I had a plan tonight and it went something like this:
- Finish dealing with the five hundred e-mails that sprang up during our family holiday
- Set the alarm
- Awaken early enough to write a post that would catch you all up on what I’ve been doing for the last month. It would have been charming, insightful and accompanied by relevant photos.
Then Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne came along. Are you familiar with these two? She’s a helicopter-flying Episcopalian minister. He’s the chief of a small police force in New York State. Together they make one of the most compelling fictional couples I’ve read in years.
I had heard of this series a while back and scooped up #6, I Shall Not Want, when I came across it in a book store. The title’s ironic, of course, because now I very much desire books one through five.
Also the night’s sleep I will never recover. (It’s 5:27 AM here, as I type.)
Oh, Ms. Julia Spencer-Fleming — Ms. award-winning Julia Spencer-Fleming — I heart you. My writerly soul is awash in admiration for your realistic dialogue, rich characterization and exquisite pacing. I adore your ability to evoke mood and establish tension, even within the exposition I would skim in a lesser writer.
I’ve grown weary of feisty heroines with attitude, but no felt depth; of couples who successfully fight demons and monsters and the end of the world together, but who I don’t trust to last long enough to raise a guppy from its minnowhood. I know I might work 24/7 for the next twenty years and never develop your chops. By rights I should have a serious case of Imposter Syndrome a-brew — probably will when I awaken tomorrow. But I don’t care. Your book was the pitch-perfect ending note to my sonata of a day. Thank you.
So peeps, this post is more sentimental than I typically write, but it’s heartfelt. And now I invite you to play. What was the last book that kept you up waaaay past your bedtime? Which one would breach the last of your reluctance towards e-readers? (Because you want to read the rest of the author’s backlist, and there isn’t a single copy of her first book, In the Bleak Midwinter, in your entire city and environs.)
Don’t limit yourself to mysteries/thrillers. Hit me with your suggestions. What book last slapped you upside the head with pleasure?