I have completed the first book for the Summer Reading Challenge: My Very Own Murder, by Josephine Carr.

I read a lot of mystery novels, enough to be able to generalize. Michael Innes is not at all like Colin Watson, who is not at all like M.C. Beaton, but all of them are mystery novelists. Some mysteries are serious novels and some are light-hearted froth, but they all follow some basic rules. There is a puzzle at the center of the story, and the writer plays fair with the reader in the sense of providing all the clues so that we can, if not actually figure it out alongside the detective, at least say, “Aha! I should have noticed that!” at the denouement.

My Very Own Murder is not a mystery. It is chick lit with the word “murder” in it.

I am not saying this is a bad thing, but I want you to know what you are getting into. It is still an entertaining book, if very meager as to plot and a bit mingy as to characters. It is in some ways a coming-of-age book about a middle-aged woman, but doesn’t even really explore that concept very fully — the protagonist cuts her hair and has casual sex with a neighbor, and that’s about the strength of it.

Part of the non-challenging challenge of summer reading was to post pictures of the places where we read.

I have already posted the exciting recliner photo. Here is another place where I read that book: in bed.

Today I am intending to read and knit most of the day, probably not in any very exotic locations. The boys are out of school so summer has officially begun. Iced tea, vegetables from the garden, and sitting on the porch figure largely in my after-church plans.