Caturday Reads: Cosy Mysteries & Sci-Fi Adventure

The last few weeks have been both immensely busy and ridiculously stressful. Between having a heart attack, needing to prepare for my Uni’s upcoming orientation (which includes planning out my entire Bachelor’s programme and speaking with a plethora of advisors and counsellors), and then having an unexpected and horridly tragic death in my family, it’s been one fucking ride, let me tell you.

I have a scheduled post that shall go into more detail about the death in my family (goes live in a couple of days). While it’s a very intimate thing that I’m dealing with, it taught me something about myself, the process of grieving, as well as my perception of life and death as a Buddhist. It may turn into nothing more than incoherent prattling, but I also feel there’s some wisdom buried underneath it all that may help others in similar spots.

With Uni, I’m really excited to start a new journey. I chatted about it in a lengthy Twitter thing here after receiving negative feedback from family and loved ones about my latest impending journey. Let’s just say that people take life way too seriously sometimes and forget that a big part of life is to live, no matter what shape, size, or colour it takes sometimes. The last couple years have quite vividly and brutally shown me that life is too damn short not to jump on the opportunities—all of the bloody opportunities—as they arrive.

Anyhoo, let’s move on to the fun stuff: books! All of the books that I had intended to read a couple weeks ago ended up falling through because I simply didn’t have the attention span or time to devote to them. While I’m saddened by it, I’m also glad that I realised I had to put reading aside to just let Life do its thing, otherwise I may have fallen into an atrocious reading rut (my second biggest nemesis after spiders). Since things have been super hefty with respect to my emotional and mental well-being, I turned to chill, cosy books to help me unwind and ease my way back into my favourite hobby so it can do its gig as a self-care coping technique.

I’ve got two cosy mysteries, one of them I should be finishing up later today, and the second that takes place in the Roman Empire (how unique is that?). Then the third title on the list is the third instalment (funny enough) in a galactic medical sci-fi series I began earlier in the year. One of my goals was to read through the entire series in 2021, so I figured I should return to it before Uni starts up again and all of my free time goes into sobbing from the workload. GoodReads pages are linked via titles and any relative reviews for previous instalments are shared in their respective sections.

A Fatal Footnote (Open Book Mystery #2) by Margaret Loudon: A cosy mystery that follows the writer-in-residence at the local bookstore in Upper Chumley-on-Stoke, England, named Penelope Parish. She gets invited to the royal wedding of the year for the Duke and Duchess, the latter of which has become a wonderful friend for Pen. But when the Duke’s former girlfriend is found murdered in the gardens, the visiting writer rolls up her sleeves to find the culprit before the crime can be pinned on her friend’s dearly beloved new hubby.

I positively adored the first novel, Murder in the Margins, so much so that I pre-ordered this sequel, which hit stories at the beginning of July. Just like its predecessor, there are sassy ladies, lots of yummy tea, some salacious scandals, and even an unexpected visit from a member of Penelope’s family, which stirs up its own pot of mischief. It reads fast yet maintains a pleasant air of charisma and intrigue as Pen gets caught up in her sleuthing shenanigans. I have about twenty pages left, but as it stands, I’d HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Open Book Mystery series to all cosy mystery fans!

Medicus (Gaius Petreius Ruso Mystery #1) by Ruth Downie: A cosy mystery that transports the reader back to the days of the Roman Empire, it follows a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doc named Gaius Petreius Ruso. While working a thirty-six hour shift at the army hospital, he makes a brash decisions to save a young slave girl from the hands of her abusive owner(s). As he tries to figure out how to make life work with the traumatised young girl, the doc soon finds himself in the centre of a murder involving local prostitutes. Putting his forensic prowess into gear, he must hunt down this killer before he himself becomes the next victim of death.

I randomly happened upon this title while visiting my local Libs. Since I have never seen a cosy mystery set in the Roman Empire before, I became immediately intrigued by both the setting and the premise. I  looked up all of the books in the series and then checked them all out. My plan is to start reading this later tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t turn into a disappointment.

Endurance (Stardoc #3) by S.L. Viehl: A galactic medical sci-fi adventure that follows a Terran doctor named Cherijo Grey Veil who flees her home planet with her cat, Jenners, after she learns a terrible secret about her father. In the third instalment, Cherijo finds herself in positively treacherous situation with no idea how she’s going to make her escape.

There were a lot of things that I enjoyed about book one and book two, however, the way the character always found herself at the receiving end of some kind of sexual violence made me flustered with frustration. As such, I paused my reading for a few months. A couple of nights ago, I had a very random dream about this series and I knew it was time to return to it. My hope is that the things that irk me shall start to fade away, but given that this series is at least 20 years old, I’m going into it with some grains of salt.

That does it for my planned reading shindigs for the weekend and the upcoming week. Beyond that, I am continuing my retro anime watching quest (and enjoying it so wholeheartedly) and writing some short stories for kicks. If y’all would be interested in reading my short stories and/or poetry, please let me know and I can start sharing them here on the blog every once in a while.

With that, I bid you adieu! (Please stay hydrated and cool if at all possible.)

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2 thoughts on “Caturday Reads: Cosy Mysteries & Sci-Fi Adventure

  1. OK. Endurance looks like she just opened her door to a tunnel full of giant Sydney funnelweb spiders. If that isn’t frightening, I don’t know what is.

    The irony is that while the venom is lethal to primates, dogs, cats and most other mammals are immune. There is an antivenin for humans that is completely effective.

    • Apparently they’re an alien race of miners that reside on an asteroid where they mine for some really rare and cool elements that they then use in the production of their silk to make these highly indestructible alloy thingies.

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