June 2010 book log

Yes, very, very late this month, and not yet complete as far as planned reviews go. Blame distractions like a job application, a vintage car show in the village, and Let’s Not Talk About Work Lest I Rant In Public. (I like my job, thanks; it’s just that there was something even better on offer that was worth putting in for even though the chances were low, and the office was having one of its may you live in interesting times weeks. Entertainingly so, but did use up all the available clock cycles for the day by going home time.)

Onwards to the books…

30) Isaac Asimov, Martin H Greenberg and Charles G Waugh, editors — Catastrophes!
Themed anthology from 1981 (though contents dating back as far as 1938). Reviewed June 19.

31) Bamber Gascoigne — The Heyday
The story of a young woman’s heyday one Edwardian summer, as reconstructed many years later by her grandson from her diary and photographs. It’s a sweet, gentle and often very funny mystery, with a touch of bittersweet romance. Reviewed July 4.

32) Shamini Flint — Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul
Second in the Inspector Singh murder mystery series, and a jolly good read. Reviewed June 22.

33) James Blish — Galactic Cluster
Short story collection. I hadn’t read it for some years, and the collection is older than me. Unlike some 1950s sf, it’s held up reasonably well, at least if you liked it in the first place. Reviewed July 3.

34) WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the pea-green boat [audiobook]
Read by Jack Shepherd (who played Wycliffe in the tv series). 3 CD set, generally well-read although I found Shepherd’s use of accents a bit distracting on occasion. Logged June 23.

35) Georgette Heyer — The Unfinished Clue
Country house murder mystery written and set in the early 1930s. Great fun, with an entertaining cast of suspects and some cunning red herrings. Reviewed July 3.

36) Shamini Flint — Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy
The third Inspector Singh, which was marvellous. Flint has really got into her stride with this one. Superb police procedural set in Singapore, by someone who knows the culture from the inside. It’s set in Singh’s home town, so we see more of his Sikh background, not least because a distant relative is involved in the case. Reviewed July 17.

37) Stevie Carroll’s short “The Monitors” in the erotic romance anthology Echoes of Possibilities from Noble Publishing. I still haven’t read the other stories in the anthology, so full review yet to come, but my note at the time was: I expected this to be good, and it was. A science fiction piece that deftly sketches a future culture as background for a ship’s crew shift change encounter that could just lead to something more. It’s a het piece, though not a standard issue m/f piece, as the m in the m/f is a transman in a world where trans surgery is effective but not yet cheap.


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