Well here we are. The end of 2020. This has been a weird year. There’s been bad, but there’s also been good too, if you look for it. When COVID-19 really hit the US in March and everything shut down, I thought wow! This is going to give me some great time for reading. We can’t go anywhere – no sports or band for my boys, no travel for spring break, nothing is open. This will be a nice few weeks to relax and read. But the opposite ended up happening to me. As the days and weeks and then months passed, I couldn’t concentrate on a book. I would stare at a page forever but not read. After a while I realized I was better off listening to audio books while I worked on a puzzle or a chore around the house than try to read anything on paper (or a screen). For a while, I wasn’t sure how to get out of my reading slump.
Normally I like to share my top ten reads of the year, but in 2020 I feel compelled to say thank you to three of my favorite authors instead.
I really want to thank Gretchen Archer, Wendy Tyson, and Iona Whishaw. These women pen three of my favorite series to read, and each of their 2020 releases helped to bring me back to the printed page.
- Double Trouble by Gretchen Archer – I knew opening this book that I was going to laugh. The thing I love about Davis Way is that she doesn’t always make the best choices, but she works with what she has and she does everything in her power to protect those she loves along the way. Davis provided an escape with a fun caper filled with zany situations and plenty of laughs (and also heart) to keep me going.
- Sowing Malice by Wendy Tyson – Whenever I pick up a new Greenhouse Mystery, it feels like I’m going home. I love the (fictional) town of Winsome, Pennsylvania. If I could live in Winsome or Stars Hollow (The Gilmore Girls) I would in a heartbeat. Even when almost all of our 2020 vacation plans got scrapped, I still got to take a trip to visit Winsome and read along as Megan solved another mystery. The only problem is I always wish I could have some of Bibi and Chef Alvaro’s cooking while I’m reading.
- A Match Made for Murder by Iona Whishaw – Lane Winslow has become a favorite detective of mine. One of the things that makes these books unique is that Ms. Whishaw uses two timelines to tell the story – Lane Winslow (and others) in the present, and then another narrative from the past. As the story progresses the past and present meet to solve the mystery. The piece that I really loved about this year’s mystery was that it takes place during Lane and Inspector Darling’s honeymoon. My heart really needed this love story as we were navigating and managing our new COVID-19 lifestyles.
All three of these stories feature strong female sleuths, and they all speak to me for different reasons. I am so thankful to have books like these that feel like friends, especially during this strange year of 2020. Thank you, thank you again to Gretchen Archer, Wendy Tyson, and Iona Whishaw for bringing these characters into my home this year and more importantly bringing me back to my love of reading. 2020 has been a journey and books like these truly helped me along the way.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy new year. Here’s to 2021.