I only read three books on vacation, which is kind of sad. It should have been more, especially with an almost ten-hour car ride both ways, but I got bogged down with book number two and should’ve given up on it, but didn’t.
I finished Laura Lippman’s Baltimore Blues, the first in the Tess Monaghan series, in the car on the way to the Smoky Mountains (after reading some magazines on the first part of the drive that I had been stockpiling). I’ve been meaning to read this series for a long time, but the fact that my branch of the library carries all of the titles in the series except for the first one is the only plausible explanation I have for not getting into this series sooner, especially after I loved Every Secret Thing so much. This first book in the series was good, not great, but that didn’t stop me from reading #2, Charm City, after vacation (and finishing it today during lunch) and I definitely think I’ll work my way through the rest of the series. The thing I liked least about Baltimore Blues is how much Tess mocks Baltimore. As a local, I feel she should be more like the people she mocks (a Baltimore accent, eat seafood, etc.). She comes off as more of an outsider to Baltimore than someone who was born and raised there.
Vacation book #2, the one that slowed me down, was Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline. I have read all of the books in her “all-female law firm” series and really enjoy this series set in Philadelphia. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get into this book at all, which is considered a standalone novel, but still features a young female lawyer, an AUSA, in Philadelphia. The story moved very slowly, after a fast-paced opening sequence, and dragged on for way too long. The romantic side-story was too convenient and unbelievable. The friendship between the two female main characters, one black and one white, was more realistic and interesting, but couldn’t carry the entire novel. I read this book every afternoon while H. was taking her nap and still didn’t make very much progress. And considering that we didn't have very many cable channels to distract me, that’s saying a lot. I finally finished it the night before we left.
That left me free to start Case of Lies by Perri O’Shaughnessy on the long ride home. This is another series that I read, the Nina Reilly series set in Lake Tahoe, and another one that I really enjoy. This is book #11 in the series and it didn’t disappoint. Based on an interview I read at Bookreporter.com, it may be a couple of years before we see Nina Reilly again, which will seem like a long wait. But Case of Lies was definitely better than Devil’s Corner, since I finished it before we made it home.