Reviews by Jeanne
An Irish Country Wedding by Patrick Taylor continues the story of Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly and his young protégé Dr. Barry Laverty as they minister to the good people of Ballybucklebo in the early 1960s. In this entry, O’Reilly is planning his wedding to old flame Kitty when his loyal housekeeper, Kinky Kincaid, is stricken with a serious ailment. In the meantime, there are the usual village problems to be sorted and perhaps the start of a new romance. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the Irish Country series, which just seems to get better and better. If you like the stories of Miss Read, James Herriot, or even Alexander McCall Smith, this might be a series for you. The stories are gentle but there’s a practical, no nonsense feel to them. Some things work out as expected; others don’t. The Irish setting is absolutely delightful, though the author makes sure that it isn’t seen as purely idyllic. He avoided Irish politics for the most part, but does start to address the question a bit in this book. Here’s an earlier series review: Irish Country Series
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terry Wilding is a collection of fantasy stories in a Victorian setting. As usual with these editors, there’s a strong collection of stories and excellent selection of authors, including Gregory Maguire (Wicked), multiple award winning novelist Tanith Lee, and Ellen Kushner (Thomas the Rhymer.) A number of the stories feature magical takes on real people such as Queen Victoria and the Brontes, real events (the phosphorous strike) or well-known literary creations (Scrooge and Frankenstein.) If you like the era and enjoy a bit of the fantastical, there’s sure to be something you like in this collection.