Here we are over a month into 2006, which seems like a good time to reflect on how things are going. First, the good news. While I may have my eccentricities, I am clearly not as crazy as this guy, though I guess you have to the guy his due for creating a blog that is mentioned in The Bible. Even if the shout out is in a code only he understands, having a holy blog has to go a long way toward getting you the a-ok from Saint Peter. I wonder if my blog and I are mentioned, or does God give props on a paid advertising basis only?
Anyway, even if my blog isn't exactly holy, the first month of 2006 turned out to be a full one for Martinaland. So, to all (a.k.a both of you) who said "Update your blog", I say "Bitch, please. I've been busy!" Now that is out of the way, I can tell you that with the new year came a flurry of activity - a trip to California, job opportunities, cool new hair, a number of new projects, and a final(ish) plan for the roomening. If the month of January is any indication, the year to come will not be a boring one (though I make no promises for this post, which could quite easily become long and rambly, shambling on like a movie that goes on for a half an hour too long).
Perhaps the best discovery of late December/all of January was Kate Ross' Julian Kestrel series. I know I touched upon Cut to the Quick and the fact that I was developing a book crush in my year end reading wrap up, but that was before I had read the whole series. I can tell you now that I still have a book crush not seen since the 70's heyday of Aragorn, Joe Hardy and Jim Rockford (though Rockford is, of course, technically a t.v. crush). I don't know what possessed me to let Ross' books sit around on a shelf for over a year before getting around to reading them. Here love was right under my nose, and I didn't even notice it. I guess I was looking for love in all the wrong bookshelves.
As it turns out, the Kestrel series are perfect light reading of the sort that can be devoured in a weekend. But don't let "light" fool you, the stories are so good with all all their twists, turns, and detail about 19th century society. I have to think that the detail is inspired by Ross' own background as a lawyer. What I love so much about the books is that Ross managed to develope a real, believable personality for her gentleman dandy crime solver and the other characters in the series. Through the course of the series, not only the individual mysteries are revealed, but also Kestrel's life and background, through a series of teasing revelations in each story. Additionally, each book includes references to past mysteries he's solved, which makes reading each new volume like reminiscing over shared experiences with an old friend.
It is such a shame Kate Ross died after writing only four volumes. While there are those series that definitely go on for too long and then become progressively more ridiculous (Laurell K. Hamilton, I'm looking at you!), it is always sad to see a good, non-ridiculous one cut off, especially when it's because the author died too young.