Once again, I am here to share with you my latest library find. For I wish I had a room to fill with books from floor to ceiling, instead of these bare rented walls with paint whose wont is peeling. And my books would be the finest made, all hand-cut page and leather. Instead I trudge to libraries in frigid, rainy weather! Seriously though, I love libraries and without them, where would I be? They entertain for free --ok, I'll stop rhyming now, that last one was not intentional! And libraries certainly keep me from spending all my money at bookstores, for despite my tendency to emphasize fashion on this blog, few purchases give me as much pleasure as a new book. For more tips on how to best "shop" the library in lieu of buying out the bookstore check out my previous review In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault.
But enough of roses, on to Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell!
The Plot (Spoiler free):
Tigerlily's Orchids pulls back the walls of London flat block Lichfield House to reveal the secret (and not so secret) vices, fears and fancies of its eccentric inhabitants. Rendell is primarily known as a mystery writer and Tigerlily's Orchids is not without its whodunits, but I would classify it more as a whydunit: why do people do the things they do, want the things they want...and why do we burn to know why? An ensemble character study full of interesting oddballs, the book is entertaining, witty and keeps you reading. One resident of Lichfield House is pursuing her lifelong dream of drinking herself to death, another is a professor who uses Milton's Paradise Lost as a divination tool and pines for the building's resident spinster. And if I've left you wondering about the meaning behind the book's beguiling title, well, you'll just have to read the book!
People who will like this book: