Argh Re-Reads: Dick Francis

So I’ve been thinking about a new series for here and the comments in the last post about Dick Francis decided it: I’m going to do every-now-and-then posts about my re-reads, one author per post, starting with the Dick Francis post I took down because it was a draft. Basically, it’ll be a paragraph about why I love these authors, whatever other info I have about their lives and writing, and then a Top Five Re-Reads with annotations. That’ll be fun for me and the comments should be interesting since we can talk about one author in depth. Some of my other re-reads will probably be Pratchett, Gilbert, Heyer, Allingham, Christie, Stout, Wells (although only her Murderbots, so maybe not), Aaronovitch and . . . well, there are a lot. REALLY looking forward to the conversations in the comments.

And now, Dick Francis. Continue reading


This is a Good Book Thursday, April 8, 2021

Last week, for the first time, I DNFed a book through rage. I’ve been reading romances between rereading mysteries, trying to see how things have changed in the genre (a lot, but that’s usual, romance reinvents itself constantly) and I tried a book that was turning out to be substandard from the beginning (gorgeous heroine, gorgeous hero, heroine needs rescued but is surprisingly sexually predatory for a wimpy girl) and then I got to the point where the hero had been falsely accused of rape. I HATE THIS TROPE. Continue reading


Argh Author: Gin Jones’ Laid Out in Lavender (Garlic Farm Mystery #2)

Gin Jones‘ latest Garlic Farm mystery, Laid Out in Lavender, is out today!

Mabel Skinner still hasn’t acquired a taste for growing garlic, but the app developer-turned farmer does have a nose for rooting out killers . . .

Dreaming she’ll someday return to her less pungent life of computer coding, Mabel continues to honor her deceased aunt’s legacy by running Skinner Farm. To make ends meet between harvests, she’s renting out the property’s mercifully downwind lavender field for summer weddings.

Mabel’s first clients are a retirement age couple celebrating their second chance at love in their later years. Hosting a rehearsal dinner with fresh foods seemed like a good idea to promote the farm—until the dead body of one of the wedding guests is discovered. The suddenly departed was the soon-to-be-ex-business partner of the groom, supposedly poisoned by goat cheese hors d’oeuvres provided by Mabel’s neighbor.

Despite the tragedy and the scandal, the groom insists on keeping his wedding date. But with the adult children from the couple’s previous marriages scheming to stop the new union, Mabel’s farm is reeking with suspects. And if she doesn’t uncover the murderer, her goat farming neighbor will get sent to the pen for life . . .

Buy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

To find out more about Gin and her earlier books, go to her website.


Happiness is Beauty

I’ve had a rough week (who hasn’t?) so I was fairly down when I started reading this essay by James Farago in the NYT, “What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty.” It’s profusely illustrated with beautiful images, but what really drew me in was how much the writer loves his subject, in this case, the way art draws artists from across cultures, cultural adaptation never seen as politically incorrect assimilation but joyously celebrated as evolution and above all, beauty. To make beautiful things is to grow and adapt and be open to everything.

This essay and its illustrations made me happy. What made you happy this week?


This is a Good Book Thursday, April 1, 2021

Just for the record, we don’t do April Fool’s Day here, so when I say I finally read Aaronovich’s What Abigail Did That Summer and it was excellent, I am being very serious. And now I want more Abigail with foxes even more than I want more Peter Grant, even though Peter now has twins that should be the most interesting infants ever. Still, Abigail has foxes that talk to her while demanding scratches and cheese puffs. Team Abigail here.

What did you read this week?