In the High Peaks

Friday, October 11, 2019

An Uptick in My Reading Life--Tess Gerritsen's Latest Rules!

I really hate to use the word "UPTICK," because our tick population and tick diseases are escalating hugely. For the first time, Lyme Disease has been frequently diagnosed in people and animals suffering from all sorts of ailments this year. So sorry about the uptick, but tick-tock, I am glad to say that I'm reading much, much more than I have been compared to July, August and midway through September.

Sandy actually let me finish P is for Peril by Sue Grafton very early one morning this week. Monday it poured rain all day, and she was subdued by the weather. This morning, though, she acted as if she had been shot out of a cannon.  Lots of tennis ball retrieving and frisbee helped to settle her a bit. But it is her third birthday today after all. I sang "Happy Birthday" to her on our LONG walk, and,  do you know, when I finished singing, she sat down directly  in front of me, and smiled happily in response! What a dog!

I have never read Tess Gerritsen's novels before, but news of her latest, The Shape of Night, got me clamoring for it, and I was so lucky to get a library copy quickly. It's set on the coast of Maine, and is Gothicky, and is incredibly good. What a writer she is! The novel is incredibly well-written and  downright HOT, although I wasn't expecting it to be (though it's very welcome). Where has Tess Gerritsen been all my life? She lives in Maine now and was trained as a physician, though she's not practicing now. I do think I must check out more of her books. She has several series, but this one is a standalone novel. And do I ever recommend it!

I also read my very first Fern Michaels's Christmas romance novel, Spirit of the Season. You may want to go online to read the premise of this one--it is so unusual, I'd say. The most entertaining aspect was that Joy, a young businesswoman and owner of a very successful nail-polish company in Denver learns that her grandmother in Spruce City, North Carolina, has died, leaving her to run the grandmother's business for 6 months OR the business will be turned over to the State of North Carolina. Her grandmother's business???  A large, profitable Bed and Breakfast that is devoted to the celebration of holidays. Like Christmas. This specific aspect of the book is entertaining, and yes, CRAZY,  but the business aspect is not boring in the slightest, though  the romantic aspects are a bit dull in comparison. It's a cozy first and foremost. Kisses are all you get. Very traditional. But it was an incredibly FAST read and parts of it amused me mightily, though I must confess I SKIMMED through a lot of the boring parts. Yes, indeed, my first and LAST Fern Michaels novel!! Actually this one got very high ratings on Goodreads. Go figure.


  1. I am glad to hear that you are seeing an upswing in your reading. My wife read a bunch of the Sue Grafton letter books and liked them.

    I live in a tick infested part of Long Island. I had Lyme Disease so I know how bad they are.

    1. So interested to hear that your wife liked Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series.
      And so sorry to hear you had Lyme Disease! Ken and I come from the Boston area, and when we left 14 years ago, 80 percent of the population was estimated to have Lyme antibodies. So we were blessed to have quite a few years of no worries about it. But that's all changed now. And there are so many tick diseases now--a dizzying array of them--at least six that I know of.

  2. Yes, we live very close to Exmoor and that too is a Lyme Disease hotspot. They linger on all the bracken I gather. Not great.

    So pleased Sandy is settling in well and that your reading has recovered a bit. Mine too. I got back in with an Agatha Christie and am now reading my first Ann Patchett.

    I've read quite a lot of Tess Gerritsen, mainly Rizzoli and Isles, some of which have been terrifc... Body Double and The Killing Place were my favourites. I've sort of come to a halt with them though and haven't read one in three or four years now. Like the sound of this standalone though so will keep an eye out.

    1. Hi Cath,
      I'm sorry to hear that Exmoor has Lyme Disease, too, as probably to a lesser extent, other locales in southern England. It is a barrier to those who love getting out in nature.
      And yes, Sandy is doing so well!! She had her third birthday on Friday. She is so much fun to walk with, because she's so curious about the sounds of woodpeckers pecking, the scurrying of chipmunks, the scents left from deer bounding over the road--she's lots of fun to enjoy nature with.
      I'm so interested that you're very familiar with Gerritsen's work. I am noting the two you've mentioned. I think you would like the new one I'm reading now. Best wishes to you with your reading in these final months of the year!

  3. I've never read Tess Gerritsen either but I know her name. I didn't know she had trained as a doctor. I think her Rizzoli & Isles books are quite well known in particular because they were also turned into a T.V. series.

    Cozy romances a la Fern Michaels are not for me. I can see where they would be appealing but I dislike the inevitability of them. I don't mind romance as a story line in a book but I typically don't like it if it is the main focus. Different strokes, right?

    1. I have read very smart romances accompanied by exquisite atmosphere and setting and mystery, and they are good. The book I read by Fern Michaels was exceedingly saccharine. I skimmed. The B&B details and design were ingeniously created, hold my attention much more is needed.

  4. Oh dear, I cannot believe I am so behind here. My last two months at work are not going easily and I am having to do all sorts of preparations for retirement, so I am not paying attention to much else.

    I read the first four books in Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles series and liked them very much. I am planning to continue them someday, maybe soon now that you have reminded me. I have at least the next two in the series and maybe more than that.