Duck Wrangler and Rabbit Herder
- Apr 24, 2022
I'm actually quite impressed by YA fiction. I have found some absolutely excellent books, well written, tight plots, interesting characters. I mean, I've read some absolute crap too, but a lot of it is really good, and should not be overlooked as a genre. Thank you for these recommendations, I'll see if our local library carries them!I read a TON, and almost all of it is YA fantasy fiction. Yes, I appear to be a grown-ass senior citizen man, but I am in fact a teenage girl on a never-ending quest for a dreamy vampire to sweep me off my feet. 🤣
I'm currently reading two series of historical detective fiction featuring women amateur detectives, both by Deanna Raybourn.
The first series features Lady Julia Gray, and its first entry, Silent In The Grave, features one of my favorite opening sentences ever: "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor." While Lady Julia is somewhat sheltered, as young adult women in the Victorian era typically were, even after marriage, she's part of a large family (ten siblings) headed by a "chaotic neutral" father who prided himself on raising daughters who were every bit as sharp as his sons, even with the different social expectations of them -- along with multigenerational expectations of a certain amount of eccentricity verging on outrageousness for both the male and female members of the family. Their surname is March, and their family emblem is a hare, as in "mad as a March hare." Our lady Julia is often impatient as well as stubborn, but her intelligence shines through, as does the wit sharpened by scampish brothers. Certainly any fans of the sibling dynamics in Bridgerton will find something familiar here, even if these books are overall nothing like those....but I'm on the second of five in the series, and loving it.
I'm loving her second series even better. It features Veronica Speedwell (an intentional, and oft-commented-upon botanical pun), an independently-monied butterfly hunter and researcher. I'm 5 books into the 8 of these so far, and I have to say, Veronica Speedwell is even more appealing to me than Sherlock Holmes, and I LOVE Sherlock. I think these are THAT good.
It's kind of like, I can say I PREFER George Harrison to Chuck Berry, even if George would be the first to admit that he wouldn't have been the guitarist he was without Chuck. So while I wouldn't want to live in a world without either Sherlock or Veronica, I'm choosing her every time. (Besides, I've already read and watched plenty of Sherlock!)
I also especially enjoy how often natural science figures into conversations here, including several mentions of Darwin (whose gift of a Galapagos tortoise plays a part in one of the books). Here's the publisher's description of the first of the series, A Curious Beginning:
Even if you're not into teen-oriented fiction, if you have any fondness at all for amateur sleuths and historical fiction, you'll get a real kick out of these, despite a complete and conspicuous lack of any vampires whatsoever.