Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time a detective thriller short story collection I loved and a historical fiction read with a supernatural/magical realism touch I thoroughly enjoyed.
“There was more chance of the Pope saying Jesus’s last words on the cross were ‘I’ll be back in three days; don’t eat my Easter eggs’ than Bradshaw making a joke about maths. It would be sacrilegious to her.”
It’s no secret that I consider the Washington Poe books to be one of my favorite series, and they sure do feature one of my absolute favorite character duos. I’ve loved the dynamics between Tilly and Poe from the very beginning, and it’s always such a blast to spend more time with them… I’m not sure why I hadn’t read this short story bundle yet, but when I stumbled across Cut Short on my kindle I couldn’t resist diving straight in. This bundle includes three short stories: The Killing Field, Why Don’t Sheep Shrink? and Dead Man’s Fingers. The first is rather short (and rather gruesome), but it features the well known Tilly and Poe banter and I love how Poe reacts to the case and his interaction with Jo Nightingale. The second I actually already read already; there was a link posted on Twitter at some point in the past if I remember right? Anyhow, I enjoyed the story the first time around, and I didn’t mind rereading it at all. It is set during COVID times, but things are kept light and the fact that Tilly and Poe have to self isolate together in his small house is hilarious. The third story once again has that banter I’ve come to expect and LOVE, and it had an interesting turn as well. All in all it turned out to be a successful bundle for me, and perfect for those who love the series as much as I do. There is no such thing as too much Tilly and Poe banter!
“You are the one. The circus – the real circus – it is your destiny.”
There was something about The Ladies Of The Secret Circus that gave me The Night Circus vibes, and I couldn’t resist adding it to my shelves. Magical realism can go both ways for me, but I was intrigued by this blurb with its promise of a generational curse and a dark and magical circus. I’m glad my TBR jar thought it was time to finally pick up my copy, because I ended up having an excellent time with this story. The Ladies Of The Secret Circus is hard to place into a neat little genre box, and this story is basically a mix of historical fiction, mystery, family saga, magical realism and supernatural fantasy. All with a little romance sprinkled in here and there… But it’s mainly the circus in Paris and the mysterious disappearances in Kerrigan Falls, Virginia, that steal the show. I honestly didn’t expect this story to go quite this dark and supernatural, but it worked surprisingly well! This had a lot to do with the author being able to blend the different genres and elements together seamlessly and the transitions between past and present were well handled as well. I also was a fan of the writing style, which managed to draw me right in and I loved especially the descriptions of the 1920s setting and the circus. Cecile’s journal was a true treasure! There were also quite a few things I never saw coming, and I liked how everything was wrapped up in the end. If you enjoy dark, engaging and supernatural historical fiction, The Ladies Of The Secret Circus is a real gem!