Author Archives: whimsyful

Best Reads of 2013

The vast majority of books I read this year weren’t published in 2013, so this is actually a “Best Books Read In 2013” list. Best Read: A Face Like Glass, by Frances Hardinge In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare — wines […]

Review: The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery

Valancy Sterling, a spinster who’s been quietly oppressed by her large family her entire life gets a second chance at life when she’s diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. With no more fears about her future or worries about responsibility Valancy rebels, and for the first time, says and does exactly what she wants. A […]

Review: Newt’s Emerald, by Garth Nix

Plot Description After the Newington Emerald is stolen at the height of a conjured storm, eighteen year-old Lady Truthful Newington goes to London to search for the magical heirloom of her house. But as no well-bred young lady can hunt the metropolis for a stolen jewel, she has to disguise herself as a man, and […]

Review: North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Plot Description When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and […]

Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith

Plot Description After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door […]

Favorite Works by Agatha Christie

I still remember my first Agatha Christie novel. I was still in grade school at the time, and though I was already a voracious reader, my definition of the mystery and detective fiction genre consisted of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and the like. All that changed when I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. In […]

Review: The Plague Court Murders, by John Dickson Carr

John Dickson Carr (who also wrote under the name Carter Dickson) is known justly as the master of the “locked room” murder, capable of constructing plots filled with chilling atmosphere and seemingly impossible crimes. I had read and enjoyed many of his novels, so when I was in the mood for a bloody, creepy Golden […]

Review: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is a historical fiction novel set during WWII. It is a story about the horrors of war, the Allied effort against the Nazis, but most of all it is a story of friendship between two young women, one a pilot working for the WAAF (Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force) and one a Special […]