How to Build a Tin Canoe by Robb White. The author wrote a column in Wood Boat Magazine, and is also the brother of author Bailey White & son of author Robb White Sr. This is a tale of his childhood on the southern seacoast and swamps, "messing about in boats" in the 50s and 60s, fishing, sailing, motor boating with a freedom that children today can only envy. Writing style is most entertaining & lots of Southern charm. Title refers to building a very tippy boat out of a strip of metal roofing.
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. First in a series (now up to 15 volumes) featuring rich flapper detective Phryne (rhymes with briny) Fisher in 1920s Australia. She has a wardrobe to die for, a big fast car, a Chinese lover, and lots of Aussie wit and idioms. Very enjoyable for those who like their mysteries not too bloody or sexy, like Agatha Christie with a twist.
Larklight by Philip Reeve. If Newton discovered space travel as well as gravity, by 1851 the British Empire would have extended into outer space. As the story opens Arthur and Myrtle, a brother & sister, are in Larklight, their home in orbit beyond the moon, when they must flee an invasion of giant white spiders, are rescued by Victorian space pirates and wind up saving London, Queen Victoria, and the Empire, from an insidious and evil plot. Great fun for sci-fi and anglophile readers.