Sleep Well, 2016

This was a good year for books in my corner of the universe.  I wish I had done what people do, and kept nice little notes about what I was reading as I went along.

As you’ll recall, blogs were originally described as “online diaries”.  Although I like reading novels sometimes that are told in the format of a personal journal, I am not necessarily interested in reading or writing diaries.  Unless they’re garden diaries. Those are fascinating.

I think this blog needs a little more personality, or something.  One of the reasons I don’t write here often is because it seems as if has to be sort of formal. A “review” site.

The blog was started because an author whose books I love sent me an advance copy of a new book, and I wrote about it, but when the next in the series came out, the publisher asked the author to only send copies to “Book Review Blogs”.  Awkward for the author who had already promised copies to bloggers of not necessarily book blogs.


I created a Merlyn Perilous Goodreads account today, and I’ll link to it in the sidebar once I get it set up just so.

It was a little weird, the setup, as it had me check off a bunch of reading categories, then popped up pages of children’s and YA books for me to rate. No mysteries or science fiction or historical novels.

I was having fun, and only checked things I loved and had read, giving each five stars.  In my Facebook days, when I followed a ton of wonderful authors, I’d see them feeling bad that someone had given their book four or eek, three stars, and it made them feel awful.  As we know, Authors Are My Heroes, so it’s going to be five or nothing from me.

Look for a more casual Merlyn in 2017, more DOA-ish, more me-ish.

Happy Reading, Happy 2017

Merlyn Perilous


Answer Merlyn’s First Line Rebus Week of February 15

From Katherine (Kit) Kerr’s novel Daggerspell:

In the hall of light, they reminded her of her destiny.

Merlyn Rebus Week of February 15

Daggerspell is the first of fifteen novels set in the land of Deverry.

Daggerspell cover

The Bristling Wood
The Dragon Revenant
A Time of Exile
A Time of Omens
Days of Blood and fire
Days of Air and Darkness
The Red Wyvern
The Black Raven
The Fire Dragon
The Gold Falcon
The Spirit Stone
The Shadow Isle
The Silver Mage

Katherine Kerr

Merlyn’s First Line Rebus Week of January 18

I’m bringing back my ever popular first line from a book rebus here. I usually use the Festisite Rebus maker which has simpler icons, but it would not get the last few words of the sentence right. I find the My Rebus rebus maker to be a bit more challenging (and I used normal mode). I plan to post a rebus on Mondays and the answers on Thursdays. Best of luck!

Click To Enlarge

Merlyn Rebus Week of January 18

Fine Winter’s Reading

I finished A Box Of Gargoyles by Anne Nesbet. This charming book seems as if it should be the middle book in a trilogy, but the author published a different title altogether last year. I’m not sure I care for “companion novels”. If there’s more than one book with the same characters and world I want a nicely rounded trilogy or an ongoing series. I guess I’ll just keep an eye out for a third book.

box of gargoyles



I’m still reading Two Graves by Preston and Child. I like happy endings, and while these authors don’t exactly tell cheery tales, the books at least have satisfying conclusions. I’m nowhere near the end, but something I wished for is already completely squelched as a possibility. I’m sure things will wrap up and I’ll be sort of happy, or will at least feel that justice has been served. Right now I’m all sad facey.

sad facey


Stephanie Barron’s new Jane Austen mystery Jane and the Waterloo Map comes out February 2nd. The author’s real name is Francine Matthews, who knew?

Jane and the Waterloo

The excellent Bill Crider has a new Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery out called Survivors Will Be Shot Again. I save and savor these wry, witty tales of a small town Texas sheriff when I’m feeling low. I’m always cheered by the steady way the sheriff unflappably solves every case that comes his way.

survivors will be shot

Jo Nesbo has a new book out called Midnight Sun, described on his website as “A short, lyrical tale of a man on the run from a crime lord’s deadly retribution, lost far beyond the Arctic Circle, where the sun remains in the sky for months on end.”
I have one of his early titles on my “to be read” shelves, purchased because of high personal recommendations from readers. We shall see. It might be too gritty for me, meaning violent, with cold descriptions of the violence and perhaps a feeling of unrelenting desolation. Ya. Speaking of cold, reading something like this in January in the frigid north might be a mistake for me. You go ahead and read it and let me know. Maybe you’re somewhere warm with a icy drink in your mitt.

Midnight Sun Nesbo

Speaking of cold, the latest Jonathan Stride novel by Brian Freeman is The Cold Nowhere. I’ve met the author and he is this warm teddy bear type person, who writes seethingly suspenseful books set in Duluth, Minnesota. The Cold Nowhere is the 8th Jonathan Stride.

cold nowhere

One of the best hard science fiction writers you’ll ever find is Robert J. Sawyer. His newest novel comes out in March and is called Quantum Night.

quantum night

I love short stories, particularly science fiction, mystery and horror tales. These succinct little gems create a whole world and characters in a wonderful short readable bit. One of the masters of frightening short tales is Peter Straub. His newest collection is Interior Darkness.

Interior Darkness

Merlyn’s Mystery Reader’s Bingo

Looking for mystery reading ideas? Here’s a Mystery Reader’s Bingo for you. Reward yourself when you get Bingo! If you find yourself filling the whole sheet, off to the bookstore with you, to get a nice fat happy stack of books. This is created in Microsoft Word. I tried to also make it a PDF, if that worked I’ll link it below for easy printing. (It worked!) I’ve been meaning to create one of these for a long while. I love the categories and little pictures. Have fun.

Mystery Readers Bingo picture

Mystery Readers Bingo

Welcome to 2016

I haven’t posted here in ages. I was going to just post about everything on my Librariandoa blog, but then I saw I still had this bookmarked, found the login, and voila! Let’s get started!

I’m currently reading A Box of Gargoyles by Anne Nesbet. It’s a sequel to a Cabinet of Earths. Maya and her Bulgarian friend Valko try to escape the clutches of a sorcerer they thought they’d killed in the last book. The Paris setting is a charm, as are Maya’s family. Dad the bumbling scientist. Mom, ill with cancer and now perhaps something else. Her little brother James who makes everyone laugh. Cousin Louise, who used to be virtually invisible, now drives a daring car, dresses to the hilt, and acts mysterious all of the time.

box of gargoyles

I’m also nearly up to date reading the Agent Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Each one is better than the last. One took place on a cruise ship and I didn’t think that could be beat, then I started the next jaw dropper. I’ve just started Two Graves, the third novel that features the mystery of Pendergast’s wife Helen. Three more after this one, and I’l be able to crack open the latest adventure Crimson Shore. It arrived for me in early November, but I’ve wanted to read the rest of the series first.

two graves

The incredible Ellen Wittlinger has a new novel coming out in June 2016 called Local Girl Swept Away.

local girl swept away

She describes it: A girl walking out on the breakwater in Provincetown with her 3 close friends during a bad storm is suddenly missing, presumably swept off by the wind and carried away by the tide. How could it happen? What will they do now without Lorna, their leader?

I love the cover and title. It sounds as if it were right out of the headlines.

11 of the best modern sci-fi authors to read this Science Fiction Day, an article George Lindsay-Watson is great for keeping up on newer science fiction authors. I have my vast list of classic writers, but I’d love to read the best of the new folk too.

science fiction day 2016

Not a book, but based on a series is MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles. Bizarrely I’ve had the Sword of Shannara since college and haven’t read it. I think I had just read Lord of the Rings and it was advertised on the cover as being in the tradition of or something. I read a little and it was not at all like Tolkien, and you know how it is when you read something wonderful, for a bit nothing else pleases you. That said, I liked the ideas of the Chronicles of Shannara, and the worldbuilding, but much of the acting seemed vacuous. I’ll keep watching anyway.


Coming in April: The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King I’m sure the title by this brilliant author is sleight of hand of some sort. Mary must never die!

murder of Mary Russell

From the Barnes and Noble Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog, a fun list of new releases. New Book Roundup: Star Wars Secrets, Airship Heists, and Bad Mojo in Brooklyn

B and N Sci Fi Fantasy Blog

I’ll ambitiously try to post once a week. Can it be done? Maybe.

Happy Reading!