Recent comment to Bronze Ribbons, who liked Any Which Wall, which was one of the things I’ve enjoyed as I’ve been wallowing in kid- and YA-lit since The Coming of the Kindle:

I am hoping Laurel Snyder writes more like Any Which Wall. Other series I liked recently were the two Penderwicks books – if Any Which Wall is modern day Edward Eager, the Penderwicks books are modern day Elizabeth Enright – and now Nick of Time, which is sort of, ummmm Aubrey and Maturin meet Kidnapped meet James Bond. With time travel! For kids! Much fun. There are cameos from Winston churchill and Lord Nelson, pirates, cats, submarines, and Nazis. I’ve just finished this one and am looking forward to the sequel, which apparently involves a visit to the US.

I’ve also just finished reading the first four Dr. Thorndyke mysteries, and loved them. I suspect everybody else has known about these forever, but in case not…. you could think of them as Sherlock Holmes with more personality, better equipment, and smarter friends, or conversely as CSI: PreWar London. The time period overlaps the last few Holmes cases, ranging from 1907 – 1942 (the four I read were all pre-WWI; I’m curious to read the next volume, whose later two books are set in 1918 and 1922 and see if the world has changed visibly). It’s fascinating to see the picture of the time, both in technical details (all the paraphernalia needed to take a thumbprint before the ink-pad was invented, or how a certain type of candle is bright enough to make it appear that someone in the room has lit a lamp) and in perceptions (I have no idea what a “typical Jew of the blonde type” looks like, nor a woman who is “slender but plump”.) I especially like getting a peek at the East End of London right around the time my grandfather was being born there.