I'm still reading, though my reviews have been few and far between. To make up for it I offer you two:
Sister, by Rosamond Upton. A murder mystery- it's really not my fav genre, though I've read a ton this year already. (hey, I'll count this as a "mini-challenge!"). Like Sayers, Upton uses the murder, and the mystery, to talk about a whole lot of other things; bio-chemical medicine and ethics, familial relationships, grief, loss, control, and ultimately love. A beautifully woven story with a surprise ending. So surprising, in fact, that I had to go back and re-work some things in my head- in that way it reminded me of the Dekker's Three ends. The other thing I loved about this book was that it was a series of letters written to the protagonists deceased sister. Grief is clearly a theme here, and Upton writes with tenderness about the unique grief of losing a sibling.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (LIW): A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill.I've been in several discussions over the past couple of years about the legacy left behind by both the Ingalls's and Wilder's. There's a whole group of people out there who can't stand Pa, think Rose Wilder Lane (RWL) wrote the books and that Laura is a shame and blame Almanzo for losing the farm in the Territories. Wow. Call me gullible but I still like love the series, read them for the fourth time out-loud this year, and find it all a fascinating look into a time and place that still touches us, if only vaguely. Hill's take on LIW's work is that she is clearly the author, RWL, was a brilliant editor and the relationship between the two was...complicated. RIL, imho, had some personality issues, including plagiarism. This was a documented before she actually plagiarized material from her own mother. A fascinating look at a family system which included TWO best selling and ambitious authors. I thought it would be a dry, tedious read, but not at all. A great look at both a writer's life, and family systems. Incidentally, the author, Hill, got her start writing in South Dakota. Love that.