Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Making Series Progress

Because I've been in the mood for genre reads lately, I've used it as an opportunity to catch-up with some of the series I've got going.

The Laws of Murder by Charles Finch is the eighth Charles Lenox mystery. There's just one more book to go before I'm caught up on this series and I own that one so I anticipate getting to it this summer. I started reading the series in 2008 when I borrowed A Beautiful Blue Death from the library. Here are my brief spreadsheet thoughts on each book of the series --

A Beautiful Blue Death: a good start but a bit tame - would like to see another in the series
The September Society: enjoy Lenox very much - the anti-Poirot
The Fleet Street Murders: a bit oversentimental at times but strong
A Stranger in Mayfair: a high point in the series
A Burial at Sea: a slightly bumpy start with a great finish
A Death in the Small Hours: touching and unexpected
An Old Betrayal: fantastic and went in the direction I had hoped

As you can see, I have enjoyed the series more and more through time. Charles Lenox is a great protagonist that has a few qualities that make him rather unique in the literary detective world. I don't know how many more books Finch intends to write but I do hope he continues the series through at least a few more stories!

The Memory of Blood starts with the mention in the Acknowledgements that Christopher Fowler didn't think the series would make it this far, to book nine of the Peculiar Crimes Unit mysteries. And, as I look to buy book 10 (of 13), I'm finding that it doesn't even seem to have been released in paperback even though the hardcover came out in 2013. I'll need to go search for a cheap used copy because I definitely intend to reread this series at some point. Bryant and May are unique in both their age (they should have retired many years earlier) and also their unusual skill set (in this latest one, Bryant recalls his ventriloquism skills after being hypnotized by a white witch). The story in this one was a bit creepier than I like -- I have a fear of "talking" dolls and puppets and this tale incorporates the history of Punch and Judy shows. ::shiver:: But, once again, Bryant and May and the hard working people who toil with them in the PCU managed to engage me despite this fear.

And finally, I got to the end of the Graceling/Fire trilogy with Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. This series was just WOW. I really didn't think it would be for me as bloggers like Ana were talking about it a few years ago but a lovely publicist had a set of the three books to give away and I decided to give them a shot and got to enter this beautiful and horrible world. I didn't write about Graceling because I ended up listening to it and I always forget to mention my audiobooks. But I thought that it was a great story with a strong female lead. Then I read Fire in February of this year and it had a different strong female lead and I couldn't get enough. So I was quite surprised in Bitterblue that, though the main character, Queen Bitterblue, has actual power, she's actually quite weak and this is the story of her progress in finding the strength that she envies in others. I loved that she was on a different journey than Katsa or Fire experienced. It was harder to side with Bitterblue when she was being irrational or petulant but then a learning experience would happen and she would win me over again. The world building in this series was fantastic as were the variety of relationships portrayed. I'm very happy that I eventually read this trilogy.

What series are you enjoying at the moment?

Reveling in murder and mayhem,


  1. Ana said a while ago that she preferred the Bitterblue series to the Raven Cycle, and I was so stunned and outraged that I have since refused to read the Bitterblue books. But I mean. That's probably not actually fair. She so rarely leads me astray.

    1. So I mentioned it up there but the Graceling/Fire/Bitterblue books are all about girl power. I did find it amusing that I just finished reading 500+ pages about Bitterblue and now I'm reading about Blue in The Raven Boys! More power to color-named gals! ;)

  2. I loved the Bitterblue series! It is one trilogy I actually read all three books without an insane amount of time passing. lol

    1. Me too! There is definitely something to be said for waiting until a series is done before reading it.