Tag: Manda Collins

Review – A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem

Posted January 28, 2021 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda CollinsA Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem, Manda Collins

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem is a light mystery-romance, where the romance feels like the more important element of the two. Kate Bascomb is a reporter, the owner of a newspaper she took over after her husband died, and she’s determined to champion women and shine a light on things women are kept sheltered from in England of 1865. Andrew Eversham is a detective inspector, and her investigative reporting endangers his career as she quickly finds a witness his team entirely neglected to speak to, with crucial evidence about a string of murders.

Naturally, the two get drawn together personally, particularly after the killings start getting very close to Kate, who discovers a body while on a visit to a friend’s country home. The murders were confined to London at first, but suddenly they seem to have followed her… and thus so does Eversham. The sparks of attraction between them are very obvious, and this was the shakiest part of the book for me: they leapt from lust to love in mere pages, with very little provocation. I’d expected a bit more will-they-won’t-they, but it was remarkably straightforward. At least they mostly managed to communicate like adults, which can be a big bugbear for me.

I thought it was light and frothy and fairly inconsequential, and for the most part, I was fine with that. Kate and her friend Caro were fun, and I appreciated the friendship between Kate and Val, as well — I was very relieved when there was no sign of sexual interest or jealousy on either of them’s part, and their quasi-sibling relationship was rather fun. Much of the setting and characters are sketched in fairly lightly; historical fiction this is not, if that’s what you’re hoping for… and the mystery was fairly light too.

When I try to sum it all up, it all seems pretty thin and like I’m damning it with faint prize, but it was a genuinely fun reading experience, and a nice way to spend my day, picking it up here and there to read a chapter whenever I could. It’s unlikely to stick in my head, but I’d happily read another Manda Collins book or even another book in this series.

Rating: 3/5

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WWW Wednesday

Posted January 28, 2021 by Nicky in General / 1 Comment

Greetings, folks! It’s still Wednesday until I’ve slept, right?

Cover of Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. CoreyWhat are you currently reading?

Fiction: Abaddon’s Gate, by James S.A. Corey. I’m now nearing the end of my reread of this one, and the next one (Cibola Burn, I think?) will be entirely new to me, so that’s going to be interesting.

Non-fiction: I picked up Genuine Fakes, by Lynda Pynes yesterday; it’s an interesting book; a bit scattershot in its approach (a fake fossil made up of four genuine fossils is not [yet?] a genuine fossil in anything like the same way as a piece of art by the Spanish Forger has become a collectable item in its own right), but engaging. Funny how some of my most random book choices turn out to be the most engaging, while A World Beneath the Sands (Toby Wilkinson) is a bit of a grind, despite being one of my usual interests.

Cover of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda CollinsWhat have you recently finished reading?

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem, by Manda Collins. Frothy and light, not too consequential, and relatively predictable… which makes it exactly what I wanted to read right now. Bit like the Veronica Speedwell books in some ways, though the heroine is a reporter rather than a scientist.

Cover of The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane HealeyWhat will you be reading next?

As ever, it’s anyone’s guess. The Mask of Mirrors (Alyc Helms and Marie Brennan writing as M.A. Carrick) has arrived, so that’s a possibility… but The Animals at Lockwood Manor is on my five-book shortlist — which I haven’t touched for weeks and weeks, argh, clearly it needs a refresh — and is actually starting to pique my interest. Also I’m kind of in a non-fiction mood, and there’s a couple of books I got for Christmas that might tempt me there.

What are you reading, folks?

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WWW Wednesday

Posted January 13, 2021 by Nicky in General / 0 Comments

Greetings, everyone! My wife has now fixed the issue where I wasn’t getting notification emails, and I got inbox zero again for the first time in a few months, so I’m back!

What are you currently reading?

Cover of The Books of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin and Charles VessFiction: A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le Guin, which is of course a reread for me. But it’s the first time I’m reading the beautiful version illustrated by Charles Vess. Funnily enough, I’m finding that I know it so well, I can identity individual words that have been changed/corrected (some for the better, others for the worst) in the new text.

Non-fiction: A World Beneath the Sands, by Toby Wilkinson, which is a history of Egyptologists rather a history of Egypt itself, although of course the two are inevitably interlinked. I’m not far into it yet. I’m also reading A Life in Miniature, by Nicola Lisle, which is about dolls’ houses. It’s… very descriptive, delving into the exact furnishings of specific dolls’ houses. Not sure if I will stick with it.

Cover of The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de BodardWhat have you recently finished reading?

A reread of Blood and Circuses, by Kerry Greenwood — I felt like spending some time with Phryne Fisher, though this is kind of unrepresentative given it follows a case where she joins a circus to figure out what’s happening!

I also finished The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, by Aliette de Bodard, which reminded me that I really want to track down more of the Xuya stories and read more in that universe.

Cover of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda CollinsWhat will you be reading next?

Big shrug, as ever. I’m tempted by A Lady’s Guide to Murder and Mayhem, by Manda Collins; sounds like it should be fluffy fun.

What are you currently reading?

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