In my part of the world, it’s cold outside. For me that means it’s time for a hot cup of cocoa, tea, or coffee and a good book. I’ve got 5 suggestions for your reading list. Some old, some new, and all worth your time.
Let’s start with one of my favorite books, Tea With The Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy. I first read this in college. I’d never read anything quite like it before, and I’ve never read anything quite like it since.
It’s about Martha Macnamara, a 50ish musician in search of her missing daughter in 1980s San Francisco. She meets Mayland Long, a mysterious wealthy Chinese businessman and scholar who also claims he’s actually a dragon. This is part fantasy, part mystery, part romance and completely marvelous. I definitely suggest reading this with a good cup of Oolong tea.
Up next on my list is The Thin Man. It’s a slim volume, so an avid reader might be able to get through it in a day. But, wow! Even if you’ve see the movies, this 1934 classic will be a revelation. If you tend to think of the 1930s as a more innocent time, you might be a little bit shocked.
This dialogue in this book is some of the best ever written. The witty, liquor-fueled, non-sentimental romance is among my favorite love stories. Hard-boiled retired private dick Nick Charles and his young, socialite wife are a force to be reckoned with. And the mystery is a good one, too. You’ll probably want to spike your hot drink with a stiff shot. That’s what Nick and Nora would do.
A recent discovery is Marriage Can Be Murder, a sweet and cozy English countryside mystery set at the beginning of WWII. The attention to historical detail makes this book not only interesting, but educational. The budding relationship between a young doctor who has been severely injured both physically and emotionally and an awkward, eccentric noblewoman is funny and touching.
It’s an easy, fun read that will make you feel as if you’re watching one of those really great British series on Mystery. And there’s a sequel! This definitely calls for a hot cuppa.
And now for something completely different! If Marriage Can Be Murder feels like an show from PBS, Midnight Riot feels like a show that might come on after Doctor Who on BBC America. It’s like a cross between Luther and Harry Potter. It feels like you’re getting a real look at contemporary London and its police force… only there’s magic… and ghosts…and scary stuff.
This book and its sequels create a compelling, yet believable world where the paranormal becomes a part of everyday police work.
You’ll want a spot of tea with this one.
And now I’m going to toot my own horn and suggest that you check out American Goth, my first mystery novel. Why? It’s an easy, warmhearted read that introduces you to two of my favorite characters, Goth-chick artist Trinity Goode and straight-laced deputy sheriff Bobby Grace.
When Trinity’s grandfather dies mysteriously, she heads back to her small hometown to save the family farm and figure out just at happened to the man who always accepted her just as she was.
Trinity’s ready to lace up her Doc Marten boots to be a church lady and bake pies for the county fair, but is her hometown ready to welcome her back?
With some help from her old friend Deputy Bobby Grace, she tries to solve the mystery of her Grandfather’s death and track down just who has been hell-bent on ruining her reputation. What she finds out could get her killed.
You’ll want to have this one with a good hot cup of coffee, just like the coffee that keeps the main characters going in the book.
0 thoughts on “5 Books To Curl Up With This December”
Thanks for the shout out! I am picking up yours and The Thin Man (can you believe I've never read it? The shame!) right now.
A friend was comparing “Killer Clowns” favorably to the Thin Man movies yesterday, but had never read the book, either. I talked him into downloading it right then. I love reading books from the 20s and 30s. You get a real feeling for the time period, not the time period seen through the lens of the present.