WWW Wednesday 4-3-13

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

• What are you currently reading?

US Cover

US Cover

I’m reading my first Merrily Watkins mystery, The Lamp of the Wicked, by Phil Rickman, which is actually the fifth book in the series.  I’ve talked about these before and how much I love them, so how, you ask, could this be the first I’ve read? Well, because it’s the first I read rather than listened to as an audiobook. And I think I shall be reading them all from this point forward. As much as I enjoyed listening (and the only reason I’m not listening to this one is because audible doesn’t offer it) I am loving reading it even more.

Merrily Watkins is a difficult hero/protagonist to describe well. She is strong, but she is hesitant. She is strong, but she is also soft and gentle. She is strong, but she isn’t typical of the strong kick-ass heroines in today’s genre fiction. She is a relatively newly minted Anglican priest in England with a teenaged daughter.  Even her entry into the priesthood was fraught with emotionally difficult circumstances. As a divorced woman she probably would not have been accepted, but her husband and his mistress died in an auto wreck before the divorce was final, making her a widow, a “convenience” she finds awkward and difficult to accept, simply because it is a tragedy that did ease her way into the profession she so ardently sought. Her 16-year-old daughter is embracing paganism and New Age religion, a situation that Merrily finds distinctly concerning (as she would, after all) but her reaction is awkward tolerance and a hope that it’s a passing fancy.

UK Cover

UK Cover

Merrily’s series, beginning with Wine of Angels, is as difficult to define and describe as is her character. The charismatic and handsome young Bishop of Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) has made Merrily the Deliverance Consultant of the diocese. In layman’s terms? The exorcist. Yes, this position does exist in the Church of England, in case you’re wondering. She also is young and attractive, and, most would say, an odd choice for the position. She’s been through training. Now, the job is hers, and immediately a difficult situation lands in her lap, which is where the murder mystery begins. Hesitant, awkward, new at her job–but strong. But strongly woven through the series is also her relationship with her daughter and her relationship with an evolving love interest that brings its own share of difficult baggage.

Phil Rickman is a superb writer. His plots are intricate and his characterizations rich and nuanced. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.

• What did you recently finish reading?

quent kindle bedAs I mentioned when last I wrote,  The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett had been on my TBR pile for years. I read it. Loved it. Will be reading the rest of the trilogy. It has its Austen moments, its Heyer moments, its blatant Bronte/Eyre parallels, but works on its magical own.


penumbraI also loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  How to describe? Well, picture a group of people who grew up with D&D games and fantasies suddenly getting swept into a quest of their own. The twist being that these Millenials are tech geeks who work at Google. Fun stuff.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going to be reading my own current work-in-progress, and finally reading one for Katharine Kerr. Ooops! That one slid off my radar.

Other than that? No idea. No freaking idea.

farenheit451ETA: Yikes! How could I forget? I have to read (and want to read) Fahrenheit 451 by the late Ray Bradbury as part of the first Big Read Dallas. Yay!

Paisely Vandermeir requests the pleasure of your presence.


What about you? What have you been reading lately? Put the link to your WWW Wednesday entry in comments, or just tell me!

I’m keeping a running total of my reading challenges–the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge (see banner at the bottom of the right sidebar) and my own challenge, the Embarrassment of Riches Challenge. The January wrap-up is here and here is the February Wrap-Up! And if you missed it, the March Wrap-Up is here. (I haven’t posted mine yet, either!)





Filed under Embarrassment of Riches, Reading, Reading Challenges, WWW Wednesday

9 responses to “WWW Wednesday 4-3-13

  1. denise

    Finished One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, 1/3 through The One Good Thing and The Last Debutante, next is Market Street and Starting Now…my print TBR pile runneth over–we won’t even discuss my ebook TBR

    • denise

      ps. The UK cover would get me to buy the book. Beckett’s book looks intriguing, too.

      • Tell me the best historical romance you’ve read lately. If you don’t want to single one out, PM me on facebook!

        Beckett’s cover got me to buy the book, and it was a good choice. The US cover of the Merrily book makes sense with the story, but the UK cover definitely captures the rural vicar vibe.

  2. I’ve been wanting to start the Merrily Watkins books for some time now…this review leaves me even more intrigued!

  3. Oh man, you have just made my wish list bigger! I definitely need to read that Rickman series and Mr. Penumbra and I have the first two Mrs. Quent books at home on the shelf, guess I should start with them eh? 🙂 Great books this week! – elisa

  4. Every time I stop by I find great recommendations!! Mr. Penumbra has been on my TBR list ever since I heard of it and now I’m going to have to check out Merrily Watkins! Might as well head over now to browse! Happy Reading 🙂

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