Sunday, 20 February 2011

Serial Anticipations for 2011

08 - A Red Herring without Mustard (Flavia de Luce 3) - Alan Bradley
Still haven't started on this series but the first book got mostly favourable reviews by bloggers. 
22 - One of Our Thursdays is Missing (Thursday Next 6) - Jasper Fforde
I really enjoyed Fforde's first novel in this series (The Eyre Affair) when I read it last year so I am glad that there are now another five waiting to be read.  Witty sci-fi with a bit of mystery and lots of literary references thrown in, this is certainly worth reading.

03 - The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (No. 1 Ladies' 12) - Alexander McCall Smith
I enjoyed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency TV series and loved playing 'Spot the South African actors'.  The African backdrop was breath-taking and the series really took off after the pilot (the pilot had a few cringe-worthy moments!).  I am still not sure if this is an AMS that I'll enjoy or not as I have yet to dive in... but I'll take the plunge soon.  Any fans out there?
04 - Bones Under the Beach Hut (Fethering Mysteries 12) - Simon Brett
This is a light and breezy mystery series set in the South Downs in West Sussex (one of my favourite places) and I am glad that Brett continues with it, especially since he seems to be quite busy with talks and writing another series (Blotto, Twinks and...).  Looking forward to getting my hands on this one as I have exhausted all of the Fethering novels.

01 - A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs 7) - Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs is truely a treasure and an exemplarary female protagonist.  I have read up to book 5 so far but can't help gazing at this cover.  If you have not yet met Maisie, you're in for a treat.  The first novel is more psychological than mystery and deals with back stories and establishing her character but the books thereafter get better and better.  If you enjoy strong, independent heroines as well as reading and learning about the inter-war years, this is for you.

15 - The Complete Mapp & Lucia Volume One and Two - E. F. Benson [Wordsworth Classics]
What can I say about the Mapp and Lucia series that hasn't already been said by so many?  Please read them... they're great and this edition is attractive and very generously priced.

01 - A Conspiracy of Friends (Corduroy Mansions 3) - Alexander McCall Smith
Book 3 of McCall Smith's online serial novel from the Telegraph.  I tend not to read these online anymore as I like to go through it in book form.  It's still online if you'd like to read it here - plus Andrew Sachs also narrates these on the same site - available for download or as a podcast.

26 - A Bedlam of Bones (Francis Oughterard 5) - Suzette A. Hill
The latest exploits of the Rev. Francis Oughterard, Maurice the cat and Bouncer the dog.  This is an unusual mystery (although there isn't always one) that is very well written and witty.  Set in a 1950's Surrey, it has a very cosy feel to it despite the reverend's unexpected shenanigans.

09 - Rack, Ruin and Murder (Campbell and Carter 2) - Ann Granger
The first book in this series following two Cotswolds police officers was promising and it's taken two years for its sequel to appear.  It's a good read and fans of Ann Granger's other series should hopefully agree.

01 - The Herring on The Nile (Elsie and Ethelred 4) - L. C. Tyler
These are brilliant!  Light spoofs of golden age crime with wit, fun and quite a lot of deceit thrown in as you follow crime and romantic writer Ethelred Tressider and his opinionated agent Elsie Thirkettle.  I have enjoyed these immensely and look forward to this very Christie-like title.  The covers are always a delight!

01 - Heartless (Parasol Protectorate 4) - Gail Carriger
Ah... the Parasol Protectorate... this is a truly escapist, laugh-out-loud and grin from ear-to-ear read.  If you haven't read this series - please avoid reading any blurbs, reviews or write-ups on book sites as each book after book 1 contains big spoilers.  If you're looking for an entertaining read, pick this up.  It has paranormal elements and a parallel Victorian London but the prose is good and the author's humour is refreshing.

06 Sep - Pirate King (Mary Russell 11) - Laurie R. King
I've only read the first book so I have quite a few to look forward to.  This series has been growing from strength to strength and gathering a lot of fans.  It follows Holmes' apprentice and how their relationship and equal partnership develops.  Again, another series to be savoured in order.

06 - Unusual Uses of Olive Oil (von Igelfeld 4) - Alexander McCall Smith
Another AMS!  The advent of this book has been announced by the author and his publishers for years now and the publication date keeps getting pushed back.  Fingers crossed this will be the year.  I've listened to the first two instalments of the wacky Prof. von Igelfeld's adventures narrated superbly by the multi-talented Hugh Laurie.  Highly recommended in audiobook form!  Laurie's various foreign accents are side-splitting if sometimes a little wonky.  His English, though, is smooth and silky.

11 - The Forgotten Affairs of Youth (Isabel Dalhousie 8) - Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel Dalhousie - sleuth or nosy parker?  Set in a beautifully-evoked Edinburgh, this is not really a crime mystery but AMS' philosophical ramblings and love-letters to Edinburgh keep me coming back for more.

What series books do you follow and what are you looking forward to in 2011?


Audrey said...

Oh, you've got some of my favorites here and (better by far!!) some I haven't heard of. I have Flavia and Maisie on reserve, and I LOVE AMS. I haven't gotten into the No. 1 Ladies series yet - I think I'm holding it in reserve for when I run out of the others. I heard him speak here in Boston last fall -- he is so hysterically funny. He gave us a hint about what's going to happen to Isabel and Jamie, and it's not what I wanted!

Annie said...

I've already read the Maisie Dobbs via Net Galley and it's excellent and I have the Jasper Fforde on reservation, but there must be a gene missing in me somewhere, I'm afraid, as I just can't be doing with Alexander McCall Smith at any price.

Nymeth said...

I didn't know the third Flavia book was coming so soon! I've only read the first, but I loved it. And I read Soulless recently and it was indeed a lot of fun! Thanks for the tip about avoiding blurbs - I must get the second book from the library. Sadly, I didn't really get on with Maisie Dobbs even though at first glance the books sounded right up my alley.

Darlene said...

Danielle from a Work in Progress will be very excited about the latest Winspear. I don't follow any of these series but have been thinking about getting started on Alexander McCall Smith. Some of his books sound brilliant!

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

Audrey: Oh oh! The Isabel and Jamie bit sounds a little ominous :-) I heard him talk in beautiful Winchester in the UK a few years ago and he was charming, funny and generous with his time.

Annie: I don't think AMS is to everyone's taste and it can get a bit twee at times. Have you tried 44 Scotland Street at all? That's my favourite and as it was serialised, you can read it in small chunks if you want a quick reading fix.

Nymeth: Glad to hear you loved the first Flavia - I really must read this soon! I did waiver a bit on the first Maisie book but it really takes off by the second. I think you'll like Changeless but it ends on quite a cliff-hanger so you might want to keep book three nearby :-)

Darlene: AMS has quite a few series to choose from so if you don't get on in Botswana, you can always try Edinburgh or London... or even Regensburg, Germany; :-)

josbookjourney said...

I love the Simon Brett ones, I am all but one up to date with these. Think the latest is what I am missing. Glad to know there will be more!

I am slowly catching up with the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but cannot get on with other AMS novels.

I have yet to read any Winspear but have often had one in my hand in the bookshop.

FleurFisher said...

Lots of series I need to catch up with, but I am completely bowled over by the prospect of Ethelred and Elsie on the Nile. Sounds like heaven!

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

josbookjourney: Have you tried Simon Brett's Mrs Pargeter series? Only six books but I really love those.

Fleur: I was quite delighted when I found out the title of the next E & E... they're such fun together :-)

bookmarksandteacups said...

Ooh, another Mary Russell book - good to know! I think that's my favourite series from your list here.

Cristina (Rochester Reader) said...

bookmarksandteacups: I've read the first and have books two and three lined up for later. 'Pirate King' sounds really tempting but I couldn't bear to read it out of order :-)