Book of the Week: Double trouble special

Oh gosh.  I had such trouble picking this.  It came down to two choices – the latest Dandy Gilver book, which I devoured Sunday-into-Monday last week or  Jojo Moyes Me Before You, which I was *sure* I had read, and then realised that I hadn’t and really ought to get in there quick before the sequel arrives on Thursday.  But, if I make Me Before You this week’s BotW, then what happens if After You is amazing.  But then what happens if After You isn’t awesome – and I haven’t said my piece on Me Before You.  Basically, this boils down to a lesson in why I shouldn’t get behind with books.  Which is what this whole blog is about.  And you know I’ve written this whole opening paragraph without actually having decided – the post title just says Book of the Week and I’m still dithering.

Dandy

Jojo

Dandy

Jojo

Dang it. Double-header special it is.

So, lets start with Me Before You.  I’m sure you’ve all read it already (as I said, I was convinced that I had too), but in case you’ve missed it, it tells the story of Lou, who loses her job at a cafe and finds a new one, working for Will Traynor – whose life was changed forever in a motorbike accident.  If you haven’t read it and think I should say more about the plot, I’m sorry, but I don’t want to give too much away.  But it’s funny and romantic and it had me surreptitiously crying in public.  It could have been a very depressing book – there are some really serious issues in here and I was seriously worried that the ending was going to make me really miserable – but it’s not.  A lot of research has clearly been done and it wears it very lightly.  Will is clearly one individual, in a specific situation, who is making a certain choice – but there will be people out there who don’t like the way that this unfolds.*

On to Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom, which is the 10th in the interwar-set detective agency series and finds Dandy in the ballrooms of Glasgow investigating threats made against a dancer.  I’ve read just over half of this series and this is as good as any of them.  I love the dynamic between Alec and Dandy (although as I’ve not read a couple of the early books so I think I’ve missed some bits there) and the dance hall world of Glasgow is compelling.  And despite the pretty covers, the plots are often quite dark and there’s a (relatively) high body count.  They’re smart and different and don’t rely on murder mystery cliches, but without going for lots of sexual violence.

So there you go – two books of the week this week, a lot of dithering and another lesson in why a big book backlog isn’t good!

* And I wish there could have been a magic fix ending, but that’s not how real life works.

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