Yes, I read a lot. And as a result I’m often asked what are the best books to read. To be honest, I’ve no perfect answer for that one. What kind of books do you like to read? I don’t want to recommend a thriller if you can’t stomach them or a romance if the idea of people swooning at the sight of a six-pack makes you gag.
What are the best books to read on my bookshelf?
I learnt not to be too picky when it comes to reading. No, I won’t read everything, but I stopped saying I don’t read sci-fi. I tried it and liked it and some of the books ended up as my answer to the best books to read question. But I won’t discuss different reading tastes. I want to write about one of the latest books I read. A Proposal to Die For, the first book in Lady Alkmene Mysteries by Vivian Conroy.
A Proposal to Die For, a Lady Alkmene Mystery Book Review
I came across this book after chatting to the author on Twitter. Thank you social media for continuously supplying me with enough reading material. After reading the blurb, it became pretty clear that I’ll love this book. Since my childhood I’ve ploughed through Agatha Christie’s novels, loving both Poirot and Miss Marple, so stumbling across another Art Deco detective was right up my street.
You just have to love Lady Alkmene Callender. She’s the most brilliant character. While her father is gallivanting around India on another of his botanic adventures, she finds the life of a proper lady in London fairly dull. Saving her from days of drinking tea and only worrying about the proper attire and etiquette is the arrival of a glamorous actress Evelyn Steinbeck from the USA. And when Ms Steinbeck’s uncle, Silas Norwhich is suddenly found dead, Lady Alkmene’s interest is piqued.
Our heroine is desperate to uncover the truth behind what she believes is murder and she enlists the help of an Anglo-French journalist Jake Dubois. Jake believes her to be an upper-class meddling woman and isn’t keen on collaboration, but they both soon discover that working together has certain benefits.
This pair is one of my favourite book character pairs. The chemistry between them is off the charts and I absolutely loved them butting their heads on occasion. The portrayal of the class differences in this book was the best bit. I didn’t mind that I could pinpoint the culprit fairly early on, reading this book was more about the interaction between Lady Alkmene and Jake.
And they are far from perfect. Which I guess makes them human and therefore more enjoyable to follow on their quest to find the murderer. Lady Alkmene is intelligent, but tied down by certain class restrictions as she’s been protected from interacting with the “real world”, which sometimes leads to her not being able to pick on relationships and lifestyle of the other classes.
I’m also a sucker for anything 1920s, so the setting, 1920s London and English countryside, suited me just fine. As soon as I saw the cover, I knew this book is going to be a treat. And it was. I finished it in a bit more than a day and grabbed the second one straight away. Once you meet Lady Alkmene and Jake, you’ll want to stay in their company for as long as possible.
If you enjoy reading, this is one of the best books to read. It’s not difficult, I’d sooner describe it as a cozy read. And yes, I do recommend it. Oh, and it’s only £0.99 at the moment via the above link.