Monday, January 27, 2014

Reading right now:
Murder Strikes a Pose (A Downward Dog Mystery)“Murder Strikes a Pose” by Tracy Weber. Award-winning yoga instructor Tracy Weber, pens the first in a new mystery series where her hero (also a yoga instructor) Kate Davidson struggles to keep her small business afloat while trying to prove that the local homeless alcoholic was murdered. Weber’s books revolve around all the things she loves the most which includes yoga and dogs.
On hold right now:
            “Silence Once Begun” by Jesse Ball. Gifted poet, novelist, and artist, Jesse Ball’s new book sounds remarkable. It centers around Oda Sotatus who has confessed to making eight people disappear in the same Japanese town. After his confession, Sotatus is arrested but will not answer any questions or discuss the case right through his trail, conviction, and execution. But was Sotatus’ confession a lie?
Other Mysterious Things Available:
            Also available this month is the tenth in the DI Andy Horton series “Death Surge” by Pauline Rowson (to be followed soon by the eleventh book “Shroud of Evil” which comes out in April). If you like British crime fiction, this series is for you.
            “Fair and Tender Ladies” by Chris Nickson is the latest in the Richard Nottingham series. This series is a great selection for those readers who love historical mysteries. The series takes place in the 1730s and the main character, Richard Nottingham, is the Constable of Leeds.
            “Hunting Shadows” by Charles Todd is the 16th book in the Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge series. This is also an historical mystery series which the authors started writing in 1996.

            I happened upon a series of 11 TV movies released by the Hallmark Channel between 2003 and 2007 called “Mystery Woman” starring Kellie Martin. The main character Samantha Kinsey owes the Mystery Woman Bookstore and just happens to get involved in solving real life mysteries. These were really fun to watch so if they pop up on the Hallmark Channel take the time to watch them.

Monday, January 20, 2014

jonnie jacobs Lying With Strangers book cover
Reading right now:
            “Lying With Strangers” by Jonnie Jacobs. After Diana Walker’s husband is killed in a robbery, she finds out that she knows very little about his real life. She meets a new friend who helps her through the tragedy only to find that her friend also isn’t who she pretends to be. Jacobs writes a couple of mystery series, but this is a stand-alone novel. 
On hold right now:
            “A Dark and Stormy Knit” by Anne Canadeo. This is the sixth book in the Black Sheep Knitting mystery series. The Black Sheep Knitters are five friends who meet once a week to share friendship, gossip, and knitting tips in Plum Harbor, Massachusetts. Their curiosity and natural detective skills often land them in the middle of murder. 
Other Mysterious Things to Come:
            Each year there are many fantastic mysteries to look forward to and 2014 looks like no exception. No one wants to miss Jonathan Kellerman’s new Alex Delaware book coming in February called “Killer.” I am also looking forward to C. S. Harris’ new Sebastian St. Cyr mystery called “Why Kings Confess” which comes out in March. March should also bring Harlan Coben’s new stand-alone novel called “Missing You.”  David Baldacci is supposed to put out another Will Robie mystery in April called “The Target.” Watch out in May for John Sandford’s new Lucas Davenport book “Field of Prey.” We have to wait all the way until July for David Rosenfelt’s 12th Andy Carpenter book “Hounded.” 

Why Kings Confess            This month in addition to all the books I have already mentioned, Irish writer Cora Harrison’s 10th book in the Burren historical mystery series is coming out (“The Cross of Vengeance”). “My Lady Judge” was the first book in this Celtic historical crime series. Also of interest this month is “Finders Keepers Losers Weepers” by Robert S. Levinson, a hard-boiled mystery about survival in the music business in 1989. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Reading right now:
            “Killing Cupid” by Laura Levine. This L.A. based comedy writer’s credits include “The Bob Newhart Show” and Three’s Company. You might be able to guess that her books are funny. “Killing Cupid” is the 12th book in the Jaine Austen series. Like Levine, Jaine writes but her jobs often land her in the middle of murder.
On hold right now:
            “Stone Cold Dead” by Catherine Ditts. This debut novel takes place in Golden Springs, Colorado and stars Morgan Iverson who agrees to help her brother with the family rock shop for two weeks only to find herself permanently in charge when he hands her the keys and announces that he is never returning. When Morgan stumbles upon a dead teenage girl, she becomes the center of a lot of unexpected and unwanted attention which includes threats upon her life.
A List to Treasure:

            More and more books are being made into movies. 2014 is hardly an exception and some of those books are mysteries.   “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn is scheduled to appear in the theaters in August closely followed by “Gone Girl” in September. It is hard to believe that there is anyone left who hasn’t read “Gone Girl,” but if you haven’t it’s a good time before the movie comes out. Flynn has talked about having to rewrite the ending for the movie which seems a shame since I loved the crazy ending. “Horns” by Joe Hill stars Daniel Radcliffe and has been talked about for some time. HBO production of “Reconstructing Amelia” by Kimberly McCreight is coming out with Nicole Kidman starring. “A Slight Trick of the Mind” by Mitch Cullin revolves around an aging, retired Sherlock Holmes who talks about his old cases before he forgets. “Every Secret Thing” by Laura Lippman is about missing children and the detective who attempts to find them. “Inherent Vice” by Thomas Pynchon takes place in 1970s Los Angeles when detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. “Child 44” written by Tom Rob Smith has a Stalin-era Soviet Union MGB agent investigating a series of child murders. Looks like 2014 might just be an investing movie year!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Reading right now:
The Devil's Breath by Tessa Harris            “The Devil’s Breath” by Tessa Harris. This third book in the Dr. Thomas Silkstone mystery series continues the adventures of the Philadelphia doctor living in London in the 1780s. Dr. Silkstone is an anatomist in the time of superstition, environmental disasters, and murder. This terrific series will continue with the fourth book in July 2014 called “The Lazarus Curse.” 

On hold right now:
            “The Last Death of Jack Harbin” by Terry Shames. This second book in new author Terry Shames’ mystery series stars ex-police chief Samuel Craddock. Shames’ first book in the series was “A Killing at Cotton Hill” which came out only six months ago. These novels take place in central Texas and feature the isolation and secrets of small town life, as well as, shocking murders.
Other Mysteries Not to Miss:
            “Home of the Braised” by Julie Hyzy. This is the seventh book in the fantastic White House Chef mystery series. White House executive chef Olivia Paras once more finds herself in the middle of murder and threats to the president while trying to plan her wedding.
            “In Retrospect” by Ellen Larson. Larson writes science fiction and mysteries and a combination of the two. “In Retrospect” is a stand-alone which takes place in a post-apocalyptic future. If you like a solid mystery with elements of time travel, set in the future rift with problems, “In Retrospect” sounds made for you.
A List to Treasure:
Read a book and hit the beach!
            There are many lists available at the end of the year and some of them involve the so called best mysteries of 2013. According to the 10 best included: “Ghostman” by Roger Hobbs, “Perfect Hatred” by Leighton Gage, “The Golden Egg” by Donna Leon, “Murder as a Fine Art” by David Morrell, “A Delicate Truth” by John le Carre, “The Abomination” by Jonathan Holt, “Mystery Girl” by David Gordon, “How the Light Gets In” by Louise Penny, “Tatiana” by Martin Cruz Smith, and “Death of a Nightingale” by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis. Library Journal includes “Cries of the Lost” by Chris Knopf, “How the Light Gets In” by Louise Penny, “Circle of Shadows” by Imogen Robertson, and “Death on Demand” by Paul Thomas in their list of the best of 2013. The Seattle Times included “Deadly Virtues” by Jo Bannister, “Speaking from Among the Bones” by Alan Bradley, “The Return” by Michael Gruber, “The Case of the Love Commandos” by Tarquin Hall, “Ghostman” by Roger Hobbs, “Play Dead” by Bill James, “The Shanghai Factor” by Charles McCarry, “Critical Mass” by Sara Paretsky, “No Man’s Nightingale” by Ruth Rendell, and “The Ghost Riders of Ordebec” by Fred Vargas. There are many ideas out there about what is the “best,” but for me the best are all those books that draw me in and keep me wanting more.