Showing posts from April, 2022

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo

The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo Zen Cho, 2012 Premise: This epistolary novella chronicles a young woman's adventures in the London literary set in the 1920s. This was basically a sampler-size candy box of a piece; full of delightful moments, but it didn't outstay its welcome.  Jade is an aspiring writer who finally achieves notoriety by writing a scathing review of a popular book by a popular author. The novella follows her diary entries for the time that immediately precedes this act and all that follows from it. (Her unexpurgated diary entries, I should say. There's a humorous moment where she reminds herself to delete the explicit descriptions of sex if she decides to publish her diary as an instructive experience for others.)  So she gets tangled up in society (romantically and otherwise), makes some perhaps unwise but completely relatable choices around taking your chances where you can, and has to eventually figure out how to thrive with the hand she's dealt.  For

Joliffe the Player Mysteries

Joliffe the Player Mysteries Margaret Frazer, 2004-2011 I wrote last year that one of the series that was getting me through the pandemic was Margaret Frazer's Dame Frevisse mysteries. Spinning out of that comes this shorter, slightly more active series, following a group of traveling players in the 1430s. It's a delight.  The Frevisse mysteries have to occasionally find excuses for the main character to leave her home abbey to end up wherever the plot takes place, but Joliffe and his companions are naturally on the move. They come into contact with people from every walk of life. As travelers, though, they are often mistrusted, giving the naturally sharp-witted Joliffe an additional motivation beyond his own curiosity for solving whatever murder is at hand.  The depth of the author's research is constantly clear, and anyone writing anything set in a medieval society could do a lot worse for their own research than reading these books. Of course, I especially love all the d