Raise your hand if you’ve been watching Downton Abbey! If you’re not, really seriously do (I hear the first season is on Netflix, and you can watch previous shows on www.pbs.org). It’s worth the hype, even though it’s a total soap. It’s a little odd for me to be caught up in a national phenomena. For years, I’ve been out of the loop, missing American Idol, Survivor, The Office, and much more, reading updates from my house in Morocco or Mauritania about what all my friends were watching.
Why am I starting a post on a book blog about a TV show? Downton Abbey is a natural fit for me because for years, I’ve immersed myself in that time period in books. It started when I was in high school and my brothers started letting me read their extensive collections of P.G. Wodehouse. I still remember the first time I read Right Ho, Jeeves which includes the masterful scene in which Gussie Fink-Nottle gets drunk when presenting school prizes at Market Snodsbury Grammar School. I howled with laughter so loudly that people in my college dorm were banging on my door to make sure I was all right. Just thinking about that book makes me giggle, even now.
From there, I went on to love Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and Ngaio Marsh, among others. And when I read The Confession last month, I knew I’d found another author to love. The Confession is written by a mother-son team who call themselves Charles Todd (actually the son’s name. The mother is Caroline). I find this idea really intriguing, and am indulging in a little daydream in which Elliot and I (calling ourselves P.G. Elliot) write fast-paced best-selling books pulling upon his historical expertise (which he’s already got at 16) and my literary skills (which I’ve already got at—oh never mind). They will be very funny. I mentioned this idea to him and he didn’t seem overjoyed but I’m sure he’ll come round.
I hadn’t heard of this unusual duo before reading The Confession, and I’m very happy to learn they’ve written scads of books, which I am going to read in my spare time. The Confession is part of a series following detective Ian Rutledge. They’ve also written a series about Bess Crawford, a resourceful WW1-era British nurse. If you, like me, enjoy few things more than a nice crisp WW1 mystery, you will join me in rejoicing.
There’s a new Bess Crawford book coming out in June, and to celebrate, Book Club Girl is hosting the Book Time with Bess Read-Along. We’re going to read and discuss all 4 books in the series! The first kicks off March 26th. I’m going to participate—would you like to join me? I think it’ll be great fun! Click over and sign up at Book Club Girl, but let me know in comments if you’ll be reading along at home.
Elizabeth mis-spent her childhood with her nose in a book, and she shows no sign of snapping out of it anytime soon. Learn more at her blog Planet Nomad.