One is called Dear Mad’m, a memoir written by a woman who, at 80, decides to leave her city life in San Francisco and live in the Siskiyou mountains instead. Her adventures with a cougar, a billy goat, and a mule are hilarious and touching. She recounts stories of the people around her, her neighbors Dearsir and Up’nUp, two “boys” working placer claims, Millicent, the girl who has memorized Emily Post, Nora, Up’nUp’s impulsive wife, and the other folks around in clear and entertaining prose. She has a sense of humor not only for other people’s foibles, but also for her own, which makes her an endearing narrator.
The other book is a collection of three of Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher novels, Cocaine Blues, Flying Too High, and Murder on the Ballarat Train. What fun! Phryne is a detective in the mold of Peter Wimsey (and the Sayers references are numerous and satisfying!). She dresses like a flapper (it is 1928 in the books, of course), flies airplanes, drives too fast, and thoroughly enjoys herself with handsome young men. And in her spare time, she solves crimes. The stories are not in the least challenging, but I ate them up like candy.
Now I can return them in good conscience!