Working On Those New Year's Goals...

Now that we're just over a month in, I though I'd check in on my New Year's Resolutions.

Did I crochet some stuff? Check! Scarves for everybody! Well, me and the kids, anyway. Bonus hat for me.

Did I play some D&D? Nope. Sadly, my Monday Night Group sort of fell apart, though some of us still get together occasionally (about once a week) to play games, watch movies, eat, drink, be merry. I'm sure there'll be more D&D eventually, but it's gone on hiatus for now. Still, I assume I can get in some games at some point this year.

Have I spent time with my family? Check! Er, pretty much every day, really. That...that one was a given, honestly.

Have I read books? Check! Of course. There were two mini-goals in there, too, though. And I'm still working on those. (I have to have something left for the rest of the year!)

Have I read 100 books yet? Nope! But I'm at 16, which ain't a bad start.

Have I read a series in a genre I don't normally read? Nope! Series are long, guys! It doesn't even count (for me) as a series unless it's got more than five good-size books in it! Also, if I'm going to devote a healthy chunk of time to reading a series, I want to make sure I pick a good one. (I thought this through, guys!)

I decided on mystery, which isn't a genre I tend to read, but I have read some mysteries and liked them. I thought I'd reread two which are the first books of series. Both of them I remembered liking, and I couldn't really recall the plots, so I thought I'd read them again, pick my favorite, and go from there.


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First up: The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King, the first novel of the soon-to-be 13 book long Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.

Besides, I like bees.


Extraordinarily intelligent 15 year old Miss Mary Russell stumbles (almost literally) upon the somewhat retired Sherlock Holmes and an unusual friendship and eventual partnership develops. When a determined and cunning adversary puts the lives of Holmes' friends - old and new - in danger, the Great Detective's skills, as well as his heart, face a terrible challenge.

I enjoyed this book the first time around - I liked the romance of it, given the main characters' often acerbic personalities. And, while I'm not a big mystery reader, I've always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Still, I felt the actual mystery in this book didn't hold up as well as I'd have liked. That might be because I only read it a couple (maybe three) years ago, but the story seemed more about Holmes and Russell falling in love and less about the pair solving crime. Perhaps the rest of the series focuses more on the cases and less on the growing relationship between Holmes and Russell. It does seem like a great series for someone who likes romance and wants to branch out a bit into mystery.


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Next up: Cover Her Face by P. D. James, the first of the 14 book long Adam Dalgliesh series.

Also, I want her hair.

When young Sally Jupp, an unwed mother working as a domestic servant for the Maxie family, is found strangled in her bed behind a locked door, Scotland Yard's Adam Dalgliesh is sent out to investigate. Finding the killer is complicated when every suspect has a reason to hate the victim; it's even more difficult when it turns out no one really knew her at all.

I liked this book the first time around; I think I actually liked it better the second time. James does an excellent job of letting you into the thoughts of everyone involved, including the killer, without giving away the story entirely. I figured out some of it (I have a knack for that - DH hates watching shows with me, sometimes, because I can tell him how it'll end), and all the necessary clues were there, but I didn't put it all together until Dalgliesh laid it out - and that's with having read it before! (Admittedly, it's been more years than I care to admit.)

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I think it's pretty obvious, given my reviews, that I'll be going on with the Adam Dalgliesh series. I loved that the story stayed mostly with the case, that the reader gets into the heads of everyone involved without knowing who the killer is until the end, and that the actual mystery is more than just "Who done it?" I do highly recommend the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, though, to anyone who likes romance, strong female characters, and a hint of mystery thrown in!


Links! (So many links today! I need to weed my sources, I think...)

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