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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 9/25/23 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading Ron Rash's newest novel, to be published tomorrow, The Caretaker; I'm listening to Tiffany Clarke Harrison's novel about motherhood and loss, Blue Hour; and I'm listening to the fifth installment in Deanna Raybourn's irresistible Veronica Speedwell Victorian-era mystery series, A Murderous Relation.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 The Caretaker by Ron Rash

In Ron Rash's newest novel, The Caretaker, Blackburn Gant is the sole caretaker of a hilltop cemetery in 1951 Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Blackburn lives a quiet life, which is partially dictated by his physical limitations since suffering through polio as a child.

When his best (and only) friend Jacob is sent to serve overseas, Blackburn must look after Jacob's wife, Naomi. The two had eloped just months after meeting, which led to Jacob's being disowned by his wealthy family.

Blackburn and Naomi grow close as they anxiously await word of Jacob's fate halfway around the world.

I included the wonderful Ron Rash short story collection Nothing Gold Can Stay in my Greedy Reading List Six Short Story Collections to Wow You, and I loved his novel One Foot in Eden.

North Carolina's Rash (he teaches at Western Carolina University) is also the author of other books set in Appalachia: Serena, The World Made Straight, Burning Bright, Above the Waterfall, The Risen, and The Cove.

I received a prepublication edition of this book, scheduled for publication tomorrow, courtesy of NetGalley and Doubleday Books.


02 Blue Hour: A Novel by Tiffany Clarke Harrison

I'm listening to Tiffany Clarke Harrison's Blue Hour as an audiobook.

Harrison's narrator is coping with multiple miscarriages, fertility treatments, and the stress of these on her marriage.

She's a photographer with mixed feelings about the idea of becoming a mother, and when a student in one of her classes fights for his life fighting police brutality, her fears about bringing a Black-Japanese child into the world feel even more complicated.

The book is written in a second-person stream of consciousness, which is taking a little bit of getting used to. This slim novel is packing a punch.


03 A Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell #5) by Deanna Raybourn

I loved A Curious Beginning, the first book in Deanna Raybourn's feisty Veronica Speedwell series of historical fiction mysteries, as well as the sequels A Perilous Undertaking, A Treacherous Curse, and A Dangerous Collaboration. (There are currently eight books in the series, with a ninth scheduled for publication in 2024.)

Raybourn is masterful at providing a captivating main character with depth and flaws; a tantalizing attraction/sexual tension between her two main characters, and dialogue that makes me laugh out loud--all set against the backdrop of a Victorian-age mystery.

In this fifth book of the series, Veronica and Stoker become involved in a mystery involving a house of debauchery, the heir to the throne, kidnaping, and Jack the Ripper.

I'm listening to this audiobook, which is wonderfully narrated, as the rest of the series has been, by Angele Masters.

Raybourn is also the author of the wonderful stand-alone title Killers of a Certain Age.


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