Good Husband Material, Homecoming & No Mallets Intended

These are my three latest reads, two “women’s” fiction and one cozy mystery.  Good Husband Material is by Trisha Asley, an author whose work I have enjoyed in the past.  In this book, Tish is married to James, who on the surface is “Good Husband Material”.  Tish’s mother certainly seems to think so.  Tish follows her dreams and moves with James to a  small country cottage and in the course of renovating it and adjusting to country life, she starts to reassess what it means to be a good husband, a good wife or to have a good marriage.  Her assessment is fueled by the reappearance of Fergal, her first lost love and on the surface, definitely not “good husband material”.  Fun plot with interesting characters who, for the most part, show growth, over the course of the story.  The pacing made this seem like  a very quick read with a well developed setting and characters.  Recommended reading for fans of women’s fiction.

Homecoming by Cathy Kelly centers around  Golden Square in Dublin and its succession of tenants.  The characters lives intermingle, often under the subtle or not so subtle guidance of Eleanor a retried psychoanalyist who has fled New York and returned “home” in the grip of grief over the loss of her husband Ralf.  Eleanor is a keen observer of people and her observations and interactions elicit change and reaction in the other characters.  Through Eleanor and the daily life on the square the reader meets sisters, Nicky and Connie, one the picture of feminimity and the other not, Nora, the single podiatrist, Megan Flynn, the disgraced actress, and others.  Nicely done  “slice of life” revolving around a place, rather than one individual person.  I preferred this to some of the other books by Cathy Kelly that I have read.

No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton is the fourth book in a cozy series that I am really enjoying. In tis book, Jaymie is working with a group to restore and preserve a grand manor in town.  There is discussion of the vintage pieces that Jaymie collects and uses in her designs.  There is an attack on Jaymie and of course, a murder.  The plot lines concern questions of inheritance rights, fraud, stolen property, murder and some romance.  I really did enjoy the plot line of Jaymie’s own romance in this book of the series.  The mystery is well plotted and the pacing keeps the story moving quickly making for a quick read.  Recommended for cozy mystery readers.

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