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18 June 2021

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

Title: Rivers of London (originally Midnight Riot)

Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Publication: 10 January 2011
Format: Kindle ebook 

Amazon Description: 
“Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper.”—Diana Gabaldon 

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

“Filled with detail and imagination . . . Aaronovitch is a name to watch.”—Peter F. Hamilton 

“Fresh, original, and a wonderful read . . . I loved it.”—Charlaine Harris

Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff
I'm not really here.

I'm on a much much much needed and long overdue vacation (as mentioned last week when I re-pimped Fool). This seemed like the perfect time to schedule a tease for a book that was read and forgotten ... but not. 

I forgot to post ... I didn't forget the book. 

I'm actually thinking that this will probably become a favorite series if I ever get my grubby little hands on the other books. I think there are seven more books at this point. And maybe a handful of shorts interspersed here and there. And I have way too many "must-reads" already being neglected.

Maybe after vacation I'll figure out a plan of attack.

And then she laughed and laughed and laughed and ....

I'll probably just keep winging it and hope for the best.



As always, Friday 56 (share a blurb from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader.

15 June 2021

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

Title: The Serpent of Venice
Author: Christopher Moore
Publication: 22 April 2014
Format: hardcover 

Amazon Description: 
Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: the rascal-Fool Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio's beautiful daughter, Portia.

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn't even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he's got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

Greed, revenge, deception, lust, and a giant (but lovable) sea monster combine to create another hilarious and bawdy tale from modern comic genius, Christopher Moore.

Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff 
So we've got Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story "The Cask of Amontillado" ... and, most importantly, we have Pocket. 

I knew before I even opened the cover that I adore Pocket. And Jones. And Drool. And Jeff. I loved them in Fool (though Jeff made but a brief appearance). I will love them wherever they appear. 

But.

At first, I had a really difficult time loving this book to the point of thinking that I would ever be adding it to my favorites list. 

Maybe because I just did my Fool re-read and that is on the list and is as difficult to come close to as Drool without a bath.

Maybe because my mind is already on my much needed vacation and I may have rushed through reading it here and there (and possibly over there) in order to have it done by the time my flight takes off tomorrow so I can take the third Pocket with me. 

Not that I expect to read much unless it's at the airport. Or perhaps Thursday. I should have little else to do Thursday. Whatever.

Maybe ... just maybe ... it's all the fault of a college literature professor whose class I kind of took when I was ten years old and my mom went back to college and I went to class with her as often as I could get away with it.

Yes. Let us blame her. 

No, not my mom. 

She's the reason I have a deep and everlasting love for Shakespeare in general .... and reading in general. We can place the dislike blame for Merchant and Othello on the turtleneck loving harpy with the Charlie's Angels hair and a horrible habit of dousing herself with Love's Baby Soft before every class.

F*ckstockings. I shudder just thinking about it. So I won't. Much.

There are bits of The Serpent of Venice that I love, of course. It is, after all, a Christopher Moore book. I love every time Pocket opens his mouth ... vulgarity is used in new and "ooooh I am so going to use that" ways ... the Chorus ... Vivian ... pirates ... the ghost ...

Because there's always a bloody ghost. 

There actually ended up being more that I loved about the book than I didn't in spite of my huge dislike for the originals thanks to the harpy. So, maybe it will end up being on the favorites list after all. In any case, read the book (after Fool, of course). It's damned readable and a damned bit moreso than a lot of stuff I've slogged my way through.

And did I mention pirates?

I am fully aware that my blurbs are longer than called for, but I will likely always bend rules when Moore is concerned. Besides, I couldn't very well cut part of the Invocation ... or Vivian's official introduction. 



"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews. 
"Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

11 June 2021

Fool by Christopher Moore ... again (Book Beginnings and Friday 56 ... ish)

Title: Fool

Author: Christopher Moore
Publication: 29 January 2009
Format: hardcover

Amazon Description: 

“Hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters, and ministerial students.”
—Dallas Morning News

Fool—the bawdy and outrageous New York Times bestseller from the unstoppable Christopher Moore—is a hilarious new take on William Shakespeare’s King Lear…as seen through the eyes of the foolish liege’s clownish jester, Pocket. A rousing tale of “gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity,” Fool joins Moore’s own Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, and You Suck! as modern masterworks of satiric wit and sublimely twisted genius, prompting Carl Hiassen to declare Christopher Moore “a very sick man, in the very best sense of the word.”


Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff
This is actually the second time I've read Fool -- and the second time it's being used for a Book Beginnings & Friday 56 post

It's still one of my favorite Christopher Moore books.

I wasn't planning on a re-read or a re-tease or anything of the sort. Well, not right away. 

I blame squirrels.

Actually, I blame Shakespeare for Squirrels -- the newest from Moore, also featuring my beloved Pocket, and ordered specifically to take on the much much much needed vacation that will be commencing on Wednesday. 

Not that I expect to be reading much when I'm gone. I even have plans to get a post pre-scheduled for when I'm gone of a book I forgot to tease during my "I suck at blogging" phase.

So Shakespeare for Squirrels will be at least traveling with me. Probably. Maybe. It could be Sacr├ę Bleu. Or Noir. Or .... not even Christopher Moore. (Nah. It'll be Moore.)  Of course, for Shakespeare for Squirrels to be even a possible travel companion, first I need to read The Serpent of Venice ... so I figured I might as well just buy all three in hardcover and re-read Fool.

The first time I read Fool it was an ebook format and I used the Warning at the beginning for the Book Beginnings and the 56% mark for the Friday 56. Now that I have the hardcovers I went with the first paragraph and my favorite quote from page 56.......ish. 

The quote is actually the end of page 57 onto the beginning of page 58. 

Hence the ish.

Being a Christopher Moore book I feel it only appropriate that the rules get slightly twisted.



As always, Friday 56 (share a blurb from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at 
Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader.

08 June 2021

Murder at the Mayfair Hotel by C.J. Archer (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

Title: Murder at the Mayfair Hotel

Author: C.J. Archer
Publication: 1 December 2020
Format: Kindle ebook 

Amazon Description: 
It was the most fashionable place to stay in London, until murder made a reservation. Solve the puzzle in this new cozy historical mystery from USA Today bestselling author of the Glass and Steele series.

December 1899. After the death of her beloved grandmother, Cleopatra Fox moves into the luxury hotel owned by her estranged uncle in the hopes of putting hardship and loneliness behind her. But the poisoning of a guest on Christmas Eve throws her new life, and the hotel, into chaos.

Cleo quickly realizes no one can be trusted, not Scotland Yard and especially not the hotel’s charming assistant manager. With the New Year’s Eve ball approaching fast and the hotel’s reputation hanging by a thread, Cleo must find the killer before the ball, and the hotel itself, are ruined. But catching a murderer proves just as difficult as navigating the hotel’s hierarchy and the peculiarities of her family.

Can Cleo find the killer before the new century begins? Or will someone get away with murder?

Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff 
I do so love a good cozy mystery. 

Set that mystery in London? Even better. 

Victorian London? Tell me more.

In a Victorian London hotel? Just take my money and give me the book already.
(In case you were not aware, I have spent the vast majority of my post-pubescent life working in hotels. I started in high school .... almost thirty years ago. No one has been killed .... yet ....)

I've heard about C.J. Archer. According to Amazon I even have one of her Emily Chambers books collecting dust in the far recesses of my Kindle .... and I've had it since February .... of 2014.

Whoops.

After Murder at the Mayfair Hotel, I don't foresee Archer getting lost in the shuffle again. At least, not any more than any of my other go-to authors because I definitely foresee her being added to that list. It was such a fun romp of a book. I found the teaser for the Teaser Tuesday blip at the 20% mark and then I found another that I wanted to use .... and another .... and about six or seven more. I had to stick with the first one, though, since it was the first one that made me think "Yep. Cleo's my girl."



"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews. 

"Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

04 June 2021

The Betrayed by Heather Graham (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

 Title: The Betrayed

Author: Heather Graham
Publication: 30 September 2014
Format: ebook .... and hardcover ....

Amazon Description: 

Sleepy Hollow isn't so sleepy anymore… 

One night, New York FBI agent Aiden Mahoney receives a visitor in a dream—an old friend named Richard Highsmith. The very next day he's sent to Sleepy Hollow because Richard's gone missing there. 

Maureen—Mo—Deauville now lives in the historic town and works with her dog, Rollo, to search for missing people. She's actually the one to find Richard…or more precisely his head, stuck on a statue of the legendary Headless Horseman. 

Mo and Aiden, a new member of the Krewe of Hunters, the FBI's unit of paranormal investigators, explore both past and present events to figure out who betrayed Richard, who killed him and now wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that's as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!


Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff
Two posts in one week? 

That's .... refreshing. 

It feels good to be back reading and posting .... and counting down to my first vacation to see my be all and end all since October may have a little bit to do with it. That and the fact that I'm just reading what I want and not what I feel like I should for NetGalley or challenges or whatever. Life in general is still a bit crazy and work is more often than not just blah .... but I'm reading and rambling and have 12 days and 12 hours to go until I'm fully vacationing (and yes, I've already picked out books ... and I'm even packing a larger bag than intended because of books ­čśŐ).

So, on to Heather Graham -- one of my all-time favorite suppliers of brain candy.

The Betrayed is the 14th Krewe of Hunters book (though I will always consider them to be tie-ins to the Harrison Investigation series -- which is how I first discovered Graham) and follows the same general format as all of the others thus far. Murders, ghosts, twists, turns, romances. 

This time it's all taking place in the Hudson Valley of New York (which is where the paternal side of my family had their stomping grounds for my early years ... but I didn't hold that against the book). More specifically, the book centers around Sleepy Hollow (which wasn't actually officially "Sleepy Hollow" until the mid-1990s). Washington Irving even makes a couple of appearances in ghost form. And, of course, we have our Krewe. It's always nice to revisit some favorite characters from books gone by and I think the new additions of Mo and Aiden will work out well. I'm 21 books behind in the series so by now they may have all died of old age and may be the ghosts instead of the ones who see the ghosts .... but whatever. I'll get to them all eventually. 

I may even keep blogging and teasing and whatnot.



As always, Friday 56 (share a blurb from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at 
Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader.

01 June 2021

Imprudence by Gail Carriger (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

Title: Imprudence
Author: Gail Carriger
Publication: 19 July 2016
Format: Kindle ebook 

Amazon Description: 
Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England's scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue's best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue's beginning to suspect what they really are. . . is frightened.

Ramble-y Teaserish Stuff 
I know. I'm still horrible at this blogging thing. I've been reading, but nothing really worth sharing until I went back to my beloved Gail Carriger.
Imprudence is the second of the Custard Protocol books .... which follow the Parasol Protectorate books .... which follow (storywise, anyway) the Finishing School books. You can likely get away with reading Parasol without Finishing first (I wouldn't, but you likely could). Please please please don't go into Custard without Parasol. I don't even feel like I can ooh and aah properly over how wonderful and heartbreaking and wonderful this series is becoming because so much of it ties into the things I loved so much about the previous books. So read them all and then hit me up here or on Twitter or Facebook and we'll gush together over tea.
Maybe I'll even blog more than once this month. 
It could happen.


"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews. 

"Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.