ladyofthethread: (Default)
Well, not much exciting has been happening here. More painting and I just stayed home this past weekend. So, another book post for now…

For years, I’ve been meaning to get a copy of “The Darings of the Red Rose” by Margery Allingham. It was published by a small company over 10 years ago and is out-of-print. When I was more actively looking for it years ago, I could never find copies for sale so I kind of gave up and forgot about it for quite a while. But I recently managed to get a used copy off Amazon although it was expensive. ^_^;

It’s actually a collection of short stories rather than a novel. They were serialized and published anonymously in a woman’s magazine in 1930 but didn’t get attributed to Allingham and published together until the 1990’s.

The main character is Betty Connolly, a society girl in 1930’s London. She originally came from a town in Lancashire that was ruined by a group of London financiers. After receiving an unexpected inheritance from a relative, she moves to the city with the goal of getting revenge on those who brought about her town’s ruin and her parents’ deaths. She basically acts as a Robin Hood, stealing from the financiers and giving the money to a fund to help her old hometown. For these exploits, she uses the name “the Red Rose” and leaves red rosebuds as her trademark. The intro does acknowledge that it was hack work with mistakes and continuity errors between the stories but it was fun light reading anyway.

I also recently finished “The Walker in the Shadows” by Barbara Michaels. It concerned a haunting that was stirred up when a divorced man and his daughter moved in next door to a widow and her son. The houses were supposed to be identical ones that were built for a pair of twin daughters prior to the Civil War. It was okay but I didn’t find it very memorable. :-/ It reminded me too much of one of her earlier novels, “Ammie, Come Home” where the characters were also one middle-aged couple and a younger couple who found themselves dealing with a haunting in an old house.

This novelist often uses supernatural elements in her works but many of her other books under this pseudonym have themes which make them more interesting and distinguishable. Vintage clothes in “Shattered Silk,” quilts in “Stitches in Time,” antique jewelry in “Into the Darkness,” gothic literature in “Houses of Stone,” and so on. I suppose the twin houses and Civil War stuff could be considered the “hook” for this book but I don’t think it was an adequate one. In my mind, the book lacked its own identity as a result of this and the similarities to “Ammie, Come Home.”

And it seems like Amazon is having trouble getting the Twelve Kingdoms novel that I ordered when I put in a pre-order for Le Chevalier D’Eon vol. 4 a few weeks back. The DVD came out last week but it seems like it might possibly be October before I get the novel. -_-
ladyofthethread: (Herald)
Finally got back to work on my T-Chan plushie yesterday. Goofed and sewed the tail and back section to the wrong end of the body since what I had before was basically a furry cylinder with legs sticking out. But it’s fixed now! ^_^; I still need to make the head, which is going to be the most complicated part. And I think I might have to buy at least one more panel of orange fur to finish this; I bought 6 and used up 5 already. (Figures that I bought all but the last piece of orange fur at the store, thinking it would be enough.) I like how it’s coming out so far. It’ll be annoying to pack for cons since he is large enough to cover my lap but it’s going to be fun to have an orange man-eating ball of fluff to carry around with my Count D costumes. XD

Also, got started on writing cards and have gotten them done for everyone who has requested them so far. (See this post if you haven’t but would like one: Still need to do cards for my needlework friends and get some more stamps to mail them out. I send mail so infrequently that I end up using holiday stamps year round because that’s the only time I need to buy them! *laugh*

And it’s been a while since I’ve rambled about books so this might be a good time for that. I decided to finally go back and read through “Other Worlds” by Barbara Michaels; I had gotten halfway through it years ago but never finished. Blah, it was probably the most boring book she wrote under that name. Basically, just several characters sitting around and recounting ghost stories.

It was published 6 or 7 years ago and she hasn’t done another novel under that pseudonym since. It’s kind of disappointing since I liked the mostly non-series stories she wrote with that name. They tended to have similar themes involving the supernatural but the details and settings varied enough that they were distinctive. (Plus, a few of them involved needlework/sewing, too!) As much as I like her Amelia Peabody series (written as Elizabeth Peters), I don’t know that much about Egyptology myself and the books kind of blur together since that’s the theme for the whole series.

After “Other Worlds,” I reread one of my favorites by her, “Stitches in Time.” Unlikely as it sounds, it’s about a cursed antique quilt. XD And takes place mostly around a vintage clothing shop. Finished that one last night but haven't decided what I'll read next.

And since I’ve been talking about books, a quiz from [ profile] auburntressed:

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Book Snob
Dedicated Reader
Fad Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz
ladyofthethread: (Default)
I’ve been meaning to write about some of the stuff I’ve been reading lately but kept putting it off. ^_^; Let’s see…

I finished “Death at Glamis Castle” by Robin Paige a few weeks back. Like the others in the series, it’s set around the turn of the last century and features some historic figures among the characters. This one was based on the premise that Prince Eddy, a heir to the British throne, had his death staged by his family and was hidden away at a Scottish castle under an assumed name because they considered him unsuitable to rule. The ruse worked for years until one of the servants who had been looking after him was found murdered and the prince went missing.

Then, I read “Prince of Darkness” by Barbara Michaels; I think it was one of few published under that name I hadn’t read yet. (She also writes the Egyptology-themed Amelia Peabody mysteries under the name Elizabeth Peters.) One difference I noticed about this one was that a large part of it was told from the point of view of a male character (and one who seemed like an antagonist with unclear motives) before switching to the main female character in the last section of the book. She does it at times in the Amelia Peabody series but I don’t recall any other cases of it in her supernatural mysteries. The theme in this turned out to be a witches’ coven.

And now I’m rereading “Decked” by Carol Higgins Clark (daughter of Mary Higgins Clark). It’s the first book in her Regan Reilly series. There are always some wacky characters, the tone tends to be humorous and it’s one of the few private eye series I read; usually I prefer to follow the adventures of amateur detectives.

This one concerns a decade old murder. The victim was a girl that Regan had roomed with when she studied abroad in England and the body didn’t turn up until some of the classmates returned for a reunion. The book takes place mainly on a ship though because several of the characters were scheduled for a cruise the week after the reunion.

Hmm… It’s been a long time since I first read this book and there was a character I completely forgot about. It’s mentioned that Regan had an assistant named Jeff and she talks to him by phone at one point but I don’t remember him at all in more recent books. Maybe, I’ll reread the other early ones since now I’m wondering whatever happened to him.


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August 2012



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