1. What are you currently reading? Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown. I watched the CNN series on Diana and saw Spencer in the theater. It got me thinking about another generation's rogue princess: Margaret.
This biography of Queen Elizabeth's younger sister is really not a biography at all. It's a series of anecdotes told by people who knew Princess Margaret at different points in her life. In the 1950s, she was one of the most desirable women in the world. In the 1960s, she was half of England's most glamorous couple. By the 1970s, she was a campy joke, a rich, older woman who collected boy toys. Throughout all her incarnations, she was good copy for the British tabloid press.
This book is terrifically entertaining. All the anecdotes are interesting -- outrageous and poignant. She is often monstrous. But as awful as she is, I still feel sorry for her. She was who she was because of her birth. Period. She believed she was prettier, more charismatic and better suited to serve than Elizabeth, but she was always just the kid sister. It defined and frustrated her. If only she'd had the patriotism and empathy that made Diana The Peoples Princess.
2. What did you recently finish reading? Clammed Up by Barbara Ross. Thinking of Snowdens ... Julia Snowden's family has been running a clambake on Maine's Busman's Harbor for generations. After her father's fatal bout with cancer, the business has hit hard times and Julia is desperate to save it.
She's hung her hopes on expanding from just clambakes to including private parties and events. The first, a wedding, goes horribly awry when the best man is found dead. The police close her down as they investigate the murder, and finances go from bad to worse. More than just the business, the bank could get her widowed mother's home. The sooner the murder is solved, the sooner the business can reopen.
The first of the Maine Clambake series, it was a very good cozy mystery. It established its setting (if you like seafood, the descriptions of the meals will leave you drooling), it has a likeable heroine who is smart but far from perfect, there's little or no gore and a soupcon of romance. It ended a little too neatly and I was disappointed when the killer was revealed because it didn't make a ton of sense to me.
But there was plenty here to enjoy, and I'm sure I'll be back to visit Julia and Busman's Harbor again.
3. What will you read next? I don't know.