A Look At My Week

Hi everyone. Thanks for visiting me. It’s so nice to be back in the reading-swing again. It was nice to take a few weeks off from the book-life. It gave me a chance to take a deep breath and then get back to my passion. I read almost four books this week! I know — that’s really jumping back in! Let me tell you about two of them.

My husband and I love to read John Sandford’s novels, especially his Virgil Flowers’ stories. Usually we try to read or listen to a new book at the same time. We do this so we can talk about it as we go. Virgil is such a great character. He’s a detective for Minnesota’s rural and small town areas.

In Deep Freeze, Virgil is back in southeast Minnesota, an area he visited in the novel Deadline. Virgil has a good friend who lives there, but almost everyone in town knows Virgil. What brings Virgil to town is the suspicious death of the president of the local bank. What my husband and I found different and fun to follow in this new story is that the reader knows who killed the banker, but Virgil and the rest of the town do not. It made the twists in the story even more interesting.

It was impossible for us to read this book without numerous laugh-out-loud moments. The people and situations require laughter. However, this is really a good detective book. Virgil pays attention and is people-savvy enough to put various clues together. Jay and I both strongly recommend Deep Freeze, the tenth book in the series.

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I recently made a new book-loving friend, one who also likes mysteries. We immediately began sharing which books, authors and series we each enjoy. She was surprised that I wasn’t familiar with Charles Todd. It is one of her favorite series. Of course, I immediately checked it out and discovered the series has nineteen books! I debated whether to actually start at all, but convinced myself to at least read the first book.

Book One is A Test of Wills. It’s a detective story set in England right after World War I. The detective, Ian Rutledge (everyone just calls him Rutledge), saw horrific action in the war and some people at Scotland Yard aren’t convinced he’s mentally able to handle the job anymore. But, his boss sends him out to the country to handle a murder case, three days after it happened. He never even has a chance to look at the body. I think Scotland Yard was hoping he would fail.

The war plays a part in the novel. As Rutledge examines the background of each person, he finds the war has had life-changing impact on everyone, not just the soldiers. Rutledge uses this knowledge in solving the crime. The crime-solving portion of the story was very good, but I also enjoyed getting to know Rutledge. He’s a complicated character. He actually has his own demons from the war. I love the voice he has in his head he calls Hamish. Hamish is Scottish and speaks to Rutledge from time to time. He’s like an alter-ego with a sense of humor. Rutledge, however, has a strong determination to overcome his past and move on. We see it in his constant push to look at every single person and detail associated with the murder victim.

Book One was an excellently crafted story by what I understand is a mother/son writing team. I’m intrigued enough by Rutledge that I’m going to read the second book. I’ll let you know. Anyone familiar with Rutledge?

What I’m Watching:

It’s taken me quite a few months, but I finally finished all seven seasons of West Wing. I love that show. This is not my first time to watch it. I tell myself that our government is filled with many people similar to those on West Wing who love their country and try every day to do their best for all of us. I know West Wing is fiction, but I believe it was based on facts. Because of all that is happening in Washington, I feel better watching a little bit of West Wing each day. I still keep up with all that’s going on in government, both nationally and in my state, but I’ve needed this little bit of “head-in-the-sand” TV watching to keep me from going bonkers.

As soon as the credits for the last West Wing show was running, Netflix offered the start of this show: The Crown: Season 2. Yay! Now I can watch governmental insanity in Great Britain! I’ve only watched two episodes, but I find it very compelling. The good news is that this is historical fiction and so I already know how the story ends. Its more comforting than our current day-by-day saga.

And on that sad/depressing note I’ll share my promise for today: no news today. A 24-hour-news-free day. I’m going to clear my head. Hopefully, a good book will take me to another place. I’m off. Happy Reading to you as well.

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3 Responses to A Look At My Week

  1. Kay says:

    I do know about Charles Todd and have seen both Charles and Carolyn Todd at mystery events and at the Poisoned Pen. If you search on my blog, you’ll find them. Sadly, I haven’t read any of their books – I know, bad Kay. They also write the Bess Crawford series, nurse in WWI time period. Both are wonderful to listen to at events – they do a ton of research. I need to suggest Virgil Flowers for my husband’s reading. He would like him I think. Have a good week, Margot!

  2. I love Sandford’s novels too but am woefully behind on his Virgil Flowers series.

    Carl and I went on a little outing today and I barred talk of politics – it was so refreshing.

  3. Ti Reed says:

    A no news day sounds wonderful but it happens so rarely.

    I must check out The Crown! I need something new to watch.

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