I left a couple books out of my previous recounting, and read a few more in the meantime:
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, translated by Alison Anderson. I'm conflicted about this book. I know that should have loved it, but reading it at the beach totally spoiled the effect for me. I'm saving it to reread when I'm in a more serious frame of mind.
All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear. The first third had me totally lost, and the next two thirds had me entranced. I can't wait for the sequel to come out in February! The book is very loosely based on some Norse mythology, but it all takes place after Ragnarok, which hasn't quite gone according to predictions. One Valkyrie, one steed, and one "tarnished one" survived. So did a huge cache of weapons. The humans are slowly losing ground against numerous environmental and magical woes. Loved it!!!
Black is the Color of my True-Love's Heart by Ellis Peters. Another superb mystery in the "George Felse" series.
The Case is Closed by Patricia Wentworth. I'm pretty sure I've read it before, but I recalled none of the plot, so I'm going to count it as new again. This is one of Wentworth's lesser books, but still entertaining to read. Miss Silver remains my favorite detective from that era of writing!
Song for the Basilisk by Patricia McKillip. I know I read it when it first came out but almost nothing in the plot had stuck with me, so I read it again yesterday. It's not the best of her books, but contains some lovely hints at plot twists that you have to be super-alert to catch. (I wasn't super-alert. The ending was a TOTAL surprise to me.) A bard who has spent 35 years at his school begins to recall his traumatic childhood, and returns to the enchanted, doomed city where he was born.
Overall, I'm a huge fan of McKillip's recent work. Basilisk was published in 1999 and is solidly in her "heraldic tales" period. Her more recent work has shown much more creativity and energy.