Review: The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries #3) by Charles Finch

I can feel fall in the air which means it’s time for another mystery book! This time I read the next book in the Charles Lenox mystery series, The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch.

I started reading the Lenox series as part of the Historic Fiction Reading Challenge.

When I started the series, I didn’t really know what to expect…I had heard mixed reviews about it. But after finishing the first book, A Beautiful Blue Death, I was pretty much hooked. I guess we can still consider this book part of the Historic Fiction Reading Challenge though it’s technically ‘over’ for me, my goal was to read just two Historic Fiction Books which I have gone WELL ABOVE so I guess technically this counts 🙂

What I like about the series is that it is consistently good….you know how some book series start good but then can’t keep up the momentum or some of the installments are good while others just aren’t…this book series IS NOT like that.

As I have said before, the series is simple and at time predictable but that is also what makes it a quick, easy read. It’s not overly complicated and not overly involved with tons of plot twists…it’s easy to follow and a good ‘mental’ break from other complicated mystery plots. I have read other reviews about this book and the series…overall most say the same things, it’s good but not complicated. I’m sorry but sometimes one just needs to read something fun and uncomplicated. As I have also said before though, the same things that I love about this series are the same things that I don’t like about the series….double edged sword to be uncomplicated I guess. Continue reading “Review: The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries #3) by Charles Finch”

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Review: Heartless (Parasol Protectorate #4) by Gail Carriger

I managed to read another book. This time I read Heartless by Gail Carriger as part of the Steampunk Reading Challenge! Originally I selected only the first two books of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, but after reading Soulless I was hooked on the series and subsequently read Changeless and Blameless.

Heartless is clearly a steampunk novel, not just because it features all kinds of dirigibles and steam powered machines but because it distinctly has  the scientific flair that defines the genre in general. Heartless picks up right where the last Parasol Protectorate left off…with protagonist Lady Alexia ‘soulless’ Tarabotti Maccon pregnant and trying to avoid all hell breaking loose in the British empire!

Alexia is assaulted by zombie-like porcupines and almost killed…knowing that she and her unborn child are in grave danger it is at that point that Alexia and her werewolf husband Lord Maccon, agree to give custody over to Alexia’s vampire BFF and fine British ‘dandy’….Lord Akeldama. Soon Alexia is visited by a ghost and informed of a plan to kill the Queen. As head woman in charge of Queen Victoria’s supernatural empire more or less, it is Alexia’s duty to solve the case.

Alexia is once again stuck in the middle of supernatural politics all set against an industrious Victorian London backdrop…..complete with all the favorite steampunk devices….dirigibles, steam powered technology, and random futuristic machines such as the octomaton, a mono-wheel cycle (complete with a steam powered propeller), and the quintessential glassicles. Continue reading “Review: Heartless (Parasol Protectorate #4) by Gail Carriger”

Locked up abroad & our return home–Aruba Vacation (Days VII/VIII)

I suppose comparing our VERY short detention at immigration to the National Geographic Chanel show Locked-Up Abroad is a GROSS OVER exaggeration. However after watching that show I am paranoid and when the US Customs agents stopped Sam and I at the airport all I could think of was ‘OMG it’s like that show….I’m never going home’!!! Though I was obviously not carrying drugs, firearms, or explosives….my thoughts drifted to the suitcase carrying the seashells that Sam had teased me about the night before…’I’m going to die laughing when they stop you, search your bag and then the shells and you get deported’.

After waking up early and eating a large breakfast (waffles this time) we caught our shuttle to the airport where were had to navigate the hordes of tourists trying to figure out the small airport. And when I say small airport….it’s like a single terminal airport….small. The US departures part was flooded with Americans all trying to figure out which way to go. Oh and let me just say….I have never seen so much luggage in my LIFE. I swear every person we saw had a carry on, personal item, LARGE checked suitcase, and a golf bag…..really??? Continue reading “Locked up abroad & our return home–Aruba Vacation (Days VII/VIII)”

The lure of nuclear radiation & heat exhaustion–Aruba Vacation (Day VI)

The soft warm trade winds wake me gingerly from sleep…a quiet whisper calling me back to reality. I hear the soothing waves breaking slowly, calmly on the white beaches not too far off. It’s may favorite time of morning, the sun has just risen but people are not quite awake yet, the day is new and fresh….anything is possible.

As I lay in our hotel room with the window open I try to commit this last moment to memory….and every memory from our vacation, the sights, the smells, the sounds….everything about our adventures and experiences so I can recall them later, remembering every little detail.

I lick my lips….they taste salty, though I have not been sweating or in the water. After a quick deduction I realize it must be from the air which practically SMELLS salty!! My skin is soft from the nourishing aloe sunscreen I use on a regular basis, I haven’t worn makeup in five days but I haven’t needed it–I get a nice blush and bronze color from the sun.

My hair has dried naturally and though the salty seas and sun dry it out, the humidity preserves the moisture so my hair can at least look acceptable in a pony tail. The relaxed atmosphere has finally set in and today is our last day here….tomorrow afternoon we will awake from our dream and depart ‘our’ quiet Aruban paradise and return to civilization and….daily life which for us is high stress jobs, responsibilities, and RAIN. Continue reading “The lure of nuclear radiation & heat exhaustion–Aruba Vacation (Day VI)”

The inevitable meltdown–Aruba Vacation (Day V)

Divi Divi Trees

In all my travels abroad and in the US, I have never actually been embarrassed to be an ‘American’ tourist, I suppose there is a first time for everything. As we sat quietly waiting for our dinner at a lovely restaurant in Aruba, Sam and I wished we could simply snap our fingers and be ANYTHING but American!! Sam’s lucky he can pass as ‘non-American’ with relative ease simply due to his coloring…me on the other hand….it’s not so easy!

Many countries rip on American tourists–France is notorious for their dislike of Americans and the British Customs agent I encountered with Sam on our trip to London in 2009 was rather insulted by my American slang and accent. But still I have never actually wished I wasn’t an American tourist…..until we sat quietly in a restaurant in Aruba next to a table of vacationing American tourists.

View of the island from the boat

As I noted in earlier postings, Aruba seems to be a very popular vacation spot for east-coasters. Many of the tourists we encountered were from upstate NY, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Boston—all of them were rich, retirement age, rude, loud white people!!

Tonight we had dinner at a relatively inexpensive restaurant called Salt ‘n Peppers (S & P’s) which was right next to our hotel. It’s a great restaurant with outdoor dining, a relaxed but romantic atmosphere, with a varied menu (Sam recommends the hamburger with pineapple he said it was AMAZING!)….oh and if you bring in salt and pepper shakers (not ‘borrowed’ from your hotel, and leave the shakers there) they will give you a free glass of wine. Continue reading “The inevitable meltdown–Aruba Vacation (Day V)”