sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 27, 2018

into the stacks 2018: january, part 1
posted by soe 1:25 am

Here are a couple of the books, both sophomore entries in caper mystery series, as it turns out, that I read back at the start of the year:

Teetotaled, by Maia Chance
In this sequel to Come Hell or Highball, Lola Woodby, the chocolate and dime-store detective novel-loving Prohibition Era widow who lost her philandering, debt-ridden husband and her status all in the same week, is back with her Swedish cook-cum-detecting partner Berta in another caper. This time they’re after a diary and have been required to check into her brother-in-law’s fat farm health spa in order to retrieve it. But as so often happens, they’re not the only ones who aren’t what they seem to be and before they’re able to complete their mission, a senator’s wife is dead and the owner of the diary is on the lam. This is a series of books just begging for a filmed version, à la Miss Fisher, with a similar sense of humor and joie de vive in its storytelling and an equally distinctive cast of characters. Lola is far less confident than Phryne, but is determined not to lose the apartment where she and Berta have holed up (her late husband’s secret tryst location) and be forced to return home to her overbearing mother. A really fun series for those who enjoy historical mysteries.
Pages: 320. Library copy.

The Unbreakable Code, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
This sequel to The Book Scavenger picks up soon after we leave Emily and James in their previous adventure. At the launch party for the manuscript they found, their teacher drops a coded message, which Emily saw him pick out of a purse. Unable to leave a puzzle alone, they set to work solving it, which puts them on a collision course with their teacher, a Gold Rush Era myth, and an arsonist out for revenge. Add to that concerns about money for Emily and her family, worries about eccentric publisher Mr. Griswold (who is suffering PTSD from his attack in the first book), and anxieties about helping to plan their school’s President’s Day dance, and Emily really has her hands full. It’s not as good as the original book, but still enjoyable. I’ll definitely read the upcoming third book in the series and recommend it to puzzle-loving middle graders.
Pages: 368. Library copy.

I have a bunch more books to update you on, but figure if I just share a couple at a time, it’s less overwhelming for me to write and far shorter for you to read.

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[…] thought we’d follow up Monday’s book reviews with the second of three posts about my January reads, this time with two YA […]

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