Books & Blog: October 15, 2016

Books of the Week:

 

  • The Search and Rescue Series, Katie Ruggle
  • The Golden Age of Mystery, Martin Edwards
  • Magic Binds, Ilona Andrews
  • Shifting Shadows, Patricia Briggs

 

I mentioned Katie Ruggle in my last Books and Blog, but it’s worth another look. I’ve read all her Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue books now, and I’ve enjoyed every one. I don’t read a lot of romance, but these books are just great. They contain an individual mystery, there’s an overarching plot, and the characters are vivid and charming. I’ve already talked about In Too Deep; the others are On His Watch, In Safe Hands, and Fan the Flames.

 

Martin Edwards has become the go-to guy for information about Golden Age mysteries. He literally wrote the book. The Golden Age is generally considered to be the years between the world wars, and mysteries were certainly popular then. A lot of the plot devices we consider a bit worn were brand new then, and readers were delighted with the puzzle represented by the crime. The Golden Age of Mystery focuses on the writers behind the stories; they certainly weren’t staid and conservative. This is really interesting reading.

 

I was a late convert to the Kate Daniels series, but it gave me more books to gobble up in a row. I’ve been waiting, like many other readers, for Magic Binds. Kate and her fiancé, Curran, and her adopted daughter, Julie, are planning for the wedding. Or to be more accurate, other people are planning the wedding, and Kate is reluctantly going along with their plans. But Kate’s terrible father has started encroaching on Kate’s territory, and he has to be stopped. Julie is going her own way, and that way is dangerous. And Kate’s vision shows the death of Curran and of their baby. There’s no easy fix for all these problems, but Andrews (as usual) manages all these plot threads to come to an exciting conclusion.

 

Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite urban fantasy writers, and she’s amazingly consistent. Shifting Shadows continues her tradition of excellence. It’s a collection of short stories, assembled for the first time in one book, along with some original material . . . all set in the world of Mercy Thompson. If you’re a Briggs fan, you need this book.

 

 

Blog

 

I MADE A MISTAKE . . .

 

When a new book comes out, as my ALL THE LITTLE LIARS just did, I wait for reader reaction. I don’t read Amazon reviews, since they are not signed, but I do get feedback on my website and on my Facebook page. I read it all, unless it’s from an obvious nut (“I will hate you forever”).

 

Here’s the snag: observant readers tell me about mistakes they found in the book. It’s a terrible truth that no matter how many people read a manuscript, some error may leak through. In the case of ATTL, one person gets told the same information twice. Obviously, this is what I call an “artifact.” I wrote the passage one way, amended it pages later, and then did not catch the first iteration. (I rewrote ATLL more than any other book I’ve written.)

 

Though I appreciate the readers being so alert, I am at a loss as to what I can do with this information, and it simply makes me feel bad . . . especially when someone points it out for the thirtieth time.

 

The only upside is that possibly the mistake can be rectified if there’s a second printing. Otherwise, it’s just a sore spot. And every time I think of it – or it’s drawn to my attention again – I feel like a failure.

 

I also feel that I’m the only writer this happens to. Have you been caught like this in your books? Readers, does such an error throw you out of the narrative?

 

Charlaine Harris