If you are like Miss MoneyPenny, you have been sunk down in the bleak, black bowels of winter and need a quick trip to a tropical island. Some fun in the sun with a cold beverage and a good book sounds just right about now.
I can't help with the island getaway but I can assist with some good wintertime reading. Pretty good segue, don't you think?
Anyway, I have been interested in the time after World War I in Great Britain and there are two really good series that I've been reading over the years. The first one is written by Jacqueline Winspear and the main character is called Maisie Dobbs, which is the title of the first book in the series. Maisie goes to the front in the war as a nurse and when she comes home, she sets herself up as a private detective. This is a very well written series and just gets better with each new book.
The second suggestion is written by Charles Todd. This is actually a mother and son writing team, which I couldn't possibly imagine considering how cussedly belligerent my son is, but they do live in separate states. Their main character is Ian Rutledge. He was a man from a wealthy family with a job at Scotland Yard and a lovely fiancee before the war. After the war, he is a broken man with the voice of a young Scotsman in his head that he had to put before a firing squad for refusing to obey the order to take his men into certain slaughter. When he gets out of the hospital, he gets his old job back at the Yard and begins the slow process of healing while solving cases. The first one in this series is A Test of Wills.
Both of these series are in the categories of literary/historical/mystery fiction. The research that has gone into these books is really amazing. You learn so much about the people and this time in history. I know that this sounds geeky but I like to look at a map just to get a general idea of where the places are even though they are all made up except for London.
Give these books a try if you are starting to get bored with seed catalogs and want something with more plot. Neither of these series has sex and violence, it is only alluded to, but they are definitely not cozies. That's okay with me because I have a very vivid imagination.