Sunday, December 28, 2014

October Reading

It took me over four years to get back to Isabel Dalhousie after my disappointment with The Lost Art of Gratitude. I bought the next in the series by Alexander McCall Smith, The Charming Quirks of Others, a few months after I read The Lost Art, but only began reading it this fall. I’d read a fair bit of Doctor Thorndyke, and wanted something else for a while. I looked through my Kindle books, and found this, and thought I’d give it a try. I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t care for it but apparently the Lost Art was a fluke. I loved this book. Really loved it, and remembered why I so enjoy the Isabel Dalhousie series. 

I went on to read the following books, and loved each one. So happy to be in her company again. I must admit that she reminds me of myself a little. I am always thinking things out, as Isabel does. I wonder, I ponder.

46. The Charming Quirks of Others - book 7 in the Isabel Dalhousie series
by Alexander McCall Smith
fiction 2010
Kindle
finished 10/7/14

47. The Forgotten Affairs of Youth - book 8 in the Isabel Dalhousie series
by Alexander McCall Smith
fiction 2011
Kindle
finished 10/12/14

48. The Perils of Morning Coffee - book 8.5 in the Isabel Dalhousie series
by Alexander McCall Smith
fiction novella 2011
Kindle
finished 10/13/14

49. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds - book 9 in the Isabel Dalhousie series
by Alexander McCall Smith
fiction 2012
Kindle
finished 10/18/14

And then when I got caught up with Isabel, I began reading a series I had never heard of in my youth. I got a 15-book megapack of Mildred Wirt’s Penny Parker books.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself. She is a teenager who lives with her father, a newspaper man. She gets involved in cases through him. I felt amazed at how much freedom she had. He trusted her to do the right thing, and she mostly did. 

Mildred Wirt Benson is the same woman who wrote the Nancy Drew stories, and I read 
Benson, who was a newspaper reporter herself, favored Penny Parker over all the other books she wrote, including Nancy Drew. Her obituary quoted her as saying, " 'I always thought Penny Parker was a better Nancy Drew than Nancy is,' Mrs. Benson said in 1993."
I greatly prefer the ones I've read so far to the Nancy Drew series.

50. Danger at the Drawbridge - book 3 in the Penny Parker mysteries
by Mildred A. Wirt
young adult mystery 1940
Kindle
finished 10/23/14

51. The Tale of the Witch Doll - book 1 in the Penny Parker mysteries
by Mildred A. Wirt
young adult mystery 1939
Kindle
finished 10/25/14

And now I come to the best, best mystery discovery of this year or any year. I’ve read Arthur Upfield’s name occasionally but for some reason was never drawn to begin his work. And I don’t know why I decided to buy the first of his mysteries but am so very happy I did. You will see in my November and December book notes that this series is pretty much all I’m reading now. The minute I finish one I start the next one. Never have I been so involved in a place, a detective, a society. He was the first to write about the Australian Aborigines. It isn’t always easy reading to learn how they were treated and thought of, but the tales are so good that I just go on and on. There will be more about the author and the series in the December reading post.

52. The Barrakee Mystery - book 1 in the Inspector Bonaparte series
by Arthur Upfield
mystery 1928
Kindle

finished 10/30/14

6 comments:

  1. Nan, Alexander McCall Smith was one of the major authors I meant to read this year, and didn't. I now hope to acquaint myself with his mysteries in 2015.

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    Replies
    1. You have so many series to choose from! Such a prolific writer.

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  2. I've read all of Isabel and now I must go back immediately and retread Gratitude to see if I can figure out why you didn't like it as well. I like how she thinks! (In every meaning of that terrible sentence.).

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  3. I happened to read one of the Isabel series, went back and began at the first and read through them all, completely taken up with charming Isabel and the city she lives in. Such a reasonable woman that McCall Smith created. I hadn't realized that a new one is available even though I follow him on FB.

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    Replies
    1. He is an amazing, amazing writer. I'm in such awe of him. Always his books have such a kindly, gentle feel.

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