Title: London Road, Linked Stories Volume 1
Author: Tessa Smith McGovern
Setting: London, present day
Theme: second chances, family, mental health, love
This little book starts with Janice, recently released from prison for manslaughter with no plans and no friends. She’s heard vaguely about a boarding house that will take in people like her, so she heads that way. It turn out to be a lucky break.
All these stories are short, each focusing on just one person, and just little glimpses into one day of the life of the residents of the London Road boarding house. But together, those glimpses add up to a complex picture. I quite liked this book and I would love to read more by this author.
Title: The Tuesday Club Murders or The 13 Problems (Miss Marple #2)
Author: Agatha Christie
Setting: England 1930s or so
Format: physical book
Plot: Author Raymond West is staying with his aunt in the country. One evening at a dinner with friends, he proposes that they each relate a mystery, then see who can come up with the best solution to the story. To his surprise, sweet little Aunt Jane wins every time.
Reaction: I love Miss Marple. I always pictured her as a sweet, white-haired lady with “a mind like a steel trap,” as a police acquaintance says. Now that I’ve seen the mysteries with Joan Hickson in the role, I can’t imagine anyone else. She’s deceptively mild, but oh, what a wicked tongue she has when she wants to. Miss Marple was always very much a gentlewoman, but not always a gentle woman.
While I prefer the longer books like The Body in the Library, the nice thing about the short stories is that you can pick them up when you just have a few minutes to read and then put it down again without worrying about remembering where you were in the story next time. I’ve been working on rereading this one for a couple of months, and I never felt any rush to finish, just a bit of happiness every time I picked it up.
My favorite story is the one told by glamorous actress Jane Hillyer of a burglary. If you haven’t read Miss Marple before, I think I’d recommend starting with the first one, Murder at the Vicarage.
Title: Future Worlds: A Science Fiction Anthology
Authors: Various, my favorite was Michael Darling
Read Harder Challenge Task #21: Read a book published by a micropress: Future World Publishing
This was a collection of several short stories that I got through Kickstarter, and I have to say I found it disappointing overall. The only story I really loved was by Michael Darling. It features a couple of performers traveling together on tour, when Harry meets an audience member who won’t play along.
The rest of the stories were a mixed bag, and while some of them were good, there were all basically commercials for full length series. Why did I pay so much for this when it was mostly advertising? I would recommend this one mostly for those who want to discover a new series without reading a whole book. I did find a couple I want to read more of.
Title: Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales
Looking for a little fairy tale magic this season? This collection offers six stories which are both distinct and unique. From steampunk to western to WWII, this little book offers something for every reader. Not all of them end happily ever after, and as usual with such an anthology, I liked some stories better than others. I didn’t like the Snow White story as much, but they were all good stories. I wasn’t completely crazy about any of them, but I did like them each enough that I want to see how a full length story by these authors stands up.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review, but my opinion is my own. Verdict: worth checking out!