Library Loot / Cover Attraction

I have two pieces of Library Loot this week and both definitely qualify as Cover Attractions. I wasn’t seeking them out but I spotted them with covers facing out from the new book shelf and I was drawn in.

Here they are:

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McLeary

“Nellie Bly – reporter, feminist and amateur detective – is in Paris for the World’s Fair in 1889 and she is on the trail of an enigmatic killer. The city is a dangerous place: an epidemic of Black Fever rages, anarchists plot to overthrow the government and a murderer preys on the prostitutes who haunt the streets of Montmartre. But it is also a city of culture, a magnet for artists and men of science and letters. Can the combined genius of Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne and Louis Pasteur help Nellie prove a match for Jack the Ripper?”

A perfectly balanced cover. Striking enough to draw me in but with enough detail and subtlety to keep me looking. And isn’t it nice to see the heroine of a historical novel without her head or other parts of the body cut off?!

It looks like an entertaining mystery. I didn’t really want another big book. I was just going to note the details to look for it again, but I read the first few pages and I was hooked. So it had to come home.

Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales: a Retelling by Peter Ackroyd

“Famous for its ingenuity and wit, The Canterbury Tales is a major part of England’s literary heritage. From the exuberant Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend to the Miller’s worldly, ribald farce, these tales can be taken as a mirror of fourteenth century London and medieval society. Incorporating every style of Medieval narrative – bawdy anecdote, allegorical fable and courtly romance – the tales encompass the blend of universal human themes and individual personal detail that have fascinated readers for over 600 years. Here they are retold in full by Peter Ackroyd.”

The wonderful sky blue background made this book stand out. And then the figures processing along the bottom of the cover drew me in.

In many ways I feel I should read the Canterbury Tales in their original verse form, but I’ve looked at them and it just seems like too much hard work. So I thought I’d see how I get on with a modern translation and then hopefully go back to the original one day with an idea of what’s going on. We’ll see!

Have you seen a lovely cover this week? Then do share your Cover Attraction here.

And have you found any great books in the library? Share your Library Loot here.

10 responses

  1. Beautiful covers and intriguing stories…a perfect combination! I feel the same way about the Canterbury Tales, so will be curious to see what you think of this.

  2. I heard about Ackroyd’s book and love the concept, it reminds me of reading Classic Comics as an eight year-old. If it develops an interest in literature in people of any age it must be a good thing. The Alchemy of Murder has a gorgeous cover and would definitely have me plucking it from the shelf, sounds like a good read too!

  3. I bought The Alchemy of Murder this summer, and it sounds absolutely my kind of a detective story, but I am yet to read it. My copy (the English edition) has a different cover. There’s still a woman in a red dress, but the composition is a bit more sinister and darker.


  4. Ackroyd’s biography of Chaucer was excellent – I can only imagine what he has done to the Canterbury Tales! The cover is delish. But the red dress on the first one is splendid too.

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