When I told my wife and some friends that I was finally going to take their advice and read one of Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache novels, they all told me the same thing: You must read them in order! So of course I started with No 2, A Fatal Grace, and then turned to The Beautiful Mystery, which is No. 8. Well, I’m here to tell you that despite what everyone tells you, you can read Penny’s novels out of order and still live to sing their praises.
5-23-2014 A REVIEW OF CHRISTINE TRENT’S STOLEN REMAINS: A LADY OF ASHES MYSTERY
A lady undertaker, a summons from Queen Victoria, a questionable death, a grieving housekeeper, arguing relatives, a body gone missing. In this second of the Lady of Ashes mysteries, when Queen Victoria summons her, Mrs. Violet Harper can’t refuse. She leaves her ill mother, her harried father, and her beloved second husband on their own while she rushes to London to tend to a dead viscount whose burial must be delayed until the Queen gives permission. The Queen trusts Violet’s discretion because she was so very kind and helpful when Prince Albert died.
We know what we like and we like what we know. That simple logic is what draws readers to books that are part of a series. We like the consistency of knowing what we’ll get when we throw down our hard earned dollars for some reading entertainment. If we like the storyline and the characters in one book, we hope the author will be consistent and bring us the same great storytelling in the next and the next.
Stories about vampires and werewolves have been around for centuries but Michael Wallace manages to bring a fresh take to the old tale. Far afield from his stories about Later Day Saints enclaves in scrubby patches of desert, in The Wolves of Paris, Wallace takes us back centuries to 1450 to weave a tale of sorcery and deceit.