Monday, December 30, 2013

December Reading

79. Keeper of the Keys - book 6 in the Charlie Chan series
by Earl Derr Biggers
mystery, 1932
Kindle book
finished 12/27/13

So sadly, Earl Derr Biggers died the year after this was published so there are only six in the series. I have loved every book, and though he may not have planned it to be the last one, it is really quite a fitting end. We learn about the history of the Chinese people in the western United States which of course relates to Charlie Chan himself. Wonderful books.

78. Provence, 1970
by Luke Barr
nonfiction, 2013
finished 12/26/13

As stated in my post, this is one of my ten favorites of the year. And maybe of my reading life. There will be a book report in the new year.

77. Nipped in the Bud - book 14 in the Hildegarde Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery, 1951
Kindle book
finished 12/22/13

When I finish each book in this series, I think, oh that was my favorite. Palmer is a master at locale descriptions, which is one of the many reasons I love these books. This time the reader travels to Tijuana, Mexico. Great characters, and excellent mystery.

76. The Great Cake Mystery - book 3 in the Precious Ramotswe series
by Alexander McCall Smith
middle grade fiction, 2012
Kindle book
library book
finished 12/15/13

Sweet, adorable book about Mma Ramotswe as a child. Just wonderful.

75. The Green Ace - book 13 in the Hildegarde Withers series
by Stuart Palmer
mystery, 1950
Kindle book
finished 12/15/13

Although I enjoy Hildegarde's traveling mysteries, it is fun when she's at home in New York City. I love reading about the city in those times. 

74. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost - 1922
illustrated by Susan Jeffers - 1978, 2001
children's book
finished 12/14/13

I wrote about this here.

73. The Luck Runs Out - book 2 in the Professor Peter Shandy series
by Charlotte MacLeod
mystery, 1979
Kindle book
finished 12/9/13

I enjoyed the second even more than the first in the series, and have bought the third. This is a cozy series that I really enjoy. It is very intelligently written, and is fun at the same time. 

72. Stuck
by Stacey D. Atkinson
fiction, 2013
Kindle book
finished 12/6/13

As I stated in my favorites of the year post, a full book report will appear after the new year. For now, I’ll just say that I loved this book. It is wonderfully written, with a main character this reader was so fond of. 

71. Rest You Merry - book 1 in the Professor Peter Shandy series
by Charlotte MacLeod
mystery, 1978
Kindle book
second reading
finished 12/5/13

I read this many years ago, and had a fond feeling about it. I wondered if I would still enjoy it, and I did. I like the main character and his wife. I like the idea of an agricultural college where young people are really interested in caring for the land and its bounty. The reader is made aware of the claustrophobia that can come from an insular society such as a college community. In this book there is a lot of peer pressure for Peter Shandy to decorate his house and show a little Christmas spirit. He finally over-decorates in spite. There is soon a murder. I really like the way the case was solved, and I like a lot of the other characters in the book, which bodes well for future books in the series. There are two very fine reviews of Rest You Merry here and here.


  1. I do love your blog headers, Nan - the farm is just gorgeous! And the cover for the Frost book looks wonderful.

  2. Thank you! It is a painting I'd love to ease myself right into.

  3. Someone asked me the other day what the definition of a cozy mystery was. I think I know, but what do you think?

    Another question: Do you have a place where you can get lists of these old series in the order they were written? I can't seem to find those anywhere...I'm reading Hildegarde Withers hit and miss...would love to have started at the beginning and gone straight through. I still could do that on the Charlie Chan because he's still on my TBR list!

  4. I guess it means when nothing really gross or violent happens.
    Yes! I visit there almost every day. It is fantastic indeed!!!!

    1. Thank you Nan! I'm heading over there right now. So appreciate your taking time to let me know.


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