I just (accidentally) started two literary biographies at the same time.
One is Joanne Drayton's biography of Ngaio Marsh (Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime). Drayton, a New Zealander herself, also and a bit more controversially, wrote a biography of Anne Perry. I'm not expecting this one to be controversial, but I'm looking forward to getting a bit of theatre history, since theatre was a large part of Marsh's life, and I'll also probably have to end up dipping back in to some favourite Marsh mysteries - oh, the pain of it!
The other is Peter Ackroyd's biography of Wilkie Collins for the "Brief Lives" series. Brief they may be, but Ackroyd's contributions to that series aren't dumbed down, and they leave a vivid impression, at least for me. I've read his Shakespeare, Chatterton and Poe. Still on my shelf, Chaucer, and the very un-brief biography, "Dickens", which is a doorstop of a thing that I plan to linger happily over. Ackroyd also has a good line in fiction based on writers' lives (I loved his "Last Testament of Oscar Wilde") so you have to keep that distinction firmly in mind when buying something with his name on it!
I'm reading the Collins biography because I've been reading a lot of Collins himself. Just the other day I finished Blind Love, his very last novel; he died two-thirds of the way through the writing of it - and the serialization had already started in a magazine! - but fortunately he left very detailed notes for his friend and fellow author, Walter Besant, so the conclusion makes sense despite being in Besant's noticeably different style.
Also just finished, and still buzzing around in my brain, the complex and poetical novel about class warfare and public architecture (among other things) in 1920s and 30s Toronto, In The Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje. So many pictures left in the mind: a nun falling off a half-finished bridge in the darkness; a convict escaping jail by being painted bright blue all over; subterranean tunnels below a marbled palace that is actually a water treatment plant - yes, that last one existed, still exists and is still very much in use. A massively nebulous, dreamlike plot, each element of which is firmly nailed down to actual physical places and actual historical dates. I think more Ondaatje has to be in my future, though not till I've puzzled over this one some more.