Here are the last books that I spent September with:
The Small Hand: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (audiobook read by Cameron Stewart)
Adam Snow is a rare book dealer who gets lost one day when leaving a client’s home and ends up at a ruin of a house. What is that small hand he feels holding his own and why does it seem to be following him?
Dolly by Susan Hill (audiobook read by Cameron Stewart)
Edward Cayley is sent to stay with his elderly Aunt Kestrel over the Easter holiday. He is joined by a spoilt cousin, Leonora. Leonora wants a doll for a birthday present, but not just any doll. The repercussions of the birthday echo through the years.
Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost
I love certain cosy mysteries and used to read many series when I was still in the US as the themed ones involving needlework, knitting, crocheting, and books became abundantly available. I checked the library and requested the latest ones when they came out. The individual stories were often pretty predictable and I almost always knew whodunnit (once from page 10 on) and it seemed that for some authors, each mystery was simply a vehicle to move the characters forward more than the central reason for the books. Still, I enjoyed them as mindless, entertaining reads—settling in with some tea and a cosy was something I enjoyed. Those series aren’t available here. There are different ones, but I don’t know what they are unless I stumble across one. I was surprised to come across this one as I was looking at the library website to see what new Christmas-themed books were available. It’s the first in a series. There’s another one after this, but it’s not available here. It’s a shame, because I’d read it if it was. Maybe next year. I laughed out loud several times when reading this book and read passages to Bill, who also laughed. These were mainly bits about the rescue cat, Cindy Lou Who, which brought back memories of rescue cats we used to wait on. There is also a rescue goat named Theodore, after the late husband of his person, and some rescue reindeer.
The setting of the book is the fictional town of Mistletoe, Maine. Holly White moves back to the Christmas tree farm where she grew up after her fiance goes off with someone else days before their Christmas Eve wedding. Of course, Mistletoe is populated by quirky characters, which is another fun part of the book. However, someone really did not like the president of the Historical Society, because, when she leaves the cafe at the tree farm, she doesn’t make it far. She’s been issuing citations and harassing people, so the list of suspects isn’t short and includes Holly’s dad. Holly investigates and uncovers some secrets.
The cover is cute, too.
A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories by Georges Simenon
I came across this title while scrolling through the e-book section of the library website. It reminded me that I have a small omnibus edition (the seventh one, according to the cover) containing three Maigret novels that I got from a friend. I’d never read any of these books, although I’ve heard of them. I decided to check out this book, so I could start with the short stories and see if I wanted to read the novels. The book contains three stories, only one of which involves Maigret. That story was pretty good and I probably will at least try one of the novels at some point. The other two stories were OK, but one their own wouldn’t make me want to read more of this author’s work.
Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple by Agatha Christie
I love Miss Marple, so when I saw a blurb about this book, I went straight to the library to see if they had it. They didn’t. Fast forward several weeks when I was scrolling through the library e-book site and stopped short when I saw a photo of the bright red cover. I immediately clicked the button to borrow it. It’s a fun little book, but I would definitely recommend getting it from the library. I'm happy to have read through it, but it isn't one I'd feel the need to keep and refer to again. It begins with an introduction about the character of Miss Marple, written by Tony Medawar. It ends with an essay written by Agatha Christie and published in 1928, after the serialisation of the original 13 Miss Marple stories in a magazine was complete. In between, each page has a Miss Marple quote on it. Some of them made me want to go back and read some of the books. For me, Miss Marple lives in my head as she was portrayed by Joan Hickson a few decades ago.
I hope this day is a good one in your part of the world.