I’d like to welcome everyone to Flowery Prose! Cruise on over to follow my growing words about writing, gardening, and outdoors pursuits in Alberta, Canada. My book reviews are up at Goodreads – click here to check them out! ♥
Death at Victoria Dock – Kerry Greenwood (1992, Poisoned Pen Press, Arizona)
Phryne Fisher and her entourage encounter all sorts of danger and political intrigue when faced with a group of anarchists hell-bent on executing a secret attack in Melbourne. Plenty of blood, sex, and twisted alliances in this one – but Miss Fisher takes it all in stride, and never fails to wear the perfect outfit and shoes while on the case. Great light reading, as usual.
The Green Mill Murder – Kerry Greenwood (1993, Poisoned Pen Press, Arizona)
A death at a popular jazz club leads the always intrepid and impeccably-dressed Phryne Fisher on an adventure over Australia, as she takes to the treacherous skies and does some slumming in the mountains to help a wealthy family resolve a messy inheritance – and figure out whodunit, of course. As usual, Greenwood’s mysteries are fun and frivolous, easily digestible in an hour or two.
Blood and Circuses – Kerry Greenwood (1994, Poisoned Pen Press, Arizona)
The usually unstoppable and ever-fashionable Phryne Fisher dons theatrical rags and shows her vulnerable, emotional side as she joins a travelling circus to uncover the reason behind a series of unsettling sabotages and the bloody murder of a beloved performer. Phryne relies more heavily on her allies and friends in this one than usual – and the reader gets some interesting p.o.v.’s from members of the police department, including the determined Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, and the young, eager constable Tommy Harris. In tone and style, this book marked a bit of a departure from the others in the series so far, with mostly positive results. I was particularly impressed with the detailed descriptions of circus life – although they took up a sizeable amount of ink, I found them just as fascinating as Phryne does.
Kerry Greenwood – Ruddy Gore (1995, Poisoned Pen Press, Arizona)
The exquisitely stylish, cool-as-a-cucumber Phyrne Fisher sets out to solve a murder which occurs during a production of the Gilbert and Sullivan play “Ruddigore.” While the motivations and passions of the theatre group’s players muddle and twist (and often mimic the play itself), Miss Fisher risks life and perfect limb to sort it all out. Along the way she is thwarted by a ghost and makes the very intimate acquaintance of a young Chinese man who has secrets of his own. This was one of my favourite Miss Fisher books so far; I was pleased to see that the strong, mostly-implacable Phryne was back (I had been a bit alarmed at her lack of independence in “Blood and Circuses, “ and had worried that our delightful heroine had lost her a bit of her strength, nerve, and resolve).
Artemis – Andy Weir (2017, Broadway Books, New York)
I had such fun reading Andy Weir’s first book The Martian, and it was just as much of a romp reading Artemis. Even if you’re not a typical reader of science fiction, you’ll enjoy the entertainment value in Weir’s work – the science is palatable and light (but hardly forgotten!) and the sassy, smart, strong protagonists are just as flawed as we need them to be. In Artemis, Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara is a smuggler on the titular moon colony. Lured by the promise of a big payout, Jazz gets in way over her head when a juicy contract proves deadly, and she needs to use both brains and brawn (and enlist the help of some unlikely allies) to…well…stop the bad guys from doing really nasty things to the moon and its residents. This is a good old fashioned mystery with an extremely well-crafted and planned exotic setting and a clever (and at times, hilarious) first person narrator: a delightful, cozy combination.
Lady Cop Makes Trouble – Amy Stewart (2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York)
If you remember me burbling with excitement over the first book in this series, Girl Waits With Gun, then it probably won’t come as any surprise that I liked Lady Cop Makes Trouble even more. This fictionalized story of the unconventional Constance Kopp, who in real life was one of the first female police officers in the United States, picks up where the first novel leaves off, with the newly-deputized Constance doing her best to help keep Bergen County safe from unsavoury elements (when she’s not looking after her quirky family, that is). All hell breaks loose when Constance makes a mistake while keeping custody of a high-profile criminal and she knows she must take drastic action or risk losing her job and harming the livelihood of her boss, Sheriff Heath. This book is less constrained by real events as the first book was, which may or may not matter to readers (it didn’t, to me – storytelling is storytelling and this is a fine example of what you can do with the spark of historical fact if you totally run with it). Careful, detailed character development and moments of poignant emotion and humour make this a real gem.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things – Jenny Lawson (2015, Flatiron Books, New York)
I wasn’t previously familiar with Jenny Lawson’s work as The Bloggess, but since reading Furiously Happy, I’m a follower-fan; her sense of humour and positivity in the face of serious illness is entertaining and inspiring. Everything is fodder for her wacky, unique take on the world, and while her completely no-filter style and raunchy language may not appeal to everyone, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of frequently outrageous, laugh-out-loud, yet poignant (and occasionally devastating) essays. I regret not reading Lawson’s first memoir Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) before I got to this one; a bit more background on her life and her family would have been useful. Let’s Pretend… is now at the top of my TBR pile.
Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) – Jenny Lawson (2012, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York)
(One month later) Okay, so I just ripped through Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, which, as it turns out, is just as satisfying, rewarding, and unladylike-guffaw-inducing as Lawson’s second book. I read most of this in public spaces and although I tried really hard not to burst out laughing, it happened more than a few times. Zombies in the backyard, gigantic metal chickens, taxidermy alligators, laundry, colon cleanses, giving birth…it’s all here. And more. And it’s priceless.
I just couldn’t stay away. 😉
Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to The Door is Ajar – I appreciate your readership, you’ve been amazing! As of today, I am combining this blog with Flowery Prose, another blog I’ve been writing for nearly a decade. In addition to the topics I cover on Flowery Prose, I will maintain the same book-centric posts that you’ve always found on the Door is Ajar. If you’re interested, I’d love it if you’d subscribe: please go check out the new digs and enjoy!