Christmas in April?

There's something special about reading the latest work by a favorite author and revisiting a fictional world that you've come to love.

I read a lot, and have many authors whose works are dear to me. A. S. Byatt doesn't write series, but I have a lot of Byatt-books on my shelves, for example. Kathleen Norris's three books are all very different, but I treasure all of them, keeping them on the same shelf as Madeleine L'Engle's non-fantasy novels (and her Crosswicks journals).

I still have the complete collections of A.A. Milne's poetry and Pooh books, right near the boxed sets of the Anne of Green Gables series, and the Little House on the Prairiecollection, and The Chronicles of Narnia. More recently, I've added The Black Jewels series to my collection, and I've got all the books in both of Laurell K. Hamilton's universes.

I can't forget the mysteries. Dorothy Gillman's main character may be older than my grandmother, but I love the Mrs. Pollifax stories just the same, and Jim Qwilleran's sleuthing Siamese cats, Koko and Yumyum are taking up a lot of bookshelf acreage in my house.

And then there's Margaret Maron. Most people familiar with her work will think of the Deborah Knott books, but my favorite character of hers is Sigrid Harald. Sigrid's tough, awkward, and in some ways totally unlovable, which is probably why I love her as a character. In some ways she reminds me of Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski, but really she's her own self.

I first encountered her in the San Jose Public Library, where I found a book called One Coffee With which is one of the later books in the series. Reading both backwards and forwards, I managed to find most of the books in which Sigrid appeared, and loved them all. I never bought them, but I wish I had, because they're mostly out of print now.

Tonight I was dragged back into Sigrid's world quite unexpectedly. I already had five new books in my arms, and I was doing the ritual, “I'm ready to go now” search for Fuzzy. I turned a corner, and there it was, smiling at me in all it's green-covered glory. Corpus Christmas, by Margaret Maron. A Sigrid Harald novel.

Christmas in April.
Can't wait to read.