Saturday, August 06, 2005

It will be a blow

but also a bit of a relief when the summer is over and I can no longer indulge in so much late-night novel-reading. I read Steve Hamilton's Blood is the Sky, just as excellent as the others (I get more and more taken with Hamilton's writing with each of these books); then, for a change of pace, Clouds Among the Stars, the only book of Victoria Clayton's that I hadn't yet read (it fortuitously arrived via interlibrary loan this afternoon, I picked it up while getting other more worthy books from the library). It is about 80% very enjoyable, but unfortunately the other 20% is a ludicrous murder mystery that sits ill with the frothy and funny country-house comedy-romance vibe. The charm of Clayton's books (aside from her most attractive first-person voice, her narrators are always immensely appealing though of course almost identical to each other, but that presents no problems--think of Dick Francis) is that though they are all set in a kind of fantastical upper-crust 1970s England they have the feel of a much earlier period. This one in particular is written under the star of Georgette Heyer; the narrator's mother (and indeed the narrator herself as well) uses all sorts of Heyeresque expressions and the owner of the country house they all end up in for the holidays has a corset and is compared to Prinny, etc. etc. Also the love object is particularly like one of Heyer's Regency heroes, even more than usual (though they are all built on Mr. Darcy-esque models, I must admit).

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