I’m the first to admit that I don’t always finish every book I start. There are so many books on my to-read list, I simply don’t have time to waste on books that don’t engage me.
I started this month’s book club pick, the Victorian-era mystery “Silent in the Grave” by Deanna Raybourn, but it just didn’t do anything for me. The characters were pretty dull, I guessed the murder almost immediately, and the writer seemed to have confused “chemistry” and “creepy”, because the love interest showed his interest in the female lead by first threatening to hit her, and then by drugging her as part of an interrogation, without ever doing anything to change the reader’s creeped out opinion of him.
So, I read the beginning, I read the end, I skipped the middle, and I still had enough to talk about at book club.
I wouldn’t recommend “Silent in the Grave” simply because there are so many other awesome books out there that I would recommend!
For fans of female sleuths in historical settings:
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie / Alan Bradley
The first in a mystery series set in 1950s England, starring precocious 11-year-old chemistry prodigy Flavia de Luce.
Cocaine Blues / Kerry Greenwood
1920s Australia provides the backdrop for the first novel in the Phrynne Fisher series of historical mysteries.
Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie is a private detective solving crimes in inter-war years Great Britain.
Mistress of the Art of Death / Ariana Franklin
Adelia is a “mistress of death”, the medieval version of a medical examiner, who acts in the service of the king to solve mysteries in 12th century England.
Though originally a contemporary series, Christie’s classic Miss Marple novels range in setting from the 1930s to the 1970s.