1. Amber's right: this is a good novel, and fans of George R.R. Martin are likely to enjoy it. Also, not sure if this is idiosyncratic, but Cithrin bel Sarcour reminds me slightly of Daggy Taggart. Maybe that's just because I have trouble thinking of many other novels that showcase a strong female character working in free enterprise.
2. Roy Jenkins's Gladstone. It's well-written, particularly if you enjoy a slightly over-the-top, self-consciously erudite British style. It's probably too pretentious by half if you don't. Also, while I can follow along *okay,* the book sorely lacks context on period history and the structure of British politics that most Americans would appreciate. Read: I knew Jenkins had to be British a few chapters in, even before I looked him up on the Internet and confirmed this to be true. Be forewarned.
3. Retriever Gun Dogs, published 1948 (sorry, it's out of print, so no link.) Facts learned: back in 1937, a black Labrador with call name "Nigger" won a field championship. Fortunately, retriever naming humor has evolved for the better. My personal favorite I've seen recently is [Kennel's Name] "Whale of a Tail," call name "Jonah."