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Lindymc's 2009 reading list

What have you read in 2009? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
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lindymc
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Lindymc's 2009 reading list

Postby lindymc » Mon January 12th, 2009, 7:11 pm

January

Glory Cloak, Patricia O'Brien - enjoyable novel, Louisa May Alcott & Clara Barton, American Civil War. 4/5

Tai-Pan, James Clavell - Great book; why did I wait so long to read this one?? 5/5

Gallows Thief, Bernard Cornwell - Not typical Cornwell, but an entertaining story. 4/5

Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier - The author creates a story about the girl who might have inspired the famous painting by Vermeer. 4/5

Tapestry of Dreams, Roberta Gellis - Mostly a historical romance between a penniless young knight and a rich heiress who weaves tapestries that sometimes foretell the future. Entertaining, 3/5

Stonehenge, Bernard Cornwell - An interesting account of how the massive temple could have been erected; interesting characters, a good read. 4.5/5

The Camomile Lawn, Mary Wesley - Enjoyable novel about 5 cousins, their friends and lovers, during World War II; lots of interesting relationships. 3.5/5

Tatiana and Alexander, Paullina Simons - Sequel to The Bronze Horseman; liked this one better, as Tatiana adjusts to life in NYC; Alexander deals with the Soviets, the war, imprisonment, escape; finally a happy ending. 4/5

Penmarric, Susan Howatch - Family saga set in Cornwall early 20th century with parallels to the lives of Henry II, Eleanor, Richard, and John; very entertaining fiction. 5/5


February

Death at Daisy's Folly, Robin Paige - Book three of a quick and fun-to-read Victorian mystery series. Kate, an Irish American writer of fiction and her love interest Charles Sheridan from an aristocratic English family team up to solve
some murders at a house party that involves Bertie, the crown prince. Delightful 4/5

The Game of Kings, Dorothy Dunnett - The first of the Lymond chronicles, and I'm anxious to read the next five. I knew this was a highly recommended novel and do not know why I denied myself the pleasure of this great author for such a long time. A definate, a strong 5/5.

Death at Devil's Bridge, Robin Paige - Book four of this mystery series. Kate and Sir Charles, now married and living at Bishop's Keep, host a motor car and hot air balloon exhibition. Another fun, light mystery. 4/5

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff - A very short, but delightful novel consisting of a series of letters between an American writer and a London dealer of used books. The shop is located at 84 Charing Cross Road. The correspondence lasts through 20 years, when the bookshop dealer dies. The writer, Helene Hanff, gets permission from his widow and daughter to publish the letters, which result in this wonderful little book. The movie of the same name stars Anne Bancroft and Sir Anthony Hopkins; follows the book closely and is likewise recommended. 4/5

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, Helene Hanff -- A couple of years after the publication of 84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff goes to London to help promote the book's publication there. This novel, written in diary form, tells of her experiences there. Such a good book - I laughed out loud, I cried, I noted passages I wanted to share with others. All-in-all an absolutely wonderful book. A strong 5/5

The Tailor's Daughter, Janice Graham -- Veda, the daughter of a very successful Saville Row tailor, in Victorian England goes deaf following a fevered illness. Veda meets and falls in love with Harry, Lord Ormelie, whose domineering father insists he must marry an heiress, someone from within his social status. Good historical romance. 4.5/5

Guernica, Dave Boling -- A great book, I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Tells the story, through a cast of wonderful characters, of the town of Guernica in Basque Spain that was bombed and all but annihilated by German bombers in 1937. Picasso immortized the horror through a large mural of the same name. 5/5

Still Life With Murder, P.B. Ryan -- A fairly interesting little mystery set in Boston in the years following the Civil War. Heroine is a governess with a past who helps her employer prove the innocence of the employer's son accused of murder. Book 1 of the Gilded Age Mysteries.

The Secret Bride, In the Court of Henry VIII, Diane Haeger -- About Mary, younger sister of Henry VIII, in love with Charles Brandon, a courtier and friend of Henry's. For political purposes Mary is sent to France to marry the old, and ailing king, Louis XII. Interesting, but not all that great. 3/5

The Founding, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- Book one of a 30+ book series which follows a wealthy Yorkshire family. It's been highly recommended and I can see why. The Morland family is made up of lots of interesting people, a family of wool merchants/clothiers who interact with the events of the times. This book which establishes the background of the family takes place during the War of the Roses, and members of the Morland family serve and support the Yorkists. Anxious to read more of this series. 5/5


March

The Winter King, Bernard Cornwell -- Book One of the Warlord Chronicles, about King Arthur. The story is narrated by Derfel, a former Saxon slave, raised by Merlin, who becomes one of Arthur's most trusted warriors. Guinevere is portrayed as rather haughty, self-centered, ambitious. Arthur loves her, and because he broke a betrothal to marry her, the separate little kingdoms of Britain erupt in war. A bit slow-going at first, but the story got better and better. So far, I still like Uther and the Saxon Chronicles better, but still a 5 star novel.

Enemy of God, Bernard Cornwell -- Book Two of the Warlord Chronicles. The story just gets better and better. Derfel and Ceinwyn get together when she spurns Lancelot; Derfel accompanies Merlin on this dangerous quest for the magical cauldron; Mordred, though totally unfit, ascends the throne; Lancelot betrays Arthur, both in war and with Guinevere.
5/5

Excalibur, Bernard Cornwell -- Book Three, a great conclusion to the trilogy. Derfel learns he is the son of Aelle, one of the Saxon kings. He and Arthur face and defeat Aelle and Cerdic's combined Saxon forces in a huge battle, which also sees the death of Lancelot. Arthur and Guinevere, and Derfel and Ceinwyn live quietly and happily for several years until Nimue (Merlin's Druid prietess) unleashes a curse of chaos. Great book, great trilogy. 5/5

Silent on the Moor, Deanna Raybourn -- Third book in this delightful mystery series, and the best so far, includes more romance between Brisbane and Lady Julia. 5/5

Harriet and Isabella, Patricia O'Brien -- Interesting look at the famous Beecher family and the inter-family relationships, especially between the sisters over thier repective positions regarding the guilt or innocence of brother Henry Ward Beecher when he is accused of adultery. 4.5/5

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne -- a young adult book about a very naive German boy whose father is the Commandant at Auschwitz. 3.5/5

Shadow Patriots, Lucia St. Clair Robson -- great novel, well-written with bits of humor, and play-on-words, about the Culper spy ring operating in and out of NYC during the Revolution. 5/5

The Help, Kathryn Stockett -- great novel, set in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, digs into the relationships between white families and the black maids who serve them; told from the pov of a young white woman who aspires to being a writer, and two of the black maids who bravely tell her their stories. 5/5

The Pleasure Palace, Secrets of the Tudor Court, by Kate Emerson -- fictional novel about Jane Popyncourt, a lady-in-waiting to Princess Mary, younger sister of Henry VIII. She was a mistress to the duc de Longueville, a French prisoner of war. 4.5/5

The Kingmaking, Helen Hollick -- Book One of a King Arthur trilogy; very different slant on the legend as compared to Cornwell's interpretation, but very, very enjoyable. Looking forward to books two and three. 5/5

Azincourt, Bernard Cornwell -- Another great Cornwell novel. I had wondered how he could write about a battle and make it an entertaining novel, but he succeeds as only he can. Wonderful characters, a bit of romance, a bit of humor, riveting battle descriptions - this book has it all. Strong 5 stars. 5/5


April


Legacy, Susan Kay -- Biographical novel about Elizabeth I, considered by many to be the very best novel about Elizabeth, and I would agree. Not sure I liked everything about Robert Dudley's role. 5/5

The Dark Rose, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- Book two of the Morland Dynasty. I enjoy the characters and their interactions with the real history. In this book, the court of Henry VIII. 5/5

The Reluctant Widow, Georgette Heyer -- Fun, light romance, enjoyable bit of mystery, likeable characters. 4.5/5

One Corpse Too Many, Ellis Peters -- Book 2 of the Brother Cadfael mysteries. Liked this one much better than the first one; will try book three. 5/5

The Princeling, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- Book three of the Morland Dynasty. Another good novel about the Morland family and their interactions with read history, in this case the reign of Elizabeth I. 5/5

The Oak Apple, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- Book four, Morland Dynasty. This one is set during the time of the English Civil Wars, the Royalists (King Charles I) and the Roundheads (Parliament, Puritans, Oliver Cromwell) 5/5

The Black Pearl, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles -- Book five, Morland Dynasty. Setting is the resoration of the monarchy, Charles II. Life at court for the beautiful Annunciata, Ruth Morland's bastard daughter by Prince Rupert. 5/5

Monk's Hood, Ellis Peters -- Third book of the Brother Cadfael mysteries. A man is poisoned with some of Cadfael's monk's hood ointment. The woman Cadfael had loved as a young man is the victim's wife, and her son is accused of the murder. 5/5

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak -- Wow, what an incredible, extraordinary novel. Narrated by Death, it is the story of Liesel, an adolescent girl in Nazi Germany, living with foster parents, with a scrappy next door neighbor boy named Rudy. Hans, the loving foster father, teaches Liesel to read, plays the accordion, and courageously hides a Jewish man in the basement. The writing is excellent, expressive phrasing; the story is gripping, emotionally wrenching, thought-provoking. 5/5

Murder on Bank Street, Victoria Thompson -- Another good mystery in this series about Sarah Brandt and police detective Frank Malloy. In this book we finally solve the mystery of who killed Sarah's husband. 5/5

St. Peter's Fair, Ellis Peters -- Brother Cadfael number four; murders and other acts of thievery take place at the abbey's annual fair/market. Cadfael and Hugh Beringar team up to solve the mystery. 4.5/5


May

Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Vanora Bennett -- Interesting novel about Meg, the adopted daughter of Sir Thomas More, with an unusual theory about the fate of the "Princes in the Tower". 4.5/5

Paint the Wind, Cathy Cash Spellman -- Epic saga of the West, complete w/ gamblers, dance halls, gunslingers, Geronimo, gypsies, the circus, silver miners, a whore with a heart-of-gold, and our main characters: two brothers (Chance and Hart) both in love with the heroine called Fancy. 4.5/5

The Lady and the Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier -- A good story about the famous tapestry; thankfully the book includes pictures of the tapestries which really adds to the enjoyment and understanding. 5/5

Celia Garth, Gwen Bristow -- Fictional account of the Revolutionary War action around Charleston, SC, the siege by the British, the occupation by the Redcoats and the Tories. Heroine, a seamstress, does some spying for the men serving under Colonel Francis Marion. Pleasant romance. 4.5/5

Winding Stair, Douglas C. Jones -- An interesting novel, set in the Indian Nations of Eastern Oklahoma in 1890. U.S. Marshalls from the Isaac Parker court in Ft. Smith track down a gang of murderers in the Winding Stair Mts.
5/5

Ross Poldark, Winston Graham -- Book one of the Poldark Saga, about a mining family on the Cornish coast, late 1880s. 5/5

Q's Legacy, Helene Hanff -- A follow-up to 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street; autobiographical, interesting, and like the other two books, quaint and charming. 5/5

The Norman Pretender, Valerie Anand -- A sequel to Gildenford, mostly about Harold Godwinson, his brothers, his dealings with William of Normandy, and the relationship with the fictional character, Brand Woodcutter. 5/5

The Disputed Crown, Valerie Anand -- Follows The Norman Pretender, about William's troubles in maintaining his rule in England, the harrying of the North, the resistance of Hereward the Wake, problems with Earl Waltheof of Northumbria married to Judith, a niece of William's. Brand Woodcutter joins Hereward's rebellion. 5/5

King of the Wood, Valerie Anand -- A novel which covers the reign of William Rufus, with the continual conflicts with his brothers Curthose and Henry. A concurrent story within the novel concerns Ralph des Aix, a landless knight who is an extraordinary huntsman and horseman. He catches the eye of Rufus, is pressured into becoming Rufus' lover. Later Ralph marries, comes into a poor piece of land in which the people worship Herne, the Huntsman. In this novel it is Ralph who kills Rufus, acting on behalf of Henry, but manages to shift the blame to Walter Tirel. 4/5

A Rose in Spring, Eleanor Fairburn -- About Cecily Neville, her marriage and early years with Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. Interesting, but a bit disappointing, perhaps because I wanted more about her as the mother of the growing and/or grown Edward IV and Richard III. 3/5

Four Queens, Nancy Goldstone -- Non-fiction about the four Provencal sisters, married to kings of France, England, the Holy Roman Empire, and Sicily during the 13th century. 4.5/5

Making Waves, Cassandra King -- Southern chick lit by an author we've read, and enjoyed, before. Enjoyed this novel up till the very end, and then it made me plumb mad. Terrible ending! 3/5


June

The Cup of Ghosts, Paul Doherty -- First book in a mystery series about Mathilde, niece of a Templar Knight, skilled in the art of healing with herbs. 3.5/5

Queens' Play, Dorothy Dunnett -- Book 2 of the Lymond chronicles; did not enjoy this one as much as the first book; Lymond is in France to protect the child queen, Mary of Scots. He masquerades as Thady Boy, a drunk fool.
4.5/5

Frederica, Georgette Heyer -- A delightful regency romance. 5/5

Love Knot, Vanessa Alexander -- Told in a series of letters between Joanna (daughter of Edward I) and her lover Ralph Monthermer, and letters to the king from his clerk Henry Trokelowe whom the king has employed to search out the truth about the two lovers and the role they might have played in the death of Joanna's former husband, the violent earl, Sir Gilbert de Clare. 5/5

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford -- A sweet love story about two adolescents, a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl, in 1942, in Seattle as the Japanese are being rounded up and sent to detention camps. The story moves from this time period to 1986 as Henry Lee, our Chinese protagonist recalls his teenage years. 5/5

Below the Salt, Thomas B. Costain -- Time slip, providing a fictionalized story about Princess Eleanor, King John's niece who was kept prisoner in Corfe Castle; also provides a picture of the lead-up to the signing of the Magna Charta. Not as good as I was expecting, perhaps I set my hopes too high. 4/5

Death at Rottingdean, Robin Paige -- Book 5 of this mystery series. Smuggling has been revived at this coastal village. Assisting Kate and Charles in solving the murders is none other than Rudyard Kipling. Very enjoyable. 5/5


July

Finger Lickin Fifteen, Janet Evanovich -- Standard, crazy Stephanie Plum. Probably one of the funnier ones. 5/5

Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky -- Occupied France, 1940-1942; very interesting; wish the author could have completed the novel. She died at Auschwitz in '42. 5/5

The Last Queen, C.W. Gortner -- A very enjoyable novel, very readable --about Juana the last queen of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. Betrayed by her husband Philip the Fair of Flanders, later betrayed by her father; spent the last of her life imprisoned, with the reputation of being insane. Known as Juana la loco (Juana the mad) 5/5

These Old Shades, Georgette Heyer -- Best yet of the Heyer romances. The Duc of Avon "buys" an urchin to serve as his page; turns out it is girl, whom the Duc makes his ward, and presents her to Paris society, ever so successfully. 5/5

The Conqueror, Georgette Heyer -- Enjoyed this novel; no new information since I'd already read two other novels which cover the same story : Harold the King and The Disputed Crown. . The fictional characters in this novel were likeable and helped to carry the story. Heyer is a good author, but I prefer her regency romances. 4.5/5

The Leper of St. Giles, Ellis Peters -- Cadfael #5 - I'm enjoying these Cadfael mysteries, liking Cadfael more and more, also some of the other "brothers": Mark who used to be Cadfael's assistant in the herb cottage is now serving at St. Giles, the leper hospice. Radulfus, the new Abbot becomes more of an asset to Cadfael's "crime fighting" - good story. 4.75/5

The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Spears -- Reread of this great YA book. First read it so long ago I'd forgotten nearly everything about it. a definate 5/5

A Rage Against Heaven, Fred Mustard Stewart -- Major disappointment; having heard this novel favorably compared to GWTW, even claimed to be better, I've been wanting to read it for over a year. Frankly, it seemed a bit trashy; lots of characters, but I couldn't relate enough to really care much about them; curiosity kept me reading - a bit like looking at a car wreck even 'tho you don't like what you're seeing. 3/5

The Tory Widow, Christine Blevins -- Enjoyable novel, widow in NYC 1775-76, trying to remain independent walks a tightrope pretending to be a royalist during the English occupation while helping a Patriot spy ring. 4.5/5

Nefertiti, Michelle Moran -- Rather disappointed, unimpressed with the first half or so of this book; then it began to pick up, at least enough that I'm looking forward to the sequel. My first foray into Egyptian history. 4/5

East of the Sun, Julia Gregson -- Two English girls and their chaperone travel to India. 3.5/5

The Convenient Marriage, Georgette Heyer -- Another fun, regency romance. The Lord plans to marry Elizabeth, oldest sister of a poor but noble family. Since Elizabeth is in love with a young officer, the youngest sister Horatia (not as pretty and has a stammer, but lots of spiff) offers herself to the Lord instead. 4.5/5

The Crossroads Cafe, Deborah Smith -- A better than average chick lit, about two "scarred" people. Thomas lost his wife and son in the 9/11 tragedy and blamed himself; Cathy had been a beautiful movie star who was badly burned in an auto accident. They meet near the Crossroads Cafe in the North Carolina mountains. 4.5/5


August

Off Season, Anne Rivers Siddons -- Not sure how I feel about this one; enjoyed it while I was reading it, esp. the first half of the book. Mixed emotions about the ending. 4/5

Of the Ring of Earls, Juliet Dymoke -- about Waltheof of Huntingdon; already aware of his story from Chadwick's Winter Mantle; this book seemed more hist. fiction as opposed to hist. romance. 5/5

Henry of the High Rock, Juliet Dymoke -- Henry I of England and his struggle with his brothers for recognition. Great book. 5/5

Cashelmara, Susan Howatch -- a good novel about three generations of an Irish/English family in the last half of the 19th century which parallels the historical story of the three Edwards. 5/5

The Wheel of Fortune, Susan Howatch -- a follow-up to the book above; and oh, so good. Continues to parallel the Edwards, through Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V. Loved the Katherine character and the Fair Maid of Kent. A strong 5/5

Into the Wilderness, Sara Donati -- very good novel; Elizabeth, an English spinster joins her father in Paradise a village in upstate NY, falls in love with Nathaniel a frontiersman closely allied with the Mohawk; when they elope into the "bush" she must learn to live in the wild, and when they return to Paradise they face bitter and unfair opposition from the village and from Elizabeth's brother 5/5

Dawn on a Distant Shore, Sara Donati -- sequel to the novel above; through treachery Elizabeth's family is forced to sail to Scotland where a powerful earl wants Nathaniel's father to accept being heir to the earldom. Much of the novel takes place on the ship, and later in Scotland 4.5/5


September

Lake in the Clouds, Sara Donati -- book 3 of this Wilderness series, and the best so far, perhaps because I really like Hannah's character and she is predominant in this novel. The Bonner family becomes involved in helping escaped slaves; Hannah goes to NYC to learn about smallpox vaccinations; by the end of the book she has married a Seneca Indian and left Paradise. Looking forward to book 4. 5/5

Warriors of the Dragon Gold, Ray Bryant -- a slightly different rendering of the years leading up to the Norman Conquest; offers a possible explanation of a mysterious section of the Bayeaux tapestry which shows a woman, Aelfgifu being touched by a monk; Ailfgifu being the daughter of Ethelred the Unready. 3/5

A Fatal Waltz, Tasha Alexander -- third book of the Lady Emily Ashton mystery series; it's been over a year since I read the first two books, but I'm pretty sure I like this one better than the earlier ones; as far as hist. mys. go: 4.5/5

War on the Margins, Libby Cone -- set on the Channel Island of Jersey during the Nazi occupation; became interested in the Channel Islands from reading The Guernsey Literary.....Society. This was not nearly as good, but interesting none-the-less. 3.5/5

A Vision of Light, Judith Merkle Riley -- Margaret of Ashbury, following abandonment by her abusive husband, is left to die from the plague; she has a vision, develops the ability to heal, accused of witchcraft, is saved by wonderful and rich husband #2; decides to "write" her story using Brother Gregory as her scribe. 5/5

False Colours, Georgette Heyer -- another delightful regency romance; Kit the younger and more responsible twin steps in for his brother, but falls in love with the brother's intended; the mother is ditzy, but loveable. 5/5

Calico Palace, Gwen Bristow -- enjoyed this novel set in San Francisco at the time of the gold rush; Marney opens a gambling hall called the Calico Palace with gold she and her friends (Kendra, Pocket, and Hiram) claimed from the gold area; romance, the many fires, the struggles of the pioneers - all with some sort of past. 5/5

In Pursuit of the Green Lion, Judith Merkle Riley -- Margaret of Ashbury, book 2. What a fun novel! Gregory went off to war in France, wound up being held prisoner by a sadistic count. Margaret, accompanied by Mother Hilde and Brother Malachi, takes off to try to ransom him. Lots of adventure, lots of humor. Delightful novel. 5/5

Dragonwyck, Anya Seton -- gothic romance set in late 19th century NY state; Miranda, a simple farm girl goes to Dragonwyck, a manor owned by a cousin (Nicholas) to serve as governess, falls for Nicholas, marries him after the sudden death of his wife, and realizes he has a dark, moody side. 5/5



October


The Moon in the Water, Pamela Belle -- book one of a trilogy set during English Civil War, with the protagonists on the side of the King. Thomazine, an orphaned heiress, raised with her cousins, falls in love with one of her cousins, Francis, the black sheep/rebel of the family. 5/5

The Water Devil, Judith Merkle Riley -- book three of the Margaret of Ashbury trilogy; great fun, I esp. loved the bits of humor; lots of non-believeable type happenings but amazingly I still enjoyed this series, perhaps because I really liked the characters. 5/5

Rebel, Bernard Cornwell -- Book one of the Starbuck Chronicles, set during the American Civil War. Nate Starbuck, a Boston preacher's son, finds himself fighting for the Confederacy. 5/5

Copperhead, Bernard Cornwell -- Starbuck Chronicles, book two; still enjoying this series. Nate is arrested as a spy; he becomes interested in Adam's fiance, continues to maintain a friendship with Sally; finally gets back into the Legion. 5/5


November


Battle Flag, Bernard Cornwell -- Starbuck Chronicles, book three; Nate becomes a leader of the legion, but is beset by the jealousies of some of the former officers. Adam has defected to the Union; Nate's father, the bombastic reverend, travels south to see some of the war for himself; book ends with the Battle of Second Manassas. 5/5

The Burning Land, Bernard Cornwell -- Book 5 of the Saxon series; more wonderful adventures of Uhtred as he fights for King Alfred, then unappreciated as usual, he goes a-Viking to try to acquire enough riches to hire an army and try to take back his home of Bebbenburg. Once more recalled to honor an earlier oath, he returns to Wessex to fight for Alfred's daughter, and the Aethling prince. 5/5 Great book.

The Bloody Ground, Bernard Cornwell -- Starbuck, book four; through political manueverings, Starbuck loses his command of the Faulkoner legion, is sent to command a punishment brigade in Richmond. He manages to turn this unit into fighting unit and rejoins his old comrades at the bloody Battle of Antietam. 5/5

Sharpe's Tiger, Bernard Cornwell -- the first of the Sharpe's series, and it was great. Sharpe makes a wonderful hero, like Cornwell's other heroes (Uhtred, Starbuck) Richard Sharpe is flawed, but strong, brave, clever, loyal to those deserving his loyalty. Takes place in 1799 as the British siege and attack Seringapatam in India. 5/5

A Separate Country, Robert Hicks -- John Bell Hood was the Conferate General so soundly whipped at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, leading so many soldiers to absolute slaughter. This novel provides a sympathetic view of how Hood might have redeemed himself following the war, living in New Orleans, marrying, and fathering 11 children. I suppose I'm glad I read it, but it did not hold my attention through much of the book. 3.5/5


December

Sharpe's Triumph, Bernard Cornwell -- I continue to like the Sharpe's series; another big battle in India, battle at Assaye which Wellington considers was his finest, winning against incredible odds. Sharpe still faces an old enemy, now has another enemy, but finally becomes an officer. 5/5

Royal Escape, Georgette Heyer -- About the escape from England to France by Charles II following his defeat at Worcester by Cromwell's Puritan Roundheads. No doubt there were several failed attempts, but the book seemed rather repetitious. 3/5

The Cockermouth Mail, Dinah Dean -- Read about this book on the Amz. HF forum. A very light, but delightful, regency romance. Travelers on the mail coach to Cockermouth in the Lake District are stranded over Christmas at a small inn. Dorcas, an impoverished lady of quality is forced to travel to a not very attractive position as a governess; the hero is an injured soldier, but with a title and a fortune. as far as light romances are concerned, very enjoyable - 4/5

Grave Goods, Ariana Franklin -- The third book in the 'Mistress of the Art of Death' series. Really enjoyed this one, always like how the author deals with King Henry II and his dealings with Adelia. Good supporting cast as Adelia and Mansur try to determine if some skeleton might be Arthur and Guinivere. Good scenes with Sir Rowley. 5/5

Madselin, Norah Lofts -- Following the Battle of Hastings, Rolf (William the Conquerer's armourer) is rewarded with the manors of Eitel of Bradwald. Eitel's widow, Madselin, then marries Rolf in preference to going to a nunnery. Good story. 5/5

The Chains of Fate, Pamela Belle -- Continues the story of the Heron family during the English Civil war, the struggle of Thomazine and Francis to build a life together. 5/5

To Shield the Queen, Fiona Buckley -- First of a mystery series set in Elizabeth's court. Mistress Ursula Blanchard, a young impoverished widow is sent by Eliz. and Dudley to stay with Amy Robsart, to investigate the rumors that Amy is being poisoned. Her investigation broadens into a quest for the identity of a murderer, which leads into a Catholic plot to overthrow Elizabeth. 4.5/5
Last edited by lindymc on Fri January 1st, 2010, 1:55 pm, edited 107 times in total.
She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain. (1873) -- Louisa May Alcott

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