A new year means a new list of books read! There’s never enough time for reading. This is what I made it through last year. I’ll keep this post up on the “Books” tab as well.  I know I’m missing some that I took to Anegada and Topsail, so if I find my notes about them, I’ll update this.

While I’m not very good at the typical reviews, I think you can tell what I liked and what I didn’t, so if it looks like I liked something, well, go read it, because it was wonderful! And ask if you have any questions.  Happy 2013 reading!

BOOKS READ IN 2012

Dr. Mortimer and the Aldgate Mystery by Gerard Williams.  (223 pp.)  In the Holmes genre, this Victorian mystery was only fair. The plot was simple and complex at the same time, and didn’t feel fully developed. It was as if Williams thrust in too many characters and did not fully develop any of them.

Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On! by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson (304 pp.) A Christmas gift from my 2-year old neice, this quick-to-laugh-at book takes me back through the carefully touched-up roots of my Southern upbringing.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Ausen (272 pp.) The classic Jane Austen, it was tough to get through, but good. I wonder if I would have liked it as much had I not seen the movie (doesn’t that sound shallow?) It’s just that the language was a bit of a challenge. Ms. Austen did not stir my emotions like the Bronte sisters can.

Hearts and Bones by Margaret Lawrence (344 pp.)  A good, slightly frustrating romantic mystery set in Colonial Times.

An Opened Grave by L. Frank James (230 pp.) I love a good Sherlockiana book. And this was AWFUL. It was just….dumb. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was so far-fetched and foolish. I didn’t want to finish it but I did.

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (611 pp.) Wonderful! Can’t wait for the sequel. And the fact that it’s translated from Portuguese (I think), makes it even more amazing.

The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King (372 pp.) A continuation of a previous book, it felt like they were sort of stretching for money by making this into a second bood. Again, a bit of a frustrating read, though I generally like Laurie R. King.

Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders (366 pp.) I liked this. I love this series. A little more supernatural than the others, but still fun.

Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson (278 pp.) I had read this years and years ago, but had forgotten, and I enjoyed reading it again. The first in the Sarah Brandt midwife mystery series.

More Information Than You Require by John Hodgman (656 pp.) I think this is the second John Hodgman book. I loved the first one. I didn’t really like this one. It just felt silly and repetitive of the first one. It was hard to finish and became a “bathroom book”.

The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald (287pp.) The true tale of a woman who moves west with her husband as he starts a chicken/egg farm. Somehow or other, this book is the inspiration for “The Egg and I” restaurant chain. I enjoyed it. It did reflect the mores of society of the time, and was very anti-feminist, slighly racist, and frankly, her husband seemed like a total ass-hat. But that was then. It was a great and entertaining glimpse into an era that’s now past.

The Lost Duchess of Greyden Castle by Nina Cooms Pykare (320 pp.) This was a classic mindless gothic novel with the woman running away from the castle with the light in the window cover art. Girl marries brooding man, threats are made on her life, they’re in a remote castle with a cray-cray family, and she’s sure it’s her husband who’s out to get her, but no…..

The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne (239 pp.) This was fabulous. It was the only mystery ever written by A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie-the-Pooh tales. It’s a shame it’s the only one he ever wrote, to please his father, who loved mysteries.

The Old Reliable by P.G. Wodehouse ( 217 pp.) Can you imagine? A P.G. Wodehouse I’ve never read? It’s true! MKL bought it for me. It was…ok. But even with it being just ok, it was a treat to read a new-to-me Wodehouse.

The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler (323 pp.) A Peculiar Crimes Unit series entry, I love this series — so creative and quirky. The books are surprisingly hard to find. But definitely on my list. You’ll like them if you like a little bit of modern English mystery fixed with sci-fantasy dribbles.

The Complaint of the Dove by Hannah March (266 pp.) I liked the hero in this one – an English tutor and pretty cool guy in a Georgian England setting.

The Dancing Star by Berta Ruck (337 pp.) Somehow or other, I got enveloped into WWI fiction novels this past fall, generally romantic triffles written by women with three names and a slightly feminist bent. While this was a two-name woman, she is my favorite of those I read. The writing was lyrical and felt new, as if woman writers had never expressed themselves this way before.

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (509 pp.) I think this is Deanna Raybourn’s first novel. I liked it, but it felt slow and shallow for a long time, only picking up in the last 150 pages or so. But the plot was pretty good. I’d try her again.

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood (176 pp.) The first novel featuring Australian detective in the 1920’s Phryne Fisher, this was light, fluffy, fun with a risque rogue heroine.

The Distrubing Charm by Berta Ruck (179 pp.) Another WWI romance, and a wonderful one.

Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan (324 pp.)

Murder in Mill Town by P.B. Ryan (276 pp.)

Death on Beacon Hill by P.B. Ryan (276 pp.)

Murder on Black Friday by P.B. Ryan (244 pp.)

Murder in the North End by P.B. Ryan (288 pp.)

A Bucket of Ashes by P.B. Ryan (288 pp.)

This series of P.B. Ryan books was probably my favorite historical mystery series that I’d read in years. Each book was great in itself, I LOVED the heroine, and at the end, the author wrapped the series up neatly. I was sorry there wouldn’t be more books, but super happy about the books in general.

Miss Million’s Maid by Berta Ruck (407 pp.) A fun WWI-era lovey romp.

A Wicked Wager by Anna Wylde (240 pp.) A romantic comdey-ish Georgian mystery.