Sometimes when I'm caught up in the dramas of murder mysteries, I forget what day of the week it is or what time I need to wake up the next morning.
I didn't mean to read a book about Passover and Easter during Holy Week, but that's how the reservation queue at the library worked out. Though it's described as a novel, The Fifth Servant feels like the first book in a mystery series. A murder mystery that takes place in Prague's ghetto in the late 16th century, it features a Polish scholar as the outsider who investigates the crime. There were a lot of Talmudic side conversations and musings about life and faith and persecution, and the mystery itself was a good one. The end of the book wasn't very satisfying, in that so many interesting characters had only minor parts. And the half 1st-person, half 3rd-person narrative kept throwing me off.
When I got curious about what might be left of the old Jewish quarter of Prague, a few minutes on wikipedia told me that basically half the events in Wishnia's book are inspired by real-life people or tales. That made me realize what was missing that would have tied up the loose ends for me: an afterword or notes on the history and research behind the characters and the historical events.
But I finally caught up on the two most recent installments in my favorite, favorite, favorite murder mystery series (or one of them, anyway). The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches has our adorable evil genius detective faced with two new challenges: solving her own mother's decade-old murder, and dealing with her initiation into her family's long tradition of being master spies. Which is AWESOME.
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust has our heroine shipped off to boarding school in Canada to follow in her famous mother's footsteps and continue her secret agent training.
I really, really, really don't want to wait more than a year for the next installment, but I know time flies and when nerd child detective Flavia de Luce appears in her next book, it will seem like no time has passed at all!
In the meantime, there are other frigates...