Thursday, March 2, 2017

Carola Dunn

Carola Dunn is the author of twenty Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, set in England in the 1920s, four Cornish mysteries, and over 30 Regencies.

Her latest novel is Buried in the Country, the fourth Cornish mystery.

Recently I asked Dunn about what he was reading. Her reply:
I recently finished League of Dragons, the last of a fantasy/alternate history series by Naomi Novik. It's set in the Napoleonic Wars in a world where humans have tamed dragons.

The two main characters are Temeraire, a Chinese Imperial dragon, and his captain, Jack Lambert, a British sailor who by chance was present at his hatching and thus became his partner. They are part of the forces fighting to stop Napoleon's invasion of Britain and his attempts to take over Europe and indeed the world.

With dragons fighting alongside the men of each nation, the course of the war is changed from history as we know it. However, Novik stays true to the period in other ways. For one reason or another, Temeraire and Jack visit every continent, discovering the varying status of dragons and the ways in which they have affected the societies of which they are—in one way or another—a part.

Jack and Temeraire are very sympathetic characters, their relationship develops in interesting ways, and their adventures are thrilling and cleverly plotted. The books are well-written. I don't read much SF/fantasy these days but I thoroughly enjoyed this series.

I've also been reading a lot of mysteries from the early years of the last century. Several small publishing houses are reprinting long unavailable titles by such authors as J.S. Fletcher, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Louis Joseph Vance, Mary Roberts Rhinehart, and the inimitable R. Austin Freeman, creator of Dr. Thorndike, always my favourite.

On the non-fiction side, I've just read The Map that Changed the World, an interesting biography of William Smith, who would be better known if he hadn't such a commonplace name. He was the first person to investigate strata in depth and produce a detailed—and beautiful—map of geology over a large area, ie the whole of England. With very little formal education and the ensuing prejudice, he nonetheless became a major figure in scientific circles.
Learn more about the book and author at Carola Dunn's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Carola Dunn and Trillian.

The Page 69 Test: Manna from Hades (the 1st Cornish Mystery).

The Page 69 Test: A Colourful Death (the 2d Cornish Mystery).

The Page 69 Test: The Valley of the Shadow (the 3d Cornish Mystery).

The Page 69 Test: Buried in the Country (the 4th Cornish Mystery).

--Marshal Zeringue