Tuesday’s high was 47 F(8.3 C). The low was 32 F (0 C). Wednesday’s high was 67 F (19.4 C). Thursday’s high is predicted to be 81 F (27.2 C) . Tell you what. Tuesday and Wednesday I got up to make finger food and hot tea, brought it back to the bedroom and just got back into bed where it was warm! Spent most of both days lying in the bed reading cheap trashy (and poorly written) novels. (There were a couple that read as though they’d been edited by Google Translate.) The sad thing about it is that these books have supposedly gone through a copy editor before being published. Well, you get what you pay for.
However, I also read the latest Sebastian St. Cyr novel, Who Speaks for the Damned, by C. S. Harris. If you like the Regency period in England, and you like whodunits, has C. S. Harris got about 15 books for you. The earlier books are more angsty, but gripping reads. This last one was Jarvis lite, and a little bit “going through the motions,” but it was — as are all her books — well written, insightful and historically accurate (Harris has a Ph.D. in European history). The books are stand-alone and can be read in any order, but if you want all the juicy backstory, publication order is best. You get to watch Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, (the sleuth) wrestle his demons and come to terms with his past. The first murder he solves is the one he is being framed for! His first love is an actress named Cat. His nemesis is Lord Jarvis, the Regent’s cousin, but it’s Jarvis’ daughter, Hero who will go on to loom large in his legend. (This happens in my favorite books of the series, What Remains of Heaven, Where Shadows Dance, and When Maidens Mourn.)
Then, yesterday evening I ran across a pearl among the swine. Wyrde and Wayward by Charlotte E. English. It’s the first book of a duology, and I bought the second book before I’d even gotten three chapters into the first one. Yep. It’s that good. It’s a cross between Georgette Heyer‘s Regency romances and The Addams Family. It starts out like any other Regency novel, and you think you know what it’s going to be like, but then you begin to realize that it’s started to wander off in a totally strange direction. The main character is an unmarried spinster of six and twenty, Augusta Werth. We see her world from her point of view — but it’s written in 3rd person ( he did, she said, they saw, etc) — NOT 1st person (as though she herself was telling it to someone). (I hate 1st person books!) The thing that makes it work is that the author has played it straight. No nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Gussie’s world is perfectly normal to her and that’s the way the author shows it to us. Plus, she’s witty, droll, and just a teensy bit snarky — but every inch a proper Regency Lady! She lives with her governess in a cottage on her uncle’s (Viscount Werth) estate (a single lady would never live alone!). Her married sister communes with ghosts, and worries about the effect of their presence on her children. One cousin is as likely as not to have his head in a book, and fresh blood on his cravat. Another cousin turned into something strange on her third birthday. Two fun books for $7 is a great deal.