Monday, September 28, 2015

Fantasy Author Jane Tesh Lists her Five Favorite Books

Only five?  I have lots of favorites! A tough assignment, but here goes.
            Terry Prachett is my favorite author, and Going Postal is my favorite of his many novels set in his imaginary Discworld, an alternate universe created by Sir Terry to spoof human foolishness.  In Going Postal, a con man, given a second chance, must save the derelict postal service of Ank-Morpork.  There is romance, true danger, and an amazing satire on computers.  I am in awe of the way that Pratchett can mix comedy, drama, humor, and pathos all in one book.  That’s what I strive for in my own novels.
            Georgette Heyer is known as the creator of the Regency romance genre.  Her witty dialog and intricate plots take comedy of errors to the next level.  In my favorite book, The Foundling, the young Duke of Sale escapes his overprotective household, has adventures, and proves himself.  Heyer handles her many characters very skillfully, and I appreciate her dry and subtle comments on their foibles.
            I discovered Dorothy Sayers in my college library and became very fond of her hero detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, especially in Murder Must Advertize.  In this adventure, Lord Peter goes undercover in an advertizing agency to solve the murder of one of the employees.  I was immediately drawn into the world of upper class bon vivant Wimsey.  Again, I love dialogue, and Lord Peter never stops talking.
 Jasper Fforde is an author whose work defies description.  Mystery, fantasy, time travel, and delightful humor and invention are only a few of the things you can find in his many novels.  My favorite is The Big Over Easy.  Jack Spratt and Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division investigate the death of Humpty Dumpty.  Did he fall or was he pushed?  Add the evil Goliath Corporation, friendly aliens, and the All of Fforde’s books, including the Thursday Next series, and the amazing Shades of Grey (not to be confused with Fifty Shades of Gray!), in which the characters’ social status depends on what color they can see, are filled with enough literary references, wordplay, and dazzling imagination to please any English major, including myself. 
            And finally, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce, illustrated by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm.  As a former elementary school librarian, I love picture books, and even though I’m retired, I still like to read them.  It’s been a long time since a book affected me so.  Morris Lessmore’s house and all his books are blown away in a storm, and a cheerful book invites him to come live with him and hundreds of other little living books.  The pictures are evocative and amusing, and the story made me cry.  So that’s a good book!
Jane Tesh is a retired media specialist and pianist for the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt. Airy, NC, the real Mayberry. She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Series, A Case of Imagination, A Hard Bargain, A Little Learning, and A Bad Reputation, featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather.  Stolen Hearts is the first in the Grace Street Mystery Series, featuring PI David Randall, his psychic friend, Camden, Randall’s love interest, Kary Ingram, and Cam’s career-driven girlfriend, Ellin Belton, as well as an ever-changing assortment of Cam’s tenants.  Mixed Signals is the second in the series, followed by Now You See It and Just You Wait. Jane’s mysteries are all published by Poisoned Pen Press, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Butterfly Waltz is her first published fantasy novel from Silver Leaf Books. All of Jane’s books are on the light side with humor and romance. 

Visit Jane’s website at and her Facebook page,  You can also find her on Goodreads, Amazon’s Author Central, and

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