What we're reading in January 2008
Ever wonder what the folks who work at a mystery bookstore like to read? Well, here's your answer. Each month we ask everyone here to pick a book, current or older, that they truly enjoyed and are enthusiastic about. Of course, if you visited the store, we'd tell you directly what we like but for those of you who can't come see us, this is the next best thing. Our special thanks to Judi for pulling this feature together and to all the staff who contributed their picks.
Presented here are the picks for this month, an archive of earlier months is available from the menu at the left.
What Margo is reading
In a sequel to Silent in the Grave, Lady Julia Grey returns to England in 1887 after spending a six-month sojourn in Italy. But the homecoming is not to be a happy one in Silent in the Sanctuary. A Christmas house party at her father’s home, an ancient abbey, yields a cast of intriguing characters including the enigmatic Nicholas Brisbane, a detective and one time partner of Lady Grey’s in the solution of her husband’s death. The reluctant couple is united again to determine the murderer of a local parish curate, and to save the life of Julia’s cousin who has been accused of the deed.
What Lynne is reading
Gyles Brandreth’s Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance is the best new series introduction I’ve read in quite awhile. Brandreth, who is a British biographer of some note, has selected Oscar Wilde as his detective in this historical novel redolent of period atmosphere. Oscar Wilde and his friend Robert Sherrard (who actually existed) take on the case of the disappearing corpse, and fortunately they are persistent since the police are of no real assistance. I highly recommend this witty (true to Oscar Wilde’s talents), literary jaunt into Victorian times. Hopefully, Oscar Wilde will prove to be active detective and additional books will follow swiftly.
What Judi is reading
Minette Walter’s mysteries are always edgy trips into the psyche and The Chameleon’s Shadow is no exception. A wounded soldier, Charles Acland returns home from Iraq. When released from the hospital he cuts off all contact with his family and former life. Against the recommendations of his doctor’s he takes up a new life but soon comes to the attention of the police with his antisocial and disruptive behavior. He comes under suspicion for three recent murders, all of them motivated by extreme rage. The police are aided in the investigation by his former fiancé. Is his paranoia and duplicitous chameleon-like behavior warranted or does he just hate women as his fiancé charges? As with all Walter’s books this one is nonstop suspense
What Richard is reading
Benn presents an entertaining view of the WW II, set in 1942. Young Billy Boyle is a Boston cop whose far-flung family is anxious for him to be safe in the army. Calling upon an aunt married to an Army officer Billy suddenly finds himself flying to London to work for his uncle: Uncle Ike. Billy is soon involved in the search for a spy among the Norwegian government in exile, a search that soon leads to murder as Billy teams up with a refugee Polish baron and a posh WREN to investigate the case. Very humorously told from Billy's naive point of view with some pretty interesting WW II history woven into a plot rich in adventure.