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Kate Emerson’s Secrets of the Tudor Court

Interest in King Henry VIII of England never seems to languish.  This series of five novels dramatizes the era through the eyes of fictional minor players such as Nan Bassett, maid of honor to Queen Jane Seymour and Elizabeth Brooke, rival of Katherine Parr.  Heiress Thomasine Lodge is the subject of the newest entry in the series, The King’s Damsel (Gallery, 8/2012). Thomasina (Tamsin) is maid-of-honor to the young Princess Mary, and eventually a spy in Anne Boleyn’s court.  These are engaging reads, with reasonably accurate historical background and detail, though author Kate Emerson makes no attempt to capture Tudor speech patterns or vocabulary.  Kate Emerson is one of the pseudonyms used by Kathy Lynn Emerson (the other pseudonym is Kaitlyn Dunnett).  Kathy has been writing ever since she was a child. She has written non-fiction and children’s books in addition to her three fiction series.   She lives with her husband and three cats on a Christmas tree farm in Maine.

–posted  8/25/2012

Posted August/25/2012

Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile Mysteries

In spite of our diligence, some series slide right under eSequels’ radar. Kate Carlisle’s Bibliophile Mysteries is a case in point.  Published almost exclusively in mass market paperback by Obsidian (an imprint of Penguin), the series sleuth is rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills help her uncover secrets, treachery, and murder.  Brooklyn, whose main passion is books, doesn’t worry much about her appearance, to the chagrin of her best friend, Robin, but she still manages to have love affairs, notably with sexy Derek Stone.  Brooklyn’s home base is San Francisco, but many of her investigations of books and murder are conducted on the road.  The series started in 2009 with Homicide in Hardcover and this month sees the seventh installment:  Peril in Paperback (Signet—also a Penguin imprint–, 8/2012).  California native Kate Carlisle spent over 20 years working in television as an Associate Director for game and variety shows and she makes use of this setting in her latest book.  Peril in Paperback takes Brooklyn to Tahoe with friends to celebrate the 50th birthday of Grace Wheaton, the billionaire producer of successful TV game shows.

I am glad that we have finally caught up with Brooklyn Wainwright.  The books sound like fun and apparently have enough interesting characters and puzzles to entertain even unbookish readers. eSequels probably missed the beginning of this series because the earlier books were not reviewed—often the fate of mass market originals.  We get our data from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and a few other sources.  When they overlook something, we may also.  That’s why we encourage eSequels’ users to send us an email whenever they spot an omission or (gasp) even a mistake.

–posted 8/18/2012

Posted August/17/2012

New Inspector Sejer

Karin Fossum’s Inspector Sejer novels take place in rural communities north of Oslo, making them different from the city settings favored by Anne Holt, K. O. Dahl and Jo Nesbo.  Konrad Sejer is a middle-aged widower when we first meet him—thoughtful and kind and a bit melancholy.  His young assistant Jacob Skarre is grateful to be working and learning from such a successful, experienced policeman.  His proficiency increases with each case.   As the series continues, Sejer eventually he meets an attractive woman who returns his affection.   Fossum’s first published work was a book of poems, so the crisp and colorful prose of her crime novels is not surprising.  Her experience working in hospitals with addicts and the mentally ill, gives authority to her portrayal of the sad and demented characters at the heart of her novels.  Though Fossum has been called the “Queen of Crime”, her Sejer novels are psychological suspense, rather than mysteries.  The Caller (Houghton Mifflin, 8/2012) is the eighth book in the series.   Among the many unsettling events it concerns are: a sleeping baby is splashed with blood, an old woman reads her own obituary, and a man suffering from ALS is approached by a mortuary before he is dead.

–posted   8/13/2012

Posted August/13/2012

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