Category Archives: Fiction

Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief

This semester, I’m teaching a class on French crime fiction. Although the genre started in France roughly when British and American crime fiction did (which is to say around the middle of the 19th century), I’m staying inside the 20th century, mostly … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 10 Comments

The World Beneath

Twenty-five years ago, Sandy and Rich met as part of “the Blockade,” an environmental protest against the damming of Tasmania’s Franklin River. It worked: the government called off the construction, and Sandy and Rich’s relationship got a lift in the … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments

Green Grass, Running Water

Is it possible to enjoy a book you don’t understand? I think it is. I certainly enjoyed Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King, but there’s a lot of it that I didn’t understand. The novel blends the stories of … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 6 Comments

The Toll-Gate

I needed something cheerful to read this weekend, so I decided to turn to one of the Georgette Heyer novels languishing on my bookshelves. I’d previously read A Civil Contract and Cotillion and found them utterly delightful. The Toll-Gate was … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | 22 Comments

Dreaming Spies

The publication of a new Mary Russell novel is always a source of celebration. I’ve been following this series by Laurie King since its early days, shortly before the publication of the fifth book in 1999, and I remain impressed … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mysteries | 13 Comments

Dept of Speculation

It’s an ordinary story. A woman meets a man. They fall in love. They get married. They have a baby. And then… Colic, bedbugs, head lice … and all the other ordinary annoyances of life. The unnamed narrator of this … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 11 Comments


Maria Edgeworth is perhaps best known to readers today as one of the authors who influenced Jane Austen. Belinda is mentioned in Austen’s Northanger Abbey, and fans of Pride and Prejudice may well recognize a bit of Elizabeth Bennett in … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 17 Comments

As We Are Now

At the end of this short novel by May Sarton, I knew a few things about Caroline Spencer’s time at the Twin Elms rest home. I knew that Caro was miserable there. I knew the care she and other residents … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | 11 Comments

The Deliverance

I wish I could remember where I heard of this book. I suspect that I saw a blog post or article somewhere about its author, Ellen Glasgow, and decided to try this book because of its subtitle, “A Romance of … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 4 Comments

A Fatal Grace

I mentioned right around Thanksgiving that I’d read the first in Louise Penny’s series of mysteries about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, and the village of Three Pines in Quebec. That it took me only two months to read the next … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries | 2 Comments