It’s the last week in July. In a more normal year, my wife and I would be heading for somewhere sunny, like the Croatian coastline shown behind the books in this week’s picture. This year, we’ll be staying home and waiting the next wave of COVID infections and deaths to wash over us. So I’m looking for the kind of beach read books I’d be reaching for if I was on holiday.
I’ve read both authors before and I know that they can make me laugh and keep me interested. I’m hoping to be kept amused and to have my curiosity tickled.
‘A Good Day For Chardonnay’ -Sunshine Vikram #2 by Darynda Jones (2021)
I read ‘A Bad Day For Sunshine’ the first book in this relax-and-enjoy-the-ride series during the first Lockdown last year. It was a fun read and a great distraction. In the first book, Sunshine Vikram returns to her home town of Del Sol, that she left when she was seventeen, to take up the job of Sherrif, an office she was elected to in absentia via a mysterious means used by her parents. She brings with her her fourteen-year-old daughter, a dark personal history and a secret determination to hunt down the man whose actions changed her life.
I liked Sunshine and her daughter, and found myself rooting for them to succeed. I also enjoyed the constant babble of humour, like hearing a brook in the background, that pepper up the story.
More than a year later and I’m again looking for distraction so I was very pleased that the second book in the series was released as an audiobook this week. It place Sunshine and her daughter at the heart of a fresh set of disasters and I’m looking forward to watching them win through.
‘Doing Time’ – Time Police #1 by Jodi Taylor(2019)
I’m a fan of The Chronicles of St Mary’s. The first book, ‘Just One Damned Thing After Another’ was one of the most original things I’d read and perfectly nailed the British culture of muddling through a crisis. I’ve read the first ten books, enjoying some more than others but I was beginning to feel that the series was running out of steam to the elventh book is still on my TBR pile.
St Mary’s and the Time Police don’t get on. They’ve even been to war with one another. St Mary’s is the home of optimistic, plucky anarchy. The Time Police come from St Mary’s future and are all about efficient enforcement of grim but necessary for the greater good prohibitions on time travel. In the most recent books, the two have reached an accommodation.
Over time, as the crisises and their consequences take their toll, the Chronicles Of St Mary’s books have become darker and more serious. I’m hoping that this spin-off series, told from the point of view of junior and not very competent members of the Time Police, will bring back a sense of innocent fun and mayhem and make me smile and maybe even laugh.