller coaster of emotion and tied in nicely with Hamilton, and I need another Jamie and Claire hit. I squeezed in a quickie mystery with Jacqueline Winspear ‘Leaving Everything Most Loved’ – Maise Dobbs I have missed you! This was a transitional story for Dobbs and I was glad that some of the characters/storylines were finally being wound up and new things are on the horizon. 

Come February I was in the UK with Zoey and Nomi, and I had high hopes to read all of  ‘Team of Rivals’ BUT as gripping as Doris Kearns Goodwin book is I needed something lighter to get me through 5 weeks of solo parenting. So I threw myself into Agatha Christie’s ‘They Do It With Mirrors’, ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ by Rankin and started another Maisie Dobbs mystery. I barely listened to my audiobook in February, when I had a chance to listen to something I blasted out Hamilton because Brits you need to embrace Alexander. When I’m back next year I expect EVERYONE to be word perfect. 

Hoping March will be the month I dig in to Lincoln, and perhaps go back to Washington and Jefferson. 

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This post could also be called: ‘I Finally Read a Book!!!’

I think I was so fatigued from 6 years of reading for school that this summer I’ve barely been able to pick up a book over the summer. Reading a few chapters of ‘The Mayo’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy’ or ‘The New Basics: A to Z of baby and childcare for the modern parent’ is about all I can manage. But, when we went up to Lime Rock Park for the weekend (about 12 lbs ago – I now measure time in weight gain) I sat very happily on our balcony and read the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery (A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear) in a day. I now understand why one of my friends says that she can’t read in NYC she can only get through books on vacation.

I’m hoping that as the weather starts and as I gain my final 10 lbs (*sigh* these are going to be good sized twins) that I’ll feel more like reading. There is something about the crispness of fall and a latte that makes me want to curl up with my iPad (or Kindle). I just need to read something sticky that pulls me back in. I really need to read as much as possible before the cylon invasion.

Right, back to ‘A Lesson in Secrets’ which is the 8th Maisie Dobbs mystery, and whilst I enjoyed it I have a feeling the series is starting to wrap things up. Which is no bad thing – it’s better to go out strong than keep pumping up books with a thinner and thinner plot (ahem Alexander McCall Smith!).

For a quick Maisie Dobbs recap she is an investigator and psychologist in 1930s London who at the start of the series was a young girl working as a house maid for Lord and Lady Compton. She was discovered at 3am trying to teach herself Latin before a day of hard graft. Her employers realized her potential and were somewhat progressive (she was sent to work as a maid in the country and be tutored so that she could apply for university when old enough). Maisie’s education at the University of Cambridge is interupted by the First World War, and she takes a sabbatical to train as a nurse and join the Woman’s Army. Post-WW1 and after she completes her studies she ends being mentored by one of the top investigators, and eventually sets out on her own. Phew!

In ‘A Lesson in Secrets’ Maisie is working with the British Secret Service and goes undercover at a small Cambridge college to investigate one of the lecturers and then finds herself  sucked into solving a murder. It’s a solid case, and there is enough character development to keep the reader enthralled. It’s hard to write about the plot of a mystery novel without giving too much away so I’ll stop here.

The good

  • Downloaded two new books (Complaints by Ian Rankin and the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery) just need to catch-up with school work so I can read them
  • Baked a blood orange & olive oil cake
  • Castle is really growing on me, and new The Good Wife tonight (when is this March Madness over?)

The bad

  • Alex is helping someone move tonight so no tea and cake till he gets back. It’s almost 9pm – boo!
  • Nasal congestion reaching the point where I need to get some of those Breathe Right strips
  • Tomorrow night’s drinks with the girls just got rain checked and I am secretly pleased as I want to work on an essay plan instead
  • EXAM! panic