It's probably quite obvious that I haven't been getting a lot of serious (read: assigned) reading done lately. I've been a bit of an escapist and I've been drowning myself in quick, untaxing reads many of them series books. So here's a look at what I've been reading lately.
Maggie Sefton's Knitting Mysteries.
So far I've read the first three: Knit One, Kill Two, Needled to Death, and A Deadly Yarn. The fourth book in the series, A Killer Stitch, is next on my list (I'm going to start it right after I publish this post).
I don't typically read a lot of cozies, but I do like this series. I can really relate to its protagonist, a young professional who is addicted to coffee and just learning to knit. After the second book I was worried that the series would end up being unforgivably formulaic (there were too many similarities between the crimes in the first two books), but I'm pleased to report that A Deadly Yarn deviated a bit.
Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris
My coworker and I are actually both reading this series now. So far I've read Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, and Dead as a Doornail.
I like this series much better than most of the other paranormal series I've picked up. Sookie is pretty down-to-earth, the author is inventive, the secondary characters are pretty well-drawn, and there isn't an unnecessary amount of sex. The overarching story, however, is a bit of a mystery to me. Just today my coworker and I were arguing over the identity of Sookie's intended love interest. Though my coworker has cast the role, I'm not altogether sure. We both agree, however, that it's not Bill.
I'm not going to run out and purchase the other books in the series (so far Definitely Dead and All Together Dead), but I'll read them when they come my way.
I also just finished the first of Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie mysteries, The Sunday Philosophy Club.
When I was in Chicago, my aunt gave me the audio version, which we started listening to on the way home. Russell didn't care much for Isabel and her internal monologues on ethics and philosophy. I will say that she grew on me. Yes, the monologues got a bit tiresome, but I found Isabel to be an interesting character (and I liked McCall Smith's inclusion of what my dad would call SAT-words).
One thing that occurred to me as I was listening to the book is how different Isabel is from Precious Rambotswe (star of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books). Not that I expected them to be similar, but I found it interesting that while McCall Smith's core audience probably has the least in common with Precious, she may very well be his most sympathetic protagonist (I don't know anything about the 44 Scotland Street series, though, so I could be completely off base).
So far there are three others in the series: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, and The Careful Use of Compliments. I won't go out and buy the books, but I did put them on my BookMooch wishlist so hopefully I'll be able to snag them if they are listed. In the meantime I'll probably give the Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld books a go. They've been hanging around my bookshelf for a while now.