January with the King’s Men

January started with my first official appointment to a chiropractor. I mentioned elsewhere that he wasn’t really confident he could put me back together, but that’s there and not here. Not being able to run has given me more time to read…much more than I realized. You can get a lot done with an extra 4-5 hours a week! With that being said, here are the books:


  • Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright. This story stayed with me for a really long time.
  • Tea From an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan. I think I was most disappointed by this one because I saw the ending a mile away.
  • On the Beach by Nevil Shute. I listened to this on audio and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
  • Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich. I read this one in a day.
  • Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey by M.K. Wren. Another really short book.
  • What Did It Mean? by Angela Thirkell. I gave up on this one after 120 pages. Boring!


  • Partisans: Marriage, Politics, and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals by David Laskin.
  • War Child by Emmanuel Jal. Probably the most raw and captivating story of the month. Read in a weekend.
  • Traveller’s Prelude by Freya Stark
  • Practicing History by Barbara Tuchman. No one does history like Barbara. (AB/print)
  • Last Cheater’s Waltz by Ellen Meloy. She has a wicked sense of humor.

Series continuations:

  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman. The last Pollifax mystery I will read.  Read in a day.

Early Reviews:

  • Brain Food: the Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Health by Lisa Mosconi. This took me a really long time to read. You may have seen it on other lists. There was just a lot to it.


Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey

Wren, M.K. Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1984.

Reason read: Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey was published in January of 1984.

Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey is a super fast read and the premise is pretty simple as well. Conan Flagg is primarily a bookseller with a private investigator hobby on the side. This time he is investigating the death of his friend, Corey Benbow. Young, vivacious Corey was found dead after a suspicious car accident. Toxicology reports reveal a lack of alcohol or drugs in her system and there were no skid marks at the scene…so was it suicide? Conan doesn’t think so. To make matters worse, the police seem to be wrapping up the case too quickly (no official autopsy?). Considering the number of Corey’s inlaws who stood to gain something from her disappearing permanently, Conan sets out to discredit alibis and sort out motives. The only negative about this story was the sheer number of characters for such a short book.

Note: Since I didn’t find a lot to quote, I wanted to draw attention to the title of the book. Wren quotes an old folk song of the same name (“Darlin’ Cory”). Since the lyrics were so in line with the story I just had to check it out and I’m so glad I did! This is a really cool song. Lots of great artists have covered it over the years: Bruce Hornsby, Bill Monroe, Pete Seeger and Bob Weir, to name a few.

Author fact: Wren also wrote King of the Mountain which I will be reading in February 2037 for the Challenge.

Book trivia: Wake Up Darlin’ Corey is short, only 180 pages long.

Nancy said: “The mystery shelves are packed with tales set in Cascadia” (p 153) and mentions Wake Up, Darlin’ Corey as one such mystery.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Living High in Cascadia” (p 148).