Category Archives: Fiction

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Clay Jannon has lost his job in the Great Recession, and he really needs to keep a roof over his head. (Not just any roof, either: he lives in San Francisco.) So when he sees a Help Wanted sign in … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 4 Comments

A Stranger in Olondria

Jevick is from Tyom, a small village in the Tea Islands. He has lived here all his childhood, learning the delicate art of pepper-growing from his father, hardly understanding his own isolation, until one day his father brings back something … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 2 Comments

The Likeness

Last year, my mystery book club (we read mysteries, rather than being shrouded in mystery ourselves) read Tana French’s In the Woods. I admit that I was a bit prejudiced against it from the beginning, since it’s a) about a … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Mysteries | 20 Comments

The Nursing-Home Murder

This novel is the third of Ngaio Marsh’s mysteries. I know I blaspheme by saying this, but I have never been that fond of most of Agatha Christie’s novels; with a few exceptions I find them too formulaic and two-dimensional … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 18 Comments

Which Witch?

Jenny at Reading the End has been recommending Eva Ibbotson for years and years, and particularly as a comfort read. While I recognize that comfort reads work better if you’re re-reading, I thought that since I was in need of … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 12 Comments

The Secret History

One of the great mysteries of the book world (to me, anyway) is how books get sorted into categories. Margaret Atwood’s futuristic novels are general fiction, but Octavia Butler’s are science fiction. Emily St. John Mandel’s zombie and contagion novel … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 22 Comments


The sixth and final book in Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles finds Lymond and Philippa in France. Their relationship remains unchanged since The Ringed Castle, but they plan to dissolve the relationship after the wedding of Mary, Queen of Scotland, to … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 4 Comments

The Poisoned Chocolates Case

The Crimes Circle had been meeting for about five months when the group’s president, Roger Sheringham, brought a special guest to one of their dinners. The guest, Chief Inspector Moresby of Scotland Yard, provided the evening’s entertainment in the form … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries | 10 Comments

The Guide: A #Diversiverse Review

Just two days after his release from prison, a man named Raju is sitting cross-legged by an ancient shrine when a man named Velan approaches him seeking advice. His sister is supposed to be married, but she has run away. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 8 Comments

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Here’s what I knew about this novel by Shirley Jackson before I started reading it. It’s creepy. There’s an old house and some sisters, maybe some ghosts, and lots of secrets. And it’s really very creepy. So not much. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 22 Comments