Remember the "Nice Ladies" of the title. This novel is much more than that—a book that combines women's fiction and cozy mystery, a book for those who treasure the look and feel of an old and revered book, one for those concerned with women's health and longings, and those interested in ancie The marvelous title of this book may mislead some, so let me say right off the bat that if you're looking for titillating details to enhance your intimate life, this is not another guide to the joys of sex.
This novel is much more than that—a book that combines women's fiction and cozy mystery, a book for those who treasure the look and feel of an old and revered book, one for those concerned with women's health and longings, and those interested in ancient herbal remedies Even goat farms, if your taste runs that way—or the Chaos Theory. Before I opened the book, I expected a book club of at least a dozen or more. Not so. Three women comprise the Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies: Lily, newly fired from the rare book collection of the Groverly CA library in an economic cutback, recently underwent a double mastectomy, beautifully masked by gorgeous tattoos, but she feels she will no longer be attractive to men; Aggie, a widowed elderly gypsy woman who fiercely misses her lifetime mate and their nights of passion; and Piper, who has moved out of the conjugal bedroom lest husband Freddy find the breast lump she has discovered.
Each has her reason for choosing erotic titles, when Lily sudden appears in the small town of Nolan, California with the bookmobile she impulsively bought and loaded with her personal library. Her intent is to travel from town to town: she never makes it beyond Nolan, where she becomes enmeshed in the life of the community and in the book club. The Chaos Theory runs like a thread through this story—a dust storm in Mozambique kicks up winds that head for California; a Monarch butterfly swarm spawns an event elsewhere on the globe.
The incident that starts the story occurs in sixteenth-century Alsace when the Duchess of Jardin pens a note to her son making him keeper of the legendary Book of Cures , which contains both cures and poisons. Fast forward to contemporary times when Lily McFae's last act as archival librarian at the Groverly library is to arrange an exhibit of twenty rare books from the Global Antiquarian Society.
The Jardin book, kept safely locked away, is NOT part of the exhibit. Yet it is included and then stolen, with accusatory fingers pointed at Lily, who is no longer with the library. Several people in Nolan know of the book's estimated value of one million dollars. But who murdered the current Duke of Jardin, grabbed the book, and slipped it into the exhibit? By various means—some accidental, some deliberate—the reader ends up playing the game of "Book, book, who's got the book?
Nolan has close to the strangest oddball citizens of any small town in fictional history: Boris, who runs the Emporium, is expert with swords and does tattoos on the side; Maxine and Sax, twins who run the Used Stuff Store and are at odds with each other more than not; Llewelyn Blanding, the drug salesman who offers to pay a million for the book so he can show his brother he can improve Neubland Pharmaceuticals; Aggie's nephew, Griffo, who is among other things a failed sword swallower and who steals precious belongings from his aunt, robbing her of the opportunity to carry out Gypsy traditional grieving rituals.
Most of the above covet the Book of Cures , and each for a time possesses it.
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Minnesota Fiddler, an apparently homeless woman, wants to recover not the book but a stash of coins hidden in Lila's bookmobile. Everyone has nefarious intentions, except perhaps Jeremy, who tends bar at the Hopper, local hangout, and Freddy, Piper's husband who is utterly confused by the sudden change in his wife. And then there's Hugh Jamison, that luscious detective from Groverly who only wants to return the book to the Jardin estate in Alsace and who finds Lily as attractive as she find him. Suffice it to say, the night the two finally confess their attractions, the power in Nolan goes out several times.
The Chaos theory.
You have to pay close attention in this book, not only to find out where the Book of Cures is now but to keep track of who's who. Various shifts in point of view, usually at the end of the chapter, keep you alert. It all means something—a cosmic world view, if you will—but you have to keep on top of it. A helpful list in the back of the book suggests more titles. Writers of women's fiction, especially cozy mysteries, are constantly urged to "think outside the box" but when they do, agents and editors are often quick to admire the work but protest that they cannot sell it.
Kudos to Connie Spittler for creating a work that is truly original and delightful but not, as too many mysteries are, a quick, casual read with the villain obvious half way through; and kudos to River Junction Press of Omaha for taking a chance on this novel. Sep 06, Ashley marked it as to-read Shelves: tier-one-must-read-asap , wishlist. I didn't even read the blurb. Just saw the title and went "Yup. View all 4 comments. May 15, Kayel rated it did not like it Shelves: book-club , small-town , friendship , secrets , loneliness. Super Bummer!!
Hitting the Books (Library Lover's Mystery, #9) by Jenn McKinlay
SO slow paced, slow character development, just boring. PS - just in case anyone was wondering so far zero erotica. This is the sum-up so far: a young woman finds a lump in her breast and is afraid to tell her hubby don't know why So she decides to shut him out, move to the guest room, etc etc. She thinks if Super Bummer!! She thinks if she reads erotic novels it will "fill the void" so to speak. But she doesn't have any such books, and her small town doesn't even have a library, so she decides to form a book club. She gets one follower, an old widowed gypsy woman with no will to live and nothing else to do.
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Aug 03, Mary Jo Doig rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. Lily McFae is a librarian who had arranged a prestigious book exhibit for her library in Groverly, California. Then, suddenly and unjustly, she was released from her job before the exhibit arrived. Deeply dispirited, as Lily pondered how to begin a new life, she saw an old, parked bookmobile for sale.
She knew right then what she would do: buy the bookmobile and travel around to share with others her unfathomable love of books. Shortly before she started her journey, she re-visited her library and noticed an extra book tucked in a back corner of the exhibit, a rare book of herbs and cures, centuries old, lay there.
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The women, the eclectic townspeople, the rare book, the natural world, and more than a touch of the spiritual world intersect time and again in ways that keep the reader completely engrossed. The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies is a story for anyone who loves books, herbs, cozy mysteries, deeper insights into classic books, serendipitous encounters, and the remarkable synergy between circles of women with shared passions. Jul 31, K. A blend of mystery, humor, romance, and magical realism, this story revolves around a book club of nice ladies who seek a little bit more, both in their reading material and in their love lives.
A librarian who loses her job looks for a new way to live, a hair stylist negotiates love and health issues, and an aging gypsy gardener mourns her late love while grappling with a difficult nephew. The characters spring to life with laughter and spirit, coming together as distinct, interesting women seeking connection and meaning in their lives. An interesting context of history and herbal folklore provides spice.
As the ladies explore the obscure literary genre of erotica, the larger world connives and concocts cures for all manner of human maladies, and criminals scheme to profit, even reaching their small town. Meanwhile, friendships grow like herbs in a garden. It all makes for a page-turning read, a romp with interesting information, good humor and smart writing.
I love this book for its story, its dash of magic and literary savvy. Spittler has written an intelligent book worthy of book clubs and private literary adventurers. Jun 23, Billy Buttons rated it it was amazing. The ending was unpredictable and the style of writing was light. All in all, a very enjoyable story.
Excellent cover and blurb too. It turned a run of the mill mystery into a story of much greater depth. The three women were well developed with plenty of backstory to help the reader get to know and sympathise with them. It was wonderful. Oct 23, Normalene rated it it was amazing. This was a lovely quiet read. There were gypsies, bookmobiles, stolen antique books, a hunky detective and a beautiful tattooed librarian. You would not be embarrassed to discuss this book with your mother.
I, as a still-working, librarian, loved it and have told everyone about it. You should read it and laugh and cry and want to become a librarian too or maybe just wnat to read a good book. The list of classic erotica at the back is a hoot. Dec 29, Soccergypsy rated it liked it. Although this story was not what I was expecting, I enjoyed this book. At first the number of different characters made it hard to track who was doing what action but approximately one third of the way into the plot it began to flow seamlessly.
As a fan of mystery and thrillers I always attempt to discern the culprit and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. May 11, Kimberly Scheirer rated it did not like it. I didn't realize that this was a cozy mystery and that is clearly not my genre. The best part of the book: references to different books, which inspired a choice I made at the library yesterday. The worst part of the book: Reminders that Aggie is a gypsy every other paragraph.
She's a gypsy, got it. May 31, Amber Dawn Meyer rated it it was ok. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I was looking forward to the book but found it slow reading. It was too slow of a pace and didn't capture my attention. I don't understand the reasons why the characters acted the way they did i. What a tangled web we weave. Not only is the romance in this book completely swoon-worthy and Leila a total badass, the mystery is perfectly done.
Meredith gets mystery romances done right. Rei Shimura is a half-Japanese, half-American twenty-something struggling to make it in the big city of Tokyo. I loved the peek into Japanese culture and life in Tokyo this book provided. The ending is an improbable delight, and the Scotsman in question is just the right combination of infuriating and attractive. The descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson go to boarding school together.
A clever and amusing twist on the classic duo with plenty of Easter eggs for Sherlockians. A wildly popular mystery romance series penned by the wildly successful Nora Roberts. Not my cup of tea, but plenty of other people disagree. The first in another best-selling series that blends mystery with romance and comedy. The Adrien English series is closer to a traditional mystery series than romance, with a bookseller the eponymous Adrien who occasionally helps out a way-deep-in-the-closet detective.
With mysteries and other things. The books get better as the series goes on! Mystery writer solving crimes alert! Is her mysterious new love interest, Anatoly Darinsky, her number one suspect or her number one savior? This series has a fun, chick-lit vibe. About half of it takes place in a library filled with medieval manuscripts, and the other half is the protagonist WISHING he was in a library. Plus, can you ever go wrong with Grail mysteries? Susanna Kearsley writes old-school romantic suspense, and I mean that in the best way possible.
This novel takes place in Paris, with an amateur codebreaker hired to crack an 18th-century journal full of Jacobean intrigue. My favorite mystery romance series of all time! Nell Sweeney works as a governess for a Boston Brahmin family with Issues, not the least of which is their estranged eldest son, William, scarred physically and emotionally by his experiences during the Civil War.
These books have it all: fascinating characters, intensely memorable scenes, well-researched history, and slow-burn forbidden romance. Barbara Michaels also known as Elizabeth Peters is a go-to author for mystery romance novels. Also: talking ravens.
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This book is super spooky, with a surprisingly sexy romantic subplot. Think The Haunting of Hill House , but with an actual ghost, sexytimes, and a much better ending. Imagine The Kingsmen, except set in the Victorian Era and all women, and you have a pretty good idea of the set-up for this novel. I have to admit the love interest annoyed me because I thought he was a jerk. But hey, some people like jerky heroes. Another Sherlock adaptation, this one with a more adult tone.
Charlotte Holmes adopts the nom de guerre of Sherlock and hits the mean streets of London in order to stop a killer and restore her family name. There are three things you need to know about Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin: he has freakishly good eyesight, his OTL one true love broke his heart, and he has enemies. One of my favorite reads from last year. It has all that I could ask for in a novel: trains, aristocratic ladies hiding their true identity and sneaking out of the house, family secrets, scrappy pickpockets, crusading journalists.
Not to mention one of those Victorian romances where hand touching is akin to getting to third base. Why did I pick this book out of all the books in the Mary Russell series for this list?