Taylor, Jodi. Lies, Damned Lies, and History.

Abercynon, UK: Accent Press, 2016.

This is the seventh in the best time-travel series around and it’s still going strong. Max Maxwell, the POV character, is back now to being Chief Operations Officer at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, and she has her hands full as usual, trying to plan investigative missions so as to cause the least possible damage to the participants.


Taylor, Jodi. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Abercyon, UK: Accent Press, 2015.

This is the sixth outing for the crew of historians at St. Mary’s Institute, in one of the best time-travel adventure series ever conceived, and the theme is stated explicitly in the title — because anything that can go wrong does. Max had some necessary knee surgery done and isn’t very mobile at the moment, so she and Peterson have swapped jobs for awhile and she’s now the Chief Training Officer.


Published in: on 7 May 2020 at 6:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Taylor, Jodi. No Time Like the Past.

Abercyon, UK: Accent Press, 2015.

This is the fifth book in the marvelous series about the time-traveling historians of St. Mary’s Institute, as seen mostly from the perspective of Dr. Madeleine Maxwell, Chief of Operations. St. Mary’s barely survived being besieged by the Time Police but now they’ve mostly rebuilt themselves and the History Department is back in business.


Two Maureen Johnson novels

Johnson, Maureen. 13 Little Blue Envelopes. NY: HarperCollins, 2005.

Johnson, Maureen. The Last Little Blue Envelope. NY: HarperCollins, 2011.

Johnson is one of the most dependable authors of “light” YA fiction and these two books are arguably her best work so far. They’re both received top reviews and a number of awards, and even though they were published six years apart, they’re best read one right after the other, as a single story.


Lloyd, Catherine. Death Comes to the Village.

NY: Kensington Books, 2013.

This is the first in a new series (well, new to me) of historical mysteries and it’s not bad. The setting is 1816 in the small village of Kurland St. Mary, where the Kurland family have been lords of the manor, magistrates, and just about everything else of importance for centuries. The current head of the family is Major Robert Kurland, who had a large cavalry horse fall on him the year before at Waterloo, and he’s been trying to recover, both physically and psychologically, ever since.


Allison, John. Giant Days. Vols. 1-12 + Early Admission [prequel].

Los Angeles: BOOM! Box, 2015-20.

This is one of the most entertaining and real-world-funny graphic novel series I’ve seen in some time, following three young British women through their careers at university, one term at a time. Susan Ptolemy is pre-med, doesn’t have much use for boys (with a couple of special exceptions), and has a tongue like a sardonic buzz-saw when she’s provoked — and she provokes easily.


McDermid, Val. The Skelton Road.

NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014.

For whatever reason, the author let five years slip by since publishing the previous adventure of DI Karen Pirie of Fife, head of the local cold-case squad, and a similar amount of internal time has passed in this third volume in the series. Pirie is now a Chief Inspector and Scotland has amalgamated its various forces into a centralized Police Scotland, with Karen given responsibility for historic cases for the whole country. Her crew now consists of just her and a single detective constable — who’s not terribly bright, but he knows it, and he’s loyal and works hard at the things he’s good at.


Lovesey, Peter. Killing with Confetti.

NY: Soho Press, 2019.

This is the 18th in the series featuring Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond of Bath, and while it’s not bad, it’s a long way from his best. Diamond is always leery of his boss, the rather pompous Assistant Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, so when she summons him for a confidential meeting with her own superior, Deputy Chief Constable George Brace, Diamond expects the worst.


Published in: on 8 February 2020 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Allison, John. Bad Machinery No, 5: The Case of the Fire Inside.

Portland, OR: Oni Press, 2016.

This is an ongoing series (of nine volumes now) about the adventures and just ordinary life experiences of a crew of engaging adolescents in the English seaside town of Tackleford. They’re all thirteen now, more or less, and the boys have stopped arguing about superheroes and have begun trying to figure out girls (and vice versa) while all their parents just keep their fingers crossed.


Crombie, Deborah. A Bitter Feast.

NY: HarperCollins, 2019.

This is the 18th episode in the pretty good crime series featuring Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, DI Gemma James, both of the Met in London. This series has been running since 1993 and I was beginning to think that perhaps that was long enough. The plots, frankly, were beginning to get a bit thin.


Published in: on 27 January 2020 at 5:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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