Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The sun sets on 2013: May 2014 bring you many great mysteries.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reading right now:
A Calamitous Chinese Killing            “”A Calamitous Chinese Killing” by Shamini Flint. This sixth book in the Inspector Singh Investigates series catapults Singh into the murky waters of Chinese politics. When asked to solve the murder at the Singapore Embassy in Beijing, Singh finds his way complicated by illegal organ harvesting, poverty, corruption, and much more. The first book in this series was “A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder” which came out in 2009.

On hold right now:
            “The Midas Murders” by Pieter Aspe. Belgium author Pieter Aspe embarks on his second Inspector Van In novel. “The Square of Revenge” began the series and this new book shows Inspector Van In trying to thwart a series of terrorist plots.

Other Mysterious Things Available:
“White Fire” by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. This is a great series which centers around FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast whom I’ve always felt owed a lot to the great Sherlock Holmes. In this the 13th installment of the series, Child and Preston pay tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde in a remarkably fun and thrilling way. I loved this book and thought it was one of the best in the series. Pendergast is an odd and intriguing character whose exploits often roam into Stephen King territory. The first book in this series was “The Relic” which was made into a movie. Preston’s nonfiction work “The Monster of Florence” is being made into a movie with George Clooney playing Preston.
“The Gods of Guilt” by Michael Connelly. The 5th Mickey Haller (Lincoln Lawyer) book is available and really good. Like many others, I love Michael Connelly’s books. He started out in Florida as a reporter specializing in the crime beat. When he wrote a magazine story which was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, he landed a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Only three years later, he started writing his first novel featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. I’ve heard that a pilot called “Bosch” is in the works with Amazon and hopefully streaming in March 2014. If you watch the TV show Castle, Connelly can sometimes be seen as one of Castle’s poker playing buddies.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reading right now:

            “Murder, She Barked” by Krista Davis. This is the first in a new series by Davis who is an award winning author of the “Domestic Diva” mystery series. Davis calls her new series “paws and claws” since it takes place in the idyllic dog and cat paradise of Wagtail, Virginia at a pet friendly hotel owned by our hero Holly Miller’s grandmother. Nothing like a good mystery with dogs and cats.

On hold right now:

            “Chilled to the Bone” by Quentin Bates. The third book in the Gunnhilder Mystery series with the fourth coming out in April 2014. Gunnhildur is an Icelandic female police sergeant who in “Chilled to the Bone” stumbles cross a bondage society whose members are being blackmailed and much more.

Other Mysterious Things Available:

            Other books that come out in December and are worth mentioning include:

            “Dark Omens” by Rosemary Rowe. Her 14th book in the Libertus Mystery of Roman Britain series. This historical mystery series takes place in the 2nd century AD. Libertus is a Celtic freedman and mosaic-layer with a talent for solving crimes.

            “Secondhand Stiff” by Sue Ann Jaffarian. The 8th book in the Adelia Grey series. Jaffarian writes one of my favorite mystery series: the Ghost of Granny Apples (the fourth book in that series comes out in April, 2014). The Adelia Grey series is also fun and revolves around plus-sized, middle aged Adelia Grey, a woman who pulls no punches while trying to figure out why she’s always put in the position of solving a major crime.

            “Buttoned Up” by Kylie Logan. Fourth book in the Button Box mystery series with Josie Giancola as our hero. Josie’s button shop in Chicago draws customers and her reputation as an expert on buttons draws trouble.

            “Shoot the Woman First” by Wallace Stroby. Third book in the Crissa Stone series. Crissa is a professional thief who mostly finds trouble.

A List to Treasure:
            Read a Christmas mystery this season! Lots of mystery authors have, usually as part of their series, mystery novels that take place around Christmas. Anne Perry has a whole mystery series of what she calls Christmas novellas (the first is “A Christmas Journey”). Craig Johnson’s “Christmas in Absarden County” is a collection of four short stories featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire which take place around Christmas. M C Beaton features Christmas in two of her Agatha Raisin series which are “Kissing Christmas Goodbye” and “Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble.” Leslie Meier’s terrific Lucy Stone series includes three Christmas mysteries: “Christmas Carol Murder,” “Christmas Cookie Murder,” and “Mistletoe Murder.” Rhys Bowen’s “The Twelve Clues of Christmas” is part of the Royal Spyness series. Isis Crawford’s Mystery with Recipes series includes two Christmas books: “A Catered Christmas” and “A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange.” 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reading right now:

“Compound Fractures” by Stephen White. This is supposed to be the final book in White’s Dr. Alan Gregory series. Gregory is a Psychologist whose work seems to take him into constant danger. “Compound Fractures” takes off where the last book “Line of Fire” ended. If you have never read any of these books, it would be good to start at the beginning with “Privileged Information” (1991) and make your way to number 20 which is “Compound Fractures.”
On hold right now:

“The Avalon Chanter” by Lillian Stewart Carl. Crime Reporter Jean Fairbairn and retired police detective Alasdair Cameron team up again in the seventh book in this series. Archeologist Maggie Lauder believes that Farnaby Island off the Northumberland coast is the Avalon of Arthurian legend, but when she tries to prove it what she discovers is a skeletal body that could be her father. She enlists Fairbairn and Cameron to try to solve the mystery.

Other Mysterious Things Available:

IMDb published a list of top TV mysteries (according to their survey which can be found by searching for “Highest Rated Mystery TV series with at Least 1,000 Votes”). They rated “Sherlock” as number one. This is the BBC series which started in 2000, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. “Dexter” came in second.  Fourteen was the 1984 series “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” The BBC series “Luther” was number 19. Take a look at the list and see how many you have watched and which you might have missed. Luckily for us most are available on DVD or on Netflix or even at your local library.