Sunday, January 22, 2012

January Musings

Wow. It's heading towards the end of January of the new year already! Seems I just blinked and Christmas, Bud's and my birthday and the first big snow of the season flew by. My days seem to melt one into another lately.

Let's see, what has happened? Archie tore out one of his right hind foot toenails, poor baby. He limped awhile, but now all is well. Bud and I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes for our birthday. We both really enjoyed that. I found out that I am going to be a first-time Grandma in June to a little boy. I'm so excited! I started a short story set in the same world as "Snow's End" and "Bloodstone." The main character is a monk who came to me when I woke up one morning and insisted his story be told. And I've been plowing eagerly through three new-to-me series of books. Bliss!

All three series are historical mysteries. The first series is by Laurie R. King, the Mary Russell series. The first book in the series, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, grabbed me immediately and I've been greatly entertained by the pairing of a young woman of the post-WWI era and an elderly Sherlock Holmes. I've always been fascinated by WWI and the 1920s as that was the era in which my parents spent their youths. Add mystery and Sherlock Holmes and, boy, I'm hooked. Ms. King's bright and witty writing makes everything sparkle, even when the two are traipsing the more sordid sections of London, the dusty roads of Palestine or the foggy and gloomy Dartmoor.

The second series I latched onto is by C.S. Harris, the Sebastian St. Cyr books. We're back in the Regency era with a character Ms. Harris describes as, "think Mr. Darcy with a James Bond edge...." Well. Yes, that pretty much describes Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. We follow him through the drawing rooms and fetes of the nobility (including those of "Prinny," soon-to-be Prince Regent George, son of George III) as well as the slums and brothels of London solving gruesome mysteries within the elite milieu. How can one not enjoy the dashing antics of a nobleman who cannot keep a valet because of the deplorable state of elegant clothing with which his employer returns each day?

The third series takes me back into the tumultuous days of Henry VIII's reign. C.J. Sansom brings us the Matthew Shardlake series. Shardlake is a hunch-backed would-be reformist lawyer who gets reluctantly drawn into the devious and mysterious political machinations of Thomas Cromwell, the Roman Catholic church and a host of other familiar historical figures of the day. Add a stately and brilliant Moorish monk apothecary and a scapegrace young "assistant" who has a tendency to call everyone an "arsehole", and Matthew Shardlake's adventures into the labyrinth of the 16th century Tudor reign can become addictive.

So, that's what I've been up to so far this year. It's 2012? How did I get here so quickly? Weren't we just all babbling about Y2K?

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