I’ve always liked to read. As a young girl, I devoured Nancy Drew books. I couldn’t get enough of Nancy and the mysteries she solved.
It was only natural that I gravitated toward literature during my pursuit of undergraduate and graduate-level college degrees. The literature world was my oyster. I took undergraduate courses in Medieval Lit, Russian Lit, Modern European Lit, Lit for Young Adults. I took three major literary figures classes – Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton – with the same professor, who made those authors’ words come alive. I studied and enjoyed F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Norman Mailer (though I felt he must’ve gotten paid by the word). I found I didn’t much care for Victorian Lit (I dropped the class) or D. H. Lawrence (nor did I care for the professor). I also took writing classes that included freshman composition and advanced composition.
On the graduate level, I enjoyed the English and History departments’ joint presentations of American Studies courses, Shakespeare, and my all-time favorite class, The Confluence of Popular and High Culture in Modern American Lit (with my all-time favorite college professor, who just happened to look like a hunky lumberjack).
Over the years, my taste in literature has evolved, but my love of reading hasn’t lessened. Unfortunately, sometimes life and adulting intervened. I’d gotten out of the habit of reading books and had instead been pouring over magazines and newspapers.
I’d seen my husband (The Haunted Pen) polish off more than 60 books in 2019, and with that in mind, I was inspired to set a goal of reading 12 books in 2020, which sounded like a very reachable goal.
I’m pleased to say I just finished lucky #13 (Now You See Her, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge), to exceed my goal. Over the last year, I’ve enjoyed an old favorite author (Mary Higgins Cark); my first (four) cozy mysteries (Meier, Day, Eaton, Belle); and some new-to-me authors.
Now You See Her – James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Mary Higgins Clark
Mistletoe Murder – Leslie Meier
The 8th Confession – James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Proven Guilty – J. A. Jance
The Perfect Stranger – Wendi Corsi Staub
Lying In Wait – J. A. Jance
Murder on Cape Cod – Maddie Day
Downfall – J. A. Jance
Blue Moon – Wendi Corsi Staub
Botched 4 Murder – J. C. Eaton
Rattlesnake Crossing – J. A. Jance
50% Off Murder – Josie Belle
I like J. A. Jance’s portrayal of Sheriff Joanna Brady as a competent and capable woman who earned the job of sheriff. I like James Patterson and his co-authors’ use of short chapters and the way their characters drew me in. Some I cared about and some were pure evil. When I remarked to The Haunted Pen that I was sad when I finished The 8th Confession because the Women’s Murder Club in action had been so engrossing, he printed a list of the 21 Women’s Murder Club murders, and I’ve already picked up two at a Goodwill store.
Josie Belle’s cozy combines the Good Buy Girls on their quest for bargains as well as to solve a murder. The Haunted Pen bought me Murder on Cape Cod, which takes place in one of our favorite places. After I finished it and gave it two thumbs up, he bought me the second installment, Murder At The Taffy Shop, as well as some hot cinnamon saltwater taffy (yum!).
My dear friend Elaine introduced me to Mary Higgins Clark years ago. “The Queen of Suspense” has a way to keep every character fresh and every story absorbing.
On the cover of Mistletoe Murder, Jill Churchill’s teaser, “Leslie Meier has created a town I’d like to live in and a sleuth I’d love to meet” caught my eye, so I bought the book. I heartily agree and want to “see” more of Tinker’s Cove and Lucy Stone, so I’m pleased Meier is a prolific writer.
Wendi Corsi Staub’s Blue Moon and The Perfect Stranger had me guessing and changing my mind until the very end of each when I finally figured out whodunit.
I’m not content to rest on my 2020 literary laurels, though, so I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for me!
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE READS OF 2020?
Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.