Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the Current

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the CurrentThe Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
Series: Laetitia Rodd Mysteries
Published by Bloomsbury USA on September 13, 2016
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Benson, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator.

Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her arch intelligence, her iron discretion, and her immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow. When Frederick brings to her attention a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family’s new governess—quickly making herself indispensable.

But the seemingly simple case—looking into young Charles Calderstone’s “inappropriate” love interest—soon takes a rather unpleasant turn. And as the family’s secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.

Were it not for the intervention of Shae, I would have missed The Secrets of Wishtide. She knows my love of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and insisted that I give this book a shot; I was wary because of the widow of an archdeacon bit. Credit goes to Shae for pushing me out of my own prejudices so that I could read this delightful murder mystery, which is sort of somewhere between Miss Fisher’s and Miss Marple.

Don’t come to The Secrets of Wishtide expecting a Miss Fisher. They have some similarities, like their indefatigable curiosity, nosiness, and skill for observation. However, despite being an open-minded archdeacon’s widow, Mrs. Rodd is very much a product of her era and not an outright feminist like Miss Fisher. Mrs. Rodd occasionally responds to comments about the unfairness of women’s roles, and she accepts that as how things are.

The mystery itself is well-done; I did call the villain early on, but I could not predict the way everything unraveled. The characters involved are all well-developed, and I enjoyed the little side ships immensely. Amusingly, Mrs. Rodd fancies herself a bit of a matchmaker, but she’s absolutely terrible at it; I called the ships and she very much did not. There’s not really any romance so far yet, but her relationship with Blackbeard does exhibit some Miss Fisher’s-like promise.

Thank you to Shae for the recommendation. Now I begin the wait for the second installment.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the CurrentSong of the Current by Sarah Tolcser
Series: Song of the Current #1
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 6, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Pages: 373
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) read Song of the Current early, and she’s the only reason I got to this one pre-publication because I am woefully behind on ARCs right now. As expected, if Gillian calls ship, I’m going to ship it. Song of the Current shines in ship and setting, an altogether delightful debut.

Caro Oresteia grew up with her dad, sailing on his wherry which transports cargo both legal and smuggled through the Riverlands. I love the swampy setting, and the nosy gods of this world. Caro’s a boss bitch who knows what she wants to do; her intense love of sailing and lack of desire to be anything but a ship captain is super awesome. Also, this book is full of totally boss women, and I love it. Like, literally her whole goal in this book is to save her dad by completing a sketchy and dangerous delivery for the government.

So I do think the opening drama was a bit silly because her dad refused to carry the mystery box of danger, and then Caro’s like “I’ll do it” and it just felt a bit unbelievable that they’d send the teen girl off and not use that as leverage to have her dad privateer for them. NBD though. Anyway, one of Caro’s rules is that she’s not supposed to open the box. You can guess where this is going. Of course she opened the box, which turns out to be a wonderful and terrible thing because there’s a hot boy inside but also he’s a pretentious ass. Obviously ship. So very ship.

Caro and Hot Boy View Spoiler » hate each other right off the bat and have to overcome their initial prejudices. That’s my shippy catnip tbh. They both grow up a lot over the course of the book, and they both question their long-held dreams for the future (mostly because they had no other choice). What I love especially about this ship is that, while it seemed like it would be impossible for them to be together long term, it looks like that issue is going to be resolved in a really interesting way. View Spoiler » Also, the talks with her parents about their relationship were SO CUTE.

The plot’s interesting and fast-paced. The plot arc overall is a bit strange, but Tolcser makes it work. Basically, things don’t evolve a long a more typical fantasy plot structure. View Spoiler » For the most part, I also really like the world building with the various nature-god-given magics. However, the “frogmen” made me uncomfortable, with their broken English and servitude.

I absolutely need book two in my life. Bring on the shippy ships!

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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One response to “Size Doesn’t Matter (154): The Secrets of Wishtide; Song of the Current”

  1. Hot boy in a box! Ahaha! That’s my shippy catnip too. Something about the description didn’t grab me off the bat so it wasn’t on my TBR at first but after reading a few reviews like yours I got it at the library. Hoping I enjoy it- most ships can make up for weird story arcs 😉
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