Bout of Books 9.0 – Day 3
I’ve been busy reading and knitting and that hasn’t left as much time for blogging. Sorry guys!
But I’m here to update you on how Bout of Books 9.0 is going.
I’ve read three picture books, finished one novella and started two novels. None of the aforementioned are The Taste of Apple Seeds, which is the only thing I’d actually planned to read. After completing Monday’s Mad Libs challenge I got distracted by Jane Austen, so I started looking into other Jane Austen spin-offs.
I also got an email that Ashes and Alchemy by Cindy Spencer Pape was out. It’s #6 in the Gaslight Chronicles, which are Steampunk ebooks I started reading last year. The stories are all romances, with more or less heat depending on the story.
This particular story centers around Minerva Shaw, who is desperately searching for help for her sick daughter. Ivy is the latest in a series of children from her school who has come down with a strange illness that people are starting to call the Black Death. It isn’t the bubonic plague, or London’s infamous Black Lung. It’s an illness that causes it’s victims to sweat out a sooty substance before they succumb to the violence of the accompanying fever.
In the dense London fog, Minerva mistakes Police Inspector Sebastian Brown’s house for the doctor who lives next door. Sebastian, for reasons he can’t quite pin down, takes responsibility for Minerva and her daughter. However when they reach Minerva’s flat they discover that someone has broken in and killed Ivy’s babysitter, but Ivy herself was safely hidden.
Neither Sebastian or Minerva can figure out why anyone would try to rob her flat. Neither she nor Jane, the victim, have anything worth stealing and the only unusual thing has been Ivy’s illness…
While I did enjoy this story, I felt like it was incomplete. The romance was a little rushed. At only 82 pages there isn’t a lot of time for things to develop, but I’m a little more used to Pape drawing things out. The big problem for me is the speed with which the central mystery gets wrapped up. The mystery is solved and the lesser players are tidied away, although there are intimations of shadowy figures in the background that will probably be addressed in a later installment.
Which is fine.
But it’s not the usual pattern with her books and it left me a little unsatisfied. Hopefully, the next story in the series will be out soon!