A Few Good Books to Read by the Fire

With the colder weather and shorter days, I’m spending more time in front of the fireplace with a good book. Or at least, what I hope is a good book when I start it.

Sometimes I’m disappointed. Of the ten or so I’ve read in the past month, here are the ones I enjoyed the most.

A Murder is Announced

I have to admit, I’ve come to appreciate Agatha Christie just in the past few years. I had the impression that since she was so popular, she must be writing for the masses, just one step above beach reads.

There’s my shameful confession. A little snooty, I know. I’m not proud of it.

I stand corrected.

A Murder is Announced starts of with an advertisement, inviting people to Little Paddocks Friday evening at 6:30 to witness a murder. The residents of Little Paddocks knew nothing of this, but in true English fashion, prepared to properly greet whoever accepted the invitation.

What follows is a mystery full of twists and red herrings, made all the more delightful by the beautiful writing, vivid characters and Miss Marple’s keen observations. I think I’ll be reading more of Agatha Christie’s work.

Maisie Dobbs

Sticking with the mystery genre, Maisie Dobbs is another female British sleuth. Unlike Miss Marple, Maisie started life as a maid. Through a wealthy patron, she trained as a detective and set up shop in London in 1929. This book told the story of how Maisie worked her way up, and didn’t get into the mystery at hand for awhile, but that didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book.

The only issue I have with it is on occasion the characters lapse into phrasing (mostly about psychology) that sounded more like what 21st century people would say, rather than those living in the era of the Great Depression. Still, that’s a relatively small flaw in an otherwise charming book.

Night of the Purple Moon

I admit it, I love Young Adult novels. Even more when they are dystopian Young Adult. Night of the Purple Moon is an intriguing addition to the genre.

Like everyone else, Abby is looking forward to seeing the moon turn purple, the effect of a comet passing nearby, leaving a trail of dust in its wake. What she didn’t expect was that the dust would kill just about every adult on the planet. How she and the other survivors attempt to survive and adapt made for a fun and engrossing read.

What about you? Read anything worth sharing?

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