Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Fall into Reading

dear readers,

It is finally my favourite season of the year - Autumn.  It is perfect for reading.  There are still some warmish afternoons to enjoy some reading on the deck with a nice cold drink. Or when it does get a bit chilly, or a rainy day, there is a warm blanket waiting with a steamy tea or coffee.  Let the reading begin.

My recent goal has been catching up on or completing series I have already begun.  I start so many book one of a series but instead of moving forward I seem to start another book. I have been doing pretty good for the past few months.  I have even reread some books to aid in plan.  

I was looking at my local library's website and browsed through the "on order" list and noticed the following cover

I totally judged this book by it's cover and went to see if this was part of a series or a standalone novel.  Of course it is book 5 of a series.  Then began the search of whether I can buy/borrow the other books.  Things worked out as I found all four novels in paperback at my local library :) I have put a hold on The Low Road and started with the first book, A Small Death in the Great Glen.

(The Highland Gazette mysteries: Book One)
Written by A.D. Scott
Genre: mystery, historical, fiction, 

When trying to figure out if Low Road was part of a series (and if yes what number) I found that there were two names for the series.  On A.D. Scott's website she calls the series The Highland Gazette mysteries after the newspaper publication where five of the main characters work.  Most other book sites call this series Joanne Ross after one of the characters in the novel.  While we do get more details on Joanne in the first book, I am with Scott and like to refer to the series as The Highland Gazette mysteries.

Speaking of details....there are a LOT of descriptions, explanations and hearing every though a character has in the first book, A Small Death in the Great Glen.  The novel takes place in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1950s and opens with a young boy's body being found in the canal lock.  The young boy, Jamie was friends with Joanne Ross' daughters, Annie and Wee Jean.  That is where the mystery sort of stops and the descriptions of each character in the novel begins.  While I am nosey and like the back story of characters I found it very tedious and almost got to the point where I stopped reading.  While the mystery runs through the novel it is not the focal point of the book.  The focal point is Joanne Ross - wife, mother and part-time typist at the Highland Gazette - and how she has to overcome her abusive husband, being shunned by her minister father, being a disappointment to her mother-in-law and being though of as thinking above her station by the rest of the town.  Her only real friends are Italian born immigrants, the Corelli family and the people she works with and for.  Then we meet Rob McLean, reporter and son of a barrister.  He is young, wild and ambitious.  Also on the paper is Don McLeod -the gruff editor and team leader- and then their is dependable Mrs. Smart who takes care of advertising and other tasks with Joanne.  Finally, rounding out the team is MacAllister, the boss and sort of love interest of Joanne.  Do not fear you will get every single detail of each of these characters and even some secondary and very minor players.  

So why did I continue to read this book? Well, there are two reasons why I had to keep trying with this dense novel.  One of the reasons was that I had read reviews on this book and many said it was dense but was worth it because the second book is amazing.  That intrigued me and once I got reading I wanted to see if that was true because It was taking me forever to get through the first one.  The second reason I pursued the novel was because of Mrs. Smart - who we don't get much about so I wanted to see what was going on there and if Joanne would smarten up and kick her husband to the curb. 

The end result was yes they do remember they have to solve the murder and with all the information given about people, places and things I will not have to do research ever on 1950s Highlands.  The next book better be amazing or I am giving up!


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