Happy October! Sorry that you missed me in September. I wanted to take a little break as I was losing my reading mojo and then I lost my Mom so I really needed to take some time off from reading and blogging. However, I inherited my love reading from my Mom so while I haven't been blogging I have kept reading....although maybe not with the same gusto as before. I am back in the UK now and back to work so back to blogging about what I have been reading. What have I read? Let me tell you about a few good ones.
I don't remember now how I came across Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders by Kate Griffin but boy, I am glad I did. Set in the London in the late 1880's Kitty Peck is eeking out a living in the grimy underworld of the east end music halls. Still grieving her brother, who was mysteriously died months before, no one is more surprised than Kitty to be summoned to Lady Ginger's, the boss and baron who resides over much of the East End's criminal scene. Girls are going missing and Lady Ginger will not broach anything or anyone who interferes with her livelihood, her money or her property. She tasks Kitty to solve the mystery of who is responsible and holds the minor detail that Kitty's brother may still be alive and in her control as the bait to keep her compliant. With the help of her friend Lucca its not long before Kitty is drawn into the seedy happenings in the musical halls and on the trail of a ruthless, vicious killer. Will she survive to solve the mystery? You need to read it to find out.
Before to you start this book be sure to have all your housework done and don't have any big projects due at work as this book is one that you can't put down. I had my eyes glued to my Kindle for all 350+ pages. Griffin is a very evocative writer. It's like you can see through Kitty's eyes and see the grime and grit of the musical halls, smell the foul air that pervades London and feel the push of the crowds when Kitty ventures outside. The mystery itself wasn't the challenge or the reason why I was so hooked. For me the mystery was whether Kitty would extradite herself from the situation and if so, how she would go about it without losing her brother or herself in the process. Lady Ginger was terrifying so be forewarned and there is a big surprise at the end about this character! I read the first 3 books in quick succession but I am only going to tell you about 1 book each week so that I don't leave you with too many spoilers.
Book 2 that I want to tell you about is book 2 of the Oddjobs series by Heide Goody and Iain Grant - Oddjobs 2: This Time It's Personnel. In this instalment the Venislarn are still being the Venislarn and the Consular Office are still trying to keep their existence hidden. An agent of the Venislarn is going door to door and buying souls along with a cheap broadband subscription and 'the gang' ie Morag and co are going to make sure that he doesn't succeed in bringing about whatever alien armageddon he has planned. From an alien with dementia and the power to make whole areas of the city disappear to murderous school children to a demon trapped in cloth doll are just a few of the zany happenings that Goody and Grant have in store in Oddjobs 2.
I don't know how Goody and Grant do it. How can they be soo funny book after book? I laughed my way through the Clovenhoof series and do some serious chuckling in this one. The best character by far is Steve the Destroyer...aka demon trapped in a cloth doll. I do so hope that Steve is brought back for book 3 as across 2 different series he is pretty close to my favourite character. Can't quite figure out where the authors are planning to go with the series but I look forward to finding out.
That is it for me this week. Stay tuned to find out what happens to Kitty Peck. Until next week Happy Reading!
Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders
Kitty Peck 1
Faber & Faber, September 11, 2017
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Faber & Faber, June 25, 2013
eBook, 368 pages
Limehouse, 1880: Dancing girls are going missing from 'Paradise' - the criminal manor with ruthless efficiency by the ferocious Lady Ginger. Seventeen-year-old music hall seamstress Kitty Peck finds herself reluctantly drawn into a web of blackmail, depravity and murder when The Lady devises a singular scheme to discover the truth. But as Kitty's scandalous and terrifying act becomes the talk of London, she finds herself facing someone even more deadly and horrifying than The Lady.
Bold, impetuous and blessed with more brains than she cares to admit, it soon becomes apparent that it's up to the unlikely team of Kitty and her stagehand friend, Lucca, to unravel the truth and ensure that more girls do not meet with a similar fate. But are Kitty's courage and common sense and Lucca's book learning a match for the monster in the shadows? Their investigations take them from the gin-fuelled halls and doss houses of the East End to the champagne-fuelled galleries of the West End.
Take nothing at face value: Kitty is about to step out on a path of discovery that changes everything . . .
Oddjobs 2: This Time It's Personnel
Pigeon Park Press, August 25, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 382 pages
The Venislarn. Vastly intelligent aliens from another dimension or dribbling insane gods from a distant realm? It’s impossible to tell. What’s certain is that they’re here and they’re going to destroy our world.
But, hey, there’s no mileage to be gained from telling the kiddywinks that monsters are real…
The consular mission to the Venislarn are the god appeasers and the end of life carers for an oblivious planet. It may be the end of the world as we know it but there are procedures and policies in place and everything should go according to plan.
But, in the city, someone’s buying souls door to door, dealing the kind of magical drugs that guarantee a really, really bad trip and, if something isn’t done about it, the end of the world might just happen a lot sooner than planned.
Sequel to the hilarious ‘Oddjobs’, this is a workplace comedy like no other, featuring face-eating grannies, telepathic spiders, bloodthirsty school kids, murder on the dancefloor, sex-crazed pondlife, and actual stockbrokers from hell.
The weekend can’t come soon enough (if it comes at all).