Thursday, January 12, 2023

Darcie Wilde

Darcie Wilde is the award-winning author of stylishly adventurous historical mysteries and romances, including the Rosalind Thorne Mysteries, a Regency-set series inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, as well as the Regency Makeover Trilogy. She has also written, under the name Sarah Zettel, Locus and Philip K. Dick Award-winning novels, including Fool's War, a New York Times Notable Books of the Year selection.

Wilde's new novel is The Secret of the Lost Pearls.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’m writing this during the first week of 2023. 2022 was a rollercoaster of a year for me personally, as I know it was for a lot of people. One of the ongoing bright spots was the number of good books that came my way.

Sister Novelists by Devoney Looser. Warning: This is a total fangirl moment. I loved this book! I started reading it for research, which rapidly turned into reading for pleasure and more than a little amazement. This is a biography of Jane and Maria Porter, sisters who were contemporaries of Jane Austen, and between them invented the genre of historical fiction years before Sir Walter Scott came along and took credit for it. It’s a big book, but perfect for reading on a long winter’s night. The writing is approachable and yet full of amazing detail about these women’s lives and the world they moved through. Anybody who reads or watches works set in the English Regency should read this one. It is nothing short of amazing.

The Haunting of Maddy Claire by Simone St. James. This one was off the beaten path for me. I don’t read horror on a regular basis, but I do love a gothic. Daphne DuMaurie’s Rebecca is one of my all time faves. Maddy Claire was a real discovery for me. I heard about it on the She Wore Black podcast and shoutout to the host, because I am now a superfan. Set in the 1920s about a woman who is tired of her dreary, lonely life, and who ends up in a job as an assistant to a paranormal investigator going out to the countryside to investigate a particularly active haunt. It’s well-written, got great characters, loads of suspense, and a great love story all told with gothic flare. There is definitely going to be more Simone St. James in my upcoming year.

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill. I recommended this one to a friend. When I asked her what she thought of it, she said, “That book is a real mind-bleep.” She’s right. It’s a piece of meta-fiction where in between chapters we’re getting letters about the process of writing the book. This kind of structure can, frankly, get annoying in a hurry, unless the author’s got a good reason for it, and they handle it with energy and expertise. Gentill does both, and her letters helped increase what was already a suspenseful mystery.
Visit Darcie Wilde's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Secret of the Lost Pearls.

--Marshal Zeringue