Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Mosaic Reading

Hailey, at her 16th birthday party

Two "new to me" Authors:

I am a voracious reader—preferring stories with mystery, suspense & action, as well as romance. In the Romance genre, I read Historical, Contemporary, SciFi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, & Alternative History. I am also particularly fond of classic  Mystery, Suspense & Thriller—though I prefer the stories that offer a strong dash of romance along with "whodunit" and plenty of action. (Sorry, no cozies.)

In the course of my reading, I am excited if I find a new author I really like once in three or four months. Incredibly, just this week, I found two. Neither is a new author—only new to me. In fact, when I saw an Amazon ad for a Mystery that sounded interesting and saw it was NUMBER NINE in a series, I groaned. Who wants to start with # 9? But it did sound intriguing, so I took a chance. I don't think I'd reached Page 5 before I was hitting "Home" on my Kindle, checking the name of the author, and planning to order Book 1 and work my way all the way back to #9. 

What was so special? As any author knows, it is really difficult to come up with a unique plot twist—I mean, absolutely everything has been done and done again, and yet again. But Anne Cleeland in her Acton and Doyle Mystery series actually comes up with some very unusual ideas. Her heroine is a plebian Irish Constable working for a modern-day Scotland Yard; the hero, an aristocratic Detective Inspector, whom Ms Cleeland endows with some highly unusual characteristics for either a hero or a Scotland Yard DI. (Avoiding a "spoiler" here.) In addition to these striking main characters, Ms Cleeland's has created an outstanding supporting cast and has an excellent bent for Mystery, a comfortable knowledge of police procedure, and an attitude that would quite curl the hair of most authors whose main characters are in law enforcement. (Perhaps closer to Barry Eisler than Linda Castillo?) And yes, the overall presentation of the three books I've read so far is clever, stylish, and far superior to the writing found in many mysteries.

The other book I picked up this week was a Victorian Historical with a dash of the Gothic. Frankly, there are a zillion Regency/Victorian/Edwardian Historical Romances out there, including a number of mine (as Blair Bancroft). I have my Tried & True favorites, but I'm constantly looking for a new voice, and constantly disappointed. But wow, not this week. I found the blurb for the first book of Mimi Matthew's Parish Orphan Series in the same place as the Acton and Doyle series—in an Amazon ad. Why I decided to read it when I've had so many disappointments, I have no idea. But again, within the first few pages, I was shaking my head and saying, "Wow, this one's a keeper." Marvelous characters, an ensemble cast, and well-written. Yes, there was a plot twist that made me squirm, and yes, it required a bit of suspended disbelief, but then so many Historical Romances do. Needless to say, I have already pre-ordered the next book in the series.

To repeat:  The Acton and Doyle series by Anne Cleeland
                  Paris Orphan Series by Mimi Matthews

And yes, both series are strong on Romance without straying into graphic sex. Definitely my kind of "read."

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For a link to Blair Bancroft's web site, click here.

For Blair's Facebook Author Page, with background info on
the writing of Ghosts, click here. 

For a brochure for Grace's Editing Service, Best Foot Forward,


Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I read a couple of Acton and Doyle books-- didn't know they had reached 9-. I thought Acton a trifle fond of doing his own thing. In the last book I read of the series, I thought he had the mind set of an assassin. He was willing to be judge, jury, and executioner of anyone he thought might possibly be a problem. I prefer the Deborah Crombie books about Scotland yard. Elizabeth George was probably the first to have a popular series about a couple working at the Metropolitan Police. Her earl of rank and the cockney lower rank took an unexpected turn. Many swear by her stories.
    I like your Mosaic moments.

  2. Thank you! Yes, Acton is an odd character, which is what makes the books different. As a reader, I appreciate the twist, even though I might not approve of such a character in real life.