I finished some books over the break, including my first encounter with the written No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I loved the HBO mini-series (what a cast!), so when this book showed up at the library, I grabbed it: Tea Time For The Traditionally Built. This one is the 8th book or so, and occurs after the events in the TV series. Lovely style and atmosphere—it's total escapism. I imagine this is what the British would refer to as a "cozy."
One thing I got hung up on was that, rather than referring to "the late Mr. Polekutse," the characters would instead say, "Mr. Polekutse is late now." This prompted a snarky and highly inappropriate response, e.g., "Well! Let's see how punctual you are after you're dead!" Some unexpected character developments happened, too. Christopher read the book before I did, and I asked him whether he was surprised that Grace (Miss 97 Percent) was engaged. His answer was very defensive: "No—Grace can be very nice!" Well yes, she CAN be, but she rarely is. Mostly, Grace is opinionated, wrong, and argumentative. I.e., she has a disagreeable personality. Her fiance is very easygoing and patient, though, and she tries very hard to be less outspoken and impulsive. He brings out her best side.
I so wish they'd make a second season of this show, but that seems unlikely. Still, I'm very glad thelana did a post on it a few years ago and got me to watch it!
Before that, I read Sweet Jiminy, by Kristin Gore. It's set in the Deep South, where a young woman in a personal-direction crisis stumbles across an unsolved double-murder from decades ago, and starts digging into a case that was fated to be "cold" even before it happened. Highly readable and captivating.
Then I detoured through Kid Lit to read Tuesdays At The Castle. The castle in question is semi-sentient. When it gets bored (usually on Tuesdays, when the king receives reports and hears grievances), the castle changes: new rooms, corridors whose pathways shift, disappearing rooms. The current king is the tenth descendant of a former king's barber. The barber was chosen as the new king after the castle routed him to the throne room again and again, and once he was crowned the castle spewed the old king's feckless son out of a water closet and headfirst into a haystack. The rest of the book is just as quirky and delightful.
Next up: I'm reading Harry Potter #2 and a Lincoln Rhyme mystery, and starting (finally) The Hunger Games. Watch this space for followups!